I’m fortunate enough to have the lovely North Haven trail behind my house, which makes for a perfect workout setting. I use one of the rest stops to do a circuit, using the benches. Plus I get to enjoy the nice spring weather…before that Texas summer rolls in!
I started with about a half mile fast pace walk. When I reached the rest area I completed the following circuit 3 times, keeping a steady pace with minimal rest between exercises:
Tricep Dips (10 reps) – Sitting at the edge of a bench with your hands placed at the edge and legs straight in front of you, bring your hips up and in front of the edge of the bench. Lower your butt down, bending your elbows back, then use your arms to push back up. If this is too difficult, bend your knees slightly – but make sure to lift with your arms and not your legs.
Knee Tucks (15 reps) – Sit at the edge of the bench with your hands placed behind your hips gripping the bench, and knees bent and feet off the ground. Straighten your legs out and lean back slightly (you should be sitting on your tail bone). Sit back up straight as your tuck your knees back up toward your chest. You can also do these on the ground.
Leg Raises (12 reps) – Lay on the bench with your hips at the end of the bench so that your legs hang off. Hold the bench above your head and raise your legs up to above your hips and slightly lift your hips, pushing your feet up towards the sky. Lower your hips then legs just past parallel to the bench and use your abs to lift them back up.
Bench Jumps (10 reps) – Stand behind a bench about 1 foot or so. Bend your knees and jump both feet up onto the bench, landing with soft feet and knees slightly bent. Use your arms for momentum. Step or hop feet down and repeat. These can be challenging for some people (it’s all in your head!)
If you can’t do these do quick step ups. Quickly step up your right foot then left foot (staying on the balls of your feet), then step down your right foot then left (1 rep) and repeat. Keep your knees soft and arms pumping for 10 reps.
Elevated Side Lunge (10 reps/leg) – Stand to the side of the bench so that your left leg is raised to the side and placed on top of the bench, so that the left leg is practically straight. Your right leg should be straight and under your hip. Clasp your hands in front of your chest. Lunge down by bending your right knee and pushing your hips back slightly. Do not let your knees bend over your toes and try to keep the left leg straight. Push back up to start and repeat. Complete all reps and then switch legs. If this is too challenging, you can do a side lunge with both feet on the ground (see pic)
Bulgarian Split Squat (10 reps/leg) – Stand in front of the bench a couple feet and place one leg up on the bench behind you. Lunge down on your front leg to about 90 degrees and push back up to start. Complete all reps, then switch legs. Again, make sure your knee doesn’t bend over your toes.
After completing 3 sets of this circuit, I walked back home at quick pace.
This is just one example of the outdoor workouts I’ve done. I mix it up and incorporate other exercises each time.