Mommy and Me Fitness: A Quick and Effective Playground Workout
As an athlete and fitness trainer, I’ve had so many women tell me how hard it is for them to find time to work out. The reasons range from having several small kids, a full-time job, or just simply not having a workout buddy to keep them motivated.
Playground rule number one: every kid enjoys a little fun in the sun. Most parents take their kids to a local park on a weekend or weekday when the sun is shining and the weather is pleasant. Mom here is your chance to grab a quick workout as the kids play, or better yet get them involved in your personal fitness quest.
The following workout is designed to be a no-nonsense, drop the excuses, quick and effective total body play-date workout that busy moms can do with their kids at any local park, anytime, anywhere.
This workout is a bodyweight resistance training circuit. A circuit is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobic movements designed to build strength and muscular endurance.
An exercise circuit involves a sequence of prescribed exercises, and repetitions, that are performed in one complete cycle. When one round of the circuit is complete, begin a new cycle with the first exercise for the next round of the circuit.
For a metabolic boost and increased fat-burning potential post-workout, the time between exercises in a circuit is typically short, with rapid movement from one exercise to the next. So grab your sunscreen, a water bottle, and a kid and get ready, get set, and GO!
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Total Body Playground Workout for Moms
This is a bodyweight circuit. Perform 3 to 5 Rounds of the following circuit:
- Monkey Bar Pull-ups – 2 to 5 reps *
- Park Bench Dips – 5 to 8 reps *
- Inclined/Declined Push-ups – 5 to 8 reps *
- Piggy-back Squats – 8 to 10 reps **
- Kid Loaded Carry – 1 Rep the length of a sandbox
* Kid loaded option
** Kid unloaded option
Exactly as stated. It’s bodyweight resistance training times two bodies, yours and your kid’s.
Variations of ways to load a kid for added bodyweight resistance during this workout include piggy-back style (with kid holding on to the back side of the body) and seated or standing papoose style (kid holding on to the front side of the body).
Monkey Bar Pull-ups
Start at your own fitness level. If you are new to pull-ups start with 1 or 2 each round and soon you will be up to 5.
Most playground monkey bars are low enough to the ground that you can practice pulling your body up with your feet still on the ground. The kid loaded option can be added as your strength increases using one of the variations above, a standing papoose kid loaded variation would work best.
Park Bench Dips
Think triceps dips in the weight room transported to a park bench. Seated papoose kid loaded variation is a great option for an added challenge.
To save time use the same bench used for your dips, or if you want the added work move around the park and use the ladder rungs of a slide for these. The kid loaded option that will work best for an added challenge would be piggy-back style.
Also, try alternating between each push up variation each round of the circuit.
The kid unloaded option would be a basic bodyweight squat. Be sure to have good form with your squat technique before loading a kid.
Think strongman competition meets piggy-back ride here. Set up similar to the piggy-back squat except now we’re mobilizing it. Keep core engaged with shoulders pulled back. Hang on tight to the little one and go!
The distance you walk will vary depending on the layout of your local park and the size of the sand box available.
Core strength is vital with each movement, especially when using the kid loaded options. Work through the first two rounds unloaded until you get the hang of the exercises and have proper form, then add the kid loaded challenges as your fitness level increases.
All in all have fun with it, after all it’s a fitness play date for you and your little ones.