My Favorite Outdoor Workouts
I always get asked about my workout routine and my favorite exercise to lose weight or tone up, so I decided to do a series of blog posts on my favorite exercises so that we can all workout together! Recently I wrote up my favorite ab and butt exercises, which are absolutely killer, so this week I wanted to add on to your workout repertoire by sharing my favorite outdoor workouts.
Working out outside is one of my favorite ways to work out because it’s free, it forces me to disconnect from the world and be in nature for an hour, and it’s a great way to get creative with the places around you. We get so stuck in our routines day after day that it’s fun to go somewhere new and utilize all the outdoor surfaces for an intense strength-training session. Plus, for all you runners out there, it’s a natural break in the middle or end of your run. You’re already amped up from running, so why not get some strength training in while you’re at it!
This warm up is best done after getting your heart rate up from running for at least a few minutes. Find any grassy area and do these exercises quickly, without resting between, to get your heart rate up even more!
Burpees (25): This is a classic because it kills. Start standing, then place your hands on the ground and push out into a plank. Then immediately push back up to a squat and jump as high as you can, reaching your arms in the air. Repeat 25 times without stopping.
Butt Kicks (1 Min): Set a timer on your phone and quickly start kicking your butt for a full minute as fast as you can.
High Knees (1 min): Same idea as butt kicks – start a timer and being alternating high knees as quickly as you can, while getting your knees as high as you can. Push yourself with these!!
Side Kicks (30 each side): Begin in a partial squat with elbows bent in front of you at shoulder height (don’t let the arms get lazy). Shift your weight to one leg as you kick out to the side with your other leg, trying to get that leg as high as possible. Switch sides and do 30 of these on each side. Make sure to tune into your core while doing these.
Cross Body Punches (2 mins): Squat down into a wide-leg squat with your feet slightly turned out, make your hands into fists and alternate punching across your body, rotating at the waist. Do these as quickly as possible for 2 minutes without letting your legs or hips move too much.
These are most effective when done in a park or some outdoor area with elevated surfaces.
Incline/Decline Pushups (15-25): Decline pushups are done using a bench or some other elevated surface. For the maximum workout here, come into a plank perpendicular to a bench and then step up so that your feet are on the bench. Making sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders, do 15-25 slow pushups. For an easier alternative, place your hands on the bench and feet on the ground so you are on an incline.
Tricep Dips (30): Sit on the edge of a bench and place the palm of your hands on the bench right next to your hips so that your fingers are hanging off and your elbows are pointing directly behind you. Place your heels on the ground in front of you with your knees bent and slide off the bench, shifting all the weight into your hands. Your butt should be almost completely underneath your shoulders. Bend at the elbows until they are at 90 degrees, and then push through your palms to extend your arms. Repeat 30 times.
Plyometric Pushups (20-25): Using the back of a bench (or a picnic table – you want a relatively high surface), set up into a starting pushup position with your arms wide and body making a completely straight line. Bend at the elbows to lower toward the bench, and then extend your arms, pushing yourself up so your hands leave the bench for a few seconds. Land with a slight bend in the elbow and immediately continue doing these.
Playground Pull-ups (20-30): Find a bar on a playground that is no taller than your shoulders (lower bars will be harder). Use an underhand grip on the bar so your elbows are bent in front of you, and walk your feet out until you are creating a straight line with your body, balancing on your heels. Lower down by extending your arms, and then use an exhale to pull your chest to the bar.
V Crunch (30): Sit sideways on a bench or on top of a picnic table, lean back and bend your knees to lift your feet off the bench so that you are balancing on your butt. Raise your arms straight out in front of you by your knees. Lean back as you extend your legs out straight and exhale to pull your legs back into your chest. Continue these without letting your feet touch the ground.
Plank Hip Dips (30 each side): Set up in a plank with your hands on a bench or elevated surface. Keeping your arms still, lower your right hip down, using your obliques to lift back up, and then lower your left hip down. Continue doing these, alternating sides.
Toe Taps (30): Sit on a the edge of a bench or picnic table so that your feet are hanging over the side. Support yourself with your hands by your hips on the bench. Lean back and bend your knees together in a 90 degree angle. Keeping your knees bent the entire time, lower your legs down over the side of the bench, hinging at the hip, and then use the exhale to draw your knees back up again. Do these slowly and keep your abs engaged the entire time.
Swing Plank to Pike (10-15): These can be done with your feet on a bench, but they are more effective using a swing. Place your hands on the ground under your shoulders, and step up into a plank with your feet balancing on a swing. Use your low abs to pike your hips up toward the sky as if you’re doing a downward dog on a swing, and then lower back down into your plank. Do these slowly with control.
Box Jumps (30): Find a bench or a step and jump up, landing in a parallel squat on the bench. Immediately jump up and off to land in a squat on the ground. Do these quickly 30 times.
Single Leg Lunge (20 each side): Facing away from a bench, stand on your right leg, far enough away from a bench to place your left foot on the bench, toes curled under. Making sure your knee does not go in front of your toes (you should always be able to see your toes), lunge down on that right side until your thigh is parallel with the ground, and then press through your heel to extend up. Repeat 20 times and then switch sides.
Bridge (full song or 3 min timer): Lay on the ground in front of a bench and place your feet on the bench seat with your knees bent. Press through your feet to lift your butt off the ground, and then lower your butt back down. Lift and lower to the beat of a full song, or set a timer for 3 minutes.
Stairs (full song): If you have access to stairs or bleachers, run up and down for a full song. Alternatively, find a bench and step up one leg at a time, leading with your right leg to step up and down, and then alternating to lead with your left leg to step up and down.
I hope you all love this work out! It will be killer, especially if you do it in the order I wrote here! At the bottom I’ll include an ordered list that you can screen shot and take with you to the park on your next run.
Also, don’t forget to use my Carbon 38 code – NikkiSharp50 – to get $50 off your next purchase! Plus stay tuned for everything I have coming out in the next few months, I have a ton of resources to help you guys get fit and stay clean this holiday season.
P.S. don’t forget to check out my beach workout for even more outdoor options!