Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city


Why should children get to have all the fun? (Photo by Jillian O'Connor)

Exercises you can do at the playground

Here's how parents can create their own park workouts.

Who said playgrounds were only for kids? Spending quality time with your child and getting in a good workout usually seem like totally separate activities. But they don’t have to be, at least not at a playground.

Look around, there’s a variety of gym-worthy equipment to break a sweat on.  Just think of it as circuit training — with your kid nearby.

Here’s how to take advantage of these play toys!

BENCH: As much as you want to sit and relax for a moment, try this instead:

Step-Ups: Facing the bench, place your left foot on the seat and stand up, bringing your right knee up toward your chest. Step down to the ground with your right foot, then your left. Alternate sides.

Dips: Sit on edge of bench with your hands by your hips, palms flat and fingers curled over the rim. Walk your feet forward and scoot your rear off bench. Bend elbows 90 degrees directly behind you to dip, then press up again.  This one burns!

SWINGS: Get those legs pumping!

Split Squats: Stand with your back to a swing, about a foot or two away, and place the top of your left foot on the seat (sole facing up). Bend your right knee 90 degrees (knee centered over ankle) to lower into a lunge, then stand up. Switch legs.

MONKEY BARS:  Just swinging from these bad boys is a workout, here are some more options.

Jumping Pull Ups: Exactly what it sounds like.  Squat, then jump up and grab the bar to pull yourself up.

Hanging Abs: Grasp a single bar with both hands in an overhand grip, and hang with arms extended. Bring feet off the ground and curl bent knees toward chest.

TAKE A LAP:  Hey, why not?  Take a jog around the playground or even start a game of tag with your kiddo turning it into a family-fun exercise session!

This updated story was first published in August 2017.

More Outdoor Fun:

10 of the best Seattle-area parks for kids

14 parks for toddlers on Seattle’s Eastside

Local kids help design Seattle’s new waterfront playground on Pier 58

About the Author

Kate Neidigh