4 Exercises for Your Next Trip to the Playground

playground_exercise_push-up_bench_park

While working with the Utah moms competing in the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute's My Heart Challenge: Moms Edition, I share multiple methods for exercises to help them squeeze in a healthy workout. These four exercises are perfect for summertime fun at the playground.

Plank on a soccer ball

  • Extend both arms and place both hands on the soccer ball on the ground.
  • Make a straight line from your shoulders, across your back, to your feet as you balance on the ground with your toes.
  • Keep a tight core, pulling your belly button in to your spine. This will help to keep your balance.
  • If this is too difficult, you can take your hands down to the ground.
  • Hold, and breathe, for 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.
Tricep Dips off a bench
  • Start by sitting on bench with legs outstretched.  
  • Holding on to the end of the bench, slide your hips off the edge.
  • Keeping elbow tucked in tight, and pointing towards the back rest, slowly lower body until your elbow creates a right angle.
  • Push up and return to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
Push-Ups off the bench
  • Start facing the back of the park bench.
  • Place hands on the back of the bench, slightly wider than shoulder length.
  • Step back from bench, while still holding on, creating a slight angle.
  • Keeping head in neutral position, slowly bend elbows out to the side and lower upper body towards the bench. Keep body in a straight line as you lower.  Straighten arms and return to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
Toe-Taps
  • Start with a stair/soccer ball/bench in front of you.
  • Start with right foot on the stair and left foot on the ground. Switch positions – your left foot should not be on the stair with your right foot flat on the ground.  
  • Repeat steps one and two again without stopping. Try to switch positions quickly without losing balance.  
  • With practice, build up to 25 toe taps per routine.

These exercises can be repeated back-to-back in a circuit form. Set the clock, and finish as many repetitions as you can within 10 minutes. As you get more fit, you can increase the number of exercises, or the amount of time. Have fun!