When I started calisthenics a few years ago, it was always a struggle to find calisthenics parks near me, especially when I was traveling to a new city or town.
I mean, you technically don’t need any equipment to do basic bodyweight training, but I think we can all agree that pull-up bars are a necessity to properly hit those lats and biceps! Also, it’s always more pleasant to work out outdoors with fresh air, sunshine, and birds singing in the background!
Now, although finding calisthenics parks and outdoor workout spots can be challenging, here are strategies you can use to maximize your chances of finding a local park regardless of where you are located in the world:
#1 – Google Maps
First, open Google Maps. In the search bar, type keywords like “calisthenics park“, “outdoor workout park“, or “outdoor gym” or “outdoor fitness“.
If you’re lucky, this step should give you an exhaustive list of all the calisthenics parks in your area, and you won’t need to try any of the other steps.
This method tends to work well in big metropolitan cities.
#2 – Dedicated Websites and Apps
Some websites and apps specifically list calisthenics parks worldwide. Examples include Calisthenics Parks and Calisthenics Spot. Just enter your location, and these platforms will show nearby parks that have been spotted and added by other users.
Now, it’s a bit annoying to deal with all the ad popups when using these apps, but again this should help you locate additional calisthenics parks in your area.
#3 – Social Media
Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit to find local calisthenics or street workout groups. Members of these groups often share their favorite spots.
For instance, open Facebook Groups, then search for terms like “calisthenics [your city]” or “street workout [your city]” in the search bar. This should help you locate some groups in your area that you can join.
#4 – Local Recreation Departments
Visit the official website of your city or town’s recreation department. They often have information on local parks and their amenities.
Some parks might not be labeled as “calisthenics parks” but might still have pull-up bars, parallel bars, and other equipment suitable for bodyweight exercises. Look for large “sporty” parks that already have facilities for other sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball and others.
#5 – Ask Around
Fitness enthusiasts, especially those into bodyweight training, might know of hidden gems in your area.
If you attend a gym, ask the trainers or other members if they know of any outdoor workout spots.
#6 – Explore Yourself
Sometimes, the best way to find a great calisthenics spot is by exploring your local parks and recreation areas on foot or by bike. You might stumble upon a great location that’s not listed online!
Parks that tend to have calisthenics workout equipment are the large ones that already cater to other popular sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis.
#7 – Build Your Network:
Joining local fitness or calisthenics groups, either online (through an app like meetup.com) or offline, can be a great way to discover new places. Members often organize meetups at different parks, allowing you to experience various spots.
Cannot locate any park? Time to get creative!
If you can’t find a dedicated calisthenics park nearby, don’t worry! There are still several creative ways to get your pull-ups done:
- Children’s Playgrounds: While they’re meant for kids, many playgrounds have monkey bars or similar structures that are perfect for pull-ups and dips. Just ensure you use them when they’re not crowded and always be respectful. I personally did it more than once! And the bonus is that you get to inspire all the kids around you to do the same 🙂
- Tree Branches: Look for sturdy tree branches in parks or forests. Ensure the branch is thick and strong enough to support your weight. Using gloves can help prevent splinters.
- Staircases: Some staircases, especially those with open backs, can be used for pull-ups. Grab onto the upper edge and perform your pull-ups. Ensure the staircase is sturdy and can support your weight.
- Door Pull-Up Bars: These are affordable and can be installed in most door frames. They don’t require any permanent fixtures and can be removed after use.
- Garage Beams: If you have a garage or a shed with exposed beams, these can be ideal for pull-ups. Again, ensure they can support your weight.
- Scaffolding: If there’s construction nearby with scaffolding, it can be an ideal spot. However, always ask for permission and ensure it’s safe. New Yorkers know this strategy all too well.
- Railings: Some railings, especially those at a higher elevation, can be used for pull-ups. Check that they’re firmly anchored and can handle the strain.
- Truck or SUV Roll Bars: A truck or SUV with roll bars can be a great makeshift pull-up bar.
- Gymnastic Rings: Buy a pair of gymnastic rings and hang them from a sturdy overhead support. They can even be hung to a solid tree branch! Rings are versatile and can be used for various exercises, including pull-ups.
- DIY Pull-Up Bar: If you’re handy, you can build your pull-up bar using pipes or other materials. There are plenty of online tutorials to guide you.
- Local Gyms: If you can’t find an outdoor spot and don’t want to install anything at home, consider joining a local gym. Most gyms have multiple pull-up stations, dip bars and other calisthenics equipment.
Remember, safety comes first! Always ensure the structure you’re using for pull-ups is stable and can support your weight. Be very careful.
Amine is a Toronto based entrepreneur who is passionate about Fitness, Diet and Health. He is passionate about teaching other entrepreneurs and “office workers” how to stay fit using simple yet effective bodyweight workouts that can be accomplished anywhere.