Whether you’re bored with your exercise routine or just want to maximize your time outdoors this summer, we’ve got an awesome park workout that any athlete can benefit from.
This lower body circuit, which includes five moves all performed with a park bench, is a great choice if you want to shake up your regular gym routine. It delivers doses of cardio and core work while challenging your lower half. The best part though? You can soak up the great outdoors while you do it.
For a year of pandemic, ACSM certified personal trainer Asher Freemancreator of the Non-normative Body Club in Philadelphia, met exclusively with clients outdoors and still occasionally trains people outdoors. There are plenty of benefits to exercising in the fresh air, they tell SELF.
On the one hand, it can just be a fun way to change up your normal exercise routine. After all, admiring the scenery of a local park is probably much more interesting than staring at the same four walls in your gym, studio, or living room. Plus, outdoor workouts can be a boon to your physical and mental health. Time in nature is associated to a ton of brain benefits, like increased happiness, positive social interactions, memory, and creativity. And people who spend time in green spaces have lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, According to research. Additionally, with COVID-19 going nowhere, outdoor workouts may be a safer choice than indoor routines, as the former have better ventilation and less risk of viral transmission.
This particular workout, which Freeman created for SELF, is a well-balanced lower-body routine that will help build muscular endurance in your major muscles like your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hips, as well as your smaller core and stabilizing muscles. It also includes a cardio hit thanks to the mountain climbers and the high power boost as well as the high work to rest ratio that doesn’t leave you with much downtime during the workout.
How often you should do this park workout depends on your goals. If your goal is to maintain your current strength level, go for a once-a-week cadence. And if you want to build muscle endurance, shoot twice a week, advises Freeman. Just be sure to take at least 48 hours of breaks between sessions so your muscles have the time they need to repair and build back stronger. What if you’re just looking to change an outdated routine? Insert it whenever you are bored!
Also important: do a warm-up before starting this workout so you don’t jump out with cold, tight muscles. (Yes, that’s still important even if you’re training in hot weather!) Taking five minutes to activate your core and move your lower body joints in all directions can do the trick – Freeman recommends walking, jumping , side shuffling and hip circles.