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How to Start Exercising At A Street Workout Park?

Are you trying to gain muscle mass and feel like lifting weights is the only way to your dream goal? We’ll convince you otherwise. You can also achieve great results by exercising at a street workout park. In today’s article, we will introduce you to its advantages, describe what the training should consist of, and also show you effective exercises where you target your whole body. If you already have experience with this kind of training, you will also enjoy tips on how to increase the difficulty and take your performance up a notch.

What does a street workout park look like?

When one hears outdoor playground, most of you may well think of places full of kids, slides and swings and some stall bars. Street workout parks, however, look quite different. As a rule, they are filled with parallel bars, horizontal bars, various stall bars and other structures on which to perform countless exercises. If you have some fitness accessories, you’ll be able to do a full-body strength workout at the street workout park without any problem.

Workout park: parallel bars, horizontal bars, ladders and other structures

7 benefits of working out at a street workout park

If you haven’t tried training at a street workout park, we’ll introduce you to a few benefits that might convince you to give it a chance.

1. You can exercise whenever you want

Do you work shifts and the opening hours of nearby fitness centres do not suit you? The street workout park thus offers a great alternative. You can go and work out early in the morning at dawn or work out while your gym is on its lunch break. It’s up to you. Moreover, at the outdoor park, you will never have the problem that you are driven out in the middle of a set due to closing time.

2. You do not have to pay membership

Attending a state-of-the-art gym regularly can become quite expensive. The outdoor workout park is such a great way to relieve your wallet and still give your body all it deserves.

3. Increase your body’s vitamin D levels

If the sun is shining outside and you go out in shorts and a tank top to work out at the street workout park, it’s also a great way to boost vitamin D production in your body. UVB rays from the sun that hit our skin help in its production. Sufficient levels affect not only our psychological well-being, but also bone health, muscle function and so on. [1–3]

4. You will get a good tan

You don’t have to get chocolate brown skin just by lying by the water for a few hours or by visiting a solarium. If you take off your T-shirt during training and let the sun’s rays fall on your skin, you will also work on your tan during each set. It will also definitely be a much more fun and cheaper way to get a tan.

Why start exercising at the workout park

5. Enhance your training routine

Do you want to stick with exercising for the long term? Then it’s important that you always enjoy your training. Repeating a few exercises with the same equipment at the gym can get a little boring, don’t you think? An occasional visit to the street workout park can be a great opportunity to spice up your workout routine and target your muscle a little differently. You may well be surprised that after your first outdoor workout, muscles that you didn’t know you had will ache.

6. Customise training to your needs

Are you afraid to take to the street workout park because you can’t do pull-ups and generally feel like it’s not for beginners? Well, you’re wrong. A resistance band can be a great helper during first visits, which will also make some exercises easier and thus simplify each rep. You can then choose bands with lower resistance as needed, which will make it easier for you when you finally get to the point where you don’t need them. In the next part of the article, however, we will also present exercises that a complete beginner can do even without any fitness accessories.

7. You will become a more complex athlete

The street workout park allows you to include exercises in your workout that you probably wouldn’t get in a classic gym. While it’s cool to lift tens of kilos on a bench-press, try to hang on for a minute on the parallel bars. It’s not that easy, is it? An outdoor playground is such a great way to expand the pool of your sporting skills and become a more complex athlete. If we still haven’t convinced you about the benefits of outdoor exercise, you can read more about the benefits and reasons to exercise outdoors in our article Outdoor Training – Why and How to Start Exercising in the Fresh Air.

Learn handstands and other gymnastic elements at the workout park

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What elements make up the training?

It would be a mistake to think you’d drive to the park, work out, and it’s done. To avoid injury and to make it clear to your body when activity is approaching and when it is over, you should follow the basic elements of each workout. What are they?

1. Warm Up

Warming up is an element you should never skip. It is all the more important for people who have sat at a computer all day with virtually no movement. The goal of the warm-up is to prepare the heart, lungs, muscles and the whole body for exercise. It’s entirely up to you which way you choose. Personally, I don’t think there’s any point in driving your car to a street workout park and jumping rope for ten minutes to keep warm. Since you need to get to the place where you’ll be exercising, this trip can also be a great way to get moving before training. Depending on the distance, you can decide whether to cycle, run or choose a more brisk walk. Keep in mind, however, that it’s just a matter of keeping warm and so a 15 km run to the park would not be the best option.

2. Dynamic stretching

Once you are already warmed up, dynamic stretching comes next. Get the body moving with some dynamic exercises. If you don’t know how to do it, try to remember warm-up exercises you did during childhood physical education classes. Remember high kicks, torso and wrist twists and other exercises? Get into it then. This preparation will improve the range of individual movements and reduce the risk of injury.

To help you with warm up before your workout read the article: Warming Up, Stretching and Cooling Down – Are They Important?

Dynamic stretching as a warm up before training

3. Main training element

And now for the training itself. It’s entirely up to you how you set it up, whether you exercise your whole body or focus only on certain muscle groups. Do not overheat at the start, however, and familiarise yourself thoroughly with the exercises you want to try before training. This will help you to have the right technique and achieve maximum results. If you meet other people at the street workout park who have come to exercise, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. More experienced athletes will certainly help you in the beginning.

You can also take inspiration from the article How To Create A Good Training Plan – Tips, Workouts, Most Common Mistakes.

4. Cooldown phase

If you’ve had a hard workout, when you’ve gone to the max, or you’ve included HIIT at the end, there’s also a cooldown phase. This will help you slow down and calm your heart rate. In the context of workouts at the street workout park, a bike ride home at a moderate pace, walking at a slower pace can work brilliantly as a cooldown.

5. Static stretching

The last stage of your training should be a short static stretching session to help improve the body’s flexibility and also aid its regeneration. Massage guns or rollers can also help you with this. [4]

Static stretching and massage rollers help with better regeneration after training

5 exercises to target each muscle at the street workout park

If you’ve never exercised at a street workout park, you more than likely do not know where to start. We have 5 basic exercises for you, with which you gradually engage the whole body. For each of these, we also have some tips on how you can make them easier or more challenging. This should then allow you to do each exercise 8-12 times, ideally in 3 sets. Don’t worry, not only advanced athletes, but also beginners can do it. So, will you join us for training?

How to do your first pull up? Help yourself with a resistance band

1. Pull-ups on the horizontal bar

Primarily engaging: upper body muscles

Execution: Stand under the bar and grab it with your hands. Your grip should be slightly wider than your shoulder width. Inhale, push your shoulder blades together and pull your chest towards the bar whilst exhaling.

How to make your exercise easier:

A pull-up is a complex exercise that engages a large number of upper body muscles. However, in order to manage the pull-up at the park, you need to have some strength already, which not every beginner has. But there are ways to simplify this exercise. 

  • Choose a lower bar that is about eye level. Hang by your shoulders, but keep your feet on the ground. Use your hands to pull yourself up against the bar and raise your buttocks like you would from a squat.
  • Make it easier with a resistance band. Hang it on the bar (using the lark’s head knot) and put a knee in the bottom eyelet. Hang on to the bar and do the same movement as a classic pull-up.

How to make the exercise more challenging: Use a weighted vest. It’s up to you to how much weight you choose – 10 kg, 15 kg or 20 kg.

3. Parallel bar dips

Primarily engaging: upper body muscles

Execution: Starting position – your arms are stretched along your body, hold on to the bars, your legs slightly bent. The body is held firm in a straight line. Keep your head stretched, be careful not to slouch and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Lean forward slightly and slowly bend your elbows as your body goes down.

How to make your exercise easier:

  • Opt for lower bars so that your feet can touch the ground throughout this exercise. You can lighten the load on your hands as needed too.
  • Bounce off the ground lightly. This simplifies the range of movement when you return up to the starting position.
  • Use a resistance band. Hook it on the front of both bars. If the bars are not adapted to this, add the expander to the grip between the palm and bar.

How to make your exercise more difficult:

How to correctly do dips on the parallel bars?

3. Hanging leg raises

Primarily targeting: body core

Execution: Hang on the bar and bend your legs. Whilst inhaling, raise your bent knees to your chin, then slowly place them back down.

How to make your exercise easier:

  • Use a horizontal bar which is low to the ground. You can touch the ground with your feet after each rep.

How to make your exercise more difficult:

Hanging leg curls strengthen abdominal muscles

4. Squats

Primarily engaging: legs, buttocks

Execution: Stand upright and spread your legs shoulder – width apart. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and push your shoulders slightly backwards. Keep your palms close in front of your body. Whilst inhaling, go down slowly, push your buttocks backwards, don’t arch your back. Remain in the lowered position for 2 seconds and slowly rise whilst exhaling using the same trajectory.

How to make your exercise easier:

  • Use the suspension trainer. When squatting, you can hold on to it, plus you don’t have to perform the full range of motion, but only what you can handle.
  • Similarly, you can use a resistance band.
  • Lift up your hands when squatting up.
  • Use the bench.

How to make your exercise more difficult:

  • Use a weighted vest.
  • Use a kettlebell.
  • Use an expander. Stand on one part with both feet, wrap it around the neck on your shoulders. The expander will put similar pressure on your body as a barbell. When performing this exercise, be sure to use the correct technique as in a classic squat.
How to make squats more difficult with an expander

5. Lunges

Primarily engaging: legs, buttocks

Execution: Put one foot forward, one leg back, keep your back straight. Whilst inhaling go down with back knee. Don’t bend your back. Whilst exhaling, go back up using the same trajectory.

How to make your exercise easier:

  • Take advantage of the suspension trainer. You can hold on to it during lunges, or you don’t have to perform the full range of motion, but only the part that you can handle.
  • Similarly, you can hold on to a suspended expander.
  • Use your hands to keep balance.

How to make your exercise more difficult:

  • Use a weighted vest.
  • Hold dumbbells in your hands (either hold one in both hands or have one in each hand).
  • Put the back leg in a higher position (place it on the bench or stall bar, or use TRX). Keep the centre of your body tight and keep balance.
Exercise your legs and buttocks with the help of lunges

What other exercises can you do at the street workout park?

  • push-ups – you can try different variations (decline push-ups with legs on stall bar or using TRX)
  • tricep dips – feet on the ground, palms placed on the bench, these exercises can be made more challenging by placing your palms on the ground and hanging your feet at your ankles in TRX or latch them in between the holders
  • muscle up – training suitable for advanced athletes, to start with it, you can use an expander
  • climbing horizontal ladder
  • dips on low parallel bars – hang on the bars, your feet are on the ground (stretched or bent), pull yourself up towards the bar
  • L -sit hold on the parallel bars – your arms are at your sides, hold on to the bars, your legs are in the air, and try to raise your straight legs in the air so that they make a right angle with your body
  • crunches on a stall bar – hang onto the bar so that you are upside-down, gradually lifting your head to your knees with the core of your body
  • bench step ups
  • bench jumps
Overview of the exercises you can do at the workout park

There are countless exercises that you can try at the street workout park and customise according to your needs. Perform exercises either individually in sets or in so-called super sets (usually two exercise combinations), or you can create your own circular training with multiple exercises. If you want to learn to work out with a suspension trainer, such as TRX, read our article How To Exercise with the Suspension Trainer? Learn These Effective Full-Body Exercises.

What kinds of aids does one use at a workout park?

What other kinds of fitness accessories can one use at a street workout park?

Should you tire of the street workout park equipment over time, you can bring your own fitness accessories to expand your options.

  • weighted vest
  • resistance bands
  • kettlebell 

What should you remember?

Exercising at the street workout park is a great way to spice up your gym workout routine and target your muscles in a different way. If you choose the appropriate exercises for your level, you can achieve great results. As a bonus, you’ll enjoy exercising out in the fresh air and still save money on buying a gym membership. That’s worth a shot, isn’t it?

Do you regularly include exercises at the workout park in your training routine? If so, what’s your favourite exercise? Share your opinion with us in the comments, and if you liked the article, don’t forget to share it among your friends. You can never have enough training tips.

Sources:

[1] Lesley E Rhodes et al. – Recommended summer sunlight exposure levels can produce sufficient (> or =20 ng ml(-1)) but not the proposed optimal (> or =32 ng ml(-1)) 25(OH)D levels at UK latitudes – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20072137/

[2] Sarfraz Zaidi (2013) – Power of Vitamin D, United States of America

[3] Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 – https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A02012R0432-20210517

[4] Johannes Fleckenstein et al. – Preventive and Regenerative Foam Rolling are Equally Effective in Reducing Fatigue-Related Impairments of Muscle Function following Exercise

[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721176/%20%20%20%20Preventive%20and%20Regenerative%20Foam%20Rolling%20are%20Equally%20Effective%20in%20Reducing%20Fatigue-Related%20Impairments%20of%20Muscle%20Function%20following%20Exercise