Summer Playground Workout - Legacy Physical Therapy
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Summer Playground Workout


This time of year, kids are off school, we’re going to the playground with them more often. This is a great time to get a workout in. A lot of times when I have gone to the playground with my kiddos, I have seen lots of moms sitting around the edge of the playground, watching their kids play or playing around on their phone. Why not multitask and get a workout in at the same time. 

Here are 5 quick and easy exercises that you can do while you’re at the playground to try and get a little bit of a full body workout in. This will also set a great example for the kiddos, you are there being active and moving around, trying different things. The possibilities really are endless for activity and exercise at the playground, both as an adult and as a kid. 

  1. Tricep Dip – The tricep is the muscle on the back of your arm. To work these muscles, find a picnic bench or step, anything that you can hold down to allow yourself down into a dip. Set yourself up so your arms are on the surface behind you and then slide your butt off the surface, lower yourself down, let your elbows bend and then push your arms back up. Aim for 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions for the most benefit.

    Tip:Some alterations to make it easier is bending your knees more or to make it harder, straighten your legs out.

  2. Step ups – This will work your gluts, hamstring and quadriceps muscle. To do this find a short park bench or landscaping wall,put one foot up on the step and really think about pushing through your buttock muscles to really get a good workout as you step up.  Try to aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each leg. 

  3. Incline Push up – this is working on your arms, across the chest and the shoulders. Find a picnic table, or a low wall and start with your arms out straight on the surface. Really think about engaging your core muscles (pull in your abdominal muscles) and slowly lower yourself to the surface and exhale as you push back up. Try to aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

    Tip: The more horizontal you are the harder is going to be, so to make it easier stay more upright. 

  4. Pull up – this is working your arms, chest and shoulders. Most playground have monkey bars, If you re able to do a full pull up then grab hold and pull yourself up and go for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps. If you can’t do a full pull up, you can still benefit form using the monkey bars, try these variations:

    Try to simply hang on the monkey bars, grab hold and let your feet leave the ground and hang there, work on increasing the amount of time that you can hang. 

    Try to then see if you can actually walk across the monkey bars, using momentum, move forward hand over hand and keeping your feet off the ground. 

    Try an assisted pull up in a small range – start with your feet on the ground and hold on to the bar overhead, with as much strength through your arms as you can try to pull up with your arms and do as little pushing as you can with your legs. 

  5. Bench or Step squat – This exercise really works your glutes.Go over to a picnic bench or a low sitting piece of equipment and get yourself set up into a squat, sit back and barely touch your butt to the bench and then stand back up. Try for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. 

    If you do these all in a row in a succession pretty quickly, you’ll definitely work up a sweat. Listen to your body, you may need to go slow with it or do less repetitions to start, but that is okay. 

    As a bonus, instead of trying to do these specific exercises, why not just get out there and play on the playground with your kiddos. Play tag, push them on the swings, get on the swings yourself, run around with them, go climb up the slide and slide down the slide. 

    If you would like other ideas for workouts check out Mom’s made strong program! These workouts are designed to help you stay moving and strong, working your core and pelvic floor!