Taking your kids to the playground has tons of benefits for them. It gets them exercise and aids in physical development. Did you know it could also help busy moms squeeze in a workout?
Think of your local park as your gym, minus the membership fees. Here are ten ways for mums to squeeze in a workout on the playground.
1. Monkey Bar Pull-Ups
Monkey bars offer the perfect opportunity to improve your grip strength while squeezing in an upper-body workout. Best of all, you can use the ones closest to the ground if you can’t do a pullup without assistance.
You can take an underhand or overhand grip. Underhand incorporates your biceps, which moms usually have to spare from lifting their little one all day. Try one repetition using only your body weight to see how you do. Use a block or switch to lower bars if you need to use your legs for assistance.
2. Tackling the Climbing Wall
Does your local park have a climbing wall? If so, you have the perfect way to get a full-body workout while your children play.
What if your local facility lacks this amenity but has some climbable rocks? Why not give bouldering a try? This form of rock climbing doesn’t require any ropes or carabiners, although you should bring a crash pad in case you fall.
3. Going for a Walk
Walking is the least expensive cardio you can find. All you need is a pair of tennis shoes.
You can take the youngest family members along by pushing them in their strollers. You could even form a walking club with other moms and get your socialization groove going.
4. Walking the Plank
Do you want to work your core without doing a single crunch? If so, balance work is one way to tone your midsection.
If your children’s playground features a balance beam on the playset, get on it and play pirate with your kids. You’ll activate your transverse abdominal muscles as you struggle to keep from making a splash.
5. Bench Triceps Dips
Do your underarms wiggle when you wave goodbye? If so, use your time at the playground to tighten them.
Sit facing forward with your glutes hanging just off the edge of a bench. You can bend your legs at the knees or extend them straight in front of you. Lower yourself by bending your elbows and then pushing up, tightening the back of your arms as you do so.
6. Incline Push-Ups
Strong pectoral muscles help prevent sagging breasts and can ease back pain. Pushups are among the best ways to strengthen your chest and arms.
You can use a bench for this activity as well. The slight incline should make the effort easier. Lowering to your knees likewise eases the intensity until you build your strength.
7. Ab Roll-Ups
The swings aren’t only for fun and games anymore. This piece of equipment means serious ab business.
Place your feet flat on the ground with your hands on the swing. Push yourself forward as far as you can until your body forms a plank position. Then, use your abdominal and psoas muscles to pull yourself back to the original jackknife position.
8. Bench Split Squats
Do you want the ultimate quads and hamstrings? You can combine the toning power of a squat with a lunge in this move using a park bench.
Place one foot on top of the bench with the other far enough in front that you can bend your leg at a 90-degree angle without your knee shooting over your toe. Lower yourself down into a lunge position, then rise back to standing. Repeat several repetitions on one side before switching legs.
9. Wind Sprints
If you’re an advanced exerciser, why not add a touch of a challenge when squeezing in your playground workout?
Running wind sprints is intense but will elevate your heart rate like nothing else. You’ll torch as many calories as you do in your average HIIT class if you complete enough repetitions.
Please ensure you do a light warm-up before attempting this activity — your walk to the park counts. You can challenge your children to races. Their little bodies will appreciate the movement, and you can rest in between rounds by playing referee for your tykes and their friends.
10. Yoga in the Grass
Yoga offers the ultimate in strength, cardio and flexibility training, depending on what style you choose and how vigorously you go through your flows.
Athletic forms like ashtanga challenge you to your limits, while relaxing restorative and yin-style stretches ease chronic pain and keep connective tissue pliable.
You can strike a pose without bringing your mat to the playground. However, you could take a blanket along and practice some asanas with your little ones. It doesn’t take much prompting to get them to round their backs like scared kitties or bow like a playful puppy.
Mums, Squeeze in a Playground Workout With These Tips
Why not make your trip to the park good exercise for you and your kids? Mums, squeeze in a playground workout with these tips.