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Fitness

The full-body workout you can do with just a park bench

Take advantage of the nice weather and take your workout outdoors.

By Erin Fisher
Having access to a gym definitely expands your exercise options, but it isn't the only way to keep things interesting.
Park benches are easily accessed, free to use, and with a little creativity, they can become a fantastic piece of equipment for a quick strength-training routine or a full workout!
Repeat each move 10-15 times.

Tricep dips

With the bench behind you, position your hands on the very edge of the bench, shoulder-width apart with your arms straight.
Hold your weight above the ground with your legs bent or outstretched in front of you.
Slowly lower your hips towards the ground by bending your arms at the elbows until they're at about a 90-degree angle, keeping your elbows close to your body.
Next, push through your hands and use your triceps to bring your torso up again to the starting position.

Step-ups

Facing the bench, place your right foot on the bench and press through your heel to step up onto the bench, finishing with both feet next to each other.
Step down again with the right foot, then the left, back to the starting position.
After one set, change sides.

Incline push-up

A bench can be used to make push-ups easier for beginners, or harder if you need an extra challenge!
For an easier version, do your push-ups with your hands on the edge of the bench and your feet on the ground.
For a harder variation, try doing push-ups with your hands on the ground and your toes on the bench. The downward incline adds even more resistance to your arms.

Toe taps

Facing the bench, hop from foot to foot in a high-knee run, gently tapping your toes against the bench as if you are tapping a ball.
Using a bench instead of a ball means you have to lift your knees higher, which recruits more muscles in your legs, glutes and core.

Bench jumps

For an advanced move, start facing the bench with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your knees slightly, swing your arms back, then jump with both feet at the same time up onto the bench, landing as softly as you can with a slight bend in the knees to protect your joints.
Step back down; repeat.

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