8 Exercises for the Playground

With a cooler breeze upon us and summer coming to an end, the weather in southeast Alabama is going to stay nice and warm for quite a while! Looking for a fun way to mix up your workout and try something new? Head out to some of our beautiful local parks and enjoy a great way to get out of the house and enjoy a free workout. Try these awesome moves you can do at your neighborhood park or playground! 

1. See Saw Balance– stand on one leg on a see-saw or other safe but unsteady surface for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat for 2 minutes.  

2. Bench Box Jumps– Find a bench about knee height (or higher for a greater challenge), hinge at your hips, and swing arms upward as you jump onto the bench. Land soft with bent knees to avoid injury. If you need to modify, step onto the bench one leg at a time alternating which leg goes first. Try to get ten jumps or steps.
3. Swing Planks– get in plank formation with your forearms in a swing. Keep your core tight and try to stay steady, resisting the movement of the swing will give you an extra core workout. Hold it 30 seconds, rest and repeat. For an extra challenge, slowly and carefully move your arms on the swing in and out while keeping the rest of your body planted.
4. Suspended Lunges– Place the top of your foot into the swing, hop your opposite foot out about 12 inches in front of you. Keeping your knee in line with your toes (not extended beyond your planted foot), bend your knees, come back up and squeeze your glutes. Repeat 12 times on each leg.
5. Monkey Pull Ups– Using overhand or underhand grip, pull your body up until your chin touches the bar of the monkey bars to complete a pull up. If you need to modify, keep your feet on the ladder, use a lower bar, or place a chair or something else to stand on under you and let your feet help push you up. Max out however many you are able to do.
6. Monkey Abs– While you are dangling there, lift your knees up to your chest using your core. Lift straight up, then to the left, then to the right working the obliques. Try to do 3 in each direction.  
7. Push Ups– Find a ladder or steps to place your hands, position into a plank, bend your elbows to approximately 90 degrees, then come back up for an elevated push up. Repeat x 12. Flip around and grip the step, move your feet about three feet away from your torso, lower your body and lift it back up to work your triceps. Keep your elbows close to your body and at 90 degree angles.
8. Calf Raises– Stand on the step and put your weight on one leg and raise up onto your toes and lower back down slowly. Repeat x 12 on each leg.
 Stay safe and have fun! Try this workout the next time you take the kiddos to play soccer or tennis!

Jessica Lindsey, RDN, LD/ Katie Newton, MS, RDN 

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