Happy Wednesday! Is it just me or is this week flying by? It’s rare, but I really appreciate it when it happens. It probably has a large part to do with the fact that I’ve got plenty of time to relax this week and that Michigan is having some of the most gorgeous, spring weather right now. I am also loving the fact that the weekend is so soon, and I somehow don’t have much at all on the calendar? Such a good feeling.
So today I have an example of an outdoor workout that is something that I really like to incorporate into my routine once the weather is nice out. I know that some of you are total badasses and exercise outdoors all year long, but I just can’t. If the weather is crappy, you can find me inside the gym. And eventually I get really stir-crazy and start to feel stuffed up in there so I don’t go to the gym nearly as often as I should or want to. So I am always really happy when spring rolls around and I get to be outside again.
This workout is also cool because all it requires is a set of dumbbells. You can throw them in the car and drive to a nearby park to complete this, or you can simply go outside your house. You’ll need a short distance to use for a few cardio bits, but everything else can be done in place. You could also use a bench for the push ups and mountain climbers to give you a little bit more support if you’re still working on building up your strength to do the moves full-out.
Here is the workout, and you can find a deeper description below:
- Suicide: I think we all remember these from gym class in elementary school. The easiest way to do them outside in your neighborhood is to use the distance between houses. A suicide is essentially run to line one and back to the start, run to line two and back to the start, run to line three and back to the start, and run to the finish line and back to the start. That’s one. In this case, I would count line one as two houses from the start, line two as four houses from the start, etc. Or if the houses are further apart, maybe just use one instead of two.
- Shuffles: Your distance here is between the start and finish lines defined above. Position yourself with either your right or left side pointing forward (you will do the other on the way back), drop down into a soft sumo squat, keep low, and shuffle all the way down and all the way back.
- Walking lunges: Try to do these consecutively without putting your foot down in between each one. Just swing your leg through as you alternate sides. You can either hold the dumbbells or use no weights. Here’s a photo of a lunge, but you obviously would need more space than this (;
- Thrusters: Squat to press! Squat as deep as you can and push your hips forward a bit and squeeze your butt each time you press.
- Jack presses: Jumping jacks with the dumbbells. However, do not do your arms as full-out as you would in a normal jumping jack. I keep my arms bent and right in front of my face and just press up to right above my head (do not straighten/lock-out your arms) each time. You would kinda look like this when you’re at the top of your jump.
- Alternating bicep curls: If you are using a “lighter” weight for you, feel free to do these non-alternating. But for this workout I would be using 12 – 15 pound dumbbells, so would definitely want to alternate the curls. Your choice!
- Mountain climbers: Step your feet or jump your feet – whatever you prefer. But one rep on the right and one rep on the left equals one full repetition in this case. These can be done on a bench if you have one available to you if you like.
- Choppers: This is a take on a machine at the gym I really like. It’s very important to keep your hips as square to the front as possible and your shoulders back and down. Keep your core as tight as you can throughout the whole movement and be sure to not lock your knees out too tightly. I like to hold the weights on the big ends – not in the middle.
- Burpees: I would strongly suggest that you add a jump at the top, but you don’t have to.
- Push ups: Drop your knees to the grass if you have to for these. They can also be done on a bench to make them a little easier. I like to do 5 – 10 in between reps of some of the more lower-body focused exercises to mix it up and give certain muscle groups a quick break.
- Bent over rows: Keep your shoulders back and down really far and your chest sticking out. Knees should stay bent throughout the entire movement. Squeeze your shoulder blades together so tightly when you row back – like you have a piece of paper or a quarter in between your shoulder blades and you want it to stay there.
There you have it! This would be a really fun workout to do with a partner. You could double all of the exercises and complete them all between the two of you. That way if your boyfriend wants to do more push ups than you do and you’re more into the jack presses that day, you can do less of some exercises and more of others. If you’re competitive, you could also go through this for time with someone else.
For some reason, outdoor workouts don’t feel like work to me, as tough as they may be. They are fun and help me to kill two birds with one stone – spending time outdoors/getting some sunlight and my daily workout. I love it. Even better if you get to do it with someone you love and can add socializing into the mix, too.
And big thanks to Chris for taking these pictures and cleaning the deck today (:
What is your favorite type of exercise to do outdoors?