Playgrounds are not just child's play, y'all. I mean, they are, but that's not all they are.
Sure, playgrounds are where we take kids to run, climb, jump, swing and hang to get them active, but just because we aren't little kids anymore doesn't mean we can't do the same for ourselves, right?
Playgrounds are fitness gems. They're free, everywhere, offer a wide range of equipment, usually open 24 hours and designed with safety in mind. Bring a jump rope with you and you can do an entire interval workout with strength, cardio, core and balance.
Fun, Free Playground Workout For Your Inner Kid
Do as many reps as you can of each exercise for: 30 seconds if you're a beginner, 45 seconds if you're intermediate, 60 seconds if you're advanced. Jump rope for one minute between each exercise. Complete the circuit 2-3 times. Watch the video below to learn proper form and technique.
Step Ups/Box Jumps
There are many ways to do step ups or box jumps and several places on a playground to do them. The beauty of a playground is that there are generally a multitude of platforms surrounding the equipment, so you'll have an assortment of heights to choose from.
Face forward and step up with your right foot, then left. Immediately step down, first with your right foot, then left. Turn sideways and step up and down on one side.
You can also opt for a box jump (both feet at the same time).
Stand in front of a swing and lift one foot up and back onto the swing. Adjust your front foot if needed so that the front knee stacks on top of the ankle, not beyond the toes.
Bend your front knee to lunge down, pushing the swing behind you with the back leg. Press down into the swing to stand back up. Repeat and then switch sides.
You can also try holding back in the lunge (front knee stays bent), pull the forward and back repeatedly to work your glutes.
The lower the swing seat is to the ground in this exercise, the harder it'll be.
Stand directly behind the swing and bring your forearms onto the seat, walk out to comfortable plank position. Keep the core engaged and make sure your elbows are directly under your wrists.
Push the elbows away from the shoulders and then bring them back under the shoulders. No need to pull all the way in closer to the chest — we want to keep tension on the abs the whole time.
Try holding in the "elbows away" position for a few extra breaths at the end.
Swing Pull Pushup
Come to a plank with your hands on the ground and feet up on a swing behind you. Shoulders, elbows and wrists should stack. Legs and core engaged.
Pull the knees into the chest. Extend back out. Do a pushup. Repeat.
Slide Pikes/Knee Pulls
Most slides are smooth enough that you can do this in your shoes, but a towel would make the glide even smoother.
Standing in front of the bottom of the slide, come to a plank with your hands on the ground and feet up on the slide behind you. One at a time, pull your knees toward your chest by sliding your foot forward on the slide. Alternately, glide up into a pike — hips go up in the air until they're over your shoulders, lower back down to plank.
Hanging High Knees
If there's one thing the playground can offer, it's places to climb and hang.
Bring yourself to hang from whatever bar you can find. Bend your knees and pull one knee up at a time. You can keep it slow
or actually make it like a running high knees.
An amazing strengthening exercise. If you can't do a pullup, try an arm hang or get someone to assist you.
No rules here, just play and be safe. I promise you'll get a workout — it's way harder now than when you were a kid!
Try going back and forth across the bars as many times as you can. You can also move sideways or diagonally for added challenge.
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