Full Body Workout in the Park

Full Body Workout in the Park

There are a reason so many bootcamps and new mom stroller fitness classes meet in local parks. With a little planing and creativity, parks are great places to get a full body workout. Don’t worry, if being yelled at in a group setting is not your thing and you can’t force your 8 year old in a stroller anymore, you can still get a great work-out in the park while your kiddos play.

My role as a micro manager of my children’s park activities has lightened up over time. With an 8 and a 6 year old I need to be nearby of course, but I don’t have to intervene much during playtime. I’m not comfortable enough to get lost in a book while they play, but I can certainly fit in a few sets of exercises and still keep a watchful eye on their activities. Chances are, it won’t take long before they find my activities more interesting than the playground equipment anyway. Fitting in exercise at the park is yet another way to lead by example.

The beauty of exercising in the park is you can get a full body work-out using just the playground equipment and the benches. If you would like to step it up a notch you can always bring a mat for abdominal work. Make sure, you also pack water, a towel, and hand sanitizer.

Full Body Workout in the Park

Warm-Up. Depending on the age of your kids, a game of tag usually makes for a decent warm-up. After 5-10 minutes you can send them to the equipment and you can get started.

To really crank up your work-out and maintain an elevated heart rate, do step up on a bench for 60 seconds between each strength set.

Full Body Workout in the Park

Pull-ups or Monkey Bar Hang. You can use the monkey bars for a mean set of pull- ups if you are able or you can can position your chin above the bar and hold your body weight just like in gym class as long as you’re able. Repeat.

Full Body Workout in the Park

Modified Push-ups. Use a bench or picnic table for modified push-up. Try 2 sets of 8-12.

Full Body Workout in the Park

Walking lunges around the park perimeter. 2 sets of 15 on each side.

Full Body Workout in the Park

Tricep Dips on a Bench or Low Curb. 2 sets of 10-12.
Cool down with some light stretching and perhaps another pick up game of tag.

Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated or involve an expensive gym membership. You can get a great work-out while your kids play with just your body weight and your imagination.

Author Bio:
Poppy Marler is a writer, mother of 3 and fitness enthusiast. Her latest project, Facing 40, is a healthy lifestyle blog devoted to fun, fit, and fierce women straddling 40. She might be a mid-pack runner, a back of the pack swimmer, and a reluctant triathlete, but she is fitter at 40 than she was at 20. When not hiding in the back of Zumba class, you can find her on Twitter  Facebook, and Google+.


Jenn Mitchell is a proud mom, wife and adventure seeker. She’s traveled either solo or with family to 20 countries and 36 U.S. states so far. A former personal trainer, Jenn looks for ways to keep her family fit and active both at home and on the road. Her goal is to inspire other moms and families to live happy and healthy lives.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Jenna Wood

    I know some kids who would be motivated to stay fit if they saw me doing this. What a fun setting for some toning!

    1. Poppy

      My kids are always right next to me. My oldest, 15, just completed her first triathlon and beat me by 15 seconds 🙂

  2. Kristin

    This might just convince me to go to the park.

    1. Poppy

      You can do walking lunges when you pick blueberries, too!

  3. Krissy H

    This would be a great way to keep moving instead of just sitting on the bench watching the kids get exercise!

    1. Poppy

      I agree completely! Now that they’re older and don’t need me right with them, I get so bored just sitting there. I feel like a bad mom, but I can only “watch them” for so long. It’s nice to pull double duty.

  4. Amber Edwards

    Great ways to get in some fitness while your kids are running around getting their own fitness! I can’t do lunges due to a knee injury, but I could do all the others.

    1. Jenn

      Poppy is great! Met her in person at Fitbloggin 13. She is in amazing shape. A very inspirational mom.

    2. Poppy

      Don’t look too closely, mine is a little more grey 🙂

  5. Corinne

    What a great way to stay occupied on the playground while the kids run around. Much better for you than sitting and reading a book! Pinning this. Thanks!

  6. Patty

    Fantastic idea. And don’t forget swinging on the swings – you use a lot of ab muscles going higher, higher, higher!

    1. Bleona

      hi hilary, this is my first time to your blog, i love your pics, esp the old ones, i am also jiinong the grow your blog party which is where i found your blog, look forward to seeing you and your blog again. aloha, angi in hana

  7. Aida Ingram

    Thank you for this post, I have put on a few extra pounds and I would love to get them off. Thank you for a fun alternative to the gym.

    1. Poppy

      I really have a hard time going to the gym in the summer – I’m an outdoor girl!

  8. Grace Hodgin

    Really great tips and you’ve give me some really great ideas.

  9. Kari Ann

    Awesome post! I get into a routine but always somehow fall off when things get busy. This is motivation to get me started again.

    1. Poppy

      I’m not quite so motivated in the summer either, but making it fun always helps me!

  10. Janeane Davis

    You certainly made working out outside look like fun! I would like to try a few of these moves.

    1. Poppy

      I love being outside in the summer. I avoid the gym in the summer whenever possible!

  11. mel

    What great tips and now I need to jump start my workout in the park!

    1. Minnie Miller

      Just raring to go to the park Sunday morning and practice what I’ve read in this post. Thanks, looking forward to it.

  12. Michael

    Love it! This just comes to show how simple it is to work out and also to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Jonas Larsson

    Great tips there.I like the monkey bar hang best-that’s one mean move to keep oneself fit!

  14. Charlene

    Next time I go the park I will try fitting in a little bit of these exercises.

    1. Raj Rajendran

      Me too. Sounds like way too much fun to even sound like an exercise workout!

  15. senna

    A visit to the park is never going to be the same again for me. Like others I too get bored while sitting and watching over the kids. The full body workout is just what I need.

    1. Ruben

      This is such a lovely card Suzz. Another goegrous Hero Arts image and you do know how to do them justice. Simply stunning springs to mind!HugsLesley XxPS. Of course, you were right about the image I used the other day. It was Stampendous. I bought that and a Hero Arts one at the same time and got them mixed up when I posted. So glad you pointed it out Suzz, thanks. Xx

  16. Amber Dempsey

    Wow! This is great and so creative. Honestly, I refuse to pay for a gym membership, to me, it seems like such a waste of money. So I am always trying to find unique ways to work out on my own. These are all great ideas! I’m sure it inspires others to get going too! 🙂

  17. Mischa Donaldson

    Sounds like such fun! Am going to try this out tomorrow morning on my walk through the park. Will post again later to say how it went.

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