Sometimes it’s great to be outdoors. If that feeling hits at the time when you’d usually be throwing iron around the room, consider taking a few things down to your local park. It makes a great change.
As with the beach, the park has all of the usual advantages of simply working out outdoors. You can throw things around and make a lot of noise without attracting the same type of attention that you’d get in a commercial gym. You’re less likely to break things through being in a confined space, and you may get a little motivation from passers-by. Always great.
Parks vary widely in terms of the facilities they offer (and therefore of the exercises they lend themselves to), but some of the things worth keeping an eye out for are :
- Large flat areas with reasonably hard, stable surfaces (car parks are good, when they’re not busy) for various types of sprints
- Overhead bars and frames for the many types of chin-ups and reverse dips
- Large flat grassed areas for sled work
- Quiet road or car park (and a workout partner to control the vehicle) for car/truck pushing
- Closed-off area of sand or dirt (and no, not someone’s garden) for throwing kettbells and dumbells
- Picnic tables for lifting and various bodyweight exercises.
Some exercises – such as kettlebell swings and snatches, clubbell work and medicine ball throwing – can be done almost anywhere.
The gear you take will naturally depend on what you have in the home gym, as well as the facilities the local park offers. A few things you may like to have handy are :
- thick rope (at least 2″, and 30’40’ long) for sled drags, climbing and rope pull-ups
- sled (this can be weighted down with any of the other heavy gear you take, such as sandbag or kettlebells) for dragging
- medicine ball or two
As you can see, much of the equipment listed here will come in handy for other home workouts, and is fairly cheap and easy to obtain. Alternately, if you’re DIY inclined, take a look at instructions for making a medicine ball, a sandbag and a whole lot more.
See it in action
A bit of video may give you that final bit of inspiration (although if the weather’s anything like it is here, you won’t need that – it’s great). To get you started, try these :
- A day in the park.
Zach Even-Esh is at it again.
- A Spartan workout
Although many of the exercises in this video were performed indoors, there’s no reason to not do them in the park. In particular the restricted sprints – a tree, bands and a kettlebell are your friends.
- The next generation
Training younger athletes.
- Kettlebell certification video
Grab two kettlebells and walk like a bear.
- Circus freaks
A bit of Parkhour.
- Bodyweight culture
Find a fixed bar and have some fun.