Busy Mom Fitness: The Playground Workout

How to workout while your kids play at the playground.

busy mom playground workout

If you’re like me, you’re spending many hours during the week at the playground. While it is a great fun-filled spot for your children, it can also be beneficial for you as well. So while your children swing from the monkey bars (*one comment as an orthopaedic surgeon, YIKES*) and cruise down the slides, you can sneak in a quick workout too.

READ MORE: MOTIVATION: Five Reasons to Get Amazing Abs

  1. Planks on the balance beam: Planks build strength in the core and glutes. Go down in a push-up position with your hands grasping the balance beam. Straighten your arms. Contract your abs and your glutes and hold yourself with a flat back for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Your body should be in a nice straight alignment as you are doing the exercise. MODIFICATION: If you are just starting out, a modification would be putting your knees on the ground as you hold yourself up.
  2. Chin-ups/Pull-ups/Hanging from the monkey bars: Use either the monkey bars or a high bar at the playground. Grab the bar with your palms facing you (chin-up) or facing away from you (pull-up) and engage your periscapular muscles (muscles surrounding your shoulder blades), squeeze your glutes and abs and pull your chin up over the bar. Try to do 6-10 for 3-5 sets. MODIFICATION: a) if you are still working on a full chin-up, hang from the bar for 30 seconds to start strengthening your upper body or b) do “negatives” where you jump up to the completed chin-up position where your chin is past the bar and the slowly lower yourself down.
  3. Pushing your children on the swing: As you start push your child on the swing, do 10 rows. Stand behind the child and swing. Engage your core and glutes and slowly pull your child closer to you as you flex your elbows and then slowly straighten out your elbows. Try to do three sets of these during swing time.
  4. Leg crunches on the slide: Take turns with your children going down the slide. As you are at the top of the slide, hold on to the rails and straighten your upper body to a 45 degree angle to the ground. Lift your legs slightly off the slide, keeping them straight. Bend your knees and hips and bring your knees toward your stomach. Try to do 15-20 at the top of the slide and if your children let you, 15-20 at the bottom of the slide.
  5. Step-Ups on a bench: Work on getting great glutes and hamstrings with the exercise and increased your power and balance.  Stand up straight and put one foot on the bench. Push off your top foot and step up onto the bench and bring your other leg to stand on the bench. Straighten out your whole body when you are fully standing on the bench. Step down with the same leg. Then alternate to the next leg. Try to do 20 total step-ups and repeat once.

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