School is out for summer, and that means many of your local school playgrounds will be sitting unused for the next couple of months. That's good news for you, because the school playground is a great place to work out. Even buff celebrity, Zac Efron, was recently spotted working out on the playground on the set of "The Paperboy" in Louisiana. You, too, can take your summer workouts in a whole new direction by using the equipment and amenities available at your school playground in fun ways.
From the swings to the monkey bars, there are lots of ways you can use the standard equipment at the school playground to tone up. You can use monkey bars for chin ups or just practice climbing them back and forth to build upper body strength. Try hanging upside down and bring your head up to your knees in an intense hanging sit-up that will strengthen your core. Some playground systems have fireman poles you can climb hand over hand, and you even tone your abs by controlling your speed and height on the swings.
Around the grounds
Most school playgrounds have a track marked with distances so you can easily measure how far and how fast you walk or run. You can also use the wide open space of the playground to try some exercises you would not be able to do inside your house, like jumping rope or using a hula hoop. Many school playgrounds even have a basketball court which you can use to shoot free throws, a great way to lose weight as I mentioned in a recent article.
The best thing about a school playground is that you can incorporate some interval training. Run a few laps on the track, then move to the playground equipment and do some strength training, then move on to some jump rope cardio and repeat. You can make the workout whatever you want to best suit your needs.
Efron was not using the standard playground equipment alone in the workout he was seen doing. He also had a specialized piece of equipment called the TRX Suspension Trainer designed by a former Navy Seal. This suspension gym might have looked like just some sort of harness and clips in the photos, but it is actually a carefully designed gym made to use your own body weight as resistance while you go through dozens of different exercises that tone various parts of your body.
If you have a piece of equipment like this, you may find that a playground apparatus is the perfect place to work out because it allows you to use the harness in so many configurations. Unfortunately, playgrounds at parks are often too busy to allow an uninterrupted workout, and really, kids should have first priority when it comes to playground equipment. But school playgrounds often sit unused and empty when school is not in session, so they are a great place to work out.
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- Zac Efron