Spring is here and there’s no better way to get out and enjoy the sunny Seattle weather than to do so while working out! Don’t snub the outdoors for your routine weight lifting program in the gym. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get a full body workout done sans gym equipment. Plus, think about all of the extra Vitamin D you’ll be soaking up while you exercise.
Another benefit of exercising outside is that it’s different. We are all creatures of habit and often shy away from the unknown. What many people don’t realize is your body craves variety. Too much of one thing is never good. Switching up your usual exercises with an entirely new program not only fights boredom, but also prevents your body from reaching a plateau. That being said, here’s a quick circuit to help get you started with something new outdoors. All you need is a playground and a little creativity. Time to kick into gear, no excuses!
- Hanging knee tucks (works abs, lower back, lats, shoulders, forearms)
- Grip onto a sturdy branch or monkey bar with your hands shoulder width apart
- Keeping your core engaged, pull both knees up towards your chest contracting your abs. Do not swing legs up or arch your lower back.
Tip: be sure to keep your shoulder blades down and back throughout the whole movement.
- Pushup knee tucks (works chest, shoulders, abs)
- Start in the pushup position, hands shoulder width apart and abs engaged
- Bring your body down, touching your chest to the floor
- As you push up, pull one knee in toward your chest and back down
- Repeat pushup and pull in opposite knee toward chest
Tip: To modify, perform the pushup off of a bench or from your knees
- Bench Plyo step ups (works legs, core)
- With one foot on top of the bench and the other on the floor
- Propel straight up bringing your opposite knee up towards your chest. Jump as high up as you can.
- Land back in starting position
Tip: Make sure you push your weight through the heel of the foot on top of the bench and keep your knee behind your toes. To modify, perform the exercise without the jump.
- Bench dips (works chest, triceps)
- Start with hands shoulder width apart and body right next to the edge of the bench.
- Descend down, keeping elbows straight back until arms are bent ~90 degrees
- From there, squeeze elbows together as you push your body straight up to starting position, keeping your spine close to the edge of the bench
Tip: Avoid letting your elbows flare out to the sides
- Monkey Bar Jump pull-ups (works legs, back, biceps)
- From the ground, jump straight up gripping tightly on the bar and pulling your body up as high as you can.
Tip: Momentum from the jump will assist in pulling your body up. The harder you jump, the easier it will to pull yourself up! 🙂
- Bulgarian Split Squats (works glutes, legs)
- Facing away from the bench, keep one foot on top of the bench
- Sit back on your standing leg, pushing your weight into the heel and keeping your knees behind your toes.
- Lunge back as low as you can, aiming to get the thigh of your standing leg parallel with the floor.
Tip: Avoid bending forward too much; focus on keeping your chest and chin up.