Get Fit with Your Kids… At the Playground How is that possible? It’s easy, just bring them to the playground. That’s right, getting exercise with your kids is as easy as getting fresh air, bonding with your kids, and having a really great time. I remember having a great time in the playgrounds in Brooklyn as a kid. I never wanted to leave them. Although there was a playground on Avenue N near my house, my favorite playground was always Marine Park because it had everything. Marine Park had a large grass area, baseball fields, and plenty of playground equipment, including swings. Can you believe that you can use a playground swing to exercise every major muscle group of your body? It’s true. Swing Set Fitness is an exercise method using a playground swing as the gym equipment. Everyone can enjoy this method of exercise because there are exercises for beginner through advanced fitness enthusiasts. Like using dumbbells or exercise machines, there is so much variety that virtually everyone can use a swing for exercise. And since there is such a wide variety of exercises everyone in your family can find appropriate exercises to help reach desired fitness goals. Swing Set Fitness is a great way to encourage your children to exercise because it is so unique and enjoyable. And how difficult will it be to get them to the playground? Swing exercise can be the first step you take in starting an exercise program. And when you and your children see how enjoyable it is, you will all continue to exercise. That means you will lose weight, become more fit, gain strength, and remain interested. Not sure how to start? No problem. All three Swing Set Fitness books are loaded with photos of exercises along with very clear explanations. You will be guided through exercises and workouts that will be fast and effective. There are workouts that help the beginner start slowly while the advanced fitness enthusiast can perform the more difficult workouts. Here are two exercises to get you started… Swing Double Crunch Sit on the swing, hold the chains securely, and lean back. Lift both legs in front of your body to hip /swing height. Once both legs are at hip / swing height, bring both knees in toward your chest. As you bring your knees in toward your chest, sit up to allow your chest and knees to meet. Once your knees and chest have formed a tuck position, return to the starting position. Continue to bring your knees in and chest up for the desired number of repetitions. You should feel this in your abdominal and hip flexor muscles. Supported Squat Standing front of swing. Place the swing seat on your upper back and slowly lean back so that you are standing at a 45 degree angle and being supported by the swing. Once comfortable, bend your knees and lower your buttocks towards the ground. Try not to bend your knees more than a 90 degree angle. As you bend and straighten your legs be sure to keep your knees in line with your hips and feet. Do not allow your knees to move laterally. Push back up using your legs to the standing 45 degree angle position. The entire time your head and spine should remain at the angle in which they started. You should feel this exercise in your hamstrings, quads, and even your buttocks. Swing Set Fitness offers you total body conditioning that is fun and effective. You will see that using a swing to exercise is the perfect addition to any fitness program.This form of exercise blends the fun of being on a swing with traditional exercise techniques for a fulfilling workout experience. Swing Set Fitness was created by me (Karen Goeller) and my nephew, Brian Dowd. We both grew up in Brooklyn and spent countless hours in the playgrounds. Brian Dowd is also the fitness model in these books. For more information on Swing Set Fitness visit www.SwingSetFitness.com. By Karen Goeller, CSCS
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