A 5-Move Outdoor Workout For Your Upper Body & Core

mbg Fitness Contributor By Heather Marr
mbg Fitness Contributor
Heather Marr is a personal trainer from Canada who specializes in training models. She is the co-creator of The Model Trainer Method and co-founder of Liftologie.com.
A 5-Move Playground Workout For Your Entire Body

With gym and studio closed around the country, at-home workouts have become the new normal. While sweating it out in your living room is a great way to get your daily movement, while the weather is nice, I highly encourage you to (safely) take your workout outside.

If playgrounds are open in your area, seek out an unoccupied set of monkey bars and crank out some strength-training moves. Before you head out, be sure to pack disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer—and always practice social distancing, even while wearing your mask at the park. (Note: You can also do most of these exercises on a pull-up bar.)

Once you've got all of that covered, head out to the sunshine, and tackle these five upper-body and core exercises.

 

Summary

Time: 15 minutes
Equipment: Monkey bars, jungle gym, or parallel bars
Directions: Complete three sets of the indicated number of reps for each move. Then continue to the next exercise.

1. Hand Over Hand

  1. Begin by facing the bars with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Place your left hand on the first rung and your right hand on the second rung. Your palms will be facing forward with your body hanging below, legs tucked and core tight. This is your starting position.
  3. Reach with your left hand to grasp the third rung. Your arms should remain straight or slightly bent throughout the movement. 
  4. Next, reach with your right hand to grasp the fourth rung. You will continue this way to complete the length of the monkey bars.
  5. Each time you grasp a new rung, that's one rep.
  6. Complete 30 reps.

Note: If this exercise is too difficult, begin by mastering hand to hand. Rather than reaching for every other rung, you will move along the bars one rung at a time

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2. Chest Dips

  1. Begin in a perpendicular position to the bar with your arms extended overhead. Each hand will be placed on parallel rungs using a neutral grip.
  2. Pull yourself up and over the bars, leaning forward at approximately a 30-degree angle. This is your starting position.
  3. Slowly lower yourself, flaring the elbows slightly while breathing in. 
  4. Return to the starting position, pushing through your chest while breathing out. That's one rep.
  5. Complete 15 reps.

Note: If this exercise is too difficult, loop a resistance band around the bars and place your feet in one end, to remove some of the body weight.

3. Medium Grip Pull-Up

  1. Begin by facing the bars with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Place your hands on the bar, approximately shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward. With your body hanging below, legs tucked, stick your chest out and curve your back slightly. That is your starting position. 
  3. Pull yourself up toward the bar using your back until the bar is at chest level while breathing out. 
  4. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position while breathing in. That's one rep.
  5. Complete 15 reps.

Note: If this exercise is too difficult, you can use bands to remove some of the body weight. 

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4. Hanging Knee Raises

  1. Begin by facing the bars with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Place your hands on the bar, approximately shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward. That is your starting position. 
  3. Raise your bent knees toward your elbows using your core while breathing out. 
  4. Pause, then slowly lower back down to the starting position while breathing in. That's one rep.
  5. Complete 15 reps.

Note: If this exercise is too easy, perform hanging leg raises. You will keep the legs straight throughout the movement rather than bent at the knees.

5. Windshield Wipers

  1. Begin by facing the bars with your arms extended overhead. 
  2. Place your hands on the bar, approximately shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward. Keeping your legs straight, raise them up approximately ¾ of the way to the bar. That is your starting position. 
  3. Rotate your legs to the left in a slow and controlled movement using your core. Your upper-body should remain facing forward throughout the exercise. 
  4. Next, rotate the legs all the way to your right. Moving the legs from one side to the other is one rep.
  5. Complete 20 reps.

Note: If this exercise is too difficult, perform the movement lying on the ground.

Try these outdoor moves out a few times a week for optimal effects on your body and mind.

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