How to Get An Effective Workout Using Just a Park Bench

by | Read time: 4 minutes

Fitting a workout into your day can be as simple as heading to your nearest green space. All you need for an effective workout is a park bench. Bodyweight exercises can challenge you even if you are a seasoned gym-goer.

Woman Following Park Bench Workout Plan Stretching in Park | Vitacost.com/blogSome tips to make your workout feel just as challenging as when you pump iron:

  • Go slowly, utilizing time under tension
  • Use the mind-muscle connection—focus on the muscles you are using to perform the movement
  • Use a full range of motion
  • Contract and hold at the top end of the motion, for example, squeeze your glutes at the top of the lunge before beginning your next repetition

Park bench circuit workouts can function as strength training and cardio combined if you add an element of speed into specific movements. However, if the weather is hot or humid, higher-intensity exercise should be performed with caution.

If it’s too hot outside to perform intense exercise safely, research shows that bodyweight exercises, performed at a slow and controlled pace can provide the same results as more intense training, which is perfect for hot weather when you don’t want to overexert yourself.

Hitting all major muscle groups twice a week is optimal. You can use a park bench to get a fantastic full-body workout that will boost your metabolism and burn calories.

Park workout plan safety tips

Summer workouts require some caution if it is very hot or humid outside. Here are some tips to stay safe.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water about an hour before your workout. Consider an electrolyte solution or sports drink, especially if you will be out for over an hour.
  • Wear clothing that wicks away sweat.
  • Try to exercise outside during the morning or evening when it’s cooler.
  • Find a shady spot to exercise if you can.

Full-body park bench workout circuit

For this circuit, perform the exercises one after the other. This workout alternates an upper-body movement with a lower-body movement and finishes with a cardiovascular element to raise your heart rate, working your cardiovascular system, and burning calories. If it is hot or humid out, or if your fitness level is at more of a beginner stage, leave the final exercise in the circuit out.

Repeat the circuit 2-4 times, depending on your fitness level. Remember to listen to your body and stop if you experience cramps, dizziness, lightheadedness, or cannot catch your breath.

Bench Push Up

  1. Place your hands on the back of the bench, feet on the ground. Both your hands and feet should be a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. With arms extended, begin to bend at the elbows, slowly lower your chest towards the bench, and keep your legs straight.
  3. Press yourself back up to the starting position, focusing on the muscles in your chest.

Reps: 8-10

Tip: To make this exercise more challenging, try performing your pushups with your hands on the bench seat. To level up even further, place your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground in front of you.

Bench Step Up

  1. Facing seat of the bench, step up with your right foot, fully planting your foot on the bench. Follow with your left foot.
  2. Step back down with your right foot, then your left.
  3. Repeat starting with your left foot this time, continuing to alternate.

Reps: 10

Tip: Take it as slow as you like, or speed up for more of a cardiovascular workout.

Bench Triceps Dip

  1. Sit on the bench, place your hands on the bench seat and lift your bottom off the seat in front of the bench, arms extended, fingers pointing forward.
  2. Your heels should be on the ground in front of you, with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows behind you, lowering yourself until your arms are at 90 degrees.
  4. Use your triceps to push yourself back up to the starting position.

Reps: 8-10

Tip: To make this movement more challenging, extend your legs straight out instead of with bent knees. To make it less challenging, bend your knees further.

Bench Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Stand facing away from the seat of the bench. Place your right foot on the bench seat behind you, laces down.
  2. Your left foot should be one step forward. Slowly bend your left knee, lowering yourself towards the ground. Keep your torso upright. Lower to a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up using your left leg, squeezing your glutes and pushing through your heel.
  3. Repeat the movement for all reps, then switch legs and repeat for the same number of reps.

Reps: 8-10

Tip: To increase the intensity, add a small hop at the top of the movement.

Bench Toe Tap

  1. Stand facing the bench seat. Quickly lift your right leg, bending your knee, and tapping your toes on the bench seat.
  2. Immediately lower your right leg while lifting your left leg to tap your toes on the bench.
  3. Continue switching legs, with both feet tapping being one rep.

Reps: 10-25

Tip: Go as quickly or slowly as your fitness level, and the weather allows you to while remaining safe and working within your fitness abilities.