Tuesday 27 September 2016

Guest Blog: Workout Circuit @ The Playground - Michelle Jackson, BMSc. (Hons), Clinic Intern

So I was invited to team up with some colleagues to come up with an easy and fun way to exercise at the park. The weather is still nice out and gym memberships are expensive. Finding a close by park can be a great way to get fit and stay active. Check out the exercise routine we came up with and give it a try!

Do you ever get bored of your work-out routine? I definitely do. That's why this week, I reached out to friends and colleagues, Rob and Ryan, and asked (very nicely) if they could put me through the ropes.

I chose the playground location mainly as an excuse to spend more time outside, but it also allows for functional types of exercise that challenge muscles in a different way compared to using machines at the gym. It also felt more like play than exercise.

These guys definitely know their stuff when it comes to exercise (see their bios below). This circuit that they created is fun and challenging. Head to the playground and give it a go! 

Playground Circuit: Repeat 2-3x. Take 10sec of rest between each exercise. 

Start with a 2 min light warm up - jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, and/or running on the spot. 

 1. Monkey Bar Pull-ups or Chin-ups 
|10-15 reps|
Pull-ups: Rob's grip (back of hands facing self)
Chin-ups: My grip (palm of hands facing self

Ryan's tip for beginners: If too difficult, begin by using platform on monkey bars (or get a boost from a spotter) and start in the top position of the chin up/pull up (as shown in                                                                                                        picture). Slowly lower yourself down with                                                                                                            control and repeat. 

2. Lunges    |10-15 reps each leg |

Tip: Don't let your forward knee go past your toes. 

3. Plank high-fives    |20 each side|

If by yourself, extend each arm out, one at a time, holding each for 1-2sec. 

Tip: Try to keep your body as straight as possible without rocking side to side.
(note Ryan's form!) 

4. Pole Climb - Up and down   |1-2 reps |

A.  Try using only your upper body to climb up and down, like Rob. (Trust me, easier said than done.)        

B. Using mostly your upper body, squeeze legs around the pole for added assistance. (My strategy) 

Tip: Unlike Rob, I started off with a little jump, so the momentum gave me a boost vs. just pulling myself up from the ground.

5. Push ups    |10-15 reps|

Keep your feet on an elevated platform (not pictured) for an extra challenge. 

Tip: Keep elbows tucked into sides to isolate more of your triceps. Pointing your elbows outwards will engage other muscles, like your pecs. 

6. Jump Squats     |15-20 reps|

Starting on the ground, jump up and land on a step or elevated platform. Step down and repeat. 

Tip: Try to land so that your knees don't go past your toes. 

For an added challenge, jump down into a squat vs. just stepping off. 

 7. Swing extension     |10 reps| 
This one is a major ab burner!

Fully extend body and hold for 1 sec before returning to starting position. 

Tip: The further you initially stand from the swing, the further you extend and the harder this exercise becomes.  

You can do this on your knees as a                                                                                                                        modification, but you may want a towel to                                                                                                          kneel on (the gravel in the sand really hurts!) 
That's 1 set! When you're finished, don't forget to stretch :)

More about the author:

Michelle Jackson is an intern at RSNC and BNTC. She is on the fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue focus shift and has a strong interest in fatigue and pain management. Check out her blog and website where she and 4 other interns post weekly articles and bi-weekly recipes! http://www.wholeandholistic.com

More about Ryan:

Ryan has experience in high performance sport, playing for both Toronto FC and the University of Toronto while studying Kinesiology. He went on to receive his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) designation from the NSCA and is currently working with clients at Physiomed Roytec. Check out his blog too! http://naturopathywithryan.blogspot.ca

Rob Raponi, CISSN, B.Kine,
Naturopathic Intern

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