We know we are not the only ones who get excited every time we see a playground.  Come on, you know that your heart starts pounding just a little bit faster when you see those monkey bars and balance beams.

We will be compiling different workouts from EVERY playground we can find in Colorado and around the country.   If you happen to be in the area of one of the playgrounds, try out the workout and let us know what you think or come up with your own!   Send us workouts you do on playgrounds in your town and we will feature them on the site:  lauren@runningwithkids.com

*Please note:  this page will not be exclusive to playground workouts only.  Parks, sporting fields and rest area workouts will be included too.


Grab a rope or exercise band and next time you take your kids sledding you can get in a great workout too!

Do intervals up the hill solo or pulling your kid(s) behind:

  •  Sprint
  • Side slides
  • Push
  • backwards jog

Snow-sled workout #2: 

Park/play workout:

I am just a big kid at heart! I love playing at the park just as much as the kids and it is great workout too! Give these drills a try on your next trip to the park:
1. “Weighted” walking lunges
2. “Weighted” seated reverse crunches
3. “Squat-hop tag”! You hold a squat while the kids sneak up behind you. When you think they are close enough to tag you flip around and chase them. No running, only hopping/broad jumps!


Park workout #2: 
We found a random tire in the middle of a baseball field, time to do a workout!  While the kids dug for worms in the dirt, I fit in a quick circuit using the tire and a bench seat.
Shoot for 15 reps of each x 5 rounds.

Obstacle course themed workouts: 

If you are training for an obstacle course race or just looking to mix up your training, an OCR inspired workout can be fun, exciting and force you to use muscles you never even knew you had!
Best of all, you can bring your kids along and do the workouts with them or while they play on the playground!


Bear Crawl

The Mother Maker:
– Monkey bars
– Big field or track
– Play structure

After a good 10 minute warm-up you will complete 2-4 rounds of the following workout: 

– 400 meter run (1 lap around a football sized field)
– 4 laps down and back on the monkey bars
– 800 meter run
– Climb up and over the playground structure 10 times
– 400 meter run
– Alternate between bear crawl (on hands/toes) and army crawl (forearms and toes- keep butt very low) 100 meters
– 800 meter run
– 100 meters of broad jumps
– 400 meter run

Playground workouts:

Falcon Park is located in Highlands Ranch, CO behind the Eastridge Recreation center.
This is a fairly simple and basic workout but a good one if you are just getting started.   A couple notes about this workout:

  • For the step-ups and swing lunges do 15 each leg.
  • Pushups can be made easier by putting your hands on the bench.
  •  Pop-ups are great for any fitness level, you can use your legs to jump and then pull yourself the rest of the way with your upper body
  • The field is close to a 400 meter run if you stay on the outside of the grass.  Try to do 1 lap after every 2 exercises.  (so 9 laps total for the workout)


Playground workout #2:

IMG_2454Camp Como, Colorado
This is one of my favorite all time playgrounds in the world!  Camp Como is near Fairplay Colorado and also hosts acres of trails and a built in obstacle course, complete with 10 foot walls, tires, steep hills, and heavy logs to haul, all at over 10,000 feet!

Do you ever watch the American Ninja Warrior show?
My challenge to you is next time you visit a large playground, see if you can get from one end to the other and back without touching the ground.  And I don’t mean walking through the structure, I mean climbing on the outside of every surface you can!
After you can complete a lap without dropping, time yourself and see how you do.  Try to beat your time or make the course harder if you can.   This drill will really help you with your upper body strength and is a blast to do with school aged children (or some really fun friends)!

Park workout #3:

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO
This is one of the best places to workout with my boys.  My husband usually starts with our little one West (15 months) in a pack and I take Wyatt (almost 4).   We are so fortunate to live close to this amazing “outdoor gym”.   You may not have something similar close to you but hopefully our typical workout below will give you some ideas:
– Wyatt and I start by running up and down the stairs together, usually with him on my back after a set or two.   Next we do step-ups on the bleachers; he can make it to the top on his own (West almost made it too, you will see in the video below).
– We stop every 20 rows or so to do 10-15 reps of each:  pushups, dips and a 1 minute plank.  Wyatt will do the push-ups with me but most of the time wants a “ride” by sitting on my lap during the dips and making the plank tougher for me by sitting on my back.
– Then we move onto jumping up and over the plantar boxes.   I lift Wyatt up, he sprints to the next one as I haul myself up.  We do about 10 in a row and then repeat for one more set.
– I finish off the workout by taking a couple laps up and down the stairs and bleachers with West in a pack and then we head out for some much earned lunch!

Playground workout #4:  LET’S SWING!

My son Wyatt loves the swings.  He will spend an entire hour in there if I let him.  Why not get a great workout while having fun with him at the same time?

These are just a few starter exercises but if you do them long enough your lungs, arms and legs will be burning!

1.  Swing tricep overhead extensions
2.  Quick feet backwards and forwards
3.  Sideways squat jumps/holds

*** Bonus:  If you have two kids in swings side by side do 10 sets of each of these exercises with one, give he/she a big swing and then do 10 sets of each with your other child before the first swing stops!

Rest stop/area workouts!

We recently took a 2.5 week cross country road trip and we made it our mission to stop and workout at as many places as possible along the way.  Here are a couple of the creative workouts we came up with and the location of the rest-stop.  If you happen to pass by one of these try it out!


We split this one up between 2 different rest-stops.  This first stop was amazing.  It had this natural play area with these rock structures the kids could play on, a HUGE grassy field and tons of picnic tables.  We all had a blast and got some much needed energy out after hours in the car!

Tree Hugger workout:

1.  Hip lifts/lower
2.  Tree hugger situps
3.  Single leg “tree” sit
4.  Single leg tree bridging
——->  Do each for 1 minute and repeat 5x’s


Park workouts with your kids!

The weather is getting nicer and that means it is time to get outside and get active!  This is a fun little drill you can do with some friends, it is a great upper body and core workout for you and so much fun for the kids!  Alternate between being a “bridge” and “tunnel”, kids must crawl through and then over.  Try for 6 rounds.

Play based workouts:

IMG_0713When is the last time you played tag?  Sprinted across an open field?  Climbed a tree?  It is time to unleash that inner child and learn how to play (while getting a great aerobic workout in the process)!  I love to play “Pacman” tag with my kids (or some really fun friends) on a sports field.  The person that is “it” is a “ghost” and everyone can only run on the lines.  You can play where if you get tagged you are “it” or where everyone that gets tagged becomes a ghost and the last “pacman” standing wins!

Speed disc!

This game is a mix between frisbee golf and a relay race. You can play multiple ways but the basic premise is teams of 2 share one frisbee and take turns throwing it towards a group designated first hole/post (choose objects like trees, benches, trash cans, etc). One throws while the other sprints ahead, picks up the disc where it lands and throws it for their partner to retrieve and throw until the target is hit.  The first team to hit the target gets 1 point and chooses the next target. We typically play until one team reaches 5 points.  The best part of this game is you can play anytime, anywhere! IMG_0891

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