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No need to hit the gym on a summer day when you can get in a solid workout at the park.

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Looking for an invigorating and fun place to get in your daily sweat session? Why not head to your local park or playground? Parks are the perfect place to get in a full body workout without boredom setting in—no gym fees required!

You should be able to find enough open space to get in some cardio and body weight exercises at most parks. If you’re lucky, you may even find some equipment you can use to push or pull on to enhance your outdoor workout.

Ready to give a park workout a try? Here’s how to get it done while it looks like you’re just playing.

    • Tricep Dips – All you need is a park bench to do this move. Sit on a bench with hands on the edge. Extend your legs straight out in front of you and place feet flat on the ground. Lower your bottom down towards the ground until your elbows are bent 90 degrees, keeping your back straight. Hold for a few seconds, then raise your body up and repeat.
    • Hanging Crunches – Hold onto an overhead set of monkey bars or rings. Keeping your back straight and your core tight, lift your knees up, bringing them as close to your chest as you can. Lower legs to the ground and repeat.
    • Pull Ups – Parks and playgrounds often have high bars you can use for pull-ups. If not, you may be able to find a sturdy tree limb to hang from. Hold onto the bar with arms slightly more than shoulder width apart and pull yourself up until your chin reaches the bar. Lower and repeat.
    • Swinging Cross Kicks – Sit on a swing, holding on firmly to the chains. Lift your legs up straight until they’re parallel to the ground. Cross one leg over the other and then switch, going back and forth. Aim to keep the swing as still as possible while moving your legs to strengthen your arms and core.
    • Body Weight Exercises – Find some open space to do your exercises of choice, using nothing but your body weight. Try jump squats, bear crawls, crab walks, burpees or mountain climbers.
    • Cardio – There are plenty of ways to get in some cardio at the park. Taking a walk or going for a run aren’t the only options! Aim for at least 20 minutes of cardio for a complete workout.

For all exercises, aim to do a set of 10 reps. Complete as many sets as you feel comfortable doing, taking a short rest between sets. One way to challenge yourself is to do each subsequent set with one less rep, starting at 10 and working your way down to one. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of your workout.

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Date Last Reviewed: May 12, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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