Summer is here, people! Let’s get ourselves out of the gym, and into nature. Now, we know you might be tempted to think that because you’re not working out in the gym, you’ll have to say goodbye to your fitness gains. But not so fast! Working out outdoors can be just as effective for strength training as pumping iron in a crowded gym. And in our opinion, when you’re maxed out from 4 sets of 12 tricep dips, it’s a lot more refreshing to inhale a deep breath of fresh air than it is to breathe the dry air-conditioned gym air. Give it a shot!
Here are a few of our favorite exercises for outdoor strength training:
There’s a slew of “at home” circuit training programs with cult social media followings (you’ve probably heard of a few) that don’t actually have to be performed in your home. We know, revolutionary. But seriously, go to the park down the street, the beach, or heck, any open field just about anywhere, and practice a few sets of pullups (monkey bars were made for these!), jump rope for a couple 2-minute sessions, do four sets of 12 tricep dips (did someone say park bench?), 4 sets of 20 mountain climbers, and as many pushups as you can do in 2 minutes! Ta-da! You’ve just completed a rigorous strength training session with zero equipment but your bodyweight. Now tell us how your arms feel tomorrow morning!
Jump Rope Challenge
No, jumping rope isn’t just for little girls in grade school. It’s a hugely productive fat-burner, a coordination and cardio conditioner, and a great high intensity interval warm-up activity that will get your heart rate up, your hand-eye coordination activated, and your blood pumping. We love Fitness Republic’s 20-Minute HIIT Jump Rope Workout.
Sprints – Hill, Stairs, or Sand
Sprinting is another great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that burns a significant amount of calories in a short period of time. Wherever you’re sprinting, warm up with a light jog for 5-20 minutes to get your muscles charged up and ready to run! We suggest doing a set of 12 sprints, around 30 seconds each. Alternate your effort, increasing a little bit each time. Give yourself no more than 1 minute of active rest (walking back to your starting point), before the next sprint. Make sure to cool down with a 5-20 minute light jog and stretching before heading home for a nice 21-gram Orgain shake!
When most people hear yoga, they think it’s a hippie dippie new age faux workout where you stick your butt in the air and call it exercise. However, it’s gained popularity in the last few decades, and has become a mainstream staple for women and men who want to tone up, lighten up, and loosen up. Many yoga studios offer donation-based classes at parks and beaches to bring yoga to their local community and practice under the warmth of the sun. These classes are usually geared toward beginners, so don’t worry about someone else outdoing your Chaturanga. Check out Yoga Journal’s list of 23 Strengthening Yoga Poses for toning your entire body, including Chair Pose, Plank Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Warrior Pose, Handstand, and Triangle Pose.