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5 Playground Exercises for Parents (and Kids at Heart)

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Remember when you were a kid, and you'd spend countless hours swinging, sliding, pushing, hanging and climbing at the park or playground? You didn't realize it then, but you weren't just playingyou were also getting some pretty amazing exercise.

Life may not be as carefree as it was back then, but you don't have to be a kid to turn workouts into child's play. We asked trainer Tamara from The Workout Mama  for her favorite exercises to do at the playground. You won't need any fancy equipment and because many of these are compound moves (working more than one muscle group at a time), you can quickly get in a full-body workout and still enjoy some play time afterward.

Rows

Muscles Worked: Shoulders, trapezoids, lats
Beginner: 10 Reps
Intermediate: 15 Reps
Advanced: 20 Reps
  1. Hold onto low monkey bars, parallel bars or any piece of playground equipment. To increase the difficulty of the exercise, walk your feet forward and come onto your heels with your toes pointing upward.
  2. Elbows should be pulled in close to your sides and your chest should be very close to the frame.
  3. Slowly extend your arms as you keep your body in a straight line. Pause at the bottom of the movement and use your arms to return to a starting position.

Image and exercise courtesy of Tamara at The Workout Mama

Squats

Muscles Worked: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Core
Beginner: 10 Reps
Intermediate: 15 Reps
Advanced: 20 Reps

(If you're not working out with your children, you can always push an empty swing or squat near another piece of playground equipment for balance.)
  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, with your hands in front of you as you push your baby in a swing.
  2. Sit back and down as though you’re lowering yourself into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing straight ahead as your upper body bends forward a bit. Lower down so your thighs are as close as parallel to the ground as possible, with your knees over your ankles.
  3. Press your weight back into your heels. Return to starting position and repeat.
Image and exercise courtesy of Tamara at The Workout Mama

Swing Pike

Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Chest, Core
Beginner: 5 Reps
Intermediate: 10 Reps
Advanced: 15 Reps
  1. Place both legs on a swing just above the ankles and come to a plank position.
  2. While pressing down with your legs, pull your core in and lift your hips.
  3. Work on stacking your hips over your shoulders and take your gaze toward the swing. (This is tough, so don’t worry if you can’t do it the first time!)

Image and exercise courtesy of Tamara at The Workout Mama

Swing Single Leg Squats

Muscles Worked: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings
Beginner: 6 Reps (Each Leg)
Intermediate: 8-10 Reps (Each Leg)
Advanced: 12 Reps (Each Leg)
  1. Place one foot on top of a swing and hop the other foot forward.
  2. Bend the standing leg, trying to get your thigh parallel to the ground. Make sure the knee is over the ankle and not past the toes.
  3. Return to standing and repeat.

Image and exercise courtesy of Tamara at The Workout Mama

Jumping Pull Ups

Muscles Worked: Core, Shoulders, Lats, Biceps
Beginner: 1-2 Reps
Intermediate: 5 Reps
Advanced: 10 Reps
  1. Position yourself directly below the bar. Make sure that you can reach the pull up bar from a standing position.
  2. Using an underhand grip, grab the bar. When you’re sure you have a good hold on it, slowly pull yourself up. If you’re not ready for a full pullup, it’s okay to slowly progress to being able to pull yourself all the way up. 
  3. Just as with regular pull ups, you must put your chin over the top of the bar. The difference is that you’re using your legs to jump up with each rep and propel your body to that top position.
  4. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.

Image and exercise courtesy of Tamara at The Workout Mama

Would you consider doing any of these workouts at your local playground? Have you ever done any of these workouts before?

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Comments

1DAY-ATA-TIME 4/8/2018
Great ideas for the next time I take the grandson to the playground. Report
EVILCECIL 3/29/2018
Cool ideas. Report
DWROBERGE 3/28/2018
fantastically helpful Report
PAULA3420 2/28/2018
Awesome!!
Reminds me of he fun that can be had in our parks and playgrounds. Had forgotten now that the kids are grown. Time to play more.
Report
KATHYJO56 10/17/2017
These all look like fun Report
MNABOY 7/18/2017
Our outdoor health track has stations with gear for these exercises. Report
DRLMAZ 7/7/2017
Going to the play ground is fun Report
GOLDENRODFARM 6/27/2017
No playgrounds like that for 100 miles or more around here! Report
M8HELPME 6/20/2017
Some really great ideas
Report
LORIEN4OU 6/10/2017
I've gotta save this! Report
SUGARLAND8 6/7/2017
nice Report
RHOOK20047 6/6/2017
It was fun trying to do some of these things after so many years. I did it very early in the morning before anyone else was there! Report
DEE107 6/6/2017
than you Report
ZRIE014 6/6/2017
nice Report
CHRIS3874 6/5/2017
I just recall a few incidents as a kid (SHUDDER) like falling from the very top of the monkey bars to the ground,breaking my glasses. i would still give these a try-I am not seven anymore- my body tells me that every morning!! Report
LEANJEAN6 6/5/2017
great stuff to do at a park! Report
LEANJEAN6 6/5/2017
great stuff to do at a park! Report
EOWYN2424 6/5/2017
fun! Report
AWONDERS59 6/5/2017
This looks like so much fun! Report
DMEYER4 6/5/2017
great exercises Report
YMWONG22 6/5/2017
Great! Report
ZRIE014 6/5/2017
nice Report
JANIEWWJD 6/4/2017
I've tried some of these ideas already. Report
WORKOUTWITHPAM 6/3/2017
Thank You for sharing. Great ideas! Report
RD03875 6/3/2017
Neat idea! Report
KATHYJO56 6/3/2017
What great ways to exercise while the kids play Report
GEORGE815 6/2/2017
I will look at the playground at our nearby park. It sure doesn't look like the playground when I was a youngster. Report
JIACOLO 6/2/2017
Great suggestions! Report
MBPP50 6/2/2017
Great, fun ideas! Report
HEDSTS58 6/1/2017
What a great idea Report
CTYONIT 6/1/2017
I like these--but bet I am not coordinated enough to do the swing ones. Report
ARTJAC 6/1/2017
GREAT Report
ADRIENALINE 6/1/2017
This is a great idea for a young mom with a baby or toddler. Report
SHADOWDRAGON19 6/1/2017
great idea. I might try them. Report
LADYG67 6/1/2017
Just read a similar article on this same subject in Shape Magazine this morning. Must mean I need to go play at the playground Report
3SISTERS 6/1/2017
this was interesting but some looked dangerous Report
KFDAMI 6/1/2017
This would be great for my (very fit) 20 year old daughter. As a matter of fact she just told me yesterday she went to the park to exercise. Or like the commercial with the dad doing them WITH his kid. I'm 60 so for me, not so much! Report
GABY1948 6/1/2017
GREAT ideas! LOVE playgrounds! Report
MUSICNUT 6/1/2017
Thanks for the great ideas! :) Report
RHOOK20047 6/1/2017
I will look at playgrounds in a different light now! Report
JANIEWWJD 6/1/2017
It's great acting like a kid, and getting fit at the same time!!! Report
NANCYPAT1 6/1/2017
Great ideas Report
SUNSET09 6/1/2017
During this period in our lives, we never thought this was exercise! Our parents had one up on us, SparkFriends! Enjoy your play day! Report
DEE107 6/1/2017
love the swing and need to see what else I can do Report
SPARKFRAN514 5/30/2017
Some of the ideas are not great things to show kids to try the swing idea looks dangerous . chin ups as will i did take the five points but will not be trying any of the silly ideas Report
CHOOSEYOURHARDD 5/17/2017
I'm sorry but without children to accompany me, I would feel ridiculous doing this. This is not a practical challenge. I will replace it with something equivalent. Report
GOLFGMA 5/9/2017
I would never do this in the kid's area of our local playground. I would choose to do similar exercises and have kid-type fun. There are plenty of free apps for any who wish to exercise. Report
KATHRYNGC 5/8/2017
These exercises seem to be more for people already fit. They are not for us older ones with bad joints and pins holding together. I play at the park with the kids. Pushing them if not swinging also. Tag. Walk circling the play area when need to do so. Report
WINTERFLOWER 5/6/2017
This app is no longer available for IOS. Report
CHICKADEESAUNT 5/5/2017
Nice idea.....but not so easily accomplished by people living in rural areas, or by people with physical limitations. Report
 
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