In the past years, outdoor parks have sprouted all over the United Kingdom. It was in 2007 when The Great Outdoor Gym Company first thought off installing an outdoor gym in parks. The concept was inspired by outdoor exercise equipment in China. In the year 2014, there were already around 400 outdoor gyms in the UK. The number should have increased by now. The concept is actually simple: exercise machines for cardiovascular strength; machines that workout the upper and lower body, as well as the core; and gym obstacles (hurdles, step-ups, parallel bars, and pull-up bars, among others) are set up in strategic areas in a park. The people are free to use them, and this is one of the biggest appeals of outdoor gyms. Here are five public parks in London that offer good outdoor gyms.
1. Victoria Park, E9 (People’s Park)
Also known as People’s Park, Victoria Park is the oldest public park in London. It features an array of workout stations in the middle of a dirt running track. The outdoor gym has parallel bars, vertical bars, and pull-up bars. It is ideal for bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, and a full body workout. You can start your workout with a jog or run on the track. End your workout with a calming yoga cool down routine.
2. Kensington Park, SE11
Kensington Park is strategically located towards the north end of St. Agnes Place. It has more than ten stations and its suspended planks provide a unique but exhilarating workout. You can do a lot of exercises on the planks – balancing workout, a little yoga, and core exercises. You can even use the suspended planks for a modified push-up routine. If you want a combined challenge, use the suspended planks along with the wooden wall and tire traverse for a good obstacle run.
3. Battersea Park, SW11
This outdoor gym is gated and located inside a city park. One of its come-ons is its breathtaking view. Battersea Park will ignite your energy by way of an 8-obstacle workout that features a balance beam and a pull-up bar, among others. Go through the obstacle three to five times, and you’ll feel your calories start to burn.
4. Primrose Hill, NW1
Primrose Hill is located near Regent’s Park and is known for its beautiful view of majestic London. Its outdoor exercise equipment is free to use by the public. There are trees and shrubs everywhere, making it an ideal place for exercising, especially for those who want a little privacy when they’re trying to conquer the pull-up bars and balance beam. Some of the outdoor gym equipment for free use at Primrose Hill are the gymnastic rings, sit-up benches, low rise bars, climbing frames, monkey bars, vertical jump bar, single squat beams, and low jumping bars. The area is spacious, so you can do whatever workout routine you want. Likewise, you can run and jog comfortably in the park.
5. Parliament Hill Fields, NW3
If you want to combine endurance training and weight training, the best outdoor gym for you is Parliament Hill Fields. You can work out using the machines and bars, or you can choose to conquer the hills of Hampstead Heath for a more rewarding (and grueling) workout!
Have fun exercising outdoors!