Do Your Next Full-Body Workout at the Playground

Playgrounds are perfect for kids to burn off some energy, but why not adults, too? If you’re looking for a playful way to switch up your workout routine, and enjoy the outdoors, a playground workout may be just what you need.

“Exercise is just as beneficial to you physically as it is mentally,” explains Kelsey Sobol, MS, NSCA-CPT, with ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club. “Taking advantage of outdoor space is more enjoyable and can keep you motivated.”

We headed to Pacesetter Park in Sylvania, Ohio, with Sobol to see what a playground workout looks like in action. This park has some special workout equipment for public use, but everyday playground equipment can be just as useful.

“What you’re looking for in a workout is to maximize your time and to train opposing muscle groups in a consecutive order,” says Sobol. “When you’re building a circuit, try to incorporate one lower body exercise, one upper body exercise, one core exercise, and one conditioning exercise.”

Below are some exercises that you can build into your next playground workout.

Strength: Upper Body
3-4 sets of 8-15 reps

Use park exercises equipment to perform chest presses or overhead shoulder presses. Or, use a low bar, step or bench to perform a modified push-up.

Strength: Lower Body
3-4 sets of 8-15 reps

Strengthen your legs with a squat using a balance plate, or prop your foot on a nearby bench (as shown) to perform as a Rear Foot Elevated Lunge with a playground ball in hands (don’t forget to do this exercise on both feet!).

Strength: Core exercises
3-4 sets of 8-15 reps

Hang from the monkey bars with your legs tucked (as shown) to tighten your abdominal muscles. Or use park workout equipment to perform a Hanging Ab exercise.

3 sets of 30-45 second intervals 

If you have one, grab your jump rope and get hopping to give your heart a workout. Or perform a jump squat on a low step by squatting and jumping into a squat on the step.

On a sunny day, shake up your workout routine with this playground workout. Work up a sweat, build muscle and feel like a kid again.