I’ll admit, it’s not the best time of year to be blogging about a park bench workout – it’s pretty rainy out there at the moment!
But on a rare sunny day last week, I decided to break up a run with a few strength exercises using a park bench. It was the perfect way to re-energise my body midway through what was turning out to be a pretty tough run, so I thought I’d share them with you.
I did three rounds of five exercises, focusing mainly on arm and core strength so as not to tire out my legs for the run home (they’d had just about enough as it was!) My plan was to head back out this weekend and get Mr Rinroad to take some pictures of me doing the exercises so you could see what they look like, but it’s been raining non-stop for two days and frankly neither of us felt like going out!
Here’s hoping my explanations are enough, but feel free to ask questions in the comments if not.
As always, I’d recommend seeking medical advice before trying anything new with your exercise routine. If you’ve never done any of these exercise before, or you’re not sure about any of them, I’d also advise seeking the supervision of a fitness professional who’ll make sure you’re doing them correctly. Take it from someone who knows, you don’t want to end up injured!
Repeat each exercise 10 times (except mountain climbers which you’ll do for 20 seconds, as described below). Complete three rounds.
Start off sitting on the bench with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and your arms stretched out in front of you. Squat up to standing before sitting back down. Repeat 10 times.
Side leg lifts
Using the bench seat, push up into a side plank position with your arm underneath your shoulder, resting on your hand rather than your elbow. Lift and lower your top leg 10 times. Repeat on the other side.
Transition to a push-up position, with your hands underneath your shoulders on the bench seat about shoulder-width apart. Bending your elbows and keeping them fairly close to your body, lower your chest towards the bench before using your arm strength to push yourself back up. Repeat 10 times.
Stay in a push-up position and bring your right knee up towards your right hand. Return it to its original position and do the same with your left knee. Keep repeating this sequence as quickly as you can for 20 seconds, as though you’re jogging horizontally on the spot.
Sit on the bench with your hands gripping the edge of the seat, elbows facing towards the seat back. Slide your bum off the seat so your knees are at a 90 degree angle and you’re supporting yourself with your arms. Lower your bum towards the ground, bending your elbows towards the seat back, before straightening your arms again to lift yourself back up. Repeat 10 times before sitting back onto the bench.