WHICH FITNESS EXERCISES SHOULD YOU DO OUTSIDE?

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Take advantage of nice weather to work on your fitness outside the gym. Here are 5 exercises which you can do outdoors. These can be done as singles, or strung together as a routine. If the latter, allow 30 seconds of recovery between each exercise. Perform each exercise at a high level of intensity. Do three or more repetitions depending on your fitness level. Depending on the available space outdoors, you can replace the 30 seconds of recovery time with 3 minutes of jogging. This will strengthen your muscles as well as improve your cardio at the same time. To make your training more effective, do it at least 2 times a week, ideally for 4-5 weeks.

 

To do these 5 outdoor fitness exercises you'll need a skipping rope and a pair of small dumbbells. Before starting your workout, grab a bottle of water and be sure to warm up!

 

A good warm-up:

  • 4 minutes of light jogging

  • 1 minute of ab crunches: Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring them towards your stomach until they are at a 90°angle. Place your hands behind your neck for support (but don't pull your head forward). Inhale, then exhale as you roll your torso forward while tucking in your chin. Contract your abs and keep your lower back touching the ground. Return to your starting position in a gradual, smooth movement.

  • 15 squats: Stand with back straight, feet at shoulder width. Inhale, then bend your knees while keeping your upper body as straight as possible. During the movement, your legs should not bend past a 90° angle. Exhale as you return to your starting position by pushing upward on your heels. Remember to contract your abs and pull your tummy in during the entire exercise. Focus your gaze on a point in front of you to keep your balance.

 

Exercise 1: skipping rope

 

  • Objective: work on your cardio, increase your stamina.

  • Performing the exercise: skip at a sustained pace. To increase the level of difficulty, do "double unders" (2 turns in a single jump).

  • Breathing: breathe normally throughout the exercise.

  • Safety tips: take care not to let your heels touch the floor, and keep your gaze straight ahead.

  • Number of repetitions: 90 seconds without stopping.

 

Exercise 2: core muscles

 

  • Muscles trained: abdominals (rectus abdominus and obliques).

  • Performing the exercise: facing the floor, prop yourself up on your forearms and toes. Straighten your body as much as possible, and then lift your pelvis. Keep lifting until your upper body is at a right angle to your arms.

  • Breathing: breathe normally throughout the exercise.

  • Safety tips: be sure your shoulders are vertically aligned with your elbows, and pull your navel in towards your spine.

  • Number of repetitions: hold the position for 30 seconds or more depending on your fitness level.

 

Exercise 3: jumping jacks

 

  • Muscles trained: glutes, adductors.

  • Objective: increase stamina.

  • Performing the exercise: stand up straight, feet together, arms placed along the body. Jump and spread your legs apart (a bit past your shoulders) while simultaneously touching your hands above your head. Jump again as you return to your starting position. Keep your arms straight throughout the entire exercise.

  • Breathing: inhale as you move your legs apart, exhale as you bring them back together.

  • Safety tips: keep your tummy pulled in throughout the exercise and keep your weight on your forefeet.

  • Number of repetitions: as many repetitions as you can in a 30 second period.

 

Exercise 4: Lunges

 

  • Muscles trained: quads, glutes, hamstrings.

  • Performing the exercise: stand up straight, feet aligned with shoulders, and step forward with one leg. Place your hands on your hips, look straight ahead and lower your rear knee until it touches the floor. Stand back up. To increase the level of difficulty, do jump lunges: jump to reverse the position of your feet at the end of each lunge.

  • Breathing: inhale as you lower your body, exhale as you rise back up.

  • Safety tips: make sure to keep your front knee vertically aligned with your heel to avoid injury. Contract your ab muscles and keep your torso straight.

  • Number of repetitions: Do 8 lunges on each side.

 

Exercise 5: sidesteps and punches

  • Muscles trained: adductors, triceps.

  • Performing the exercise: do a series of sidesteps between two points approximately 15 metres apart. When you reach each endpoint, throw 10 empty punches with dumbbells in your hands.

  • Breathing: breathe normally while doing the sidesteps. For the boxing part, exhale with each punch.

  • Safety tips: always look straight ahead to help keep your body straight, and keep your abs contracted.

  • Number of repetitions: as many times back and forth as you can for 45 seconds.

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