Work hard, play hard — that’s what we do! My girlfriends and I got together recently with our favorite personal trainer for some exercise in the park, and I’m here to share our Tabata-Style Playground Workout with you today! It’s an efficient 16-minute routine that will work your entire body while your children play — perfect for busy, multi-tasking parents!
You guys, I seriously have THE BEST girlfriends. While we love to get together for our monthly Girls’ Night Out to drink some wine and catch up over good food, we also like to exercise together! And after seeing some of the photos from my workouts with Mark, they decided to join in the fun for a series of regular training sessions. It’s such a fun break from the regular work-and-family routine, and it gives us a chance to socialize while also breaking a sweat. Plus, they let me take pictures of them while they’re sweating and then post them on the internet!!! I told you they’re the best! And of course, Mark’s a good sport, too — he puts up with a lot of laughing during these sessions!
Tricia, me, Susie, and Maggie!
Given the option, we all prefer an outdoor workout when the weather cooperates, so on a recent Sunday afternoon Mark met us at the local elementary school playground for a quick (but TOUGH) session. We were ALL nursing some sore muscles after this workout!
Are you up for the challenge? Grab your girlfriends or do this solo — either way, it’s a great way to squeeze in a total body workout outdoors now that the sun is out and the temps are warmer again! As you can see from our photos, Mark brought along some of his own equipment for us to use (TRX straps and kettlebells), but you can definitely modify these exercises based on what you have available. I have noted a few modifications in the workout below.
Before I get to the details of Mark’s workout, let me give you a quick explanation of “Tabata” workouts in general.
If you’re not already familiar with Tabata training, it’s a type of high intensity interval training that takes less than 5 minutes. Yep, that’s right. You can squeeze in a workout even on your busiest days! The idea behind Tabata workouts is that you go as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. You will repeat that sequence for a total of eight rounds, or four minutes.
Since the intervals fly by so quickly, I have a hard time watching my clock and exercising at the same time. I like to use a free app like Tabata Pro to time each exercise (there are many other Tabata apps out there, so just use the one that you prefer). You don’t need a Tabata timer, but it makes the workout MUCH easier. On this particular day, Mark actually set his own Tabata timer so that we could focus on the exercises and just wait for the buzzer to tell us to move on.
This workout combines 4 Tabata circuits for a total of 16 minutes. You will want to add some additional time for a warm up and a cool down at the beginning and end.
You can download a PRINTABLE PDF copy of the workout HERE if you want to take it with you!
TABATA-STYLE PLAYGROUND WORKOUT
Workout courtesy of Mark Arrington, Owner and Personal Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Madison, Virginia
INSTRUCTIONS: Complete each station for a total of 4 minutes before moving on to the next station. You will perform each exercise at a station for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
If you are not sure how to properly perform an exercise, just click on the name to view a quick video.
Warm Up: 5 minutes (jumping rope, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and any other movement that get your blood flowing!)
Station 1: Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Complete 4 rounds of each exercise, for a total of 4 minutes before moving on to Station 2.
Rows and Push-Ups
Station 2: Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Complete 4 rounds of each exercise, for a total of 4 minutes before moving on to Station 3.
- Tricep Dips (on a bench, chair, set of low bars, etc.)
- Squats (we used a 45-lb. kettlebell, but you could do this without weight, holding your child, holding a dumbbell, etc.)
Station 3: Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Complete 4 rounds of each exercise, for a total of 4 minutes before moving on to Station 4.
- Kettlebell Swings (use a dumbbell, heavy ball, or any other weighted object)
- Single Arm Alternating Military Press
Station 4: Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Complete 4 rounds of each exercise, for a total of 4 minutes before moving on to the cool down.
- TRX Row (if you’re at a playground, you can use a jump rope or a rubber exercise band for this)
- Medicine Ball Squat Throws (use any ball)
Cool Down: yoga/stretching for 5-10 minutes.
[Tweet “Grab your girlfriends (and your kids) and try a 16-minute #Tabata Style Playground #Workout!”]
Don’t forget — you can grab a printable copy of the workout HERE!
Looking for even more workout inspiration? Try these:
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Workout