We don’t get to see a lot of the sun in this country, so on the rare occasions that we do, it seems a shame to waste hours away in a dark gym.
This isn’t to say you should kick exercise to the kerb as soon as you catch a glimpse of the sun’s rays - you can get an awesome workout out and about in the great outdoors!
There’s a huge range of benefits that come from exercising outdoors (will be a link here) - even if you’re chilling out in the shade you’ll be reaping the same benefits. If you do decide to catch some rays while you workout in direct sunshine then ensure that you’re wearing SPF and properly hydrating yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how you can adapt simple park equipment like a bench to give you a great full body workout - check out our park bench workout!
- Place your hands on the back of the bench, shoulder width apart. Walk your legs back, keep your core engaged, bum down and elbows tucked in and lower your chest down towards the bench performing a press up.
Good for: Press ups are great for building strength in your shoulders forearms and chest (they are also great for banishing bingo wings!)
- Sit on the edge of a bench as if you were to sit on it normally. Hold the edge and lower your bum off the seat, ensuring your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms are parallel to the seat before pushing back up.
Good for: Dips are a great isolation exercise for helping you develop defined triceps and banish jiggly arms! (the muscles in your upper arm between your shoulder and elbow)
- Stand facing the bench (not too close to it), legs slightly bent in a parallel position. Drive yourself forwards with your arms and jump onto the bench, landing as softly as possible with your weight in your heels.
Good for: Bench jumps help build explosive power and balance .. legs and arse as well right? Like a whatever the research is for the benefit of a box jump
- Stand facing away from the bench and rest the top of one of your feet on the seat of the bench. Bend your front knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground, hold and then press your heel on the floor to raise back up.
Good for: Lunges help improve flexibility and balance and give your core, glutes and legs a good workout
Image courtesy of Isabel Smith Nutrition
- Place your right foot on the bench seat - make sure it’s your entire foot
- Driving through your right heel, step up onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your right
- You should now be standing on the bench
- Return to the start position and then repeat the sequence with your left foot
Good for: Step ups target your glutes and hamstrings to help keep your bum firm and peachy!
No bench No problem. If all you have to work with is grass then you can still do some of the exercises mentioned above without a bench! You can also get in some great great cardio circuits, pick a nice flat and fairly long area of the park with no obstacles. Pick two points and sprint between them - if you want to make this harder then you can always do hill sprints!