Impromptu Backyard Workout

Normally after Shark Boy and I get home from daycare/work respectively, we have about 20-30 minutes to kill before dinner is ready.  He likes to be outside so we often take walks to the park or he rides his glider bike around the neighbourhood.  It’s an opportunity for me to be slightly active, in that I walk with him (occasionally running to catch up), but it’s not exactly a workout; I’m still in my work clothes.  I dress casually, but I’m not in suitable shoes for running and I get hot wearing jeans in summer (or Indian summer) weather.

Today I tweaked it a little though.  Shark Boy had asked to play in the backyard this morning, and we had to get him to daycare (and me to work), so nothing doing.  Still, he jumped at the chance to get out there this evening.  I promised to join him once I changed to shorts and a t-shirt and grabbed a few extras.

Knowing time was short, and that situations with kids were fluid at best, I didn’t have high expectations for my workout, but the truth was I was still sore from a Gravity Machine workout the day before, so anything that would break a sweat without being too gruelling was welcome.  I’d grabbed a jump-rope and a 6lb medicine ball that we got for my wife a while back.  I hadn’t put on shoes, but hoped I could jump rope in the grass.  That didn’t work so well; the rope slowed down in the grass and threw off my timing.  Next time, I’d wear shoes and do it on the patio.

The medicine ball was more appealing – I haven’t used it since we bought it, but I’d found a good set of exercises here.

 I started with their ‘Log Toss’ and simply threw the ball into the air.  That way, if Shark Boy wanted to get involved I could simply claim that this was *my* ball and he was welcome to do the same with one of his.  Our backyard has plenty…

It was a great move for explosive power through the legs in the squat portion, along with a swing in the shoulders, much like some of those kettlebell moves you see these days. I did about 10.

I moved into Medicine Ball Slams.  These always scared me because I worry about what happens to the floor or walls that they’re used on.  Most demonstrations seem to occur in industrial spaces with cement walls.   That’s not like my house or my gym, but I figured our lawn was up for the abuse! 12 to 15 reps of this (I wish I’d kept better count, but the kids distracted me!)

I paused to grab a picnic blanked and bring the Lightning Kid out to watch us play.  Then I lay down beside him and did some crunches while holding the medicine ball above me.

Papa, that’s not how you play ball.

Before Shark Boy finally demanded my attention, I fit in about 14 pushups while alternating the ball from hand to hand.

We’re signing Shark Boy up for a Kids-of-Steel Duathlon, so I thought I’d try getting him in mental shape for the idea of racing; I know he’s got the fitness, endurance and iron will, I just hope he doesn’t get confused or overwhelmed.  Anyway, I challenged him to race across the yard.  With my longer legs it wasn’t that challenging or that much fun for either of us.  Then I gave him a head start halfway across the yard, and did a sprinting charge complete with “I’M GONNA GET YOU!” and monster sounds.  That ramped up the fun and sweat!

To round it out a little before dinner, I managed to get the Lightning Kid involved too.  I ran a little (fairly slowly) while carrying him, and also some lunges with him on my shoulders.

Shark Boy gets in on the lunging action

While I couldn’t tell you how many calories I burned, I broke a definite sweat and had great fun with my boys.  I’m motivated to try this kind of thing again, in fact I’m motivated to get back into training for the off-season.  Thanks boys!

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