The Jungle Gym isn’t what you think at first. It’s not that thing you used to play on when you were a kid. It’s just a strap with a few pieces of plastic. But, that strap opens up a world of exercise possibilities, makes exercise on the road easier, and makes exercise at home more effective. It’s lightweight, portable, and only takes a few seconds to set up.
Exercises You Can Do with the Lifeline Jungle Gym
I want to point out a few of the exercises you can do with this piece of equipment. This list is not exhaustive, but it shows you the versatility.
Body Weight Rows
The major reason I fell in love with this particular piece of equipment is that I can do bodyweight rows. Most people don’t work out their back properly. To be specific, many people, if they exercise, spend a disproportionate amount of time exercising their horizontal upper body pushing and neglecting their upper body pulling. Especially teenagers who are obsessed with the bench.
The horizontal pressing movement should be balanced out by a horizontal pulling movement. So, if you’re working out at home, you could easily superset your pushups with the Jungle Gym Rows.
If you use one hand for the rows, you get a bunch of stabilization benefits. Your torso ends up working hard to keep your body from rotating. Additionally, this exercise is a great way to prepare for the one arm push up as well.
Atomic Push Ups
A really cool exercise is the Atomic Push Up (see a Youtube). Stick your feet in the straps of the Jungle Gym and get in a push up position. Go to the bottom position and then push up–when you get to the bottom, draw your legs toward you so you end up curling into a ball. Then uncurl and do another push up and start all over. This exercise feels extremely powerful, and gives you a great workout.
Amosov Squat and Pistols
Another way to use the Jungle Gym is for assistance in particular exercises. For example, you can use it during the Amosov Squat (See a Youtube of the Amosov Squat). Or, you can use it while you’re training to do a one-legged squat (a.k.a. the pistol).
Pull Ups and Chin Ups
You can sling the Jungle Gym over a decent-sized tree branch and do pull ups and chin ups. I’ve also used a railing to do this. Because the handles want to move all over the place, you engage quite a bit of your body just controlling the handles, so the chin up feels incredibly strong using the Jungle Gym.
Push Ups and DipsI’ve slung the Jungle Gym over my Trapeze Rigging Pull Up bar and done both dips and push ups. You could also use a tree branch or a railing to the same effect. Having the unstable ends really makes you work hard.
Finally, if you’ve been using those ridiculous hamstring curl machines at a gym, you’re in for a treat. Using the Jungle Gym, the hamstring curl is actually an effective exercise! Try it–you will feel an immediate difference. (See a Youtube.) For one, you actually engage your butt. A lot of people have gluteal amnesia and forget all about their powerful butt muscles. I’m not sure if this is a travesty or not, but it seems downright wasteful to me not to use something and let it waste away!
Extreme Portability, but Watch for TSA
The Jungle Gym is totally portable. Although, I’ve had to take it out of my bag for TSA because they were always stopping me. I’m not sure whether it was the jump rope or the Jungle Gym, or both, but boy, did they look at my bag funny. It was sort of a game to me until a TSA agent pointed out something I should have realized on my own: “Take it out of your bag.”
Lifeline Jungle Gym Usage Tips
For most exercises, you can just put it over the door and close the door and you’re set. That takes about five seconds. Then, I always measure the length of the straps for exercises where longer or shorter straps will change the difficulty. That way I can better track my progress. At home, I make sure that the direction of pull is going the opposite way the door opens. The hotel doors are pretty strong and it usually doesn’t matter if you’re going with the direction that the door opens.
Get your Jungle Gym from Lifeline.