Swing It

mother and daughter playing games on swingsThere are almost an infinite number of ways to get exercise on the playground. You could go to the playground every day of the year and never repeat an exercise. How? Think about just the swings alone. You can run around the outside of them, making a huge circle to dodge the arc of the swings. If they aren’t being used, you can use them as if they were cones, weaving around them sideways, frontwards and backwards, and underneath like a limbo bar, crouch under and don’t touch!

Put both feet’s shoelaces on the swing while your hands are planted on the ground and do moving tuck or pike crunches.  Or swing your legs side to side. (You’ll meet new abs you didn’t know you had!) Keep your feet up and do really hard push-ups, especially if your young child is on your back (be careful), or your tween/teen is competing with you on the next swing.

Stand sideways with one foot on the swing, doing moving side lunges or squats, all while pushing your child on the next swing. If your child can swing him/herself or is old enough to lunge with you, stand with your back to the swing, one foot resting on top, and try a moving lunge, your rear foot moving back against the swing, and then upright to standing.

Lie on the ground, put both feet on the swing and lift your hips to the sky. Hello hamstrings! Add a young child on your hips (watch your back) and have double the fun. Let an older child do this on the swing next to you, they are great at this! If they want it harder, move the swing in a small arc while lifting the hips, or do it all on one leg. Hold a side plank with both feet on the swing, hand or forearm on the ground (relax your neck/throat). You’ll know what muscles you are working instantly.  Kneel on the swing with one leg and try to balance, letting yourself move 360 degrees. The list of fun is truly endless. Play, and let your child create new exercises, too. You’ll be sore but happy together tomorrow!