Sometimes it feels so much better to work out outside than go to the gym. Many I sure enjoy working out at the gym, but when the sun is out and especially when I've been spending a lot of time inside working on my translation projects, I need to get outside.
Besides, now when I'm back in California, it's hard for me NOT to be outside all the time.
One way to get some fresh air is running. I love running – it clears my mind and offers fresh air that I really need. Running is like a therapy.
But a lot of times I love to take also my strength / conditioning workouts outside. If there is a park or a stadium nearby, I take a chance of that.
We moved to a new place less than a week ago and on the second day went out to see if there are any nice parks around. We were happy to find a large park that is perfect for doing sprints, bodyweight exercises or exercises with portable equipment.
I totally see myself doing kettlebell swings and medicine ball tosses there in the future. There are also a lot of stairs (some stair workout videos coming soon!) and at one side of the park, a nice little playground.
Who said that playgrounds are only for kids? Not the case. You can totally use it for working out.
My today's workout on the playground featured five movements that target mostly upper body.
1. Pull Ups
There is a bar that you can use for pull ups almost on every playground, so take advantage of it and do some!
I am still working on my pull ups so I start with my feet on the ground. If you do that, make sure your feet are on the ground only to support you and that your upper body does majority of the work.
You can also use a resistance band for assistance. To do that, put your foot on the exercise band. It helps pulling yourself up a lot easier.
- Start with hanging position or your feet on the ground.
- Keep your abs tight all the time. That prevents you from swinging.
- Squeeze you shoulderblades together and keep them behind you. That helps you to activate upper back muscles.
- If you are not ready for pullups yet – even with the resistance band or feet on the ground for support, you can do negatives. That simply means jumping above the bar and lowering yourself slowly down to a normal pull up starting position.
2. Knees To Chest
Get your abs on fire by using the same pull up bar.
- Start in the hanging position on the bar. Again, keep your core muscles tight to avoid swinging.
- Bend your knees, start curling your hips and bring your knees as close to your chest as possible.
- Bring your legs back to your starting position.
3. Pole Climb
This is a fun one! It makes your arms, legs and core work hard.
- Wrap your arms tightly around the pole. Flex your one foot and press the knee of the same leg against the pole.
- In a similar way, bring the second leg to the pole. The legs should be “hugging” the pole tightly.
- Squeezing the pole with your both legs, release one hand and grab the pole higher. The second hand follows.
- Using the strength of your arms, pull yourself higher. The legs are following.
4. Tricep Dips
This is a great exercise for those “bat wings” aka flabby triceps. Dips are the best way to tone them up again.
- Position yourself between the parallel bars.
- Jump up and extend your arms to lift your feet off the ground. Your hands should be even with or slightly in front of your body.
- Keeping your core tight helps you to manage good posture and avoid swinging.
- Making sure that your elbows are pointing right behind you, bend your arms to go as low as you can.
- Push yourself back to the starting position.
5. Ab Pikes
Let's round it up with some more core work, this time using a swing.
- Having your feet on the swing, start in a push-up position by lowering your back flat and placing your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Using the strength of your abs, pull your body upwards into a pike position.
- Lower your body down to the starting position.
Enjoy the workout!
Have you ever worked out on a playground?
Any favorite exercises?