bench dips


10 exercises you can do at the playground

Finding the motivation to sweat it out inside a gym can be difficult during the summer months. Luckily, a trip to the playground isn’t just for kids, it’s a great public training space with all the equipment you need to get a full-body workout. And, if you bring along your kids you can show them that working out can be fun. 

Here are 10 exercises for a full-body workout that can be done using just a bench, stairs, monkey bars and a swing.

Upper body exercises

Playground Workout_Bench Pushup

Bench pushups
Stand behind the bench and place your hands on the back about shoulder width apart. Step your feet back about five feet and make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands. Bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the bench. Once elbows are bent to a 90-degree angle, push yourself back up.
Variation: Use the seat of the bench instead of the back to increase intensity.
Repetitions: 10-15

Playground Workout_Bench Dips

Bench dips
Sit on the seat of the bench and place your hands on the edge. Place feet in front of you with knees at a 90-degree angle. Straighten arms and slide your rear off the edge. Lower your body, by bending arms, until you feel a stretch across shoulders or chest. Straighten arms and raise body back to starting position. 
Variation: Straighten legs out in front of you, resting on heels to make more difficult.
Repetitions: 10-15

Playground Workout_Swing Dips

Standing row
Using a swing or a low hanging bar, start with your arms straight out from chest and lean back at about a 45-degree angle. Bend your arms and pull your body to meet your hands, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top. Slowly lower body to starting position. 
Repetitions: 10-15

Lower body exercises

Playground Workout_Squats

Stand straight with legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward and arms at sides. Keep your spine straight. Begin the squat by bending your knees and sending hips backward, as if sitting in a chair. Keep your head facing forward, with eyes straight ahead, for a neutral spine. Squat as low as your mobility allows, keeping knees over your ankles.
Variation: Squat lower to increase intensity, work up to your hips and rear sinking below your knees. 
Repetitions: 10-15

Playground Workout_lunge

Start standing upright, legs slightly apart, back straight, eyes and chin straight ahead. Step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle. Your back knees should be off the ground. Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. Alternate legs.
Variation: Add weights in both hands to increase intensity.
Repetition: 10-15 on each leg

Playground Workout_StepUps

Alternating step ups
Stand in front of the bench seat. Place your entire right foot onto the bench. Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench. Bring your left foot to meet your right foot. Return to starting position with both feet on the ground in front of the bench. Repeat using other leg.
Variation: Step on to a higher platform or add weights to each hand to increase intensity.
Repetitions: 10-15 on each leg

Playground Workout_LateralBench

Lateral step up with hip abduction
Stand with the bench on your right side and place right entire left foot on the seat. Push up through your foot, until the right leg is straight. Balancing on your right leg, extend left leg out to the side, foot flexed, using your hip to lift the leg. Lower your left leg and bend right knee to lower back down to the ground.
Repetitions: 10-15 on each leg

Playground Workout_CalfRaises

Calf raises
Stand with your toes and balls of your foot at the edge of a step, about hip distance apart. Toes should be pointing forward and knees straight. Start with your heels down as far as possible. Rise up onto the balls of your feet, moving only at the ankles.
Variation: Do the calf raise one leg at a time to increase intensity.
Repetitions: 15-20

Core exercises

Playground Workout_Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches
Start by lying on your back, with arms flat at your sides. Lift legs and bend knees to a 90-degree angle. Inhale and pull knees toward chest by lifting hips off the ground and contracting your abs. Exhale and lower legs back to starting position.
Variation: Straighten your legs to increase intensity.
Repetitions: 10-15

Playground Workout_Swing Knee Tuck

Alternating knee tuck
Start by sitting in a swing, holding the chains. Lean back to a 45-degree angle with both legs off the ground and straight out in front of you. Keeping the left leg straight, bend the right leg and tuck into your chest. Straighten right leg and return to starting position. Alternate legs.
Repetitions: 20-30  


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