Sarah is our fitness guru! If you haven’t met her here, I will give you a quick introduction:
Meet Sarah. We went to high school together. She is a mom of two, hysterically funny, prioritizes fitness and health in her life and has a husband whose idea of a vegetable is a corn dog.
Park Workout Part I
Summer is in the air! The days of being cooped up in the house with indoor play dates are coming to a close and it is time to move outdoors. So why not take advantage of those play dates at the park with an amazing workout that not only gets your body in shape, but also gives you a chance to bond with your friends while setting an example of physical health for your kids.
Here is my simple play date workout. This works best with a group so that you can take turns keeping track of the little ones during the exercises.
Start by parking ½ mile to a mile from the park. That way you have a nice walk on the way there and a nice walk on the way back. It is a good distance for kids in a stroller and not too far for kids who have outgrown the stroller.
Since walking a 1/2 mile is a great warm up, you are ready to use the playground equipment as your personal gym.
This first series is all done using a park bench. Do 3 sets of 8 reps for each exercise to begin. As you master each of those, move up to 1o, then 12, then 15 reps. Do one set then let your partner do a set. If there are more than two of you, then two people can share a bench.
- Find a bench and place your left foot firmly on the step.
- Press your heel into the step and push your body up until your left lag is straight and you’re standing on one leg on the bench, keeping your right foot elevated.
- Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the ground. That’s one repetition.
- Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with your left leg, then do the same number with your right leg.
- (TIPS: Keep your upper body as straight as possible during the steps as to engage your core and so that your knee stays behind your toes)
Pushups or Incline Pushups
- Place your hands on a bench for incline or the ground for standard. Your arms should be straight.
- Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles
- Squeeze your glutes and hold them the entire movement. This helps keep your hips in line with your upper body
- Straighten your legs so that your weight is on your toes
- Set your feet close together.
- Brace your abs and keep them contracted the entire duration of the exercise.
- Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the bench or the ground
- Tuck your elbows so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle with your body in the lowered position.
- Pause at the bottom and then push yourself back into start position as quickly as possible.
- DO NOT DROP YOUR HIPS, KEEP YOUR CORE STIFF
- Your head should stay in a neutral position.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
- Stand in split stance with your back leg elevated on a bench. It is recommended not to elevate your foot much more than about three feet. While in this position, shift your weight slightly forward so your front leg does all the work.
- Keep your front foot flat on the ground and lower your body until your knee touches or comes very close to the floor.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position with all of the force being generated through your front leg.
REMEMBER! This is a ONE LEG exercise. The front leg should be doing all of the work. The back leg acts as a kickstand for balance.
- Shift your body forward slightly so front leg does the work.
- The toe of the elevated foot should be relaxed and down. Don’t push with the tip of your toe.
- Torso should be slightly leaned forward and flat. This shifts the pressure to the front leg and takes pressure off the rear leg protecting the knee.
- Sit on a bench and place your hands on the bench very close to the sides of your body.
- Stretch your legs out in front of you and push your body off the bench holding yourself up with your arms (and a little with your legs).
- Lower yourself down by bending at the elbow joint just to about 90 degrees and push yourself up (using the tricep and shoulder) back to the starting position.
- Avoid using your legs to lift you up and keep your body close to the bench to protect the shoulder joint. If you are looking to raise the intensity up a notch, try putting your feet on another bench instead of the floor or better yet on a ball! Not only will that intensify the movement, it will also prevent you from using your legs and place all the work on those hard to target triceps!
That’s it for Part I! Remember, start with 3 sets of 8 reps for each exercise to begin. As you master each of those, move up to 10, then 12, then 15 reps. Always challenge yourself!
Have a great day, you guys! And don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, just leave them in the comments section below.
-Sarah, Your Freshly Grown Fitness Guru
Fitness book Sarah recommends: The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!
“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.”