One of the best things about calisthenics is that you can do your workouts wherever you are. If you find a street workout park near you, you can do them outside!
In a number of cities throughout the United States, you’ll find one or more parks specially outfitted with outdoor fitness equipment. This gives you the opportunity to take in some fresh air and show off your skills in front of some strangers.
But it can be difficult to find these parks if you haven’t searched before.
We have some suggestions!
Each park is rated by users of the app, both providing a score in the range of 0-5 stars as well as a detailed description that in many cases seems to include the types of equipment, where in the park the equipment can be found, and with the ability to share the location via embedding or on a social app.
This can be useful because of the previously mentioned difficulty in finding street workout parks.
As for detail on the map, here’s the embedded map for the park closest to me, in Atlanta:
And this map brings up one of the problems with calisthenics parks….
I live about 20 miles north of this park. If you’re at all familiar with Atlanta traffic, you’ll sympathize when I say there’s no way in Hell I’m driving down to Midtown from Alpharetta on a weekday to get in a workout. Between 3 and 7pm that’s a 75-90 minute drive.
Now, that map doesn’t have all the parks. Ultimate Calisthenics published this list of other lists for specific locations including:
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Eastern Europe
- Sydney, Australia
A third place to look is this map put together by the bodyweight fitness community on Reddit. While it’s limited to the United States, it’s a pretty solid map that identifies the occasional street workout park in an obscure location–even a couple of small parks in the Atlanta area!
Now if you are still striking out, that’s when the second source becomes worth considering.
Chances are, even if you’re not near a public park with calisthenics equipment, you may live a little closer to a school with a playground.
Obviously during the school day you’ll probably want to keep your distance as, well, school is in session. But on a weekend or late evening you may be able to make your way onto the grounds without causing much of a disturbance.
Maybe you could exercise on these?
There’s an elementary school behind my neighborhood that has some equipment which I’ve used a few times at off hours in the summer. Be careful since you’re likely using the equipment (1) without supervision and (2) outside of its intended purpose.
But if you’re desperate for a pullup bar in a public location, this may be a way to find one.
Find a Street Workout Park Using Only Your Sense of Adventure
Before giving up, check out your own local parks on your own. Check your local community website in the parks and recreation section; and take a walk / get in the car and visit!
In at least one case I’ve come across outdoor equipment that wasn’t listed on the community website. It wasn’t the pullup equipment I was hoping for, but I was at least able to get in a few exercises outside.
Speaking of adventure, this is definitely something to watch for when you’re traveling. I have done a couple of outdoor workouts in cities while I was traveling–New Orleans being one of them.
And Finally…Your Home Gym
At the end of the day, if you can’t find a nearby street workout park, I’m going to recommend you get some basic equipment to work out at home.
Sure, you can go grab the pullup handles on the exercise machines at your local gym if you want to wait to “work in” with the meatheads there, but I’d much prefer to invest a handful of months worth of gym membership fees in a pullup tower and do my workouts on my own schedule in my own home.
You probably need enough equipment to do dips, maybe parallelettes for your L-sits, something to hoist your legs up for decline pushups, and you’re good to go.
I’m going to take this opportunity to suggest that you could petition your local government to provide for calisthenics equipment in your local park.
Local communities take suggestions from the community for allocation of recreation budget. Some folks have been using Change.Org to gather support. You might seek the pulse of your community by posting on NextDoor or other sources of local community interaction.
What other resources do you know about for finding street workout parks? Share in the comments!
Photos courtesy Pixabay