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6 Ways to Turn Your Local Playground into a Gym

  • Martin Rusch

    Upgrade Your Push-Up

    For extra waist cinching, add a balance challenge to your push-ups by using these parallel bars found in many parks instead of cranking out those reps on the ground. Bonus: By grasping the bars, you put less pressure on your wrists than when your palms are pressed flat. (You can replicate that wrist-friendly method at home by simply setting a pair of dumbbells on the floor shoulder-width apart.) If perching your toes on the parallel bars is too tough, simply step feet together on the ground in between for a slight incline push-up.

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  • Martin Rusch

    Up Your Heart Rate

    Use the line markings on the basketball or other court to create your own circuit workout. Choose two lines that are a good sprint-distance apart then make each behind-the-line area your base for doing boot camp moves like burpees, planks, bicycle crunches, lunges, squats, triceps dips and jumping jacks. Do 15 reps of whichever move you choose, then sprint to cross the line on the other side. Repeat, choosing another move for 15 reps and sprinting back to your starting line. Continue for 10 minutes for a short and sweaty high-intensity workout.

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  • Martin Rusch

    Mix It Up

    Be a kid! All those old-school monkey bars and sand pits are great fodder for making up your own moves, whether it's tightrope walking the low-to-ground rails or swinging from bar to bar for a serious arm workout. Plus, playground workouts burn about 322 calories per hour, the equivalent of low-impact aerobics.

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  • Martin Rusch

    Play a Game

    Remember the game Twister? You never knew it through the silliness but holding those variations on tabletop and bridge poses were giving you abs and buns of steel. Lift your heels to rise on tiptoes and you're working your calves. Try it tabletop with one hand lifted and you'll challenge your obliques. Better yet, challenge your friends to a round of the classic board game next time you're picnicking in the park.

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  • Martin Rusch

    DIY Obstacles

    Parkour anyone? The trendy workout movement involves turning any environment into your own personal obstacle course. Pull-up bars present the potential for swinging or shimmying from one end to the other like so as if you're 007 in an action scene.

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  • Martin Rusch

    Shoot Some Hoops

    Don't forget to bring a basketball to the blacktop—simply shooting hoops will burn about 290 calories per hour. Get a casual game going with some friends and now you're burning about 387 calories per hour.

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