It’s the first day of summer- as much as I love the gym, it’s time to take the workout to the playground! We have a really nice school playground about a 5 minute walk from our house and it has the perfect equipment for a total body workout. Lace up your tennis shoes and let’s go…
1- Warm up with some cardio for 5 minutes, this could be your brisk walk or bike ride to the school or park
2- Sit on a swing and hold the chains, then lean back about 45 degrees. Extend your legs straight in front of you with your feet together and toes pointed. Open your legs slightly to form a V, then cross your left calf over your right, contracting your core muscles to keep the swing as still as possible. Return to V position for one count, then cross your right calf over your left to complete the set. Do 12 to 15 sets.This is super for your abs.
3- Find a jungle gym bar that is 3-4 feet high. Using an underhand grip and keeping your hands shoulder-width apart, extend your legs in front of you until your chest is under the bar; place your feet hip-width apart. Pull your chest close to the bar by drawing your elbows alongside your ribs. Straighten arms and repeat. Aim to do five pull-ups; work up to 12 to 15.This is like an upside down push up. This is easier than pull-ups as your feet are resting on the ground but it is great for your upper back and biceps.
4- Go to the slide (or use a park bench) to do some lunges for your butt and legs. Stand facing away from the slide and rest your left foot on the bottom of it; place your hands on your hips. Bend your right knee until your right thigh is almost parallel to the ground, but don’t let your knee move farther forward than above your toes. Return to starting position by pressing through your right heel. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat with the other leg. The leg that is on the ground is working, the one that is on the slide is there for balance.
5- Push Ups- I do these on an angled ladder but you could do them on a park bench as well. Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows out and lower your chest almost to the ladder or bench. Push up with a big exhale. Do 10-15, really concentrating on keeling your abs tight and working your chest and shoulders.
6- Bench Dip- Sit on a bench and grip the edge with your hands shoulder-width apart. Scoot off the bench and extend your legs in front of you, bending your knees slightly. The farther and straighter your legs are, the more difficult this will be. Bend your elbows and lower your butt a few inches toward the ground, keeping your back close to the bench; slowly press back up. Do 12 to 15 reps. This is working your tricep (back of your arm). Don’t use your legs to push you up and down, all your weight is in your arms.
These are just a few moves, look around and see what else looks like fun- I am trying to to regular pull-ups while hanging from the monkey bars, I am up to 2!! These are difficult for women as we have weaker upper bodies, but I am going to keep working at it!
Do another 20-30 minutes of cardio (run/walk/bike/jumprope), then some stretches and you’re done! Be sure to bring a water bottle with you and stay hydrated.