Train Your Muscles Without a Gym
Get to a nearby park and get in shape (safely).
Now that stay-at-home restrictions are easing, those of us interested in strong, healthy muscles but wearied by burpees in the living room may want to consider heading to the nearest reopened park or playground for weight training. Experts note that you can perform most standard exercises there if you’re willing to use your imagination — you can even recruit your children to help as giggling, resistance-adding workout partners. What follows are a few moves for a full-body, sun-drenched routine. (Wear a face mask, observe social distancing and use gloves or hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others, of course.)
For a lower-body workout, find a tree trunk.
In the park, look for a tree narrow enough to encircle with your arms. Hug it. Then squat, bottom out, knees bent to almost 90 degrees. Hold a few seconds and repeat the full squat or pulse shorter ones, moving up and down rapidly a few inches at a time.
Use a park bench as a step stool or dip bar.
Instead of lounging on it, a park bench (in good repair) can be used for for “step ups, box jumps and hands-elevated push-ups,” said Adam Rosante, a New York-based personal trainer.
Head to the monkey bars with your little helper.
One of the best resistance exercises, pull-ups work your entire upper body and midsection. You could use tree branches, but their health and carrying power can be suspect, so better to head for the monkey bars at the playground.
Tire yourself out with a tire swing.
Finally, bear in mind that to our muscles, weight is weight, Dr. Walker pointed out, whether it comes in the form of a barbell or a boulder — our biceps, glutes, quads and other muscles will strengthen and grow similarly in response to lifting either.
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