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Get Outdoors! Exercises to make the most of the cooler weather

Now that the temperature is cooler and the humidity has reduced, exercising outside becomes more bearable. This is good because it adds more variation to your training. Doing different exercises in a different environment can avoid tedium and help with motivation. Some Fitness First clubs have an Outdoor Training area which allows you to train in a different way.

Imagine you have no equipment but want to train; what do you do? If you are stuck for ideas, this article will help you. It will give you an all round body workout which you can do indoors or outdoors with minimal equipment. Now there really is no excuse!


Spiderman Push Up
Set yourself up in the push up position. Start with your hands shoulder width apart, under your shoulders and with both feet on the floor. As you lower your chest to the floor, bring one knee up to the side. Then as you push up from the floor, bring your leg back to the starting position. This exercise primarily works the upper body, chest and triceps. But it can also work the core as you bring your knee up to the side you will work your obliques and abdominal muscles. Try to complete 20 in total, 10 each side.



Side Plank to Front Plank
Most people avoid training their core. But as we get older it is our lower back and hamstrings that get tight. A good way to strengthen these areas is to work the muscles around them to become good synergists and fixators that support movement. This exercise has three movements in one. The first is to lie on your side, push your bottom elbow into the floor and raise your body into a side plank. From here, there should be a diagonal line from your shoulder, to your hip and your ankle. Hold this position for 15 seconds then rotate straight into the second exercise which is a front plank for 15 seconds. Make sure your hips are not too high and that your back is straight. Then rotate the other direction into exercise number three which is a side plank facing the other way. The total time here is 45 seconds but you can build up to a minute by doing 20 seconds on each movement. This is really good for toning the waistline and hips.



Back Extension
Another good exercise without any equipment is a simple back extension. This involves lying on your front facing the floor. Place both arms out straight to the side as this will focus more on the erector spinae in the back and also the upper back and rear deltoids. From this face down position, keep your feet together and lift your chest away from the floor. You will feel your lower back working and also the back of your shoulders. Try to do 10-15 lifts.


Burpees
Now that we have strengthened the core, it’s time to raise the heart rate. Burpees will certainly do that. The correct burpee has a series of phases to complete just one rep. Start standing then drop into a push up position. Take your chest to the floor then use the legs to jump back up to the standing position and finish with a vertical jump off the floor. This movement works lots of muscles and also your heart and lungs. Try to complete 10 reps and keep the speed high. The faster you go, the higher your heart rate and the more calories you can burn.


Lateral Lunges with Overhead Press
Most people will lunge forwards or backwards. This is ok as it works the frontal plane of movement. But it is better you mix this up. Lateral lunges means taking a step to the side. Here you will work in the sagittal plane. This works different muscles to the normal lunge which will challenge your stability and strength. Once you are comfortable with this change of direction, you can hold a plate and perform an overhead press as you lunge. This will work the shoulders so you will get more muscle activation during the move. Try to do 20 in total so broken down is 10 lateral lunges each leg.

For the workout above you can decide how you do it. You could do each exercise once through then complete three sets or you could do the first exercise, rest then complete the first exercise again until you do three sets and move onto the next. Form and intensity is important so make sure your technique and movement is correct. See you at the beach or park for your next workout!

Nicky Holland
Fitness Manager, Fitness First Uptown Mirdif


Words by: Nicky Holland
Photos by: Jung Francisco

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