17 Exercises You Can Do at a Playground for a Full Body Workout

Oftentimes, even for people who go to the gym regularly, there will be times where you are
in or near a playground but still might not be able to see the workout opportunities available
in the playground. In this article, we are going to list 17 exercises you can do with no
equipment except for what’s in the playground.

The playground offers So many workout opportunities from pull-ups, push-ups,
crunches, lunges, inverted rows, and much much more. One of the best workouts to
do for a full-body workout in a playground is monkey bars. You can also run on the
footpath of a playground.

In this article, we are not only going to list 17 exercises that you can do in a playground for a
full-body workout, but we are also going to discuss each of them in a little bit of detail. We
will then answer one very important question that we get regarding this topic. So, for
everything that you need to know about playground workouts, keep reading.

Run

● Medium pace
● 20 to 30 minutes

This is pretty much straightforward; Most playgrounds have a footpath that runs through
them or that runs around them and if you need to keep an eye on your kids while working
out, running on a footpath is a great option.

Before you run, make sure that you have the right shoes on and make sure that you stretch
first. It is also important to stretch afterward.

HIIT Running

● 30 minutes
● 1 minute of pace and 1 minute slow.

If you want to take your running to the next level, especially when you have a limited amount
of space, then HIIT running is the best thing you can do.

When it comes to HIIT running, I normally use a timer so it is normally one minute of running
and one minute of jogging or walking slowly. However, in a playground, you might have to
work it out on laps. So, run 1 lap and walk the other or if you are going back and forth, run
forward, turn around, and walk or jog back.

HIIT is one of my favorite forms of cardio. This is because it is the most efficient at
increasing your heart rate and improving your overall fitness.

Pullups

● 7 reps
● 4 sets

Almost all playgrounds will have some sort of a bar that you can grab onto. You might have
to improvise in some situations.

When doing pull-ups at a playground, you want to diversify the workout. You can do this by
doing close-hand pull-ups to work your back and your arms and then you want to do wide
arm pull-ups to work your arms, your back, and your lats.

You don’t have to diversify your workout on the day but if you go to the playground to work
out often, you should alternate between these two every day.

Pushups

● As much as you can do
● 4 sets

Again, this is another straightforward one. Simply get on the ground and do your push-ups.
It is important to remember to keep your back straight and keep your push-ups coordinated
evenly. When going down you want your nose to almost touch the ground, hold it there for a
second, and then push all the way up keeping your back straight, hold it there for a second
and repeat.

Swing Pushups

● As much as you can do
● 3 sets

If the playground has a Swing, which it probably does, you could do swing push-ups. This is
great for anybody who wants to have an intense workout.

When doing swing push-ups you want to place your feet on the swing. Push down for a
second keeping your back straight as possible and then push up. Once you have pushed up
all the way, you want to bring your legs in so that your body creates an A shape, hold it there
for a second, push your legs back, and start the pushup process again.

The benefits of doing swing push-ups are phenomenal. You are basically working out your
arms, your back, your chest, and also your abs.

When you bring your legs in to create the A shape, that is when you are doing your abs.

Incline Pushups

● As much as you can do
● 4 or 5 sets (Incline push-ups tend to be slightly easier)

©HealthLine

When it comes to incline push-ups, some people recommend using the swing but I never
recommend doing that. I don’t think that it is a good idea to put all of your weight on a swing
and also, the swing creates stability issues.

The best way to do incline push-ups is to use a bench. When doing this, remember to keep
your back straight.

Push down so that your nose almost touches the bench, hold it there for one second, push
all the way back up, hold it for a second, and repeat this process.

If you are worried about hygiene it is best if you lay a towel or a cloth down on the bench
where your nose gets close to it.

Inverted Rows

● 12 to 14 reps
● 4 sets

This is one of my favorite workouts to do in the playground. It is relatively easy but the
workout is effective at building back strength.

If you can’t raise the swing so that you can hold it, you want to grab the chains of the swing
slightly above your head. You then want to lean back as far as possible and pull yourself up.
When you pull yourself up, you need to do so in a coordinated manner and then hold it there
for a second, slowly allow yourself to lean back, hold it there for a second and repeat this
process.

I did say that it is never a good idea to lean your full weight on a swing but this is different
because if something were to happen to the swing, you would fall backward. Falling
backward is safer as it is more of a natural movement than falling forward.

Situps

● As much as you can do
● 3 sets

©GettyImages

When it comes to doing situps in the playground it is pretty much straightforward. However, it
is important to note that most playgrounds will have areas where you can put your feet inside
to keep your legs straight or bent.

When doing sit-ups, you want to get the benefits of doing the situp itself and you also want to
get the benefits of the negative sit up.

What you want to do is pull yourself up slowly and then when going back down, you want to
do this as slow as you possibly can. Sometimes you want to hold it halfway to the ground for
a second or two. This is called a negative workout.

Crunches

● As much as you can do
● 3 sets

©Colourbox

Crunches are exactly the same as the sit-ups and the same principles apply. However, there
is one benefit that you get while doing sit-ups in the park and that is you can use the
benches to raise your legs up.

So, you can do normal crunches, bent leg crunches, and also raised leg crunches. All of this
is great for an intense ab workout and you could even do what is called a monster set.
To do a monster set, you will want to do bent leg crunches and immediately move into
straight leg crunches. You then want to immediately go into raised leg crunches. There
should be no breaks between the three and all three together make one set.

Hanging Leg Raises

● As much as you can do
● 3 sets

©Old School Labs

When I go to the gym I like to do hanging leg raises every day after my cardio. I normally do
it on the pull-up bar and I normally have a wait in between my legs to maximize the workout
efficiency.

To do hanging leg raises in the playground all you have to do is find a bar, pull yourself up,
keep your legs as straight as you possibly can, and raise them up as high as you can.
If you are new to working out, you can keep your legs bent and bring your knees up as far as
you can to your chest. Once you get used to this, you will be able to straighten your legs in
no time. It is important to remember to keep stretching so that you get somewhat flexible.

Dips

● 8 to 12 reps
● 4 sets

©123RF

Doing dips is a great way to train your triceps. A lot of people tend to forget about their
triceps when going to the gym and in my opinion, it is a very important muscle especially
when you are going for an aesthetic look.

If you can find something that is the right height that is great. It is also best if whatever you
put your hands on is flat and not curved. This is to avoid slipping.

Put your legs out in front of you so that you are resting on the heels of your feet, put your
hands on a bench, a pole, or anything flat. Now you want to push down slowly, hold it there
for a second and then slowly push yourself back up, hold it there for a second and repeat the
process.

Lunges

● As much as you can do
● 3 sets

Because of the space available in a playground, doing walking lunges is another great
exercise to do in the playground.

A big mistake that I see is that people who do lunges tend to rush the process. It is important
to remember that you are not doing cardio, you are training your muscles.

With that being said, when doing lunges you want to place your left foot in front of you, drop
down slowly as far as you can, and then slowly come back up. Remember to take your time
this is not a race nor are you doing cardio. From here, place your right leg in front and
repeat.

Balance Lunges

● 8 reps per leg
● 3 sets

©Greatist

If you don’t really feel like moving around but still want to do lunges, a great thing that you
can do is to place one leg on a bench and the other in front of you, then you want to drop
down as if you are doing a squat.

The same principles apply here as to the normal lunges. You want to go slow because this is
not a race, do one set on one leg, switch your legs around without taking a break and go
again. Once you have done both legs, that is one set.

Bench Jumps

● 10 jumps
● 4 sets

©nourishmovelove.com

Before we get into this one, I just want to remind you that safety is very important. I have
seen quite a few people come short while doing jumps. Remember to never go above your
limit and also remember that the limit of how high you can jump will decrease the more tired
you become.

With that out of the way, you want to go to a bench, stand in front of it with your back
straight, do almost a squat movement down, and then jump up onto the bench. Remember
you are not just jumping, you are jumping in a manner that works out your core muscles.
Remember to go slow. Another way of coming short is by rushing the process so focus on
what you are doing. It might seem really simple, just jump up, right? Trust me, after a few
reps, it becomes harder and harder to maintain that focus.
You can incorporate step-downs into this workout.

Step Downs

● 10 reps per leg
● 4 sets

©MoneyCrashers

This one basically leaves off from the bench jumps. Remember I said that you can
incorporate both of these but if you are new to working out, you want to keep them separate.
Some people call it step-downs and some people call it step-ups. I prefer step-downs
because they focus more on negative steps.

Stand on a bench keeping your back straight while maintaining focus, put one leg down, and
come up again while keeping your other leg on the bench. You want to do one set like this
and without taking a break, you should change legs.

Monkey Bars

● Finish the course
● 3 to 5 sets

©BodyBuilding.com

By far one of the most fun workouts you will ever have whether it is in a playground, your
home, or a gym. Monkey bars are a workout that will work your entire core.

When doing monkey bars, you want to keep your head straight looking at the end of the
course and slowly placing one hand in front of the other until you get to the end.

Because this exercise is so much fun, I recommend doing monkey bars every day. This is
not only for its fun aspect but also because it is an exercise that does not target a specific
group of muscles. It is a core workout that improves overall strength and fitness.

Pole Climb

● Climb to the top
● 3 to 5 sets

©Project Fit America

Pole climbing can be done if your playground has a pole that your hands can’t grip. If you
struggle to grip the pole you want to use some form of chalk to make your hands and the
pole less slippery.

To do a pole climb, you can use your legs to grip the pole as well. Pull yourself up slowly by
placing one arm above the other. Once you reach the top, make sure you are focused on
your landing and jump off.

Is It Weird To Workout In A Playground?

Now that we have gone through that list you might be convinced that working out in a
playground is something that you need to do. However, you might be thinking that working
out in a playground might make you weird. Well, here’s my answer.

If you are a grown man or woman in a playground for no reason then yes, it might
seem weird to others. With that said, if you are there to eat your lunch, socialize with
your friend, or in this case, work out, nobody is going to care.

A weird person is going to be weird no matter where they are but an average person who is
just trying to work out and has no bad intentions will not be seen as weird at the playground.
So, don’t even think about it, just go there, do your thing and enjoy the benefits of being a
fitter person.

Final Thoughts

When working out in a playground it is important to remember to be mindful of those around
you. Also, be respectful of the rules of the playground and finally, clean up after yourself. Try
not to sweat all over the equipment. Other than that, have fun, enjoy your workout, and
remember not to feel weird when working out in the playground.

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