Don't be left out!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swing Set Workout

Now a days it seems like I can turn anything into a piece of workout equipment including your backyard swing set.  Who says the kids get to have all the fun?

I know a lot of parents are short on time, stuck at home with sick kids or even just feel guilty leaving your family to workout.  Don't let those excuses get in your way.  You don't need fancy gym equipment or a ton of time to get a great resistance workout.  In just a few minutes of performing these moves I was feeling the burn.  More importantly than the workout itself is to think about the example you're setting for the little eyes watching you.  Let them join in- the added resistance my little man provided on the sit-ups was tough!

Most of the moves are performed just like you would if you were on a suspension trainer, like TRX.  If you've never used a suspension trainer it's important to remember to keep your core tight the entire time.  Your shoulders, hips and knees should be in a nice plank position regardless of the move.

Here is how to set/up and perform each move:

Bottom Left 

Push up on swing:  Lower the seat of the swing until it sits at mid-calf height.  When you sit down and point your toes straight into the air the swing should sit right above your toes.  Place your feet into the swing face down.  With hands directly under your shoulders and tight plank position throughout your core, lower down into a push up.  Raise back up into plank position with feet still in the swing.

Atomic Push up: Repeat the steps mentioned above for a push up.  In between push ups, bring your knees to your chest and extend back out.

Pike: Starting in a strong plank position with your feet in the swing, raise your hips up as high as possible or until your hips are over your head.  (This always makes me feel like I'm going to tip backwards so I stop a little short).

Top Left

Bicep curl: Set the bar at shoulder height. While facing the bar, grab it and bring your hands up to your temples. Keeping your elbows up and core engaged extend your arms out straight.  Using your biceps pull your self back to the starting position.  Remember elbows should stay stationary.  Adjust your footing as needed to help control the resistance.

Top Right

Hamstring Curl: Laying face up, place your feet in the swing.  I found it more stable to have the soles of my feet pressing down). Raise your hips up off the ground and pull your heels in towards your butt.

Sit up: With your feet still in the swing, engage your core and sit up.  Lower slowly back down to starting position

Bottom Right: 

Chin up/Negative chin up:  Raise the bar to the highest link and use it for chin ups.  If you're unable to complete a chin up, jump to the top and lower yourself down as slowly as possible (pictured).

Tricep Push: Facing the bar, grab it with your palms facing away from you.  As with the bicep curl, start with your hands at your temples.  Keeping your elbows stationary push away from the bar.  Return slowly to the starting position.  Again, adjust your footing as needed to control resistance.

Superman: In good plank position, start with a small squat (optional) and extend your hands out slightly, pushing the bar upwards.  You should feel this mostly in your core (and probably some shoulders).

You can perform these moves in any sequence you'd like.  A few variations may include performing each move for three sets of 30 seconds work with 30 seconds rest in between or you could choose to complete each move for a set number of repetitions such as 3x10.

As an added bonus use a deck or front door step for step ups to get cardio benefits as well!

*Music in video: Paramore, "Ain't it Fun".  Please don't hate me for using copyrighted material.  I just thought the lyrics were appropriate well, and I dig the song.

Your turn:  Whats the oddest item you've ever used for a workout?


  1. Annie!!! Brilliant...I love this idea, super clever and the music and video was great :)

  2. That is SO smart!!

  3. Haha this is awesome! We don't have kids, but it makes me want a swing set! We have talked about putting a TRX set up in the back yard, though.

    1. Trust me, if I had a TRX I'd be using it! I love that thing! I've seen people use them on tree branches before as well. Thanks for checking it out Janna!

  4. Yep...did that 25 years ago. Put my kid on the back seat of my clunker bike, rode three miles to the park (picked one further from my house on purpose), and proceeded to complete a circuit while she played, then rode home. That was AFTER working all day and before dinner...nothing new about it.