What do you see when you see a park bench? As a place to sit, or something more?
It’s often difficult to understand how you see things until you’ve got a comparison. Recently, I was out with my two year old and after quite a tough morning (he had stolen all my resilience and energy), I pointed to the bench a few metres away and said, “Oh look, let’s go and sit down and have a nice rest.” “LET’S JUMP OFF IT!” he yelled in response. I saw it as a place to rest. He view it as some sort of climbing frame.
How often do we pass by everyday objects and see them as we know them. We’re missing out on so much. I love that kids see the potential in everything. We complain about not being able to get a workout in, not realising that we can potentially work out everyday, much of the time. Just not in the traditional sense of a workout.
We don’t need to be in a gym to get sweaty. Hands up if you’ve gotten quite out of breath carrying or chasing after your child? The next time you’re out in the park and they’re playing nicely (ha! I’m still waiting for the day… my kids score high on the feral factor) on the grass, try some of these moves on the bench.
Mixing up your traditional workouts with snippets of exercises throughout the day, or doing something you wouldn’t normally, such as this Park Bench workout, has real benefits.
Park bench workout
This is a full body workout, challenging your core, your shoulders and arms, and legs. Try 45 seconds for each exercise, 3 – 6 sets.
Using the back of the bench reduces the weight you’re lifting which is great to help you nail your technique or if you’ve still got weak core muscles or are unable to control your intra-abdominal pressure. Keep your shoulders, hips and feet in line (don’t let your bum dip) and with your abdominal muscles engaged, exhale as you press back to your start position. If you want to make this more challenging place your hands on the seat of the bench. Try this with your fingers pointing slightly inwards and your elbows bending to the side, and also with your fingers facing forward and your elbows pointing towards your hips.
A great core exercise for those who are newly postnatal or still working on feeling their stomach muscles. Press your hands together in prayer and keep applying pressure throughout. Sit tall and as you inhale, lift one knee up. Exhale to place it back down with control. Alternate legs.
Great for the core and shoulders. In a high plank position with your hands on the back of the bench, engage your abdominal muscles and trying to keep your hips steady, exhale and raise one arm out in front of you. Hold it here for a split second, then place it back down. Alternate arms.
This one is trickier than it looks! With your hands on the bench and your glutes squeezed so you’re in a reverse table-top position, touch your opposite foot with your hand. Return to your start position and switch sides. Try to keep your hips as still as possible and make the movement as controlled as you can. If you want to increase the challenge, add in a cheeky tricep dip before your toe tap.
Sit with your bum on the edge of the seat and place your hands over the edge for stability. Draw your knees into your chest one by one and keeping your back straight and your chest open, drop one foot to the ground slowly before returning it to its start position. Alternate sides.
A bench classic. I’m not sure I’ve ever need people doing a bench workout without tricep dips. Try to place your hands shoulder-width apart and avoid your elbows coming higher than your shoulders. Exhale as you straighten your arms.
How was it? If you tried this park bench workout out for yourself, be sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram @thewarriormethod