Hey, friends! It’s Rachel Gainer from rachelrebuilt.com, certified personal trainer and fitness contributor here at Simple as That. Spring is officially here, which means no one wants to be cooped up inside while mom finishes a workout. Not even mom. It’s time to ditch the gym for a day and head outside for some family-friendly fitness. Today’s park workout is a quick, challenging circuit you can squeeze in between swings, slides, and monkey bars. No equipment needed! Just look for a sturdy bench, step, or nested playground with a good view of your kiddos at play.
Take Time for Self-Care
As a mother of four, I know it’s challenging to step away from your kids and put your health and sanity first. Scheduling time to workout can feel incredibly selfish, not to mention impossible, when your to-do list is a mile long. But if you really want to give your best energy to the people you love, you need to make sure your body and spirit are recharged and rejuvenated. Making time for self-care will help you face everyday challenges with more patience, optimism, and energy. Exercise is an important part of my self-care routine, because it helps me release tension, practice emotional endurance, and build the physical strength I need to keep up with my young family.
One way I balance mom-life with self-care is to multitask by making workouts fun for everyone. Sometimes, this means turning an ordinary game, like Mother May I, into an itty-bitty workout. Other times, I let my kids lift bottled water, while I lift weights. In springtime, I like to get outside where the kids can run around, ride bikes, and enjoy the sunshine. Today’s park workout is a great way to get a little sweaty and stay close to your kids.
Instructions for Park Workout
You don’t need any equipment for the exercises in this fast, fun park workout. Just look for a bench, step, or nested playground (like the one I use in my video). Learn each move by watching the summary video and reading the step-by-step instructions below.
Tackle this workout in one of two ways:
- Encourage your kids to self-entertain for 15 minutes; then perform 10–12 reps of each exercise for as many sets as you can manage in that timeframe.
- Make it a game to sneak in 5–15 reps of one exercise before the next child calls your name. You may not get as sweaty, but you’ll still get your heart pumping enough to generate some mood-boosting endorphins.
If you like this circuit, you can visit my blog for a second park workout using an inexpensive, portable resistance band.
- Stand with a bench about 18 inches in front of you.
- Bend your knees slightly and swing your arms backward to preload your jump.
- Following your momentum, jump up and forward, landing in a squat on the bench.
- Carefully hop backward, returning to the ground.
- Complete 10–12 reps.
Trainer Tips for Box Jumps
- Land with both feet firmly planted on the bench. Make sure your heels do not hang off the edge.
- Make sure you can safely clear the jump. A park date with your kids isn’t the time to get overly aggressive with height.
- To increase intensity, pick up the speed with each jump.
Incline Corkscrew Push-ups
- Start in plank position with your hands on a bench. Position your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, and place your feet close together.
- Bend your knees slightly, and twist your hips and torso to the left.
- Lower your body toward the bench, allowing your right shoulder and breast to drop deeper into the push-up.
- Untwist your hips and torso as you push-up powerfully, engaging your pectoral (chest) muscles to press back into plank.
- Repeat steps 2–4 on the opposite side.
- Complete 10–12 reps, counting each push-up as one rep (Right = 1, Left = 1).
Trainer Tips for Incline Corkscrew Push-ups
- Don’t look straight down. Instead, look at the ground about 1 foot in front of you. This will keep your neck in proper alignment.
- Remember to breathe—inhale as you lower your body, and exhale as you push up.
Tricep Dips + V-Leg Extension
- Stand with a bench behind you, and step forward about 2 feet.
- Place your palms on the front edge of the bench with your fingertips hanging off the edge. Grip the edge, if desired.
- Simultaneously, lower your body until you are “seated” mid-air about 1 inch in front of the bench.
- Lift your right leg off the ground, extending it at a 45-degree angle (creating a half-V shape).
- Using your triceps to bare your weight, lower your body toward the ground until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Press up powerfully.
- Complete 10–12 reps; then repeat with your left leg raised.
Trainer Tips for Tricep Dips + V-Leg Extension
- Keep your elbows tucked and pointing toward the back of the bench. Don’t allow them to flare to the sides.
- Focus on your triceps, and avoid using your legs to lift your body.
- Start in a standing position with your back to the bench. Place your left toe on the bench, and slide or hop your right foot forward until it is about 1 foot ahead of your hips.
- Keep both feet planted, and lower your body toward the ground until your right leg forms a 90-degree angle.
- Press up powerfully through your right leg and glute.
- Complete 10–12 reps; then repeat with your right toe on the bench.
Trainer Tip for Split Squats
- Step forward far enough that your lead leg has room to bend to a 90-degree angle. Don’t let your front knee drift forward over your toes.
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