Playground Strength Exercises

by Louise | January 4th, 2011 | Strength Training

Don’t have a nearby gym or want to get your strength training without spending a dime? A playground is the perfect training area. Steps can be used for calf raises, benches can be used for elevated lunges or dips — the possibilities are truly endless.

Monkey bars are the most versatile equipment on the playground. One obvious use of them is for pull-ups or chin-ups. If the bars are not high enough, one might need to keep his or her knees bent so that they do not reach the ground. Adjustments in your grip can help you vary the exact muscles that are targeted and the magnitude of force each one much exert. To make the exercises more difficult, one could increase the distance between the rungs that are held.

Monkey bars can also be used for a number of abdominal exercises: for example, hanging leg raises. To perform hanging leg raises, grasp the overhead bars with both hands, with fully extended arms. Keeping your legs straight, raise them as high as you can (forming a pike) without making any swinging motions, and hold for 1-2 seconds, then bring them back down, in control. If this exercise is too difficult, you can start with bent knees. Again, without making any swinging motions, try to raise your legs, this time by bringing your knees up to your chest. Perform repetitions of this exercises for a given time or until you reach a given number.

Playgrounds are also great for altered push-ups. If you want to make push-ups harder than a standard push-up, let your feet start on higher ground than your hands. If you want to make them easier, let your hands be higher than your feet. The same logic can be applied to ab exercises on an inclined surface.

If you don’t want to be exercising while kids are running around, all you need to do is make a trip to the playground early in the morning, or close to when the sun sets. Then, you end up with a very spacious personal workout center, at no cost. What could be better? Playgrounds are superb exercise centers, for kids and adults alike.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.