Moms are notorious for multi-tasking and being short on time. So I love to do anything that accomplishes multiple purposes at once. A few years ago I led ‘mom and me’ workouts on nearby playgrounds. I loved the idea of the whole family being active outside together!
I still make it a point to do some sort of workout every time we go to the playground. I don’t have a gym membership, but I’ve learned to use the world around me as my gym. To me, it’s so much more relaxing to workout outside, in the sunshine, and it’s more fun to play with my kids while I workout! I’ve found that not only do my kids want to ‘play’ with me too, but suddenly other kids at the park want to join in and are challenging me to squat contests!
No special equipment needed! We’ll use the playground as our resistance equipment. Just bring yourself and water! This workout is designed for all fitness levels. You can do just the 7 minutes, or if you’re feeling particularly energized, do as many sets as you want!
Get creative. Find ways to do each exercise while playing with your kids. Squat down to pick them up after going down the slide and lift them over your head to celebrate. Do lunges across the playground while chasing them. Do push-ups over them and give them a kiss each time you lower. Use your imagination! You’ll both have more fun as a result!
Complete each exercise for 45 seconds, resting only 10 seconds in between. If doing multiple sets, rest 1-2 minutes between each 7 minute set. If you don’t have a timer, aim for 20 reps of each exercise, or 10 per side.
Make sure your body and muscles are warmed up.
Walk to the park, or run a few laps around the playground before starting.
One last piece of advice: FORM, FORM, FORM! Always choose quality over quantity. If you can only do 10 quality squats in 45 seconds, great! Only do ten. Go at your own pace! If you need more rest time, take it. Only you know your body. Push yourself, but don’t push it.
Level I: Do as pictured
Level II: Jump up out of squatting position and land back into a squat
Level III: Do on an unstable surface, like a bridge connecting one part of the playground to another
Level I: With hands on the ground, rest your knees on the ground, keeping a straight line from your hips to your shoulders
Level II: Do as pictured on an incline surface with toes on the ground
Level III: Do with feet and hands on the ground
Level I: Do on the ground
Level II: Do as pictured, off the side of a step
Level III: Find an unsteady surface, like a bridge
Level I: Do on stable surface at an incline, like stairs or a bench
Level II: Do on ground on either hands or elbows
Level III: Do as pictured, on an unstable surface
Level I: Do with body at an angle on a stable object, like stair rails or ladder
Level II: Do with body nearly parallel to ground on stair rails or ladder
Level III: Do on unstable object, as pictured, at an angle or more parallel to the ground
Level I: Use 15 lb infant
Level II: Use 30 lb toddler
Level III: Use 50 lb kid 😉
Stretching is so important. I can go in depth on all of the bio-chemical reasons why, but just know that stretching can increase the results of your workout and you’ll feel so much better too! Here are some good stretches for this workout.
Top Left: Quadriceps
Hold leg or ankle. Stand up straight.
Bottom Left: Calves
Go into a lunge position, but drive the rear heel into the ground.
Middle: Hamstrings, Back, and Obliques
Keeping your legs as straight as possible, touch toes with one or both hands.
Top Right: Chest
With palm facing out, lean into stretch, without feeling a pull on your shoulder.
Bottom Right: Triceps
Reach back and touch your back with one hand. With the other, gently pull your elbow.
I love modeling healthy choices for my kids. And they love when we can all ‘play’ together!
What exercises would you add to the list? Get creative and let me know!
These exercises can be done anywhere, anytime, no special equipment needed.
For exercises like plank, push-up, inverted row, tricep dip: you can adjust the intensity by changing your angle. The lower to the ground the harder it will be.
Have a big family gathering coming up this summer? You can modify this workout game to lighten up any occasion!
DISCLAIMER: Please do not participate in this workout if your doctor has advised you to abstain from exercise or avoid certain movements. Otherwise, this workout, when done with correct form, is safe for all types of moms and more!