A Full Body Workout At The Park
How often do you take your little ones to the park? I’m pretty sure I should be paying rent at the park next door because when the weather is good we are THERE! “Go to part,” says my little guy, and even though he can’t say his K’s, I know he is longing for that purple tube slide.
I’ll load up the kids in the stroller, head to the park, and then stand around and watch my son play. He probably burns one million calories just running, falling, and rolling around in wood chips…which got me thinking about being more active during our visits. A park workout is a great way to get in a little burn while he’s digging in the sand for buried treasure. Here are a couple of muscle-toning moves you can try on your next trip to the park!
Thanks to my sister for being the workout model!
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Using parallel vertical bars or a wall, you can work your arms, back, shoulders, chest, and abs with the standing pushup. With your feet shoulder width apart and hands at shoulder height, bend your elbows and bring your chest towards your hands. Be sure to engage your core, inhale as your bend your elbows, and exhale as you straighten them. Try three sets of 15. Moving your feet further from the bars/wall will make the move more challenging! These are great because you don’t look like too much of a weirdo while hanging at the park.
On parallel horizontal bars, position your hands in line with your body. Lift yourself with your arms and lock them in a 90° position with the bars. Breathe out while you slowly raise your extended legs to be parallel with the bars, breathe in while you slowly return to standing position. This move strengthens your triceps and wrists, while seriously working your ab muscles and legs. For an easier version, you can bend your knees. Try three sets of 10. I think these are hard AF, so do your best!
Calf raises are inconspicuous and make those calves look nice and chiseled! Stand with your toes on the edge of a platform or stair with your heels cantilevered over the edge. Raise your heels so that you are standing on your toes. Hold your position for a few moments and bring your heels back down, just below the level of the platform so you are using the full range of motion and you get a nice stretch. Repeat 15 times for three sets! If it isn’t obvious, this works the calf muscles.
Step Ups with Knee Raise
A great exercise to work abs, hip flexors, glutes (bottom), hamstrings, and quads is the step up with knee raise. Find a stair or a platform 12” or higher. Step up with your left foot then bring your right leg up as if stepping on an additional invisible step. Your thigh will be parallel with the ground and your knee is bent. Lower your right leg back to start, then the left. Repeat with the other leg. That’s one rep. Try 10 reps three times!
Triceps will get a nice little work out when doing chair dips. Find a park bench/elevated platform. Sit on the very edge with your palms flush with the surface. While holding yourself up, scoot your booty off the edge of the bench/platform and bend your elbows to a 90° angle. Push your body up again by straightening your arms. Your triceps will get a nice burn. Start with three sets of 10 reps.
Side Leg raise
The side leg raise targets the hips and thighs…woohoo! Standing straight on one leg, lift the other out sideways as far as you can go, and bring it back. Try to increase range of motion each time you raise it. Start with repeating ten times on each leg for three sets…and watch those love handles melt away!
Glutes, hamstrings, and quads are worked during squats…and as an added bonus your core is strengthened and balance are improved as well! Start standing straight, feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees to a 90° angle, keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Slowly return to a standing position by straightening your legs. Start with three sets of 10 reps. To increase the difficulty, squat while holding a small child (but be sure to keep correct form so you don’t hurt yourself…or said child ;)).
There you have it! Now you and your littles can both get exercise at the park…and maybe a nap afterwards 😉
It might be a little awkward at first (especially if there are other people there) but the benefits of a full body workout are worth it…plus maybe you’ll motivate others to try it!
Do you have any park workout routines?