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Mother Nature As Your Spotter: 5 Outdoor Exercises

Mother Nature As Your Spotter: 5 Outdoor Exercises


Time to leave the gym bag at home and get some fresh air, because there are a multitude of different ways to get your sweat on in the great outdoors. Most people don’t get enough fresh air and sunlight on a regular basis, especially during the cold winter months. Many studies show that getting outside can lower stress levels and make you happier, so why not take your next workout outside? Tip: Try out these exercises during your next walk, bike-ride or run – just stop for a few minutes in a nearby park and fit in some strength training while you’re warmed up. Here are 5 effective exercises that you can try outside today!

  1. The Tricep Dip: These can be done pretty much anywhere, but are more effective if you are elevated. If doing these on the ground, place yourself in the crab walking position with your knees and feet together and your hands spread shoulder width apart with your fingers pointing towards your heels. Lift your bum in the air and start dipping, and go for about 1 minute (about 25 dips for beginners and 50 for intermediate). Usually 3 sets should suffice, depending on how much time you have. You can alternate by lifting one leg in the air per 30 seconds. If you are able to find 2 rocks, picnic tables or benches that are spaced pretty closely together, you have yourself a dipping station. Using the same stance but keeping the legs straight, the elevated dip is a tougher and deeper burn. Usually about 20 reps per set for 3 sets is recommend.
  1. The Burpee: The burpee is probably one of the toughest and most underrated exercises out there. These can be done in a variety of ways anywhere, and can be thrown into a morning jog to add in a little difficulty. 5-10 burpees for beginners, and 15-20 for intermediate. If you find burpees too easy, add in a 5 second floor sprint after every push-up. A floor sprint is basically running while in the push-up stance. Bring your knee to your chest one leg at a time as fast as you can. That’ll get the motor running.
Note: When doing a burpee, remember to always perform a soft landing after the jump, which means never locking the knees. 
  1. The Uphill Jump Squat: This exercise works best on terrain with an incline. The degree of incline depends on you. Start at the bottom of a hill, and then jump as high and as far as you can while touching your knees (remember the soft landing). These can be done slowly for a more muscular workout, or very quickly for that cardio burn. The repetitions will depend on the incline chosen, but 10-15 reps for beginners and 20-25 for an intermediate workout usually works well. Try 3 to 5 sets.
  1. The Tree-Up: Find a thick, sturdy tree branch that could easily support your weight and bust out a couple of quick repetition chin-ups. Mix up the repetitions by alternating grips (palms facing away from you and palms facing towards you), or lifting yourself up side to side. 5-10 pull-ups for beginners and 10-15 for the more intermediate. Try for 3 to 5 sets.
  1. The Hand-Stand Push-Up: Using the same tree you did for the chin-ups, place your hands near the base of the trunk and lift your legs up so that the heels of your feet are now resting on the trunk. Do these upside down push-ups slowly, as they can be quite demanding physically. Usually 5 reps for beginners and a max of 10 for more intermediate workouts will be more than enough per set. 3 sets should be more than enough.

Now get out there!

By: Jason Laroche and Josefine Yacksmith


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