By Alena Hall The Huffington Post
Now that summer is finally here, we are officially on the lookout for any fun workout we could possibly do outside. So when we found this outdoor fitness playground near the East River in downtown New York City, we just couldn’t resist a little playtime!
Spaces like these look like an adult jungle gym — and they feel like one, too. The collection of bars and platforms not only challenge you to bring back those old recess skills from your childhood, but also really give you a strength training session you won’t forget. It just takes a little creativity to combine moves that end up working your entire body by the time you’re done.
For those of you who need a little more playtime in your life this summer, here are five fitness playground moves to help you work up a good sweat and channel your inner child at the same time. Game on!
Raised Bar Pushups
Step 1: Pick which raised bar you’d like to use (the closer to the ground, the harder the pushups) and set yourself up in a stable plank position. Make sure your shoulders are in line with the hands above the bar, the core is engaged and the legs are straight.
Step 2: With control, lower down into a pushup position so the bar lightly touches your chest. As you exhale, push back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
Need a modification? Opt for the higher raised bar or lower your knees to the ground.
Monkey Bar Swing
Trust us, these aren’t nearly as easy as they were when you were 8 years old and weighed a whopping 70 pounds.
Step 1: Jump straight up into the air and grab the first bar at the end of the set with both hands.
Step 2: Begin swinging your body slightly to gain momentum, and on the forward motion, reach your right arm forward to the next bar.
Step 3: On the next forward swing, reach your left hand past your right and grab the next bar in front of you. Continue alternating until you’ve reached the end of the set, and jump down in victory having conquered these as a full-grown adult!
Flat Bench Knee Hike and Tuck
This move can be done in any gym, but it’s SO much more fun outside.
Step 1: Stand tall approximately one foot behind the flat bench with your hands locked behind your head, elbows out wide.
Step 2: Step up with your right foot, and as you hike your left knee toward your chest, twist your torso so that your right elbow taps that knee.
Step 3: Maintaining balance, step back down to the original position. Repeat by stepping up with the left foot, hiking the right knee and tucking with the left elbow. Continue alternating until you’ve completed 10 to 15 reps on both sides.
Raised Bar Tricep Dips
Step 1: Sit on the high raised bar with your hands holding it close to the sides of your body. Your fingers should be facing forward. Lift off the bar by shifting your weight into your hands, and extend your legs in front of you.
Step 2: With control, bend the elbows and lower your body down toward the ground in front of the bar. Keep your elbows in tight toward the body to keep the triceps activated.
Step 3: Using the power from your triceps, lift your body back to the original position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Need a modification? Keep the knees bent rather than straightening the legs.
Incline Bench Oblique Sit-Ups
Step 1: Slide onto the incline bench with your legs in front of you and your hands grabbing the top bar for support. Move your feet beneath the lower rung to lock your body into place. Once you feel stable, let go of the bar with your hands and lie on the incline bench, back flat and hands behind your head.
Step 2: Exhale as you sit up as tall as you can. When you’ve reached the top, reach your right elbow toward your left knee, twisting to engage the oblique.
Step 3: Return to the original position, and repeat, this time twisting the left elbow toward the right knee. Continue alternating until you’ve completed 10-15 reps on each side.