The weather seems to be amazing just about everywhere we look right now, so what better time to get out, suck in that air and give your body a bit of a test with some outdoor exercises?
I’m very much an outdoor girl so outdoor exercises have always been my preference. I try not to let grim and horrible weather stop me, but even I have to admit, blue skies and sunshine put a spring in your step and add some zing and zest to a workout!
So with that in mind, I made sure I just took a camera out with me to grab a few shots and give you something that I hope brings a bit of variety and challenge to your workout routines.
These are great for strengthening, toning and flexibility and I can assure you – as is so often the case with bodyweight exercises – they are truly effective.
The Hang, Tuck & Rotate
Let’s get the trickiest one out of the way first. This is clearly for the more advanced, adventurous and gymnastic of you. Please don’t try it if it is clearly beyond you at the moment. Of course the other factor to consider is that you need a secure supporting bar to use, ideally with soft ground below. Where I do this it is all soft bark chippings underfoot, so if something should go horribly wrong, the landing is reasonably soft!
This one uses rings which are one of my favourite things right now!
They absolutely demand you create as much stability as possible and this engages muscles right through the body. Again this is a more advanced level apparatus.
This is a cracker for abs, mobility and control – but only if you are at a reasonably advanced level. Starting with a full extension hang position, lift the knees to a high tuck position…and then keep going!
Still in the tuck position, rotate slowly backwards raising your knees and ultimately your feet over your head.
Leg Raise Obliques
Hand from a bar at full stretch. So you need to find something that will support your full weight and is high enough to allow your fully stretched body to hand a little off the ground. Luckily I am a flyweight and short, so finding somewhere for me is perhaps easier than for you taller and heavier folks!
Keeping your ankles together raise your knees so your legs form a right angle. Now ‘crunch’ to one side…
And then alternate to the other side…
Straight Leg Raise
Simply start in a hanging position…
And then keeping your core engaged and your legs straight, raise them up in a controlled fashion and hold. Lower slowly and repeat. Make sure you don’t swing as that will add body momentum to the exercise and will detract from its effectiveness.
Here’s a variation on the classic standing touch your toes test! Start in this position…
And in a controlled way, raise a straight leg and reach forward with your opposite arm (i.e left leg / right arm) and touch your foot.
Keep your bottom off the floor at all times and don’t rock and lunge – make it a smooth, controlled motion.
Hold the foot touch position for a few seconds before returning to the start position and switching sides.
For this you just need a pair of manageable dumbbells and a floor surface you can drag your feet across.
Grasping a dumbbell in each hand, start in a kind of extended press-up position. Now ‘walk’ forward just using your hands and arms. You legs remain straight and drag behind you. Make sure you have enough space to ‘travel’!
Note – Be careful that the dumbbells will not skid and slip on the floor. You don’t want to find yourself doing a sudden face plant!
All Fours Crawl
So who knew that right at the beginning of our lives, our very first method of self-propulsion is actually a great exercise we can revisit long into adulthood?!
This is great for hitting and activating the core!
Stay on your toes, keep the arms slightly bent at the elbow, knees off the floor and all times. Now start to crawl with an opposite leg/arm motion.
You don’t need to go at a frantic pace, just a steady rate – about the same as a slow walk – will ensure you stay in control of the action and really feel the benefits from your toes up!
These outdoor exercises provide a bit of a challenge and are really effective. You can feel the exact points they hit your body, getting to work strengthening, tightening and toning.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Joey Bull