No gym membership? No problem. Trade in the clanking of weights and the stale air of the gym for the background noise of chirping birds and fresh air. Working out doesn't have to be pricey or require a gym membership. You don't need fancy equipment or a bubbly instructor to inspire you. Just your own body weight and motivation will do.
Let’s say you stumble upon a lawn with a tree, a bench and a hill. What might you do? Below are some exercises you can put together to create a 30-minute outdoor workout.
Do two sets of the following including the hills.
1. Crab Walk
Sit on the ground, with your hands facing forward a few inches behind your hips. Lift your hips off the ground and come into a tabletop position. Walk backward with your hands and feet, keeping your hips raised and ab muscles activated.
2. Alternating V-Ups
Lie on your back with your arms extended behind you and legs straight out in front of you. Shut your eyes to avoid kicking sand in them! Lift one leg off the ground and straight in the air. Lift your upper body off the ground and touch the toes of your right foot. Lower your body and switch legs. Continue alternating legs.
3. Decline Push-Ups
Place your toes on raised surface slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your ab muscles and lower yourself to the ground by bending your elbows. Extend your arms, and press back up. Do not allow your lower back or rib cage to sag or your hips to hike upward. *Easier: limit downward phase. *Harder: raise one leg.
4. Crunches with Feet on Bench
Lie on your back with knees bent and your feet on the bench. Place your hands lightly by your ears with elbows bent. Exhale as you lift your shoulder blades and head off the ground and up toward your knees. Look up toward the sky and keep your lower back in contact with the ground.
Do not pull the head or neck. Inhale as you lower yourself back down.
5. Balance Lunges
Place your right foot on an elevated surface with toes facing down. Hop your left foot forward to keep your knee from extending over your toes. Bending left knee, slowly lower toward the ground, then slowly rise. Do not allow your knee to extend past your toes. Switch legs after reps are completed for one side and repeat.
6. Tree Sit
Press your back against a tree and slowly lower your body until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Contract your ab muscles and press your back into the tree. Hold the position. *Harder: lift one leg up straight in front of you so it's parallel with your bent knee.
7. Hill Repeats
As you begin to ascend the hill, lean forward slightly at the hips, but keep your back straight and arms at a 90-degree angle with hands held in a light fist. Pump your fists toward your chin as you swing your arms forward and backward. Catch your breath and recover with a slow jog down the hill.
Photo Credit: Tina Ohlin