Full-Body Playground Workout

Who needs a gym to exercise? A trip to the playground is all it takes for moms to get in better shape.

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Jason Todd

This convenient full-body workout from Tina Vindum, owner of Outdoor Fitness, in Marin County, California, will have you toned up in no time. Your children also benefit, since they're more likely to be active if they see you break a sweat regularly -- especially if it looks like fun. And this is one workout that doesn't seem like "work" at all!


Swing Crisscross

Targets: Abs


Sit on a swing and hold the chains, then lean back about 45 degrees. Extend your legs straight in front of you with your feet together and toes pointed. Open your legs slightly to form a V, then cross your left calf over your right, contracting your core muscles to keep the swing as still as possible. Return to V position for one count, then cross your right calf over your left to complete the set. Do 12 to 15 sets.

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Jungle-Gym Pull-Up

Jungle-Gym Pull-Up

Targets: Back and biceps


Using an underhand grip, grasp a jungle-gym bar that's 3 to 4 feet high. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and extend your legs in front of you until your chest is under the bar; place your feet hip-width apart. Pull your chest close to the bar by drawing your elbows alongside your ribs. Straighten arms and repeat. Aim to do five pull-ups; work up to 12 to 15.

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Slide Lunge

Jason Todd

Slide Lunge

Targets: Butt and thighs


Stand facing away from the slide and rest your left foot on the bottom of it; place your hands on your hips. Bend your right knee until your right thigh is almost parallel to the ground, but don't let your knee move farther forward than above your toes. Return to starting position by pressing through your right heel. Do 12 to 15 reps, then repeat with the other leg.

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Jungle-Gym Standing Push-Up

Jason Todd

Jungle-Gym Standing Push-Up

Targets: Chest, shoulders, and triceps


Stand arm-length away from the jungle gym, with feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on a bar that's no higher than your chest. Keeping your body straight and your weight on your toes, bend your elbows until your chest nearly touches the bar. Do 12 to 15 push-ups.

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Lateral Leg Lift

Jason Todd

Lateral Leg Lift

Targets: Hips, outer thighs, and waist


Stand alongside a step so it's on your right side and place your right foot on it; rest hands on hips. Press through your right foot to raise yourself up until your right leg straightens as you simultaneously extend your left leg to the side with foot flexed. Do 12 to 15 lifts, then repeat on the other side.

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Bench Dip

Jason Todd

Bench Dip

Targets: Shoulders and triceps


Sit on a bench and grip the edge with your hands shoulder-width apart. Scoot off the bench and extend your legs in front of you, bending your knees slightly. Bend your elbows and lower your butt a few inches toward the ground, keeping your back close to the bench; slowly press back up. Do 12 to 15 reps.


Originally published in Parents magazine.


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