Playgrounds aren't just for the kiddos. Why not use the equipment to do a little strength training after you run or bike ride through the park, or while your children are playing (might as well tone your tush rather than just sitting on it)? Check out this five-minute circuit workout to target your entire body from head to toe. For a full workout, repeat the circuit six times through for a total of 30 minutes. Note that some cities have rules about adults using playground equipment, so double check before doing this workout.
- Triceps dips on a bench: Sit on a bench and place the heels of your palms next to your hips. Walk your feet away from you about six or so inches and hop your tush off so you're hovering in front of the bench. Slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Repeat for one minute.
- Push-ups with both feet on a swing: Stand two feet in front of a swing and place your hands on the ground. Step onto the swing so the tops of both ankles are resting on the middle of the swing. Walk your hands out as needed so your body is in the top of a push-up position. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the ground, and then straighten them, coming to the starting position. Do as many push-ups as you can for one minute (it's OK to do them slowly).
- Hanging leg lifts on the monkey bars: Hold onto the bar with both hands, and make sure your shoulder muscles are engaged. Lift both legs up so your feet are out in front of you. Keep your legs straight if you can, holding briefly here, and then lower your legs back to the starting position. If keeping your legs straight feels impossible or hard on your lower back, do this move with bent knees. Move in a slow and controlled manner when lifting and lowering, so you're using your abs and not momentum. Repeat for one minute.
- Double leg jumps on a platform: You can recreate the box jumps you do at the gym in a playground. Stand in front of a platform (like the one at the bottom of the climbing structure) that's about a foot or so high. Jump with both feet onto the platform, then jump both feet down, repeating for a total of one minute. If this gets boring (or exhausting) practice alternating between jumping up with the right foot, and then the left.
- Decline sit-ups on the slide: Sitting backward at the top of the slide, hook your feet around the top edge. Slowly lower yourself down and raise back up, keeping your arms crossed in front of you or loosely behind your head. Repeat for one minute and then slide down!
Keep reading for the rest of moves in this circuit workout.