If you have read some of the other articles on this site, you may well have learned about some of the exercises that you can do in your local park.
For example, there is an article that lists two of the most effective park exercises for building muscle, and there is also another article that gives you a complete upper body park workout for you to try.
However in this article I thought I would share with you a really effective bodyweight calisthenics workout that you can do in any park (or school) that has a set of bars and a patch of grass for the floor exercises.
This workout has a lot of exercises that will strengthen your core and help you to develop a six-pack, but it will actually work your whole body, and is ideal if you are looking to build muscle, tone up and burn a little bit of fat:
The full circuit includes the following exercises, and you should aim to do 8-12 reps of each exercise (where applicable) and a total of 2-3 sets if you can (resting for 60 seconds between each set):
Before you begin working your way through these exercises, it is recommended that you spend 6-10 minutes warming up. So this could involve jogging or cycling to the park, or doing some exercises that will get your heart pumping and loosen up your muscles, such as jumping jacks, burpees and squats, for instance.
The first exercise is one of the hardest to do, which is probably why it is done right at the beginning when you have the most strength and power. Pull-ups are generally done at the gym, but the good thing about going to a park is that they will often have bars that you can use to do this exercise, and it won’t cost you anything either. This is one of the best exercises that you can do if you want to develop your upper body because it will work your arms, shoulders, back and core muscles.
Parallel Bar Dips
If you switch to the parallel bars, you can do parallel bar dips, which is another really good upper body exercise because it will really help to work your triceps, shoulders and chest. Once again, this is hard for beginners because it does require a fair bit of strength, but if you can do 8-12 reps per set, as recommended, you are doing very well and you should see some decent results.
The plank is a classic test of core strength because if you can stay in this fixed position for several minutes, you clearly have a very strong core. Indeed many people consider this to be one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core and develop a six-pack. So the key here is to hold this position for as long as possible, and gradually increase the time whenever you perform this workout.
If you have your own skipping rope, then you can obviously take it to the park so that you can include it in your workout. With this exercise you are not necessarily doing a specific number of reps. You should just aim to jump rope for at least 1-2 minutes to help increase your heart rate and help you to burn fat.
As you can see, the elevated push-up is very similar to a standard push-up done on the floor. The only difference is that you are elevating your feet to make it a little harder. So if you are looking to do this in your local park, you should look for some kind of raised pathway, or better still, look for a park bench because this will be even higher off the ground.
Chin-ups can be done on the bars at your local park, just like a pull-up, because they are two very similar exercises. With this exercise, however, you will be using an underhand grip with your palms facing towards you so that you will be working your lats in a slightly different way and engaging your biceps a little more.
The next exercise is one that will help to develop your core and hone your six-pack abs because you are using your core strength to raise your legs. You can either do hanging leg raises, where you are hanging from an overhead bar, or you can do parallel leg raises using the parallel bars because both are very effective.
In And Outs
This simple exercise can be done from a V-like sitting position and is very simple to perform because you are simply extending your legs and then bringing your knees and your chest together in a single movement. This particular exercise is another one that will help to develop your core abdominal muscles.
The crunchy frog move is very similar to the in and out exercise, and is another one that you can do from a sitting position in the park. Starting from the same position, you just need to wrap your arms around your legs and then extend your legs outwards and extend your arms outwards at the same time. Once again, you will be working your core abdominal muscles.
Mountain climbers can also be done on the grounds of the park because with this exercise you simply need to place your hands on the ground and adopt a push-up position before driving your knees up towards your chest one at a time, as if you were climbing a mountain. This exercise will really help to work your leg muscles and your abs in particular, but will also help to burn fat.
This next move is essentially a sideways crunch that you can do from a lying position. Starting with your hand on your head and one leg on top of the other, you just need to bring your elbow and your upper leg together in one movement, which will help to work your oblique muscles at the sides.
Laying Leg Raises
Staying on the ground, you should then move on to laying leg raises, which are similar to the previous leg raises but require a little more control. Starting from a lying position, you need to lift your legs upwards as far as you can and fully extend your legs upwards at the end of the movement, before lowering them back downwards again, without letting your feet or your ankles touch the ground. This move is another one that will work your abdominal muscles, as well as your hips.
Mason Twist / Russian Twist
The final exercise can be done from a seated position, and will really work your obliques and your core muscles. With your legs off the ground and your knees slightly bent, you should bring your hands together and touch the ground on each side of your body, rotating from one side to another as you twist your upper body and engage your core muscles.