Remember when you were a kid and the recess bell rang? You didn’t check in with your trainer about the day’s routine. You chased your friends, climbed the jungle gym, swung on the monkey bars, soared on the swings, and tried to jump into Double Dutch. It was 30 precious minutes of life in motion. No one had to tell you what to do.
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You can still use the playground to work out. It has everything you need and just as many options as the gym. Use your imagination. Run around. Go crazy! Let your inner kid out. It’ll be a blast.
While you’re at it, bring your kids along to get them off the couch and make your workout more challenging. Here are some suggestions:
Get your heart rate up and warm up those muscles with some cardio. Doing one-minute intervals between the strength training exercises that follow will really kick up your workout. Ask your kids to compete against you. Challenge: Who can jump the longest? I’ve always enjoyed some kid-friendly competition.
Do some pull-ups. Keep your legs straight, core tight, glutes engaged, and pull your chin above the bar. This move fires up your abdominal muscles. Keep at it—you’ll get stronger the more you do it. Maybe even swing from rung to rung and get those deltoids firing.
For a bigger challenge, try those monkey bars with your own monkey (or your kid, if you don’t have a monkey) on your back.
Push-ups are basic and I love them. I do 100 every morning. They are great for your chest, and help define your abs, triceps, shoulders, and torso. A park bench gives you a few great options.
If you’re a beginner, elevate your hands. Walk your feet back a few steps so your body forms a diagonal line away from the bench and lean your torso forward, hands firmly placed on the bench, elbows tucked in.
Looking for a major challenge? Reverse it! Feet on the bench, hands on the ground. Or put your kid on your back. When you’re finished, do a series of jumps on and off the bench.
Try a swinging knee tuck. Get into a high plank position, and hook your feet to the inside of the tire. Next, pull your knees in toward your chest, and reverse. This is so good for your core.
Finish with a healthy game of tag. It’ll get everyone’s heart rate going. You’ll feel like a kid in no time—and be healthier for it.