Monkey bars are a classic piece of playground equipment that can provide a fun and challenging workout for adults as well. They are a great way to improve upper body strength, grip strength, and coordination. In this blog post, we will discuss how to incorporate monkey bars into your workout routine and the benefits of doing so.
Before we get into the specifics of a monkey bars workout, let’s briefly discuss the benefits of incorporating this equipment into your routine.
Benefits of Monkey Bars Workout
- Improves Upper Body Strength
The monkey bars are a great way to work your upper body, particularly your arms, shoulders, and back. As you swing from bar to bar, you are using your muscles to pull yourself up and support your weight.
- Increases Grip Strength
Grip strength is essential for many activities, from lifting weights to opening jars. The monkey bars require you to hold onto the bars tightly as you swing, which can help improve your grip strength.
- Enhances Coordination
Moving from one bar to the next requires a lot of coordination, balance, and body awareness. As you practice swinging and transitioning from bar to bar, you will improve your overall coordination.
- Boosts Cardiovascular Endurance
Monkey bars require a lot of energy and effort, making them an excellent cardiovascular workout. As you swing, you are using your entire body, which can help increase your heart rate and improve your endurance.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of a monkey bars workout let’s get into the specifics of how to incorporate them into your routine.
Monkey Bars Workout: Beginner Level
If you are new to working out or haven’t used monkey bars before, it’s important to start with the basics to avoid injury.
- Hang and Hold
Begin by hanging from the first bar with your arms fully extended. Hold onto the bar for as long as you can. Try to keep your body still and engage your core. Aim to hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute before taking a break.
- Single Swing
Once you feel comfortable hanging and holding, it’s time to start swinging. Swing your body back and forth while holding onto the first bar. Once you’ve built up some momentum, let go of the first bar and grab onto the second bar. Continue to swing back and forth, grabbing onto each bar as you go.
- Knee Raise
To add an extra challenge to your swing, bring your knees up towards your chest as you swing. This will engage your core and improve your coordination.
- Transition Practice
Once you’ve mastered the basic swing, it’s time to practice transitioning from bar to bar. Start with two bars close together and swing back and forth between them. As you swing towards the second bar, let go of the first bar and reach for the second bar. Continue swinging back and forth between the two bars, practicing your transition.
Monkey Bars Workout: Intermediate Level
If you’ve mastered the beginner level, it’s time to step up your game with some more advanced exercises.
Once you’ve built up some upper body strength, you can start incorporating pull-ups into your monkey bars workout. Hang from the first bar and pull yourself up towards the bar. Lower yourself back down and repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
- Leg Raises
To further challenge your core, try doing leg raises as you swing from bar to bar. Bring your legs up towards your chest as you swing, and lower them back down as you reach for the next bar.
- One-Arm Swing
To improve grip strength and coordination, try swinging with only one arm. Hang onto the first bar with one hand and swing back and forth. Once you’ve built up some momentum, let go of the bar and grab onto the second bar with the same hand. Swing back and forth with one hand, alternating between bars as you go.
- Lateral Swing
To add some variation to your swing, try swinging laterally from one side of the monkey bars to the other. Start at one end of the bars and swing diagonally towards the other end, grabbing onto each bar as you go.
Monkey Bars Workout: Advanced Level
If you’re up for a serious challenge, here are some advanced exercises to try.
A muscle-up is a challenging exercise that requires a combination of pull-ups and dips. Hang from the first bar and pull yourself up towards the bar. Once your chin is above the bar, push yourself up and over the bar until you are in a dip position. Lower yourself back down and repeat. This exercise requires a lot of upper body strength and coordination, so be sure to work up to it gradually.
- One-Arm Muscle-Ups
If you’re feeling really ambitious, try doing a one-arm muscle-up. Hang from the bar with one hand and pull yourself up towards the bar. Once your chin is above the bar, push yourself up and over the bar using only one arm. Lower yourself back down and repeat on the other side.
- Burpee Pull-Ups
To add some cardio to your monkey bars workout, try doing burpee pull-ups. Start in a standing position, then drop down into a burpee. As you come up from the burpee, jump up and grab onto the monkey bars. Do a pull-up, then drop back down into a burpee and repeat.
- Ninja Warrior Course
If you’re really looking for a challenge, try creating your own ninja warrior course using monkey bars and other playground equipment. Set up different stations with different exercises, such as monkey bars, rope climbs, and balance beams. Time yourself and see how quickly you can complete the course.
Incorporating monkey bars into your workout routine is a fun and challenging way to improve your upper body strength, grip strength, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, there are plenty of exercises you can do on the monkey bars to challenge yourself and take your workout to the next level. So head to your local playground and give the monkey bars a try!