Playground Workout Part IV: Intermediate/Advanced

If you took a look at the Beginner post and think you’d like some more challenging exercises, read on my friend…

I’ve clumped intermediate and advanced into one post for one main reason.

— Once you reach that average to slightly above average level of fitness, there is a huge range of ability levels


— It’s safe to say you have a pretty solid knowledge base in terms of knowing the types and frequency of workouts you need to continue to improve.

So I’ll keep this post a little shorter, a little sweeter, and just pass along some good videos I found on Youtube that show a nice variety of exercises, as well as explain some of the science behind why this type of a workout can be just as or more effective than what you can accomplish in a gym or workout class.

Again, employ that H.I.I.T. principle that was explained back in Part I of the series.

Video #1

Here’s a nice video a couple made showing some cool playground exercises for both a fit man and a fit woman. If you start watching and think, “oh geez maybe I should go back to that beginner post!”, don’t worry. Often, they’ll start out with an advanced version before they modify. Take a look; its a good primer for the post, and we’ll talk below.

This must have been an impromptu video, otherwise how do you forget your shoes! They’re Hawaiian islanders so I guess that’s a decent excuse. Ok a couple notes:

— The leg work at around the 3:55 mark is really good stuff — challenging, which is what you need if you want to see gains

— If you think your muscles are getting too adapted to the standard tricep dip, then try what you see at the 6:20 mark

— The plyometric work the wife does at the 8:00 mark is a great example of modifying at several different levels

Videos #2 and 3

Rob Riches is a fitness professional, personal trainer, fitness model — you name it, he does it. He did a couple videos for Prozis Nutrition on playground workouts that I think you’ll find more than worth your time:

— What I probably like more than anything else is the way he thoroughly and clearly explains the physiological reasoning behind what he does. For someone intermediate to advanced, if you can pick up bits and pieces here and there about exercise science, you’ll be that much better at planning a really effective, meaningful workout for your body

— I appreciated that he incorporated some cardio (which you should, too) in the video with his hill sprints. Odds are, there is some type of man-made or natural area around your playground that is conducive to getting in some cardio, without requiring you to leave the playground (and leave sight of any children you took with you)

— The towel modifications that require activating the stabilization muscles is a great way to increase the difficulty to, say, a typical pullup

— Maybe its the Prozis sponsoring of the video, but the video time he takes to emphasize hydration and a recovery drink is more than deserved. Living in the dry heat,sun, and elevation of Reno, I’ve experienced first-hand how quickly the body can become dehydrated. Also, those that live in a more humid climate lose a ton of moisture through perspiration. Like Rob advises in the video, hydrate before, during, and after a workout; also, research a protein-based recovery drink that meets your exercise goals, and take it 15-45 minutes after your workout.


If you want to pose a question or add a comment, I’d love to get a conversation going on this topic.

There are plenty more “playground workout” videos on Youtube and other blogs, so there is no shortage of ideas and information for you.

Take what you like, mix it up, work hard, and work smart.

Go find that playground and, as always, be well out there.


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