Workout in the Park!

By Michelle Kennedy

This strength-training routine is sure to get your heart pumping. All you need is a park bench (preferably with no back), a stop watch, a water bottle and a nice crack in the sidewalk! Let’s get started:


1. Speed walk for 3 minutes.


2. Do leg lifts for 60 seconds: Sit on the edge of the bench, hands next to your hips. Your stomach should be tight, your head neutral. Extend your left leg out, tighten your muscles and lift the leg until it’s parallel to the ground. Slowly lower to the ground and repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides for another 30.


3. Move on to heel raises for 30 seconds: Stand on top of the bench with heels extended out from the edge. Lower one heel until you feel a stretch. Lift back up and repeat on opposite side. You can also do this on the side of a curb as well.


4. Jump “rope” over the sidewalk crack for 60 seconds: If jumping is too vigorous, slow it down and do a quick side-to-side step. And, of course, if you’re comfortable using an actual jump rope, do so.


5. Do push ups for 20 seconds: Place the palms of your hands on the edge of the bench. Extend your legs behind you. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the bench. Straighten arms and repeat.


6. Jump “rope” for 60 seconds.


7. Try tricep extensions for 30 seconds: Grab your water bottle, then lie face up on the bench. Hold the water bottle in your right arm and extend toward the sky, palm facing in. With your left hand, hold onto to your right elbow (your thumb will be in the crook). Slowly bend your right arm to 90°, then return to start. Repeat for 15 seconds on each side.


8. Jump “rope” for 60 seconds


9. Do reverse flys for 30 seconds: Lie face-down on the bench, arms extended out to the sides. Pull your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower back down and repeat.


10. Try Supermans for 30 seconds: While you’re still on your stomach, raise your hands above your head and keep your legs straight. Your head should be in a neutral position. Lift your head, shoulders and legs at the same time as though you’re flying. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Return to start and repeat.


11. Jump “rope” for 60 seconds.


12 Do bicep curls for 40 seconds: Sit on the edge of the bench with your stomach tight and head neutral. Hold your water bottle in your left and extend your arm toward the ground. Then lift it back up toward your shoulder. Continue for 20 seconds then switch arms.


13. Jump “rope” 60 seconds


14. Move on to lateral raises for 60 seconds: Stand straight, abdominal muscles tight, with your arms at your sides. Lift your arms up until they’re even with your shoulders, pause, then lower and repeat.


15. Speed walk for 2 minutes. Done!

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