Cross-training at the Playground

Today is my ‘day off’ from running and is when I spend some quality time with my daughter.

We particularly like to go to the park. It has climbing frames with monkey bars, chain ladders, wobbly walkways, tunnels, assorted slides, a rock wall (kids size) and a rope climbing frame. Perfect for little ones to run around. But what should the adults do? Stand around and watch? I don’t think so…

Monkey bars are great for pull ups. Get thirty or so of those in. Then flip your legs up between the bars and hang upside down, then you can do inverted sit-ups. Make sure you stop while you can still sit-up otherwise you’ll be stuck upside down! Go and find one of the long vertical posts and monkey climb up it. By this I mean put you hands around the back of the pole and walk your feet up. Today was the first time I was brave enough to try this and it was cool. Try jumping down from different heights and platforms. Gradually build up the height you are jumping from because you’ll have to regain your childhood bravado for this. Get on the rock wall and climb up and over it a few times. If there are high railings with an angle on them, grab a post in each hand and climb up by swinging side to side. Don’t forget to play with you kid for a while too…

Then there are the things that the kids aren’t supposed to do in the play area. Those suspended crawl tubes; climb up on top of them and balance across. Use a beam or the top of the monkey bars to make progress across the playground. Run up the slides and jump off the tops of them.

Take your time. When you are no longer a child it takes a while to get strong enough and limber enough to do these things, but I can assure you that they are great fun!

The idea for doing this sort of exercise came from my childhood, some parkour (‘park’-our? Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) videos, and the excellent blog and training programme that is Nerd Fitness; read it, follow it, live it.

My daughter and I followed this with a quick 15 mile bike ride (her in the trailer) and then a well-earned lunch at Qdoba. Yum-yum.

I like my days off.


2 thoughts on “Cross-training at the Playground

  1. rjgwent

    I’m just on the chins at the moment. sets of 12 and also some short sets weighted, my little ones standing on my toes for a lift up. That makes for more productive adult time at the park.


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