Key outdoor gym information

People using an outdoor gym

Free outdoor gyms

Free outdoor gym equipment is available for all ages across parks throughout Adur and Worthing, see the Outdoor gym map page

We have put together some ideas on how to use the equipment in your own time. You will also find suggestions at some of the parks. 

Key points to remember when using any of the outdoor gym equipment:

  1. One user on each piece of equipment at a time.

  2. Exercise with care and consult a doctor if you have any medical concerns.

  3. Stop exercising if you feel unwell.

Our advice when using the machines:

  1. Warm up with some gentle cardio exercises.

  2. Mix up cardio and strength machines to keep your heart rate up.

  3. Try to include a mixture of upper and lower body exercises.

  4. Finish with some stretching to prevent aching muscles the next day.

  5. Enjoy your workout!

Outdoor exercise suggestions

See our Outdoor Gym leaflet for information and pictures of the equipment described below:

Stepper, air walker, cross trainer or bike:

Cardiovascular exercise is important to ensure heart health, weight-management and has also been proven to improve symptoms of depression. To increase your endurance, aim to push yourself until you feel a good burn in the muscles, are breathless and a bit red in the face, but stop at any sign of physical pain.

Shoulder press:

This great way to build strength in the shoulder, chest and triceps muscles. Sit down on the machine, then push the handles forwards or over your head (don’t fully extend your arm), and lower them slowly. As a beginner, start with two sets of 10 to 15 reps, then work up to four sets of 15 to 20.

Lat pull-down machines, chin up or dips:

The lats (latissimi dorsi) are the muscles to the outside of your shoulder blades on your upper back. Using either the machine or the pull-up bars will not only strengthen your lats, but will also give you a good bicep workout. On the lat machine, grab the handles and pull them down by squeezing your shoulder blades together and using your back muscles.  Start with two sets of 10 to 15 reps, and gradually build up to four sets of 15 to 20. On the pull-up bars, lift your chest up to the bar while keeping your shoulder blades back and down. On these do AMRAP (as many reps as possible).

Benches, oblique machines (twister) or pendulum:

These pieces of equipment target your core by challenging your mid-section. A few sessions on these and you should improve your abdominal muscles which will protect your back and improve your posture. 

The benches are great for sit-ups and crunches: lie down, hook your feet under the bars, and then lift your torso up by engaging your abdominal muscles. 

Use the oblique machines to strengthen the sides of your core by rotating your feet. Start with two sets of 15 and build up to 4 sets.

Leg press machine:

This machine works out not only your quads (the muscles at the front of your thigh) but also your glutes and hamstrings (the muscles at the back of the legs and top of the bottom) so is excellent for toning the lower body.

Sit down and push your body away from the platform using your feet, keeping the heels down and your abs engaged. Start with two sets of 15 reps and work up to four sets of 15 to 20.

Butterfly:

This machine works the chest and back muscles. Sit down holding on to the bars with your arms bent at the elbow. Extend your arms out to the side and return to the starting position.

Once you get comfortable with how to use the machines, you can start getting creative with your workouts. Draw up your own routine, run there and back, and maybe even bring some friends. The trick to stick to your exercise routine is to make sure you enjoy it. Learn to feel each movement, connect with people around you and enjoy the sensations of being outdoors. This will help you be more consistent with your workouts, and in no time at all you’ll be smashing your weekly target – and hopefully inspiring others around you to do the same.

If you would like any further information on how to use the outdoor gym equipment to improve your fitness see the Adur & Worthing Councils' YouTube channel and the Activ8 for kids website.

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