Expert Advice | Not Just for Play: Turn a Park Playground into the Perfect Workout

This a new monthly column from Snoqualmie resident, Kelly Saunders, who is a certified group and personal trainer at Anytime Fitness on Snoqualmie Ridge.  About 10 years ago Kelly took her passion for fitness and made it a full-time career. She can get you into shape – often in a fun, friendly way. Read on…

One of my favorite places to work out is in a group exercise class at my gym. We push each other, encourage each other and laugh at each other. The workout flies by. But there are times I like to be out in the fresh air doing my own thing. Or times I’m traveling and need to fit it in somewhere besides the closet sized hotel gym.

So, I’ve put together a park workout that I’d like to share with you. All of these moves can be incorporated into just about any park. Just make sure the equipment you are using is STABLE. Because even though my favorite saying is “you never regret working out,” you would if you face planted in bark chips or spent the afternoon plucking them out of your spandex. Just saying.

There are two things I religiously tell anyone working out under my guidance: 1) Shoulders down and back. Roll them up, back and down and leave them there. 2) Brace your core. Flex your abs like I was going to sucker punch you. Do not suck them in like you are trying to look super hot in your swimsuit or swim trunks. You’ll just pass out from holding your breath. Again, back to the regret thing.

You can also add this workout into a run by doing just a circuit or two – or you can make it a full workout by doing a few circuits. Make it your own  – this is just what I do.

Kelly’s Park Workout

  1. Step ups. Use any bench or picnic bench. Step up, alternating feet. Do 20 (ten on each side)
  2. Push ups. Can also be done on ground. Do 10. Chest goes no lower than elbow height.
  3. Incline Pull up. Keep your torso nice and strong. Pull up 10 times.
  4. Bench jumps. Jump onto and off of bench. Do 10. Make sure your feet plant firmly on bench.
  5. Traditional pull up. You can do this old school with no help or place toes on a surface to displace some of your body weight. Do 8.
  6. Tricep dip. Place heel of hand on a bench. Keep your booty and lower back rubbing against bench to protect your shoulders. Do not dip any lower than a 90 degree angle at your elbow. Do 20.
  7. Repeat if desired.

If you are just starting to exercise, please check with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to perform these exercises.

park workout 1
Step ups, traditional pull ups, jump ups and incline pull ups using park equipment and benches.


park workout 2
Tricep dips and push ups using park equipment as a base.

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