It's starting to warm up outside and the gym is getting packed. Instead of skipping out on your workout because all the machines seem to be taken, try this fun outdoor workout! All you need to do is find a playground. If you're a parent, bring your children and their friends along. They will enjoy the playground while you tone up for the summer with these five moves.
Swing Planks -- four sets of 45-second holds (targets core, shoulders and back)
Stand with a swing in front of you. Place both hands on the seat of the swing and walk you feet back until your body is in a straight line/plank position.
If this is too difficult you can allow for the seat of the swing to rest on your forearms.
If the move seems too easy for you, slowly bring your hands four inches forward and back. This will force your core muscles to engage even more and work on your stability.
Leap Frogs -- four sets of 12 forward and 12 back (cardio that targets glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves)
Stand with your feet in a wide stance with toes pointed out. Drop your glutes down so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Maintain the squat position during all repetitions. Hop forward three steps, staying low in the squat and then hop back. Keep your upper body tall through the entire set. Rather than relying on momentum or throwing your body around, focus on using your leg muscles to move you. Once you get comfortable with the move, begin to hop forward and backward as far as you can. Focus on distance traveled forward and back rather than height. This makes the movement explosive and also doubles as cardio.
Monkey Bar Holds -- three sets until failure (targets core, back and biceps)
Reach up with palms facing you and hold on to the monkey bars. Pull body up so that your chin is up over the bar and your feet are off of the ground. Hold this position. If you feel your body begin to shake, it is because your muscles are working hard to keep you up. Control your breathing and focus on your strength. You will probably be able to hold this position longer than you think. It is mostly mental, so push through it!
Slide Dips -- four sets of 20 (targets triceps and core)
Sit on the edge of the bottom of the slide. Place hands down on the edge of the slide and walk your body forward so that your glutes are no longer on the edge. Have arms fully extended and then drop your glutes straight down, bending your elbows. Push back up through your palms.
If this move seems too simple, lift one leg up during the movements. This will work on your core stability and hip flexors.
Step Taps and Calf Drops -- four sets of 25 (cardio that targets calves)
Stand in front of the steps of the playground. Begin to tap the lowest step with the balls of your feet as fast as you can. Alternate sides until you have tapped the step 25 times on each side. Then immediately get on the step and place all your weight in the balls of your feet and allow for your heels to drop off the back of the step. Push back up through the balls of your feet. Stay tall throughout the entire move. Grab on to the handrail for some added stability. Make sure you have a full range of motion extending from the bottom to the top of the move.
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