Exercise Outdoors in Jozi

Get Fit At These Outdoor Gyms
Photo by Johannesburg City Parks

We will continue being vocal about why being physically active is important but hopefully, by now you realize that it is really important. Having said that, we realize that not everyone can afford a gym membership. So we decided to compile a comprehensive guide for different types of gyms. Outdoor gyms, with free access.

If you have already utilized any of these Outdoor Gyms please let us know if you find them easy to use and if you use them often. Better yet, why not snap a picture and share it with us on your favorite social media. Find us on Twitter and Facebook

These Outdoor Gyms were launched in 2012, initially at Petrus Molefe Eco-Park in Soweto as a pilot project between Johannesburg City Parks Corporate Projects and young entrepreneur Tim Hogins of Green Outdoor Gyms [1].

An outdoor gym is a gym built outside in a public park suitable for teenagers to the elderly. The equipment is modeled on all-weather playground equipment and uses your own body weight for a good workout [2]. According to Johannesburg City Parks, Green Outdoor Gyms were developed with the following objectives in mind:

Objectives & Key Accomplishments

  1. To develop active nodes of recreation proactively to help residents of the City of Johannesburg to develop healthy lifestyles that contribute to a strong, growing city
  2. Working with partners whose values contribute to the City of Johannesburg’s commitment to providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to increase the quality of life of its citizens and assist communities that otherwise might not be able to afford or have access to these facilities
  3. To test the Green Outdoor Gyms concept in Petrus Molefe Eco-Park in Soweto to determine the interest, viability and long-term sustainability of rolling out outdoor gyms in Johannesburg’s parks.

Sport and Exercise Dev SA has compiled a comprehensive guide on how to use this equipment and further provide illustrations of what muscle groups these exercises work. Hopefully, by the end of this article, we would have convinced you to go out there every once in a while.

Upper body workouts


Push up bars

Push up bars

Position both hands on top of the bars, assuming push-ups position. This is the starting position. Inhale as you lower your body towards the floor until your chest is almost parallel with the bars, or lower if you wish.

You can position your hands at the top or bottom of the bars for a variety of inclined and declined push-ups variation.


Double parallel bars

Double parallel bars

Position both hands on the bars and lift your feet off the floor. This is the starting position. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Then pull yourself up again. This is one repetition.


Pull chair

Pull chair

Seat down on the chair with your hands on the handle of the bars. Remain seated as you pull down the bars toward your shoulders, bending your elbows and pulling them down.

Return slowly to the starting position. this is one repetition.


Double wab board

Double wab board

Lie down flat on the board and hook your feet on the machine bars. Use your abdominal muscles to leverage yourself up from the board, bringing your head toward knees then slowly back down. This is one repetition.

Lower body workout


Double seated pedal trainer

Double seated pedal trainer

Seat down on the chair and place your feet on the machine. Push your feet against the machine, using your legs. Extend your legs until they almost fully extended. Then pause for a for breath and slowly allow gravity to guide you back into the starting position. This is one repetition.


Triple space jumper

Triple space jumper

Step onto the machine, one foot at the time. Then start moving a walking motion, extending your feet as far as it is comfortable. increase and decrease the speed as you wish.


Bicycle

Bicycle

Step onto the bicycle and balance yourself with the bars if you need to. Seat down on the chair and start pedaling the bicycle. You can increase the speed to increase the intensity of the exercise. you can also stand, this too will increase the intensity.


Stepper

Stepper

Step on the machine and use the bars to maintain balance. Start pedaling on the machine as if you were pedaling.

Full body


Single rowing machine

Single rowing machine

Seat down on the machine with your hands on the 2 levers and your feet resting on the footrest. Use the levers to rock yourself back and forth on the chair. This exercise will work most of the major muscles in the body.

These should give you an idea about how to utilize this gym equipment if you happen to have them around your area. According to Johannesburg City Parks, the parks listed below already have them.

You might also like:  10 Gym Essentials: Items every gym bag should have

  • Metro Park – corner Ntemi Piliso and Carr streets, Newtown
  • Petrus Molefe Eco-Park – corner Luvuvhu and Mtambo streets, Dhlamini Ext 1, Soweto
  • Diepslooot Park – corner King Senzangakhona and Zukiswakhohlwani streets, Diepsloot West Ext 3
  • Krematart Park – corner Banberry and Banksia streets, Eldorado Park Ext 3
  • Protea Glen Park – Soweto
  • Zola Eco-Park – Bendile Road, Zola, Soweto
  • Lehae Park – corner Azania and Primrose streets, Lehae, Soweto
  • Sir Lionel Phillips Park – Greenside
  • Mushroom Farm Park – corner Daisy and Pretoria roads, Sandown
  • Birdhaven Park – Greenacres Road, Birdhaven
  • Westdene Dam Park – Westdene Dam
  • Kingston Frost Park – Brixton
  • Rotunda Park – Turfontein
  • Zoo Lake Park – Zoo Lake Parktown
  • Alec Goshel Park – Berea
  • Cheltondale Park – Norwood
  • George Hay Park – Parkview
  • Ivory Park – Ivory Park
  • Klipriviersburg Nature Reserve – Kibler Park
  • Lebombo Park – Claremont
  • Plateau Park – Claremont
  • Porcupine Park – Le Hae
  • Tladi Park – Soweto

These are not all the machines you might find at the park, there are several others. The scope of this article is too short to describe all the machines in detail. You can go to the Green Outdoor Gyms website to view other machines that are not described in this article. Most of them are very easy to use.

Please don’t forget to share this article and inform others. Don’t forget to subscribe for more posts like this. Until next time, keep moving.

References

[1] Johannesburg City Parks, “Johannesburg City Parks,” 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/pdfs/outdoorgyms_casestudy.pdf. [Accessed 10 November 2018].

[2] jhbcityparks, “Outdoor gyms in Joburg,” [Online]. Available: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/outdoor-gyms. [Accessed 10 November 2018].

[3] Outdoor Gyms, “OUTDOOR GYMS,” [Online]. Available: http://gog.co.za/our-product-portfolio/outdoor-gym/. [Accessed 10 November 2018].

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Thando W. Dlamini, BA

Sport Development and Exercise Science Practitioner

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