How many times have you used outdoor exercise equipment? Can you count the number on one hand?

Many people walk by these fitness stations because they simply don’t know what to do. Certain pieces, like pull-up bars, are self-explanatory. But others can be confusing.

The Y is here to help! Our instructor, Elizabeth Hughes, used the public fitness circuit by Ascend Amphitheater to demonstrate basic moves to improve balance, core stability, and muscle strength.

Now, you have a workout that can be tailored to your local park. So, next time you’re out with family or friends, explore what equipment is available and how you can use it to stay healthy all year long.

Beginners Workout

Start with a lap or two around your area—enough to increase your heart rate and warm up those muscles. We suggest alternating upper and lower body exercises. You’ll see 7 suggestions below. Perform 10 reps of each exercise, then take another lap. Repeat the circuit up to three times.

1. Push-ups

Use these low bars for push-ups. The lower the bar, the harder the exercise will be. Spread your feet wider to make it easier.

2. Step-ups

A wide bench like this is great for step-ups. You can also use a nearby ledge or staircase. Step up 10 times on each leg.

3. Tricep Dips: beginner option

Use the same bench or ledge for tricep dips. Bend your knees to make it easier or straighten out your legs to make it harder. Either way, keep your glutes close to the bench!

Tricep Dips: advanced option

Those of you who like a challege can use parallel bars for elevated tricep dips.

4. Single leg squats

An elevated beam works great for single leg squats because it also works your balance. If you don't have access to a beam, use a bench or ledge. Perform 10 on each leg.

5. Pull-ups

Use a standard pull-up bar or parallel bar. You can experiment with different heights to find what works for you. Make this exercise easier by moving your legs closer to your body. Straighten out your legs to make it harder.

6. Ab lifts

An incline works great for abs. Keep your back flat while performing this exercise. Pull your legs up into a tuck for the basic version, or lift your legs straight up to make it harder. If you don't have an inclined surface, simply use the ground or a bench.

7. Box jumps

Use a bench or wide ledge again to perform box jumps. Make sure it's high enough to create a challenge!

Did you know? The opportunity to try outdoor equipment is right in the backyard of one of our Ys. Come visit the Urban Fitness Trail at the Margaret Maddox YMCA in East Nashville.

More healthy tips and tools

You can explore more Y workouts to do solo or with friends, and view recipes and nutrition tips on our healthy living blog.