Fitness in the Park

Now that the kids are out of school they are involved in many other activities which has me running around town more than ever. All of these extra activities for them means less gym time for me, so I’m doing more at-home workouts and am always open to an opportunity to stay fit. Each of them have different activities which  include taking my son to golf lessons then fighting the interstate traffic to get across town to my daughter’s photography class.  Last week was her first week in this new class and on our way home we discovered an amazing park which we planned to check out the following week.

So this morning I packed a cooler full of water and healthy snacks including cut up fruit, a dip made of half peanut butter and half greek yogurt (I know it sounds weird and if you’ve never had it, try it.. it’s amazing!), some almonds and a protein shake. I loaded up our bikes and headed out.  I was pleasantly surprised at just how amazing this park was! We just thought we would ride our bikes around but then we came across a nice little workout circuit.  YAY for me! Bike ride over. It has a dip and pull-up bar, steps for balance & plyometrics, a stepper, an ab crunch bench, along with some other stations. It was just what I needed.

     Today would normally be a rest day for me so I focussed                  on arms and upper body (but I did sneak in one plyometric leg exercise and one ab exercise just for fun!).  I started with some tricep dips. When performing dips, make sure you don’t perform the movement too fast (which I probably was too fast here), go down until your arms are horizontal, pause, then press up until your arms are straight but elbows are not locked. I performed three sets of 8-10 repetitions.



Next I did some pull-ups to focus on back and biceps.  Since I cannot do a parallel-grip on this bar I used an underhand grip, so this really makes it more of a chin-up. Start with a shoulder-width, underhand (palms facing towards you) grip and pull yourself up so your shoulders reach the bar or at least your chin clears the bar. As in the dips, focus on slow and controlled movements. If you have never done pull-ups but want to, the best way to start is to learn to hang and hold your own body weight.  As you will notice, I do not use gloves in my workouts which has greatly improved my overall strength including grip strength. I performed three sets of  6-8 reps.


Next I did three different variations of pushups.  I love doing pushups because you can do them practically anywhere and anytime and encompasses your arms, chest and core.   Decline pushups are performed  with your feet up on a bench. The higher the platform the more you will work your shoulders, chest, core and scapular stabilizers. Incline pushups are performed with hands up on a bench. They target your chest, front deltoids and triceps. They are beginner friendly as they are easier to perform if you don’t quite have the strength to perform classic pushups.  Start at an 80 degree angle and gradually decrease as you become stronger. I performed three sets of each until failure.

T-Pushups are one of my favorites as they work your entire body. You’ll work your chest, shoulders, mid back and build your core. Start in the pushup position, take one hand off of the ground and raise it straight in the air, making a T- shape with your body. Keep your eyes on your raised hand. Put hand back down, and repeat with the other side. I performed three sets of 10 pushups of 5 rotations (I need to work up to 20 pushups of 10 rotations.)


Next I did some stride jump crossovers on one of the benches. You begin with one foot on the bench, swing your arms upward and push through your top leg, driving your other knee up and land on the opposite side you started, on the opposite side of the bench. I performed three sets of 20 total, 10 each leg.


Lastly I did some V crunches on the bench. Grab the bench from behind as you extend your legs and lean back. Make sure you are reaching forward and leaning back.

As much as I love being in the gym, I really enjoyed my workout in the park today!  There’s never just one way to exercise and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. So stay inspired, and open-minded to look for new opportunities to stay fit no matter where you are, and above all, have fun!


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