July is National Parks and Recreation month and what could be better than a spending an afternoon enjoying the weather in the park? How about soaking in the sun and getting a great workout at the park! When the weather is beautiful, the last thing we want to do is be cooped up inside any longer than we have to. Step out of the gym and head out to your local park to get in your workout. The 30 Minute Park workout is a fast paced workout that is guaranteed to torch calories, burn fat and get you results. No need to bring equipment with you – this workout uses items that can be found at any local park. And the best part about the 30 Minute Park Workout, it’s a workout that you can do while your child is at play right there beside you. No babysitter needed!
The How To’s
This circuit style workout consists of 6 exercises that can be done on equipment found at most parks. Each exercise should be done for 30 seconds or 15 reps each. After you complete one exercise, move right into the next exercise without rest. After you have completed all exercises, give yourself a 60 second rest. Beginners should stop the workout after one circuit and go right into the cool down. Work up to doing 3 circuits of all 6 exercises for the complete 30 Minute Park Workout. Do this workout 3 times a week for the best results.
The Warm Up
Start warming up your muscles by taking a 5 minute walk or light jog around the park.
1. Platform Pushups
Find a platform that is about waist high, like a step on the jungle gym. Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the platform. Keeping the back flat, core tight and hips down, perform a pushup. Make sure the movement comes from the elbow and shoulders – not the hips.
2. Bench Step Ups
Using a bleacher or a bench, step up on to it with your left foot. Use and up, up, down, down cadence. After 30 seconds, switch and step up starting with your right leg.
To get into the plank position, start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the ground, being careful not to arch your back or stick your hips in the air.
4. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are very similar to the way walk but include an extra element, the lunge. With your right leg, lunge forward about three feet until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee is nearly touching the floor. Pause momentarily and then repeat the forward motion with your left leg. Lunge forward for 30 seconds and turn around and lunge back the way you came. To make this exercise harder, try doing the walking lunges up a hill. Your butt will thank you for it!
5. Bench Dips
Say goodbye to the “Batwing” and hello to the bench dip! Bench dips are an awesome exercise that will tone the back of the arms in no time flat. To do the bench dip, go back to your bleacher or park bench and have a seat. Grab the edge of the bench keeping your hands close to your hips. Walk your feet forward slightly until your hips are off of the platform and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Bending your shoulders and elbows, bring your hips straight down towards the floor. Push yourself back up.
6. Hanging Abs
This one is tough! Hang from the high monkey bars. (Your feet should not be able to touch the ground.) Pull your knees up towards your chest and then lower them back to your starting position. Be sure to keep the movement slow and controlled. Remember – this is an ab exercise, so your abs should be doing the work, not the legs. Try not to use the momentum and swing the legs.
The Cool Down
Walk around the park for 5 minutes at a slow pace. Finish off the workout by stretching the muscles you just worked. Reflect on the AWESOME thing you just did for yourself, your body and your health. This is a challenging but very effective workout. Whether you did one circuit or all 3, you deserve a high five! WAY TO GO!