Guest Post: Sarah, Freshly Grown Fitness Guru
I love using a BOSU ball at the gym to work my core. The unstable platform sets all of my abdominal muscles on fire and really makes me sweat. The results are amazing! So I thought, “How can I get that same effect at the playground?” OH! By using a swing!
Here is a 10 minute circuit to get those abs working! Do 8 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next for 10 minutes straight. As you start to fatigue move to 6 reps, then 4, then 2. Just do not give up. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 10 MINUTES!
Bring a towel with you so that you have something to rest your hands on instead of barkdust. 😉
Planks With Feet On the Swing
First put one foot on the swing and bend down so that your arms are extended below you in push-up position. Then, add your other foot to the swing. Double check that your shoulders are aligned directly over your elbows. Make sure that your legs are straight behind you with your ankles, knees and thighs touching.
Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and do not let your stomach drop or allow for your hips to rise up. To avoid letting your hips or buttock rise up, tilt your pelvis towards the floor. Remember to breath. Take slow inhales and exhale steadily.
To begin, hold this position for 20 seconds. As time goes on while you are in the plank position, you may notice your stomach beginning to drop or your hips rising. To avoid this, remain aware of your position and keep your abs engaged, working to keep your body in a straight line.
Challenging alterations: While in the plank position, lift one leg straight up in the air, lower, then lift the other, alternating between each leg. This will force your core to compensate for the shift in balance. This will further challenge and strengthen your core muscles.
Start with one foot on the swing, and the other leg on the outside of the swing while in plank position. Draw one knee to the outside shoulder. Return to plank and repeat until you have reached desired reps for that side, then switch legs and do the same amount of reps on the other side.
Another Challenge Swing pike: Get in pushup position, then rest the tops of your feet on the swing. Keeping your legs as straight as possible, bend your hips and try to pull your feet toward your chest so that the swing moves forward. Hold at the top for three to four seconds, then move the swing back to the starting position. (Continue moving the swing backward until your body forms a straight line.) That’s one rep.
The “pike” action works your hips and the abs through a wider range of motion than you’re probably used to, extending your body at the end of the movement hits even more muscle. Your chest and shoulders play a big part, too, because they balance your upper body as you safely stretch the limits of your ab development.
Swing Split Squat/Swing Bulgarian Squat
Stand in front of the swing, and place top of right foot on its center. Step forward about 3 feet with left leg.
Keeping abs engaged and back tall, bend left knee 90 degrees, lowering hips and right knee toward floor.
Straighten left leg to complete one rep.
Do desired number of reps; switch legs and repeat.
The swing will be unstable and this adds to working your core as well in order to remain stable.
Abs Roll Out
The Swing I was using was VERY high off the ground, so I was forced to be on the tip of my toes for this exercise. Depending on the height of the swing you can stand or be on your knees.
Stand in front of the swing and place your hands on the sides, grasping near the bottom of the swing chain, or wherever you can get a good grip.
Keep your core braced, and slowly move the swing forward, straightening your arms and extending your body as far as you can without allowing your body to “collapse.” Use your abs to pull the swing back to starting position. That’s one rep.
Remember to drink lots of water and encourage your kiddos to cheer you on!
That’s it! 10 minute circuit at the park. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes, right? Good luck, you guys. Feel free to ask me any questions, just leave a comment below or on Freshly Grown’s FB page. -Sarah
The book that changed Sarah’s workout life —->
“I LOVE this book: It has all these different workout routines with PICTURES of every exercise and how you can progress in each one! I am serious,that book changed my workout life! You can buy it on Amazon for around $15. Everyone I have recommended it to has also said the same thing.”
Other posts from Sarah:
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