The playground workout.

Yesterday, it was sunny and about 75 degrees late in the afternoon. It was the kind of day when being inside for any kind of activity—working, reading, housekeeping, exercising—was simply unthinkable. No, going to the gym to work out on that kind of day wasn’t going to happen for me.

As Peroni and I enjoyed an after-work walk to the library, our route home took us past the neighborhood elementary school. I was inspired to get a good workout in using basic playground equipment. The workout was such fun (and good exercise, too) that I wanted to share it here.

Do 10 to 20 reps of each exercise, and do 2 to 3 rounds of the circuit. Start with a few basic stretches, if you haven’t been walking to warm up.

  1. Box jumps—use a step or elevated platform
  2. Tricep dips—use a step or elevated platform
  3. Incline pushups—use a step or elevated platform
  4. Forward lunges—with your forward foot on a step or platform
  5. Seated leg raises—one set with your leg straight and one set with your leg rotated outward from the hip
  6. Backward lunges—with your back foot on a step or platform
  7. Calf raises—standing on a step and dropping your heels
  8. Standing leg lifts—leg behind you
  9. Incline chest pulls—stand underneath a ladder or arched climbing structure; grab a rung above your head, place your feet on a rung below and pull yourself upward

Bonus points if you:

  • Get dirty
  • Swing hand-over-hand on the monkey bars
  • Use the slide

photo by Olger Fallas Painting, used under Creative Commons license

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