On a beautiful Spring day like today, there’s no better place to workout than your local playground. Not only will you get a great workout, you get to spend more time outside and it’s completely free! Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your playtime.
- Timing is everything! Avoid peak playground times when there are sure to be lots of kids and families using the equipment. Although it’s there for everyone to use, nobody will be impressed if you are hogging the monkey bars. Best times (at least in my neighborhood) are early morning and suppertime.
- Bring an old towel. Equipment can get dewy in the morning so bring an old towel to wipe off the water and improve your grip. You may also want training gloves if you don’t have strong calluses (or don’t want them) – metal bars can tear your hands up!
- Scope it out first. Before you plan a workout at a specific playground, make a quick visit and jot down a few notes about what equipment you have to work with. No sense planning to do pullups if there’s no bars to do them on! Also make note of the surroundings – is there a running trail or track? An open field? Open spaces are just as useful as built equipment so make sure you jot that down too.
- Plan your workout. Always warm up for 5-10min before starting your main workout. For the main course be as creative as you want – you can set up an obstacle course circuit, do supersets, add in bodyweight exercises, run some sprints, etc. Make sure you write it down and bring it with you. Freestyling it tends to result in a lax workout so have a plan and stick to it!
Advanced Beginner’s Playground Workout
- 10 bodyweight squats
- Monkey bar swing (all the way across from bar to bar with arms, like American Gladiators
- 10 incline plank crawlers (hands on equipment)
- 10 box jumps (use an appropriate platform or park bench; medication = squat jumps)
- 20m sprint (set out small pylons, $1-2 at a dollar store)
- 10 pushups
- 10 burpees
- 10 jumping jacks
- 20m sprint
- Rest 2-3min
REPEAT x 3 sets
Playground workouts are very versatile. Any equipment that you have such as a kettlebell, skipping rope, medicine ball, or even a backpack filled with a 10lb bag of flour can help add variety and intensity to your workout. Not sure what you’re doing? Ask! I’ll be happy to help