10 Exercises You Can Do at a Playground and Get a Full Body Workout

Finding time to do exercise is a legit concern for some and exuse for many others, what about you? We all have responsibilities and those that require our time. In this article we will share with you playgound exercises that will give you a full body workout while hanging out at the part with your kid or niece or newphews.

It is often challenging to find time to exercise, especially when you have kids. I enjoy exercising and yet struggle to find the way to fit it into my every day life.

The great news is when you take your kids to the park, you can use the equipment that is free for all at the park and use it for a great exercise. Continue reading this article and we will share with you some veru unique ways you can exercise at the playground.

Rope Climb

A close look at a woman's hands as she hangs on a thick rope.

The rope climb is a great exercise if you can find a rope at the playground, you should use it. Many playgrounds today have ropes. This exercise is great for your core, biceps, shoulders, and quads. Basically, this exercise works your entire body. You can use a rope or even a climbing bar to do this exercise.

There are two ways you can climb a rope. You can do legless rope climbs without using your arms. You can also use your legs and arms to pull you up the rope. You can climb up to the top of the rope, jump down, and then climb back up again.

Bench Dips

A woman doing bench dips at a public park.


This is a classic movement that can even be done on a regular park bench. whenever the feeling hit you. This is a great exercise that you can do on a playgound bench. This movement works your triceps and can be done just about anywhere when the mood hits you.

The way to complete this exercise is to face out and away from the bench. You must put your knees at a 90-degree angle. You must keep your arms straight. Then you dip down until your arms become parallel to the ground. After that, you return to the start position. You must keep your back straight and tighten your core to maximize the benefits of this exercise. You continue to repeat this movement for a predermined amount of time.

A slight modification to this exercise can make it a little more challenging is to attempt to keep your legs straight. You still keep your arms straight and do the same dipping motion until your arms are parallel to the ground.

Crunches on Monkey Bars

This is a relatively simple exercise that can be down with monkey bars. Crunches isolate and work the abdominal muscles. This is the ideal exercise for someone wanting a six pack. (If you are looking for the real secret to developing you six pack, you can find it here) As for crunches do more than work your abs.

They also strengthen your low back and obliques muscles, as well as the rest of your core. Strengthening these muscles helps to improve your posture and your balance. This particular exercise adds an extra twist to the crunches. They also work your arm muscles since you are literally hanging for monkey bars.

The way this exercise is performed is you hang from the monkey bar and be careful not to swing. This should be a slow and controlled movement. If you are swinging all over the place, the intended muscles are not getting the work out intented.

Once you are able to control yourself and not swing, then using your ab muscles, you pull your legs up and bring them as close to your chest as you can get them. Then you should lower your legs until the tips of your toes are touching the ground. You should control this movement the entire time. Then you continue to lift and lower your legs for a set period of time.

Slide Climb

This exercise includes using a slide at the playground. You should consider doing this exercise early in the morning before there are many people and children at the park. This involves you using a piece of equipment that is heavily used by little ones at the park. This particular exercise works your biceps and shoulders, as well as your quads and hamstrings.

The way that you complete this exercise is to grab both side of the slide firmly. This is important because you do not want to slip and fall off the slide. Then you begin to walk step by step up the slide. In addition to this exercise strengthening shoulders and thighs, this is a great core workout. By strengthening these muscles, you are increasing your agility.

Park Push Ups

Push ups have always been the most popular upper body workout. They work your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles. If you use proper form when doing push ups, you can also strengthen your back and entire core muscles.

Make sure you engage your ab muscles while doing push ups to get the most out of your exercise. Push ups can be done anywhere and you can use playground equipment to modify them to make them harder or easier.

The basic push up without any type of modification or changes starts on the ground. Start in a kneeling position with your feet together and on the floor. Then put yourself into a high plank position with your hands just above your shoulders and slightly outside of them. You want to make sure that your fingers are facing forward. You can also turn your hand in slightly, if that is more comfortable.

You want to make sure your back is flat and abs are tight. Make sure to keep your body straight and tight. You should keep your weight on your toes. Then you slowly lower your body to the floor and bending your elbows at a 90 degree angle.

Be sure that you do not let your hips dip down or move them forward. You also want to make sure that you keep your elbows by your side. You do not want them to fan out. Keep going down to the ground until your chest or chin touches the ground. After that, push back up into the starting position.

One of the modifications you can make to a push up to make it a bit easier is to put your knees on the ground. You do the exact same thing with your arms. You should keep your thighs off the ground. The only parts of your body that should touch the ground are your hands and knees.

Another way to help make this movement easier and get you off the ground is to use a piece of playground equipment. You can use a park bench, or lean on some other piece of equipment. You hold on to the back of the bench, or put your hands flat on the equipment. Walk your feet out behind you. Keep in mind that the further you walk your feet out behind you, the harder the movement will be.

Bench Step Ups

This exercise is a great cardio workout that also works your leg muscles. It can be an explosive workout that gives your quads a beating. You can use a park bench, or a high curb to do this exercise. There are multiple versions and modifications to this simple exercise. The first version is you stand facing the bench and you alternate the leg that is stepping up on the bench.

When you face the bench, you should put a light bend in your knees and lift one leg and put your foot down on the bench. The foot that is flat on the bench should press into the bench and you step up onto it. You should then step down from the bench with the same leg that you used to step up. Then alternate legs. Continue to do this for a certain period of time.

An alternative to this exercise and one that is more cardio intensive is instead of stepping up on to the bench, you jump on to the bench. You use the same equipment to do this exercise. You still stand in front of the bench with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Put a slight bend in your knees and your weight in your heels, prepare yourself to jump up on the bench. You then jump onto the bench while focusing on landing softly with your knees bent. You can either step or jump back down from the bench. If you choose to jump down, this will keep your heart rate up.

Monkey Bar Work

This type of exercise does need monkey bars. This can be referred to as leg lifts, hanging leg raise, or leg up and downs. This is considered to be a more advanced exercise, so you may want to consider working up to it. This exercise isolates your hip flexors and abdominal muscles. This is a different from the way crunches and sit ups isolate the abdominal muscles.

The way you do this exercise is to grab on to the monkey bars and hang from them. You then lift both legs up to a 90 degree angle. You move both legs up and then put them back down. To make this exercise much harder, lift only one leg at a time. When you put the one leg down, then you lift the other leg. Lifting one leg at a time is incredibly challenging and it is much harder than it looks. Keep in mind, you are not bending your legs and brining your knees into your arm pits.

Knee Tuck

You will need a swing to complete this exercise. A knee tuck on a swing is a whole body workout. It works your arms, shoulders, chest, abs, back, and quads. You want to make sure you feel comfortable doing this movement before you attempt a large number of them. You start kneeling on the ground in front of the swing. You want to be about one to two feet away from it. You also want to make sure you are facing away from the swing.

Then put one foot at a time on the swing until you are in a high plank position. You engage your core by pulling your knees into your chest. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders. You want to be slow and controlled with this movement. Once your knees are to your chest, you slowly straighten your legs back to the start position. You can do several reps of this movement, or you can choose to hold the plank for 30 seconds.

Monkey Bar Climb

A man climbing through the monkey bars.


If you ever watched kids on a monkey bar, they make it look so easy, but it really is not. For an adult, it becomes a little more difficult. It takes a lot of grip strength and core strength to move across the monkey bars. You have to do it without using any momentum for it to really be effective.

While you are learning how to go across monkey bars again, you may need some momentum, but you want to work towards not using it and having better control. You must grab the monkey bars with both hands and hang from the first one. Then you reach out for the next one and continue to reach hand over hand until you get to the end.

See Saw Balance

A girl balancing in the middle of the seesaw.

This exercise can use a see saw or anything else that is slightly off balance. The key is to work on your balance and your core. If you feel that you can stand on the object with two feet and remain balanced, then try standing on it with only one foot. Stand on one foot for 30 seconds and switch feet. You will most likely find that you are better able to balance on or the other foot. Most of us have a side that is stronger and better able to balance.