While taking a stroll through the park, instead of sitting down on the bench to people-watch, get up and use it to tone your muscles! Here are four simple moves that target the thighs, butt, upper body, and core.
Place your right foot firmly on the bench with your left foot directly under your left hip. Step up, straightening your right leg, bringing both feet completely onto the bench. Slowly bend your right knee, lowering the ball of your left foot back to the ground, keeping your right thigh engaged. For a more advanced version, you can kick the left knee up as you step up. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps on each leg.
Rear Elevated Lunges
If you've ever done an elevated lunge using an exercise ball, then you know how quickly it works your tush and thighs. Begin by placing the top of your left foot on the bench, with your right leg straight. Bend your right knee, engage your left glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground. You want your right foot out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle. Then straighten your right leg and rise back up to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps on each leg.
Continue reading to learn two more park bench exercises.
Sit on the 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 are one of the most effective moves you can do to strengthen your upper body and core, but here's a way to work your upper body in a different way. Place your hands on the bench instead of on the ground so that your upper body is elevated. Or, for even more of a challenge, turn around and place your feet on the bench instead. Do push-ups as you normally would, starting with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in one straight line. Bend your elbows out to the sides to lower your chest toward the bench or ground, and then slowly straighten your arms. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 push-ups.