Workout: Day 25
It's back to the park for the last time this week, so make it count. Run through that entire park workout (park bench step ups, slide lunges, bar pull-ups) and push like your pants are on fire.
Now I don't know how far away this park is, but if you can run the entire way there and back, then do it. Don't feel bad if you can't...I'll reiterate that running isn't for everyone. It may be years before you become a runner but try and stick with it.
Options for using these exercises:
Here are three basic ways to use these exercises, and they’re all fine. Mixing it up between sessions is fine too:
1. Stick to one exercise before moving on to another, taking a break between sets.
2. Alternate back and forth between two exercises without a break
between sets or with a very short break. When you’re done with those
two, move on to another two.
3. Make it a full circuit. Do one set then move to the next exercise for
the next set, then the next exercise and so on. Try and do the circuit
three full times.
4. Between sets run laps around the park to add in a good aerobic
component. This will really get your heart rate up and burn lots of
5. You can do this park workout just once a week to mix things up with
your other exercise endeavours, or, if you really like it, make it a
staple of your routine that you do three to four times a week.
Park bench push-up
The park bench push-up is great for women
as some find it challenging to do a push-up flat on the ground and
maintain good form. Using this method reduces some of the gravitational
force because of the easier angle, but it’s still a great exercise. As
you can see in the link above, they are using the sitting part of the
bench, which makes it more challenging. If you put your hands on the
backrest portion, which is higher off the ground, it becomes easier.
Here are some tips on technique:
- Feet firmly planted and hip-width apart.
- Engage those core muscles and keep your body aligned.
- Make sure you have a firm grip on the bench. You don’t want to slip and be in for some costly dental work.
- Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
- Don’t go too quickly or too slowly. One to two seconds each direction
is great. Try to keep some tension on the muscles and don’t use much in
the way of inertia.
- If you can do more than 12 then it’s too easy. You need an angle that
gets your face closer to the ground to increase the resistance. Shoot
for each set being in the six to 12 range.
Note that it doesn’t have to be a park bench, but can be part of a play apparatus that you hold onto.
For the rest of these exercises, remember the tips above about engaging
the core, how to breathe, the number of reps and the length of time for
Monkey bar rows and chin-ups
here is to find a bar in the park that your chin is higher than. It has been my experience that most women can't do a
chin-up. Now, this is nothing to be ashamed of or a statement of judgement. The higher centre of gravity makes it much tougher. It's for this reason that putting your legs into the equation helps remove
just the right amount of weight to make a chin-up challenging, but not
For using a bar like this in a chin-up fashion, assume a typical chin-up position, but note that your feet will stay on the ground throughout. Rely as
much as you can on your upper body muscles to complete the chin-up, but
use your legs as necessary to take off just the right amount of weight.
First off, DON’T do it this way. That puts your shoulders in a dangerous position. Instead, do it like this guy is.
Again, doing triceps dips (remember breathe in on the way down and out
on the way up) where you support all your body weight can be very
challenging for women – just like with the chin-ups. For that reason you
need to find a set of bars that are close enough to the ground so that
you can use your legs to take off just the right amount of body weight
to make it smooth and doable.
Park bench step ups
Take a look at the picture in the above link. You’re going to start with
two feet on the ground, then at the mid point both feet will be on the
bench, then you’ll finish with two feet on the ground. The National
Strength and Conditioning Association is pretty uptight about the order
in which this movement works.
1. Leading leg places entire foot on the bench.
2. Shift your body weight to the lead leg and then bring your trailing leg onto the bench.
3. Step off bench with SAME trailing leg.
4. Step off bench with leading leg.
5. After six to 12 reps, switch leading leg.
The trick with a good lunge is keeping your balance, your core muscles
tight and activated and going up and down in a smooth motion. Focus most
of your weight on the heel of your front foot. Also, while you want to
avoid excessive forward movement of the knee, it's ok to have a little weight go over.
Don’t forget to switch forward legs to do both sides.