Using outdoor equipment for a workout

Outdoor gyms vary a lot in terms of the equipment on offer. Some have the basics such as bars and benches to equip you for a great callisthenics style workout. Others have a wide range of machines, many of which may be similar to what you’d find at a traditional indoor gym. Or maybe you’re making the most of your local playground equipment for your outdoor gym workout.

Whatever the setup is at your local outdoor gym, here are some top guidelines to follow when it comes to using outdoor equipment for a workout. These tips will help to set you up for a safe and effective workout.

Exercise technique when using outdoor gym equipment

Although all outdoor gym exercises differ in the way they are performed, there are technique guidelines that can be applied to all of them:

  • Pull your shoulders back and down throughout the movement
  • Activate your abdominals, either by drawing your belly button towards your spine or “bracing”, depending on the exercise
  • Breathe naturally and never hold your breath
  • Adopt a tall posture throughout your exercises and keep your spine in a neutral position
  • Equipment safety at outdoor gyms

Sometimes outdoor gym equipment might get damaged so that it’s either unsafe and/or not working properly. It’s possible that no one who would do something about fixing it would know about the issue. This is because outdoor gyms aren’t staffed the way most indoor gyms are. Before you start any exercise, check to see that the equipment appears safe. If something looks unsafe or like it needs fixing, report it to your local council.

How to use equipment at outdoor gyms

Many machines at outdoor gyms will have instruction cards attached to them. If you’re new to using a piece of equipment, read the instructions first to help yourself learn the exercise. Some callisthenics equipment will provide exercise ideas which you can try. To be sure you are using your local outdoor gym equipment effectively, ask a local personal trainer to take you through a few sessions with it.

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