Sick of the stuffy weight room? Stake out the nearest playground and let the sculpting games begin with this total-body plan
Remember when the only gym you knew was of the jungle variety? It didn't feel like work, but all that climbing and hanging torched tons of calories while strengthening your muscles. Return to recess with this rut-busting plan designed by Amy Bento Ross, a trainer in Norwalk, CT. "You'll use a slide and a swing to do familiar toners, which engages more muscle groups than performing them on flat ground," Ross says. "Plus, hefting your weight on the monkey bars and a bridge targets every inch of your upper body without dumbbells." Crank out these moves midway through a park run or do them in place of a regular sculpting session—and put the fun back in your fitness routine.
How it works: Twice a week, do 3 sets of each move in order, resting for up to 1 minute between each exercise.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Offset Squat
Stand with right foot on a slide and left foot on the ground beside it, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows at your sides and hold hands in fists. Squat, rise up to starting position, and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
2. Swing Through
Grasp the side rails of a bridge with hands slightly in front of you and stand with feet together on the walkway. Jump forward as you lift your legs to hip height or higher in front of you. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to starting position. That's one rep.
3. Split Lunge
Stand about 2 feet in front of a swing and place top of left foot on it; clasp hands in front of chest, elbows pointing down.
Bend knees until right thigh is parallel to the ground, pushing left leg slightly back. Rise up to starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
4. Hang Ten
Grasp a high bar with hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you. Jump up as you bend your elbows and pull yourself up until chin is above the bar and legs are extended toward the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to starting position.
5. Step Right Up
Stand facing a slide. Bend your elbows at your sides, hands in fists, and place right foot on slide.
Shift weight to right foot and rise up, lifting left leg out to the side as you extend arms to shoulder height out to sides, palms facing the ground. Reverse motion to return to starting position; repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
6. Plank-Pike Pushup
Get in plank position with your feet on a swing and your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground.
Lift hips straight up toward the sky, drawing feet toward arms so your body forms an inverted "V". Extend your body to starting position, then bend elbows, lowering chest toward the ground. Push up to starting position.