Summer Strong // Playground Sesh

July 07, 2015


It’s 90° and the sun is shining… The first thing that crosses that dome of yours is to get outside and enjoy it; but when that clock chimes 5pm you won’t be hitting the beach, you’ll be smashing that iron. So, like a good athlete you make your way to your internal sanctum, that underground training facility, or the local globo gym to get in your rounds before the close of the day when the real fun begins. This may bring tears to your eyes, but fear not… there’s a rarely explored fitness oasis existing in the sun’s beating rays, and it isn’t just for kids anymore. I’m talking about making your local playground your summer training grounds!




It’s right up the road, hardly touched and practically empty. Your local playground is a treasure trove of fitness, with bars and chains and platforms-a-plenty. Most importantly, it allows you to keep it simple and hit the basics without over-complicating your programming. Start to finish you can get a huge full body program to shred you up and get you strong.


Keeping it simple is key. Be sure to warm up and hydrate well. Being that you’ll be in the sun (and hopefully not for the first time this fine sunny summer), you’ll want to keep yourself well watered and possibly sun-blocked… or oiled… your call. The following is just one progression of means to work through a hefty full body workout and all you will need are: Monkey Bars, a platform 12 Inches+ from the ground, and a set of parallel bars.


Warm Up: 5 Laps around your Playground Area


Limber Up:
Perform 2 each –

  • 30 second Shoulder Stretches
  • 30 Second Chest Stretches
  • 30 Second Low Spine/Oblique Stretches
  • 30 Second Quad/Hamstring Stretches
  • 30 Second Calf Stretch/Shin Stretch


Strengthen Up:

  • 5x 1 min Max Effort Pull Ups/Jump Pull Ups/Body Weight Rows on Monkey Bars
  • 5x 1 min Max Effort Dips/Elevated Push Ups/Push Ups using the parallel bars
  • 5x Max Time Hanging L-Sit/Static Knee Raise


Toughen Up:
*Perform 10 rounds with quality form:

  • 8 “Box Jumps” or Step Ups on the elevated platform
  • 16 Walking Lunges (8/side)
  • 8 Crunches
  • 16 Tuck Jumps


*Between each round, take 1 lap around the playground


Just about any series of body-weight movements can be programmed into a quality workout on a playground, and when small implements such as kettle bells, dumbbells or sandbags are thrown into the mix it can make for a fantastic varied program. So, when you’re headed out of the office thinking about how you get to spend another hour of your life closed up behind a door frame, remember… dumbbells aren’t your only option… get creative and get in touch with your inner man-child at the local sand pit. You’ll thank me!


Summer Strong Playground Sesh


Prepared by Rob Saeva CPT


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.


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