By Liz DiAlto
Now that the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping, it’s time to get outside. Ask for a sidewalk table at lunch, walk those 10 blocks instead of riding the subway and, our favorite, take your workout outside instead of hitting the gym. Heading outdoors will provide that extra ounce of motivation when your indoor workouts have gotten stale and, don’t worry; we’ve got a routine that is perfect for the park with all the benefits of a full gym.
Objective: An innovative and exciting circuit workout.
Results: You’ll be energized by the great outdoors and give your body that shock it needs to kick start results. This simple yet effective circuit hits the spot!
1 park (benches are great but not required)
1 set of 3-5lb dumbbells
1 watch/stop watch
1. Warm up with a walk/jog for 5-10 minutes.
Depending on the weight of your dumbbells and your fitness level, either pump your arms as you jog or alternate pumping your arms with holding the weights at your side while you walk to give your arms a short break.
2. 20-30 walking lunges.
Check your form: Begin standing and take a big step forward with your right foot as you bend both knees to lower your body straight down. You should be creating two 90 degree angles with your knees when you lunge, without leaning forward. Hold your core in tightly before pushing up through the back toe and front heel and stepping your left foot forward to walk forward and repeat.
3. Walk/jog for 2 minutes.
4. 15-20 pushups on a bench or on the ground.
5. Walk/jog for 2 minutes.
6. 15-20 squats with a shoulder press.
Check your form: For the squat portion, squat down sitting back like you’re about to sit on a low chair. Your knees should not pass in front of your toes. Squeeze your glutes on the way up. For the shoulder press, begin with weights at shoulder level, press the weights up and together overhead as you raise up from the squat, as you lower into your squat, bring the weights back to nose level.
7. Walk/jog for 2 minutes.
8. 40-50 bicep curls standing in place, alternating arms. (Too easy for you? challenge your core and stand on one foot!)
Check your form: Keep your elbows at your sides. Start with arms fully extended by your sides, squeeze biceps and raise the weights towards your shoulders, lower to starting position, repeat.
9. Walk/jog for 2 minutes.
10. 15-20 tricep dips.
Check your form: Place your hands on the bench just outside the width of your body, lower yourself by bending your elbows, then press up squeezing through your triceps. Depending on your strength level, legs can be bent at 90 degrees, sent straight out in front of you, or in either position with one leg lifted off the ground.
11.Walk/jog for 2 minutes.
12. 15-20 sit ups or crunches.
Check your form: Interlace your fingers underneath the base of your head to protect your neck, keeping your elbows wide out to the side. Focus on contracting the abdominal muscles as you rise to either a crunch or a full sit up.
This workout is great for any fitness level, if you’re advanced, or are ready to take on a greater challenge, increase the weight of your dumbbells, add more repetitions or add a minute of sprinting to the cardio interval.