Intensifying Your Workout At the Playground with Bands and Picnic Tables By Zach Even-Esh
If you've been on board with USC for the past few months, you've been experiencing some bad ass playground workouts. I love traveling to different playground for workouts because each playground has different equipment and forces you to create a different type of workout which is a great shock to the body. Even though I own a gym, I still train outdoors.
The body adapts very easily to stimuli and repeating the same workouts every week is a sure fire method for stalling your progress! What I've done to intensify my playground workouts is adding various tools which are easy to get and offer endless options for use and abuse!
Bands are one of these simple tools. I use TNT cables and Jump Stretch bands on a regular basis for various pulling, pushing, squatting and rotational movements. The bands are excellent for improving power and muscular endurance. Power movements are done for lower reps (5- 10 reps) and maximal exertion while endurance is done for higher reps (12 - 20 reps) and longer periods of time under tension (30 - 60 seconds).
An excellent full body circuit can be implemented by using TNT cables and a picnic table. Adding the cables to the picnic table movements will double the intensity of the picnic table movements!
Begin with 12 reps of the high pull, an excellent full body movement. Rip the bands up aggressively while squatting up explosively, leading with the elbows.
Immediately turn around and crank out alternating punches at high speed for 6 reps per arm followed by double punches for 6 reps.
Without rest, turn around again and perform alternating rows for 6 reps per arm and then double rows for 6 reps.
You're not finished yet. You are about to finish with another brutal full body movement combining bands and the picnic table. Perform the Thruster with bands for 12 brutal reps.
The thruster is a combination of the squat and military press combined into one!
This circuit can be repeated for 3 - 5 rounds with no more than 90 seconds rest between each round. You can also intensify this circuit even more by adding some stand up training: pad work for 30 seconds, aggressive pummeling for 30 seconds, plyo jumps on and off the picnic table or bench for 30 seconds, sprint around the playground for 2 all out laps or any other method that brings into play a physical movement used during combat!
Here's your Underground Playground Workout:
Exercise 1 - 4 are performed as a circuit with no rest between movements.
1A) Band High Pulls x 12 reps
1B) Band Punches x 12 reps
1C) Band Rowing x 12 reps
1D) Table Thrusters w/bands x 12 reps
The playground offers endless opportunity for intensifying your workout. Make sure you take advantage of these opportunities if you want to improve your power and conditioning!
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