I find it interesting that when I pass by the playgrounds the parents are sitting watching the kids play. Parents are often on cell phones or reading books, often they are smoking and drinking soda. Instead of just sitting observing, get off your butt and have some fun.
As a competitor in short sprint distance and long distance races such as tri’s, running races, and obstacle races I find the use of a playground to be very beneficial to enhance my performance. So what type of things can you do at a playground? When you get to the playground locate the monkey bars, balance beams, and the monkey bar domes (if they have them). Other things to look at are off center bars, fences, and swing sets.
There are many different ways to use the items and I will outline a few of them. What I want you to take away from this though is that there is no wrong way of having fun and training, except getting hurt. Some people do not go out and play since they will feel “stupid” or are worried that others will look at them. So what, tell them you’re training for a warrior dash or tough mudder.
Method 1 – pick a starting point, sprint to an obstacle, and do a specific exercise. Continue this until you have reached the desired number. Not sure on what to do, then take the mud and guts circuit and use the exercises.
Method 2– same as method one except actually do the exercise, do the obstacle, such as monkey bars, then sprint to the next one. To make this tougher, do the exercise again after you do the obstacle.
Method 3 – Sprint like in method two but no exercises and time yourself.
As you can see this can go on and on, mixing and matching etc.
Fences – Playgrounds that have tall and short fences. You can use both of these either to climb or hop over to increase agility.
Swing sets – You can do several things, swing and jump off, you see kids do this but it helps promote jumping, landing and getting use to heights. Climb the poles which teach hand strength , coordination and confidence.
Monkey bars – Do the monkey bars, change grips, speed, etc also used for doing chin ups and pull ups.
Balance beams and curbs – Walk them, run them, side step them.
Uneven bars, domed monkey bars and any other thing – Climb them, pull up on them, it doesn’t matter, just get on them and play.