By Nancy Howard, Certified Running Coach, for SparkPeople
One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was going to the local park with my friends where we would spend countless hours playing on the swings, going down the slide, hanging from the monkey bars, not to mention pushing the merry-go-round as fast as we could. What we didn't realize at the time is that we weren't just playing, we were exercising. From pumping our legs to go higher in the swings, to climbing the stairs to go down the slide, to using our core and upper body to maneuver from one monkey bar to the next, to pushing that merry-go-round as fast as our arms would move, we had no idea the benefits our bodies were getting from playing at the playground.
You don't have to be a kid to take advantage of playground equipment to get fit. In fact spring is the perfect time to head outdoors and take advantage of the cooler temps before the arrival of the summer heat. Below are links to a few exercises one can do all at the playground. No fancy equipment needed and because many of these exercises are compound moves, in other words working more than one muscle group at a time, you can get in a quick workout in little time and still enjoy some play time with your kids when you are done.
If you do not want to bring a print out of these exercises with you, National Strength and Conditioning Coach, Chris Rauchnot, may have the perfect solution just for you. There is an app available for the iPhone and/or iTouch for a mere $2.99 plus tax titled Playground Pump: The Workout. This app allows you to pick from a variety of playground exercises that show demonstrations, as well as offers advice on form.
And if you do not own an iPhone or iTouch, do not worry, Chris Rauchnot developed a card deck system to carry with you in your purse or pocket to take to the playground. For under $17, you have access to 50 cards of exercises to pull from the deck to do while your kids play. And what makes these cards a great deal is you can mix and match your workouts. A win/win situation for all.
Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings
Hips, Outer Thighs, Waist
Lateral Leg Lifts
Triceps, Shoulders, Core
Arms, Abs, Butt, Legs
Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Glutes, Abs
Jumping Pull-Up This exercise can also be done on monkey bars at the playground.
Would you consider doing any of these workouts at your local playground? Have you ever done any of these workouts before? Would the Playground Pump: The Workout be something you would consider downloading or purchasing?
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