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Is Swinging on a Swing Good Exercise?

by
author image Jayne Yenko
Jayne Yenko started writing professionally in 1988. Her articles have appeared in the "Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune," the "Wisconsin State Extension" and at Westwood College Online. She holds a Master of Arts degree in education with an emphasis in home economics from the University of Iowa.
Is Swinging on a Swing Good Exercise?
Swinging is great exercise. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

You’re never too old to swing. Swinging on a swing is fun -- and it is good exercise. For every hour you swing, you burn 200 calories. Swinging is different than most workout programs, as it can make you feel like a kid again. You can get fit and spend time outdoors.

New Trend

Swing set fitness is an old trend from back when kids had recess and playground equipment like swings. Using a swing is an effective way to lose weight, tone up and gain strength. Swinging for fitness is making a come back -- for adults. Fitness gyms are starting to offer swing set fitness indoors. Combining traditional exercises with a swing can make workouts more engaging, so you will stick to it. It is an activity that the whole family can do. If you are taking your kids to the park to play, join them.

Exercises

There are several exercises you can do on a swing. For the first one, sit on the swing like you are getting ready to swing. Instead of pushing off with your legs, bend your knees and draw them into your chest. A few repetitions and you will start to feel your abdominal muscles working. For the second exercise, start in the same position as the first one. Holding onto the chains, lean back and put your legs straight out in front of you. Now lift your legs and your upper body at the same time, trying to get your knees as close to your nose as possible. The third exercise has you leaning back in the swing at a 45-degree angle. Your back is supported by the swing, your feet are on the ground, legs straight. Bend your knees and then straighten again. The muscles in the back of your calves and thighs will get a good workout with this one. Do a more advanced version of this by holding onto the chains but not using the swing seat itself. You can also sit on the swing and do scissors with your legs, use the chains to do pull-ups, even put your feet on the swing with your hands on the ground and do push-ups. Of course, you can also simply swing.

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Benefits

Swing fitness can condition the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments -- basically, most of the body. It can be adjusted to fit your fitness level or lack thereof. Swinging can blur the line between workouts and recreation. You can complete an entire body workout in less than 20 minutes. If you are swinging, your children will want to as well, and you will be teaching them good fitness habits.

Safety

The swing set you use should be secure, stable and in good working condition. Do not swing or bump into anyone, which could cause them to fall. Hold onto the chains or ropes of the swing tightly; you do not want to lose your balance and fall, particularly from a great height. Wash your hands after swinging. After all, people are not the only ones who use swings, squirrels love them, too. If you are using swings at the playground, bacteria will most likely be lurking on the chains. Wear sunscreen if you are going to be swinging for an extended period of time. It does not pay to get fit only to get skin cancer.

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