So, a funny thing happened after I asked you all to do playground/park workouts last week.
Several of my readers told me I was creepy. Or, rather, they told me it was creepy to work out at a playground if there are children there.
To this I say:
Excuse my language. It is not creepy! Maybe if there’s a whole schoolyard full of children at a particular playground, it’s not the best time to be there doing lunges. But if there are a few kids there with their parents, I promise you it’s not creepy. I’ve done it plenty of times and I have not ever Once had the police called on me. And that’s saying something, right?
Seriously though, you may get a few funny looks, but do you really care? Most of the time people just ignore me when I do a park workout, but an even bigger percentage of the time, there’s no one there. Have you noticed how little time people spend outside nowadays? And a very very small percentage of the time, but awesome all the same, is when I’m doing a park/playground workout, and someone is curious and interested in what I’m doing. Spread the gospel, people!
So, as promised, here’s a sample playground workout for you to try. You don’t have to do all of this at a playground if you don’t want to, but just find an outdoor area that has benches and other fun things. Just get outside! Shake up your normal routine, and I promise you’ll have fun. Who says you need a weight room and squat racks to have a great workout?!?
Box Jumps - Start in an athletic stance, bend at the knees and jump onto platform or bench, landing as softly as possible with knees bent. Make sure that your knees do not cave in towards each other when you land (this can cause injury). Stand up straight and step off.
** Note: If you are new to working out or have never practiced box jumps before, I recommend substituting Step Ups onto a platform instead. This would entail stepping up with your right leg, bring L knee up, then step down with left, followed by right. Switch legs and repeat.
Incline Push Ups - Pushups with your hands on something so that they are a little bit elevated compared to your feet. ** Note: Since incline pushups are slightly easier than traditional pushups, make it more challenging by adding a weight (if you so desire).
Bulgarian Split Squat - Place L foot behind you on bench or platform, step forward with R foot far enough so that when you squat down, R knee is at a 90 degree angle without going beyond your toes. Return to start. Complete 30 seconds of 1 leg before switching to the other leg.
Quick Feet Step-Ups- Find a low platform or something about as high as a stair (lower than a traditional weight bench). Step up with right foot, then left, down with right, down with left. Continue this pattern as quickly as you can, switching your lead foot halfway through the 30 seconds. (It should be almost like running in place on one step)
Pull-Up Negatives- Jump up onto pull-up bar so that your chin is above the bar. Keeping core and back tight, lower yourself slowly (I’m talking really slow here) until your arms are straight. Jump again and repeat. If you can’t find a bar to do pull-ups on — try taking the monkey bars for a spin!
Burpees - (In case you’re a new reader): Start standing. Squat down and place hands on floor in front of you. Quickly jump feet back to high plank position, quickly jump feet back to squat position, and jump straight up. Repeat.
Lateral Plyo Step-Ups - Stand with right side facing a bench. Place R foot on bench, and jump up and over so that you land with your L foot on bench and R foot on the ground on the other side of the bench. If you are using a bench that has a back (so you can’t jump from one side to the other), just do static lateral step-ups without the jump. Switch legs halfway through 30 seconds.
As noted above, a weighted backpack (or weighted vest if you’re fancy) can do wonders to kick it up a notch!
There are many more exercises where these came from, so I’m sure I’ll post another one of these in the not-so-far-off future.