If you’ve wondered what the jungle-gym-like structures dotting the perimeter of the Marquette campus are, those are new outdoor workout stations courtesy of the Wellness Initiative Fund and Rec Sports.
Launched in January 2018, the Wellness Initiative Fund seeks to support and enhance employees’ well-being through new wellness offerings on campus.
Though driven primarily by Employee Wellness, the workout stations are available to all members of the Marquette community.
Working with CD Smith Construction and Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground, a cross-campus committee of individuals from Student Affairs, Employee Wellness, Rec Sports, and Facilities Planning and Management identified five station locations around the “Marquette mile” based on size, green space, proximity to one another and appropriate construction areas.
While each station is equipped with instructions on how to use the equipment, Marquette Today partnered with Employee Wellness to offer you this handy visual guide to aid you in your exercise plans:
Knee lift station
The knee lift station helps with balance, flexibility and core strength.
How to use: Lift your knees to waist level and hold – or bring your knees up and down in a controlled manner. Keep your knees bent or do a straight leg raise.
Assisted functional trainer
The assisted functional trainer provides a wide range of fitness benefits for users of all ages and fitness levels. Designed specifically for the active aging community, its unique design elements provide additional support for users who need assistance. The center platform is also good for step-up/step-down or step-up/step-over exercises, as well as stretching exercises.
How to use: Using the comfort seat on one end, or from a mobility device, users can transition from a seated to standing position to enhance balance and functional fitness. All handrails feature ComfortGrip coating for improved grip/grasp while the step platform features a treaded surface for enhanced traction.
Raynor Memorial Library
The horizontal chin-up station helps in executing a chin-up.
How to use: Place feet on the platform, lie down beneath the chin-up bar, grasp the bar with both hands and pull your body up. The station can also be used for elevated push-ups. The more horizontal you are to the bar, the more difficult this exercise will be.
Designed with guidance from an exercise physiologist to create the optimum push-up experience, this push-up combo station features a unique hand grip curvature to create multiple challenge levels.
How to use: Place hands on horizontal bar. Your body should be in a plank position. Bend elbows up and down to complete push-up.
Parallel bars (accessible)
The accessible parallel bars allow adults who use a mobility device to perform upper body exercises alongside their peers. The lower set of bars are designed for a user to pull him or herself – and the mobility device – into the bars.
How to use: Grasping the bars, raise your body out of the seat and lower back in to perform an effective upper body workout. With your body vertical and both arms straight, try holding your torso above the bars. You can hold still or walk down the bars using your arms. You can perform dips, knee tucks or “L-sits.” These bars can even be used to do an elevated push up or horizontal rows.
The balance beam helps with balance and flexibility, which has proven to reduce the risk for injuries.
How to use: Start by walking foot over foot the entire length of the beam. As you increase your balance, you can add progressions such as turning or balancing on one foot and adding movement with your limbs.
This hyperextension exercise strengthens the abdominals and lower back.
How to use: Perform crunches and sit-ups on one side of the station by placing knees over the cross bar, with feet under the foot stops while lying back on the body plate. Raise yourself up using your abdominal muscles. Back extensions can be performed by placing thighs against the front cushions on the other side of the station and raising your body using your lower back muscles.
Bench dip station
The bench dip station is one of the best exercises to develop arm strength and engage your core.
How to use: Place hands on the bars with your thumbs forward. Keeping your chest up high and your knees bent, dip down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Beginners can start with the lower bars. The closer your feet are to your body, the easier this exercise will be. Advance this exercise by moving your feet farther away and increasing your range of motion.
Marquette Wellness Center
Balance board station
Standing on the platform activates the spring, creating a balancing exercise that enhances core strength.
How to use: Try balancing on one leg or performing narrow squats. For an additional core workout, you can also try doing a push-up using the hand grips that are molded into the platform. Or, if you want a real challenge, try doing a handstand like Larry here.
Multiple hand grips at this station allow users to do various versions of pull-ups/chin ups.
How to use: Grasp the handles/bar and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Slowly lower back down and repeat. Beginners can use a partner to do assisted pull-ups. You can do this by bending your knees so that your lower legs are at 90 degrees, with your feet behind you. Place the top of your feet or your ankles on your partners’ hands to use as support as you move up and down.
Lalumiere Language Hall
The skill trainer is designed to help enhance fine motor skills, coordination, flexibility and balance. It provides multiple exercise options, including the finger walk and ring trace. The ring trace includes three difference heights: standing, seated on the comfort seat or seated in a mobility device.
How to use: Grasp the colored ring and try sliding it from one side of the bar to the other without letting the ring to touch the bar.
Body curl station
Build aerobic endurance and core strength with traditional core exercises at the body curl station.
How to use: Lay on your back and grasp the bar with both hands. Lift heels off the bench to engage core. You can also do a traditional sit-up or crunch by lying the opposite direction and placing your feet under the bar.
The plyometric boxes are perfect for step-ups, box jumps, dips, push-ups and more. Multiple heights create varying degrees of challenge.
How to use: Step up onto the box with one leg, then bring the other leg up as you straighten both legs. Step back down and repeat on the opposite side. You can also walk or jump from one to the next. For a push-up, start in a plank position with your feet on the box. Place hands on the ground in front of you. Lower down into a push-up so that your chest gets close to the floor, then push back up and repeat.
A sixth exercise station outside the ROTC building is coming soon. There will be a pull-up bar as well as an up-and-over bar.
More about the Wellness Initiative Fund
Supporting healthy behaviors at work not only has a lasting impact on employee well-being, but also helps to build a campus community that is supportive of health and well-being while fostering positivity and growth.
Applications for the Wellness Initiative Fund are accepted on a rolling basis. All faculty and staff are eligible, and any department/area on campus can apply – though only one application per area can be accepted each year.
For more information or to apply, visit the Wellness website.