With the spring temperatures in full swing, many of us are trying to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors as possible. Instead of spending your normal workout time indoors at the gym, NEBH Athletic Trainers suggest a few ways you can get a full body workout outside. For a quick workout you can choose to do just the Dynamic Stretches or just the Strength Exercises instead of both.
Things you need: a park bench and an open “lane” about 20-25 feet long.
Warm-Up (Dynamic Stretches)
1 lap each, if only doing this portion repeat the sequence 2-5 times
Heel-toe walking with arm swings
- Start walking with an exaggerated heel-toe pattern; starting first with your left foot, heel strike and then tap your toe to the ground. Swing your right foot forward (normal walking swing) and repeat the same heel strike and toe tap. Once you get the hang of this, start swinging your arms from side to side. Continue both of these for the length of your lane. Turn around and repeat the same walking pattern back to the start.
- Begin with marching your left knee towards your chest. Wrap your hand/arms around your knee and pull your knee closer into your body, as if you were giving it a nice tight hug. Release and step forward. Repeat on the right leg. Do this sequence for the length of your lane. Turn around and repeat the same walking pattern back to start.
- Start by kicking your left heel back towards your backside. Then hop to your left foot while simultaneously kicking your right heel back towards your backside. Repeat this sequence at a jogging like pace. If jogging is too much, slow it down to a backside kick, step, backside kick step etc. Repeat for the length of your lane. Turn around and repeat the same walking pattern back to the start.
Walking lunges with torso twist
- Start with stepping your left foot forward about 2x the distance of your normal step. Keep this distance while lowering your right knee to the ground. Be sure that your front knee is not going over your toes; you should be able to look down and see your toes on your left foot. While in the position turn your torso to the left. Push back up through your left heel to a standing a position. Step forward with your right leg and repeat the sequence the length of your lane and back.
- Start in a standing position. Try to keep your knees straight and reach down so that your hands are touching the floor. If you can’t keep your knees straight, bend them just enough so that you’re able to reach the floor and then stop. You will likely feel a stretch in your hamstrings (back of your legs). From here, walk your hands forward 4 steps while keeping your feet in the starting positon. You will end up with your body parallel to the floor (plank position). Now keep your hands in place and walk your feet 4 steps towards your hands, positioning your body into an upside down V. Repeat this sequence the length of your lane.
1-2 sets of 8-12 repetitions
- Start in plank position. You can either begin on your knees or in a full plank on your toes. From here, Bend your elbows and lower your body, before touching the ground, squeeze your belly and glutes and push your body back up into plank position. Modified version: Instead of having your hands on the ground in a plank position, start with your hands against a stair or park bench.
Squats with overhead reach
- Start in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and sit your butt back behind you as if you were going to sit in a chair. Try to get your knees to a 90 degree angle. As you are lowering to this position, raise your arms above your head as if you are pushing up towards the sky. Then push through your heels back to a standing position and lower your arms. Repeat.
- Start sitting on a bench with your hands resting by your hips on either side. Walk your feet out so that your heels are on the ground. Shift your weight off the bench so that your arms are holding you. Dip your hips towards the ground and then use your arms to lift you back to bench height. Repeat.
- Start lying down with your feet flat on the ground. Cross your arms over your chest, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips up off the floor. Your knees, hips and shoulder should be in a straight line. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower your hips back to the ground. Repeat.
- Lie on your back. Keeping your legs straight, lift your left foot about 6” off the ground. Lower your foot to about 1” off the ground while simultaneously lifting your right foot to 6”. Switch positions of each leg moving your legs in a scissor like motion. Do this for 30-60 seconds.
- Start in a standing position. Reach up, and then reach to the floor, in a crouching position. Jump your feet back into a plank position. Then bend your elbows for a push-up. Jump your feet forward so you’re back into a crouched position. Finally, Jump up as high as you can. That’s one. Repeat.
Cool-down with a leisurely walk.
Always talk to your physician before beginning a new exercise routine.