Sometimes the fresh air calls or the gym is a little too busy. The outdoors is a perfect place to get into your daily workout routine when the weather is good. Here is a quick guide to some excellent no-equipment-needed exercises you can do outside.
The trick to getting the best outdoor workout is to pick the perfect place. Parks are excellent choices, especially if they have benches or a small playground. Exercising outside is an excellent way to get enough bodyweight exercises and cardio while adding a little fresh air to your workout program. Some parks have neatly paved walkways, which are ideal for running or sprinting.
Consider planning your workout. That leaves little room for awkward guesswork. Mapping your training out makes it easier for you to get through it without forgetting what you thought of in the shower on Tuesday. Consider packing a post-workout snack as well!
Just as you would in a gym setting, you need to warm up before you start working out. Take full advantage of the open space and settle in for a few dynamic stretches; maybe get your resistance bands (you can find resistance bands here) out to get your muscles warmed up and activated.
Here are a few exercises that target the glutes and legs.
Bulgarian split squat
The Bulgarian split squat is as effective as a traditional squat. It builds the upper part of the leg and helps develop flexibility in the hips and stability. Bulgarian split squats are better at building your glutes than lunges as it uses bodyweight to produce a heavier load on the glutes.
Targets: The quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
Aim: 2 – 3 sets of 10- 15 reps per leg.
How to do the Bulgarian split squat:
- Find a park bench.
- Standing in a forward lunge position, engage your core and stand upright. Place one foot on the bench behind you. The other leg should be half a meter in front of the bench.
- Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal. Make sure your knee is above your foot and not beyond it.
- Drive-up through your front heel back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.
- Switch sides and repeat the split for another 10 reps.
- Repeat a set of 10 reps per leg for 2 – 3 sets.
Lunges were created to make the legs powerhouses!
Targets: The quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves are all targeted in lunges.
Aim: 2 sets of 10- 15 reps per leg.
Take the plunge and lunge:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot forward. Your feet should be about 3-feet apart.
- Bend your knees towards the floor. Keep both of your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your knee shouldn’t go over your toes.
- Keep your torso straight and engaging your core as you push up to starting position.
- Step forward with your left leg and repeat the lunge for 10 lunges per leg. Lunge forward in a straight line.
- Repeat for 2 sets of 10 lunges.
Grab a resistance band and get walking! This fat-burning exercise is excellent for anyone that wants a low-impact yet effective workout. Lateral walks are perfect for in-between sets as a mini rest, or grab a resistance band and sweat it out.
Targets: The glutes, hip abductors, and inner and outer thighs
Aim: 2 – 3 sets of 10 reps per side.
Those quads were made for walking:
- Standing with your feet hip-width apart. If using a resistance band, loop it around your ankles.
- Bend your knees, start to lower your hips into a squatting position.
- Step your left foot out; your feet should be slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
- Step the right foot in towards the left foot. Return to the starting position.
- Keep your knees bent in the squatting position.
- Keep stepping out in a walking motion for 10 steps.
- Repeat going towards the right for ten steps. This completes one set.
- Repeat for 2 – 3 sets.
The cornerstone of health lies in the core. A strong core improves every aspect of your physical life. These upper body exercises are perfect for the outdoors.
Mountain climbers are great for anyone that enjoys bodyweight and strength training. Increasing the speed of the knees is a form of cardio that increases the heart rate.
Targets: The core. This exercise defines the back, shoulders, and chest.
Aim: 40 seconds of intense mountain climbers, rest for 10 seconds between sets. Aim to do 2 – 3 sets of 40 – 50 seconds.
Climb the mountain:
- Start in a straight arm plank position. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists.
- Bring your right knee up to your chest. Lower the knee back down, repeat with your left knee.
- Repeat alternating between knees. Increase your speed as you go along.
These full-body exercises are easy to add to your routine and can be done anywhere without equipment.
Bench Push-ups – Incline or decline
Target: Deltoid, pectorals, triceps, and secondary muscles along the back hips and abs.
Aim:3 sets of 10 – 15 reps.
Push-ups like a pro:
- Find a stable bench.
- Place your hands on the bench in front of you.
- Align your body so that you are completely straight. Bend at the elbows. Keep your elbows tucked in. lowering your chest to the bench.
- Push your body up to straighten your arms. Try not to lock your elbows as you do.
- Repeat for 10 reps.
Plank shoulder taps
Target: core, glutes, arms, wrists, and shoulders.
Aim: Repeat for 2 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
Shoulder tapping to great abs:
- Get into a plank position on the ground. Your body should be parallel to the ground.
- Keep your back level and engage your core. Tuck your tail in. Be sure to keep your legs extended.
- Slowly lift your left hand to tap the right shoulder.
- Return your arm. Raise your right arm, tap your left shoulder with your palm. This completes one rep.
- Repeat for 2 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
- Tip: For a greater challenge, add a hip dip after each shoulder tap. End your shoulder taps by holding the plank position for 30 seconds.
A daily dose of Vit D
Working out outdoors is a great way to get in your daily dose of Vitamin D. Spending even a minute outdoors is enough to improve your mood and lower blood pressure. No equipment required, and you have the freedom to target your whole body!