Spring Training: Outdoor, Total-Body Cardio Workout for the Park or City

Happy spring! If you’re itching to get outside and enjoy the weather, it’s time cave in. Optimal workout weather is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit because you’ll perform your best in these conditions. And even if there is spring showers, don’t let that discourage you. You’ve been cooped up for the past five or so months; aren’t you ready for some fresh air?

This workout can be as leisurely or intense as you want it to be. If you haven’t been active this winter, take it slow so that you don’t get discouraged or worse, injured.

Planning a route

Before you begin, plan out a mile route around your neighborhood or in a nearby park. Preferably, this route should have benches, patches of grass or infrastructure to utilize for bodyweight training. Perhaps you or your neighbor even has some outdoor fitness equipment you can use.

The workout

Basically, you’re going to run a mile loop, repeating the loop as many times as you would like. Simple, right? Here’s the twist: every one-third mile or so, you’re going work on your upper body, lower body or core with bodyweight exercises using what’s around you. You may want to invest in a running app to keep track of where you are in the mile loop. Given that a patch of grass or bench may not be exactly at that one-third mile mark, there’s going to be a little leeway.

It’s up to you how many reps and sets you do of each bodyweight exercise. We recommend two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

To work on your upper body, try:

  1. A good ole push-up. There’s nothing like a basic push-up to work your biceps, shoulders and core. If you’re on a patch of grass, you can use your knees of a traditional push-up is too intense. If you’re by a bench, utilize the bench’s elevation; it makes the push-up easier. Conversely, by putting your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground, you’ll make the push-up more challenging.
  2. Triceps dips. Triceps dips can be performed easily on a bench or some type of elevated ledge. Simply face away from the bench or ledge, put your hands on it (fingers facing forward) then align your elbows and shoulders. To make it easier, keep your legs bent. For more of a challenge, straighten your legs.
  3. Forearm to straight-armed planks. This one is a two-in-one because you’ll be working your arms and core! To get the most out of this workout, alternate which arm you begin with between reps or even between sets.

For your lower body, try:

  1. Whether you’re performing a basic squat or some of those fancy squats, you’re always going to be working your quads, hamstrings and glutes. If you aren’t near a bench or elevated surface, keep it simple. Try a sumo squat or curtsy squat if you want to experiment. If you’re near a bench, try a split squat.
  2. Lunges or lunge pulses. To strengthen and tone your calves in addition to your quads, glutes and hamstrings, try lunges. For more calf work, raise your heel on your front leg. Once you find that “challenge pose,” as it’s sometimes called, start pulsing.
  3. Reverse burpee. Another two-in-one exercise! Engage your core while you recruit your entire lower body with a squat jump. You’ll definitely want to perform this one on a patch of soft grass. To make it easier, don’t worry about straightening your legs. Just keep them bent and close to your chest when you’re on your back.

Finally, for core work, try these short core combos from PopSugar.

And there you have it! You’re running, strengthening and burning fat outside in (hopefully) beautiful, mild weather. You’ll probably be tired after the first mile because you’ll stop and train a total of 12 times! But if you’re not, you can always keep going.

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