There’s a lot to not like about gyms. For one, they can be expensive, and for two, they’re not often inspiring. Instead, what if you could work out in the open doors, all for free? Enter the bodyweight playground fitness routine.
Monkey Bar Pull Ups
Don’t let the grade school gym class flashbacks bring you down. The pull up is a quintessential bodyweight exercise, and it’s great for working your chest, back, and arms. Best of all, it should be pretty easy to do on your playground. What playground doesn’t have monkey bars? Hopefully, the park will also have some kind of angled bar, which you can use for asymmetrical pull ups.
Parallel Bar Chest Dips
Not every gym has good dip bars or handles, but with a little luck, your new exercise space will have a set of parallel bars built into some part of the equipment. For instance, some larger slide structures will have a bridge that goes between different areas of the structure. These bridges will often have railings built on either side to prevent falling. Ta-da! You’ve got yourself some dips bars.
Park Bench Tricep Dips
Chest dips aren’t the only kind of dips you can do on the playground. Most parks should have some benches set up around the perimeter. While they might be intended for watchful parents, they’re now your new tricep dip prop. This exercise works just as it would in the gym. Simply scoot yourself off the edge of the seat, keeping your hands on the bench and your legs extended out in front of you, and lower and push yourself back up again.
This exercise lets you connect to mother nature — literally. If you’re just getting started in your bodyweight fitness journey, you’ll find that performing handstands can be a great way to build upper-body strength and balance. Too bad they’re so hard to do on their own! That’s why it helps to have a little support to lean against as you work on your handstand. If you’re going to be outside, you might as well make due with what’s available, right?
Squats, Jumps, Planks, and More
Who said you need any equipment to get a good workout in? There are plenty of great bodyweight exercises you can perform using only — you guessed it — your bodyweight. A lot of lower-body exercises, like squats and jumps, should be easy for you to do if you can find the space for them. Planks, too, will help build your core and require no special equipment to use, though you could use something like a park bench for elevated-feet planks.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. One of the greatest parts of bodyweight training outside is trying to find different kinds of equipment you can incorporate into your routine. Happy hunting, playground fitness junkies!
[Image via Getty]