The Park Bench Workout

The Park Bench Workout

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the Park bench workout

Turn your environment into your own personal gym

Wouldn’t it be great to get a resistance training workout without paying gym membership fees? Does exercising outside in fantastic weather appeal to you?

Instead of sitting at a playground supervising your kids playing would you not like to save time and get your workout in also? Believe it or not all this is possible. Approximately 25 years ago I designed a quick intense workout program that you can perform with just a park bench, your body weight and some tubing.

The goal is to move through each exercise with little or no rest. Beginners should aim for 10 reps, intermediate level is 15 reps and advanced exercisers can perform 20 reps for each exercise.

Perform the circuit for three sets. The circuit is designed for general overall fitness training all components of fitness such as: muscular endurance, cardio, core strength and functional movement.

Try this park bench workout circuit for a firmer and fitter body:

PUSH UPS

pushup 1

pushup 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Facing bench placing your hands shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your head, shoulders, hips and heels aligned. There should be no sagging or elevation at the hips.
  • Lower your sternum to the bench coming as close as possible to touching it. The focus should be bending at the shoulders and elbows.
  • Be aware of your head jutting forward as you lower.

 

ONE LEG BALANCE LATERAL STEP UP

one leg balance lateral 1

one leg balance lateral 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Stand facing sideways to the bench and place the inside foot flat on top.
  • With good erect posture use mostly the leg on the bench to step up while preventing the other foot from touching the bench.
  • Hold the position for one second to show complete control then lower under control (not falling fast) back to the ground.
  • Keep the heel on the bench at all times pressing evenly with the toes.
  • Make sure the knee cap is aligned with the second toe at all times.

 

ONE LEG SIT DOWN SQUATS

one leg sit down squats 1

one leg sit down squats 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pick one leg to balance on.
  • Push your hips back to sit on the bench.
  • Once you sit down stand back up trying to maintain balance.
  • Through out the movement keep your chest up avoiding an excessive bend forward.
  • The goal is to keep the kneecap lined up with the second toe. Most imbalances occur from the knee collapsing inwards.
  • Repeat reps for the other leg.

 

UPPER BACK TUBE ROWS

upper back tube rows 1

upper back tube rows 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wrap the tubing around a secure part of the bench.
  • Sit with good posture in a half squat position.
  • Pull your elbows backwards bringing your shoulder blades together.
  • Avoid rounding your back during the movement.
  • For added resistance either step backwards from the bench or use thicker tubing.

 

ONE LEG POWER STEP UP WITH KNEE DRIVE

one leg power step up with knee drive 1

one leg power step up with knee drive 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Place one foot on the bench.
  • Drive your foot into the bench launching your body upwards with enough force that your foot leaves the bench.
  • Simultaneously drive your knee upwards with the other leg.
  • Maintain good upright posture and the knee cap lined up with the second toe.
  • Repeat for the same reps on the other leg.

 

PLANK WITH TORSO ROTATION

plank with torso rotatation 1

plank with torso rotatation 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Place both hands on the bench shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your head, shoulders, hips and legs aligned.
  • Most incorrect postural compensations occur with the head collapsing forward, the lower back arching excessively and the hips elevating.
  • Feet closer together makes the movement more difficult.
  • Rotate your torso and hips removing one arm from the bench reaching for the sky. Rotate back to the bench repeating for the opposite side.
Paul Plakas
Paul Plakas is a well-known fitness expert and personal trainer for more than 20 years. Paul has also been featured on Slice TV network shows "Taking it Off" and "X-Weighted."

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