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A Playground Workout for Bored Moms: Not Just Child's Play!

Family Workout

Bored at the playground? Instead of refreshing your Facebook feed 874 times in one hour, try sneaking in some exercise while your kids caper with this fun and challenging playground workout!

Outdoor Apathy

Let's admit it. The playground is so intensely boring that you find yourself doing some not-so-normal things. You split the ends of your hair. You chip away at your fingernail polish with your nails until it actually starts hurting. You make a list in your mind of people who are hot but also kind of gross.

You call your best friend. You call your mom. You text your husband a medium-racy text. You google homemade hair bleach.

You wish you had iced coffee. You wish you had chips. You wish you had wasabi peas. You think about the word "turnstile" until it's not a word anymore.

You stare at another mom's butt encased in awesome high-waisted pastel bell bottoms. God, where did she get those?

Mama's Out To Lunch

Maybe it would be better if I were cheering the kids on at the monkey bars, building sand castles, or making up wholesome nature games that would nourish their little brains and bodies. But I'm not. I'm usually a pretty interactive mom, but something about the playground makes me weird. At the local jungle gym, you can often find me slumped on a bench as slack-jawed and glassy-eyed as an underfed zombie. It's just that I don't really need to do anything anymore. Gone are the days when I had to hover near my one-year-old to keep him from getting decapitated by a rogue chair swing. These days I just park my butt on a bench and only intervene when someone starts screaming.

Losing the Lethargy

But what about all this time I'm wasting? While jiggling my foot impatiently the other day, thinking of the killer spin class I was missing, inspiration struck. I was surrounded by workout equipment! Why not fling off the ennui and use the time to do a serious workout while still keeping an eye on my kids?

I researched a little bit and was pretty disappointed with what I found. I don't have the time or patience to do things that don't actually get my heart rate up or build lean muscle mass. I also don't want to do anything so time consuming or intense that it keeps me from safely watching over the kids. Clearly, I needed to take matters into my own hands. So, I took my boys to Shane's Inspiration Playground in Griffith Park (one of our favorite playgrounds here in L.A.) and tried out some moves. I came up with a playground workout that's short and to the point, but more than child's play.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Use this video as a jumping- off point to come up with your own routine and see what works best for you. You could do these exercises in a circuit to rev up your heart rate, or separate them into sets of reps for a more focused approach. Some of this workout routine involves using the kids as your resistance weight. My boys went seriously bananas for that. They couldn't wait to be part of the action. Here are the moves, edited down into a single outdoor fitness exercise video for you to try out.

Playground Workout

From the Organic Authority Files

Bench Jumps

  • Elevates heart rate
  • Works quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves

Swing Pike and Push-Ups

  • Works core, shoulder, biceps, triceps, chest, and upper back

Weighted One Legged Squat

  • Works quads, hamstrings, and glutes

Triceps Dips

  • Works triceps and shoulders

Weighted Squats

  • Works quads, hamstrings, and glutes

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Image and Video: Sarah Olive Bergeson

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