Monday, July 14, 2014

How to Buff Up in the Great Outdoors

People usually only think of the exercise potential of the outdoors when they need to run or swim. When it comes to getting regular strength training, a gym membership appears to be the only option. There is really no reason to shut yourself up in a crowded, fluorescent-lit room with humid, sweat-filled atmosphere, blinking screens and loud machine beats, though - not when you have fresh air at a sunny park outdoors.
Not only will you feel much better for the fresh air and the sun, you'll save money on paying for a gym membership, too. The best part is, once you learn a good set of bodyweight exercises that work for you, you won't have to go anywhere to get fit. You will even be able to do your routine in your hot bedroom when it's raining outside. You won't need much gear, either - a few protective items of the kind that you find on sites like SportPursuit  are all you need.

Here's how your routine will go  

Bodyweight exercises are generally the kind that you can perform with no more equipment than the ground you stand on and a few pieces of equipment that you generally find in parks and playgrounds. You can do dips, pull-ups and push-ups. In general, it makes sense to follow a descending rep program.  
You'll have many entertaining bodyweight exercises to do - crab walks, bear crawls and so on. As playful as these exercises seem, they tend to work out your entire body and tire you out in no time. You can start your first set with 10 reps to a set and taper down by a rep with each additional set. Alternatively, to make sure that you don't tire yourself out too much you can follow a routine where you go through repeated workout and rest cycles. You can work out for 30 seconds and then take 10 seconds off.  

The workouts  

Jump squats: To start, you need to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Positioning yourself in this partial crouch, you need to leap up with explosive force to go as high up in the air as you can.  
Pull-ups: Whatever horizontal object you find to perform your pull-ups on - a jungle gym, a pull-up bar or even the branch of a tree - you can use it to draw yourself up so that your chin goes higher than the bar. If you find it too hard at first, you can simply pull yourself up as far as you can.
The bear crawl: If you've ever seen a movie about a police training camp or a military boot camp, you've probably seen the bear crawl - it's a kind of crawl forward, except that your knees don't touch the ground. You need to go forward as fast as you can.  

The crab walk: This is a reverse crawl - rather than crawl facing the ground, you turn the other way round and face upwards. You then propel yourself forward on your hands and feet as fast as you can.

Sprinting: You need to run 50 yards at about 80% to 90% of the highest speed that you are capable of.  

The burpee: A burpee is a curious combination exercise. You start standing up. You then bent down so that your hands touch the ground. You support yourself on your hands and then quickly shoot your legs backwards to land in a sort of push-up. Then, you draw your legs in to jump up as high as you will go.
You need to work out a good routine with all these exercises  

You don't need to follow a rigid routine with these exercises. You get to creatively mix them up each day. Whatever you do, though, you need to make sure that you warm up well before you work out in earnest.

Charles Farr has a particular passion for fitness. After years of training others at the gym, he enjoys blogging about simple techniques for staying fit and strong for a healthy life.
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  1. I always found regular things like biking and swimming did a great deal for me, now strong walks keep me going, but then I am dealing with physical stuff now, but have managed to lose and keep off 45 pounds

  2. Exactly what I needed to read today. My tummy needs a lot of trimming: )

    Miss you Betchai!!!
    ...your jumpshots are the best!: )