It’s hard to force yourself to work out in a dark gym when the sun is shining outside. Especially since you can build muscle just as effectively with your own body weight as you can with weight lifting. All you really need is something to push or pull and some room to move your body and activate all the muscles you otherwise only train indoors. Tone up and build strength while improving your tan with this outdoor workout you can do at your local park.
Benefits of exercising outdoors
There are a number of benefits associated with an outdoor cardio or strength workout, including increased calorie burn and a huge mood boost. The main reason for the first benefit: exercising outdoors challenges your muscles with slopes, descents and obstacles. In addition, you will improve your mood and self-esteem when you exercise outdoors.
Jump into your usual routine by completing this exercise circuit outdoors. Try it in your backyard or a local park – these outdoor exercises will burn calories while building muscle. So if you’re craving something that’s fun, fresh, and gets you moving, read on for a unique outdoor workout you can do alone or with a group.
1 Hour Outdoor Training – Sample Program
This classic form of training is ideal for staying fit and healthy.
- 5 minute warm up
- 20 minutes of resistance training
- 30 minutes of strength training
- 5 minute cool down/stretch
All you need for this workout is your body, a jump rope (optional), a stopwatch or watch, comfortable exercise clothes and shoes, and a safe place to move.
Start with warm-up exercises
Before starting outdoor training, warm up dynamically for at least five minutes, for example with brisk walking, light jogging, jumping jacks, arm circles or leg swings.
Outdoor cardio training
If you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular system, here’s a great high-intensity outdoor workout:
- 100 jumps on the jump rope at an easy pace, then take a 1-minute break
- 100 jumps on the jump rope at a moderate pace, then rest again for 1 minute
- 100 jump ropes at a fast pace and 1 minute rest
- Fast jumps to failure: as many jumps as you can until you can’t anymore.
Other cardio training ideas include:
- 100 meter sprints – use the distance between the lampposts if you’re not sure how much that is
- flexibility exercises
- Sprints on the soccer field: sprint on the short side, jog on the long side
- Stair Run – Find a long flight of stairs to go up and down
- Laps in the park: build sprints to get your heart rate up
30 minutes of strength training – legs, arms and core
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build muscle. Remember that individual fitness level is always extremely important. Good form increases your training performance and prevents injuries. Take your time and do as many laps as you can in 30 minutes.
- 10 lateral jumps – target hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes
Stand up straight with your feet together. Bend your knees and jump to the left side as far as you can, landing on the balls of your feet. Make sure your core stays tight. Keeping your right leg raised, bend your left knee and jump to the right side as far as you can.
- 10 lunges: works the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with one leg while keeping most of your weight on your front foot and lowering your hips. Lower yourself until your rear knee almost touches the ground (90-degree bend in both knees). Push yourself up.
- 10 squats: works the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and turn your toes out slightly. Drop your hips back and down with your knees behind your toes. Be careful not to bend your knees inward and use your glutes to push yourself up.
- 15 push-ups: train chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and core
The exercise can be done on the grass, on a park bench, or on your knees if you prefer. Place your hands flat on the ground or a park bench, just below your shoulders. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width apart on the floor. Legs are straight behind you, toes are bent. Keeping a straight line from head to heels, lower chest to floor with elbows close to body. Extend your arms and push your body off the floor and back.
- 15 dips: train triceps, shoulders and core
This bodyweight exercise can be performed on a park bench or sturdy chair. Sit down and place your hands on either side of your hips. Raise your butt forward off the chair while supporting your weight with your hands. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, then return to the starting position.
- 12 hanging knee raises – target abs
Hold on to a low, stable branch, jungle gym, or other elevated position with your palms facing forward. Keeping your arms fully extended, exhale as you bend your knees and slowly bring them up to your abs. Inhale as you slowly release.
Outdoor training: cool down
Finally comes the 5-10 minute cool down. For example, you can take a walk in the park or stretch your muscles. This will also allow your heart rate and muscles to return to normal.