Can you actually get a good workout using First Ward Park’s exercise equipment?

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Did you know First Ward Park has exercise equipment? Me neither. Today I went and checked it out.

I’ll start off by saying I’m kind of a fitness junkie. So when I walked up to the new workout area, I was hype. I mean, working out with the sound of fountains and a view of the city? Can’t beat it.

Each piece of equipment has a list of exercises you can perform, along with instructional pictures that show which muscles you’re targeting. Plus they’re ranked by difficulty level.

First I tried this contraption:

All of these suggested moves are bodyweight, and most are fairly simple. Although I didn’t try the handstand. Y’all let me know how that one goes.

Then I experimented with this guy:

It has 3 poles with a kettlebell attached to each. Pro tip: The weights are different, so test them out to see which one you want to use. Again, the moves are doable for most fitness levels. I did feel a little awkward when I saw people watching me do bicep curls. But maybe I’m just self-conscious.

Not gonna lie, I didn’t attempt this device:

Looks like a pull-up bar to me, but it didn’t come with any suggested movements. It reminded me of the metal trapeze I used to hang on at the playground.

Next I moved to the “cardio” machines.

Yes, there’s a reason cardio is in quotes. If you really want a good sweat, run intervals around the park.

Stationary Bike

When I put my feet on the pedals it was like biking through air. There’s no way to increase or decrease the amount of tension, so you’re kind of just chillin’. The seat is adjustable though.


If you like looking super awkward and robotic during your workout, this one’s for you. The idea was there, but I ended up getting frustrated and hopping off.


If anyone can tell me what this is, please shoot me an email. Maybe I’m just behind on the latest fitness trends, but I had no idea what to do with this. I read the instructions and still didn’t feel like I was doing it right.

Overall, I won’t be including these in my daily workout regimen. But I do think adding fitness equipment to a park is a fun idea.

My advice? Use the bodyweight and kettlebell machine for strength training, but make up your own cardio circuit. Bring some friends while you’re at it.

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