Exercise is most effective with the optimal commitment of time and effort; whereas too little will fail to elicit the various desired physiological adaptations, too much could result in the lackluster performance that characterizes overtraining. The gym is a great place to develop the consistency needed to yield sought-after results, but consistency sometimes gives way to routine, which can not only get boring, but also result in a fitness plateau where the body no longer adapts to training stimuli. Although there are various ways to overcome a plateau and achieve your fitness goals, one way to do this during the summer months is to trade the gym for outdoor workouts.
For those interested in integrating strength training into their workouts, trading the gym for outdoor workouts may seem counterintuitive, but during the latter, you can always rely on body weight exercises in lieu of those that require barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and various other types of weight lifting equipment. (Moreover, you don’t have to do all outdoor workouts without such equipment.) In any case, the objective of shifting from the gym to outdoor sessions when the weather permits is to keep things fresh and continue to elicit various advantageous physiological adaptations. The following are some of the workouts that can be pursued during these sessions without any weight lifting equipment.
If you are already something of a workout junkie and like to work out on the go, skipping rope may be for you. A good rope-skipping workout might consist of 20 seconds of slow skipping followed by a similar interval of fast skipping to be repeated eight times.
Every-Minute-on-the-Minute (EMOM) Workouts
In EMOM workouts, a type of interval training, the challenge is to finish the specified number of repetitions (reps) of a particular exercise within 60 seconds, using any balance of that time for rest before moving on to the next exercise in the workout. “EMOM 8,” for example, indicates that the whole workout should last for eight minutes, which means that you’d need to complete the following circuit of sample exercises not just once, but twice: curtsy lunges (eight reps per leg), push-ups (eight reps), Cossack squats (five reps per side), and single-leg side crunches (four reps per side).
Leg Burner Workout
Requiring a safe, spacious workout area, this lower body-focused workout includes things like Bulgarian split squats (10 reps per leg), feet-elevated glute bridges (20 reps), close grip push-ups (eight reps), around-the-world lunges (five reps per leg), and the crabwalk (30 seconds).
Taking Advantage of Environmental Features: Hills
If you enjoy jogging/running, you may want to consider hill intervals, which require you to walk downhill and rest for 10 seconds after running uphill as fast as you can. Depending on factors such as your fitness level, length and grade of the incline, and the like, you should repeat this process approximately 15 times for a complete workout.
Taking Advantage of Environmental Features: Backyards
Capitalizing on using body weight more than any workout mentioned up to this point, backyard routines include things like walking lunges (10 reps per leg), push-ups (12 reps), side-to-side squats (10 reps), reverse plank walks (30 seconds), and mountain climbers (30 seconds). Making sure to rest at the end of each set, complete the entire circuit two to three times.
Taking Advantage of Environmental Features: Parking Lots and Driveways
These outdoor areas provide a lot of space for working out.
In a parking lot, for example, one could complete two sets of running down 10 parking spots and back. Similarly, they could shuffle down eight such spots and back, then face the opposite way and repeat the exercise, and/or lunge down six spots and back.
Driveways can also be used for running; after sprinting the length of the driveway in one direction, you could jog it backwards in the other direction before repeating the activity. Lunges could also be performed in the driveway.
Moreover, either area could be used for a wide variety of additional exercises, including air squats, burpees, flutter kicks, plank holds, push-ups, and sit-ups.
Taking Advantage of Environmental Features: Park Benches
Although it is somewhat uncommon to see someone working out on a park bench, such “equipment” can be useful for a wide variety of exercises, including box jumps (where the bench serves as the box), burpee box jumps, calf raises, decline and/or incline push-ups, lunges, and tricep dips.
Taking Advantage of Environmental Features: Grassy Areas
Training in a grassy area allows for virtually any type of body movement because the ground is softer. Such spaces are particularly good for cardio routines that include burpees, long jumps, shuffles, and sprints. Strength routines that include bicycle kicks, flutter kicks, leg lifts, push-ups, sit-ups, and switch lunges can also be pursued effectively in such areas.
When deciding that fitness routines are something that you would like to incorporate into your life, remember that lack of access to a gym needn’t stand between you and a healthy lifestyle. Even without weight lifting equipment, you can achieve a high level of fitness.