Playground Workout Cusco, Peru

After 25 days of biking through the Andes, Jessica and I arrived in Cusco anxious to regain the upper body strength we had lost on the ride. Across the street from the apartment of Jessica’s parents was a playground belonging to a school for the mentally handicapped. Jessica and I took to this colorful training ground with freshly shorn mohawks.

Jessica’s stepfather David joined us for our first workout which we recorded with the intent of inspiring other adults to take a second look at the playground nearby and maybe fit in a workout before their morning run or get some strength training in while the kids go down the slide.

To ensure a balanced upper body workout we made sure to have an exercise for each of the following categories: Core, Push Horizontal, Push Vertical, Pull Horizontal, Pull Vertical

We made a circuit out of the following three exercises and rotated through each station three times.


Core: Leg Lift With Arms- I took one of the tires in the playground and put together this anterior chain core and balance exercise. This position is used in a lot of acrobalance poses. Start with the knees bent to the chest then straighten them as far as you are able to hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times per set.


Push Vertical: Incline Tubing Press- David had brought some extra strong tubing which we slung around the swingset to work chest and shoulders. We did ten repetitions each set


Push Horizontal: Swing Set Fly- Similar to a pushup but keeping the elbows in place and only moving from the shoulder. Make it more difficult with straighter elbows or easier with bend elbows. We did ten repetitions each set

We did the following two pulling exercises but not in a circuit.


Pull Vertical: Pull-up Pyramid: Start with one repetition, take a break then do two reps. Work up to a number that is difficult then work back down to one. Example: 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1,


Pull Horizontal: Swingset Rows The more horizontal you are the more difficult it is. Three sets of ten at the angle pictured was plenty after pull-ups.

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