Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How To Exercise With A Swing

The following post contains an Ellie Activewear review. I was not paid for my opinions, but was given a free outfit to wear. All opinions, as they always are, belong to me. 

If you have kids, then there might be a good chance you have fitness equipment in your backyard. If you live near a park, then you certain have access to free fitness equipment. One piece in particular: The swing. It's basically a makeshift TRX suspension trainer! So today, I thought I'd give you some pointers and share a few exercises that just might inspire you to take your workout outside.

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First and foremost, we need to talk about safety. The swing is a movable (and often moving) object that might show no mercy. As such, you need to take a few precautions if you're going to use a swing to exercise outside. Here are a few safety tips for swing workouts:

Safety Tips For Swing Workouts
1) Make sure the swing is securely attached to the anchor point. If it's not and it comes tumbling down, you'll fall with it—and who knows what'll ultimately fall on top of you. (Tree branch? Ow.)

2) Survey the ground below the swing. Outdoor surfaces can introduce an element of instability. Look for loose gravel, protruding tree stumps...anything that'll make your foot slip or hurt your hands.

3) Check out the swing itself for possible rough spots. Especially if your'e working with a wooden swing. Splinters aren't fun. (Double-check the chains, too.)

4) Make sure there is plenty of space around the swing. Because if you fall for whatever reason (which you won't, hopefully) you won't want to fall into a pole or someone else on a swing.

Now, where to start?

What kind of exercises can you do with a swing?
Can you do TRX exercises on a swing?

The answers are "tons" and "yes," in that order. A swing is essentially a suspended piece of fitness equipment, minus the handles. But you can still grip a swing in a variety of different ways. If your swing is bendable (like mine), you are somewhat limited. A flat, wooden swing may give you more places to grip. Ultimately, you'll have to play around to see what works for you and with yours. A
and don't forget about the chains. Depending on the style of the chains on your swing, you may be able to grip them comfortably, too.

Here are some exercises I did with my swing, starting with a single-leg lunge:

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Add a hop. Add a pulse. Hold some weights if you have those at home (or can get them to the park).

Side note: My intent is not to provide a full-body workout, but to inspire you to play with a swing. That said, the exercises contained in this post will hit all of your major muscle groups. If you choose to put them together, please do so with caution and while honoring your body and fitness level.

Next up, pushups:

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You might also add a pike at the top of your pushup:

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Too much? Keep them separate, or switch the pike for a tuck.

Swings make for some great hamstring curls, too:

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Of course, you'll have to check out the height of your swing. You'll ultimately want to start the hamstring curl with your legs bent to 90 degrees, give or take an inch. Anything more than that might render the exercise ineffective.

Back work:

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This close-grip row will Fchallengeyour hand strength, too, if you're using a bendable rubber swing. If you're using a wooden swing, you might try grabbing the sides of the swing. Either way, you should be able to turn it into a high pull, too, if your shoulders allow it.

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Let's not forget planks:

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Put both feet in the swing. Or leave one underneath and challenge your inner thighs. Come to high plank, low plank, or even reverse plank. Again, you'll want to play around which (ahem) is the point of a swing anyway (#playtime). Here are some other exercises you can do with a swing:

Exercises You Can Do With A Swing
• Side Lunges
• Assisted Pistol Squats
• TRX Burpees
• Sprinter Starts
• Triceps Presses
• Side Bends
• Rollouts

The options are endless. Use your creativity...but keep safety at the forefront of everything that you do. Speaking of "forefront," let's take a look at the tops that Ellie Activewear sent me:

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I dig the details on the bra. It's Marika brand, and so comfortable. The tank is a bit see-through for my liking...I don't think I could wear it at the gym...but it's still cute. I'm really liking the knot/tie trend that's happening right now.

Here's a closer look at the pants. 

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At first, I wasn't too sure about them. I felt like they were just too geometric for my taste, but dang...these tights are super comfortable. SO super comfortable. And I like the subtle mesh detailing around the calf muscles.

If you like monthly subscription boxes and wear workout clothes every day, then you might like receiving the Ellie Activewear box. It has yet to disappoint me. I mean, there's a reason it's the #1 activewear subscription box. And it's not that expensive, either! $39.95 gets you three pieces: a top, bottom and bra. Pay $10 more and you'll get at least two accessories, too. Here are some other posts I've written about Ellie:

May 2017 Box
June 2017 Box

This creeper:

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Ha.

Question: Do you use any unconventional items as fitness equipment? Have you ever worked out with a swing? If so, what exercises did you do?
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