It was a LONG winter and we are all excited about spending some time outdoors! The park or playground is the perfect spot for the entire family to move together. While your kids are jumping, swinging and playing it is also a great opportunity for you to do the same with some adult variations. The same exercises and games that children do on the playground can be a challenging workout for an adult, not to mention FUN! I speak from experience. My 8 year old challenged me to do everything she did on a school playground. I made it 2 rounds following her course…….she played for well over an hour! A childs freedom of movement is amazing to watch and try! Try the following workout and let us know how you feel!
Warm-up for 5- 10 minutes. Run around the playground, jump rope, jump sqats, jumping jacks or burpees. Anything that gets your body warm, heart rate up and ready for exercise.
Squats – stand in front of a bench or steps and squat towards a 90 degree angle with the legs 10-15 reps
Monkey Bars – perfect spot for a set of pull-ups (change your grip to work different muscles) Underhand grip will target more biceps, overhand wide grip will target lats and rear shoulders, so mix it up or just trying moving across them like a child. Or challenge yourself or your child to see how long you can hang on the monkey bars in a flexed arm position. Do your best!
Step-Ups – alternate stepping up using power and control. Add a challenge by hopping up onto a step or bench (remember to step down softly). 10-15 each leg
Push-Ups and knee unders – a swing is also a great spot for atomic push-ups. Put your feet in the swing and assume the straight arm plank position. Do a set of push-ups, knee under or pikes. Try 10 of each variation
Swing – pull your navel to your spine and enjoy the ride. Do it until you or child gets board or you become nauseous 🙂
Tricep Dips – use a bench or step and dip towards a 90 degrees using the triceps. 10-15 reps
Play a round of tag with your child for 5-10 minutes
Either repeat this sequence and/or continue to play follow the leader with your child. Most importantly set the example for you child and have fun! Check out Core Sport’s owner Jaime White and fellow movement guru Benjamin Degenhardt playing in NYC!
Push-Ups are a great and effective way to strengthen the upper body. The important thing to remember is to keep the full body connection. Body is in a strong straight line from the head to heels. Arms are a little wider than shoulder width apart with the entire palm and all ten fingers actively pressing into the mat. The creases in your elbows should face each other. Shoulders are drawing down your back with your abs pulling in and up. Thighs and heels are actively squeezing together. Maintain these connection points as you move only the arms.
- Stand at the end of your mat with a tall lifted spine
- Keep the tailbone lengthening heavy to the floor
- Drop the weight of the head forward and round forward until your hands reach the floor
- Walk the hands out onto the mat until the body comes into a straight plank
- Keep the hands and arms actively pressing into the mat as you inhale and bend the arms lowering the body to the mat as far as you can control
- Exhale as you press the body back up. Repeat 3x
- Walk your hands back towards your feet and round back up
- Repeat the whole sequence 3-5x
The Seal is another rolling exercise similar to rolling like a ball and the open leg rocker. Difference is you are adding in the clap of the legs to start the roll back and while you are balancing. Start by just adding the clap at the beginning of the exercise if needed. Try to initiate and feel the clap of the legs from the deep scoop of the abs.
- Sit on the mat with your legs bent, heels together, toes long towards the mat and the knees apart
- Dive your hands between your legs and grab onto the outside of your ankles
- Keep the active press of the thighs and arms against each other
- Maintaining the deep scoop in the abs, lift the feet away from the mat so you are balancing
- Inhale, clap the legs from the hips 3x and roll back
- As your roll back the weight of the body is on the shoulders not the head
- Clap the legs 3x while balancing on the shoulders, exhale and roll back up. Repeat 6x
Side Kick Kneeling is similar to the side kick series we performed earlier but you are kneeling. This will be more challenging for your core stabilizers. Still focus on creating as much length in the thigh as possible and keep the waist long and lifted!
Side Kick Kneeling
- Kneel in the center of your mat with a tall lifted spine
- Place the left hand behind your head and extend the right arm out to side
- Plant the right hand onto the mat as the leg left extends to the side as high as you can lift it
- Your top hip should be stacked over your bottom knee and the shoulder over the wrist
- Maintain the active press of the arm into the mat as you inhale and kick the leg forward, exhale kick the leg back. Repeat 6x and then switch sides
The Mop Series is an excellent chest opening exercise. We thank Benjamin Degenhardt for teaching us this series that has helped many of our clients perfect their chest expansion! As you are moving through this series, image the poles are attached to springs for additional resistance. This is a great addition to the mat work that can be done at home with a pole, broom or mop!
The Mop Series
- Stand on the mat with a tall lifted spine
- Grab onto a stick, pole or mop shoulder width apart and hold at chest height
- Make an active fist around the pole and feel as though you are going to pull the pole apart – you should feel your arms and upper back
- Inhale as you press the pole down until it touches your thighs and image you are going to snap the pole across your thighs
- Hold the pole at your thighs as you look to the right, center, look left, center
- Exhale drag the pole back to chest height. Repeat 6x
From the teaser we move right into the hip twist. Your in the hip twist is to keep everything from the waist up stable as the legs are circling. Also, focus on keeping the chest lifted. The hip twist is a great way to stretch the lower back.
- From your teaser position, extend the arms behind you with the fingertips facing away or to the side. You can also prop yourself up on your elbows
- Legs are actively extending up to the ceiling at a 90 degree angle
- Keeping your ribcage tight and your abs pulling in, inhale as your begin to circle your legs to the right, down towards the mat to your point of control and exhale as your circle them left back to center
- Reverse the direction of the circle and repeat 3x to each side
- As you are circling the legs, try to bring the legs as close to your head as possible
Side kicks series challenges your stability while lying on your side. The closer the body is to a straight line from the crown of the head through your toes the more challenging it will be, so choose an angle that works for your body. As the leg is moving focus on creating as much length in the thigh as you can. Remember the more opposition and work you can put into your own body the more you will get out of each movement!
- Lie on your side in a straight line from the crown of your head down through your tailbone. From the hips the legs come forward towards the front corner of the mat
- Your top hand will actively press into the mat about 4 inches away from your chest.
- Actively draw your abs in – imagine you could slip a piece of paper between your waist and the mat
- Lift your top leg to hip height
- Kick the leg forward with control, kick the leg back with control. Repeat 6-10x on each side
The movement in “Saw” comes from the rotation of the spine not the hips and pelvis. Think of it as a “wringing” out of the abs. Also, try to create and maintain as much length from fingertip to fingertip. The deeper the work you can create in your own body the more you will get out of every movement!
- Sit on your mat with a tall stack spine, legs extended wider than hip width, feet flexed at the ankle joint and arms extended out to the side
- Inhale as you squeeze your glutes, pull your abdominals in and up and twist right as far as possible – remember the twist comes from the rotation of the spine!
- Exhale as you round over the left leg reaching your left arm towards the outside of the right leg. Right arm is reaching and lifting back behind you as far as possible
- Inhale as you stack your spine back to your starting position and repeat twisting left.
- Repeat 3x to each side
Open leg rocker is another great rolling exercise similar to “rolling like a ball” but with straight legs. Try to focus on finding the stability aspect of this exercise first before you add in the movement. Be careful as you are rolling not to place the weight onto your head and neck and don’t let momentum control the movement.
Open Leg Rocker
- From the spine stretch forward position, begin to round back onto the mat
- As you are rolling back, lift the legs away from the mat using your abs
- Grab onto your legs as close to the ankles as possible
- Your goal as you move through this exercise is to keep your legs and arms completely straight
- Inhale and deeply draw the abdominal wall in creating a deep scoop in the lower abs and lift the chest
- Exhale roll back maintaining your position and your connection
- Inhale rolling back up with control. Repeat 3-6x