Your kids are running, climbing, jumping and working up a sweat as they chase each other around the playground. So why not take this opportunity to get your blood pumping, too?
With just a few moves, using your own body weight, you can sneak in a full-body workout while you’re supervising on the sidelines.
Stephanie Katona, founder of Toronto’s SKLPT Your Body personal training, suggests performing four exercises in a circuit: push-ups and tricep dips, both using a park bench, to work the upper body, and alternating step-back lunges and body-weight squats for the lower body. Do each exercise for either 30 seconds or 15 reps, and after completing all four, take a full-minute break before repeating them all again.
1. Push-ups: Start in a plank position, with your hands on the park bench, shoulder-width apart. Keep a flat back and maintain a tight core as you lower your chest toward the bench and push back up using your triceps.
2. Tricep dips: Flip over so you’re facing upward and place your hands behind you on the bench. With your back nearly touching the bench, you can either bend your knees with your feet on the floor, or extend your legs straight for a greater challenge. Drop your buttocks down toward the ground, and push back up through your triceps.
3. Lunges: Take a step straight backward, keeping your hips squared to the front and your core tight. Make sure your front knee stays behind your toes, so you’re not bending too far forward. Push back up with your front heel, bringing your weight forward to a standing position, and alternate legs. If you want more of a challenge and don’t have any knee issues, do jumping lunges, where you jump as you alternate legs.
4. Squats: Keep your legs shoulder-width apart, and push your hips back as though you’re about to sit down into a chair. When have lowered to 90 degrees, push up through the heels to engage the glutes as you stand back up. To add some variation, you can turn your feet out to the sides to perform “sumo” squats. Again, if you don’t have knee issues, you can jump between squats to increase the intensity. Make sure you land softly.
Katona recommends repeating the full circuit four to five times.
“It’s a pretty effective way to get a good workout in,” she says.
With time, you may even get fit enough to keep up with the kids.