When the summer weather beckons, it can be pretty hard to head to the gym or keep your sweat session indoors. Especially for those who don’t live in warm weather climates, summer becomes a season you must take advantage of while you have it. However, if the programming behind your fat-loss goals are based on strength training (which we strongly recommend!), then you may be struggling with how to exercise outside when there aren’t any weights around to lift. No worries; we’ve made things heavy for you with these exercise options that are free of A/C.
Recess-Style Strength: Playground equipment may seem just for kids, but you can join in on the fun with fitness. Look for creative ways to use the apparatus in ways that use your bodyweight as resistance, such as:
- Traverse the monkey bars, or use one bar to engage your lats to help you get your first pull up.
- Sprint the slide from the bottom to the top. Climb down and do it again.
- Engage your core using the swings as you would a TRX system. For example, place the tops of your feet on the swing and walk out to a plank position. Do pumped-up push ups, or pull your knees into your chest for jack knife core work.
- Instead of resting on a bench, do step or jump ups to work your lower body while getting your heart pumping. Get the upper body in on the action by doing triceps dips or pike push ups.
The WOD Way: Take a cue from CrossFit, which focuses on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” While some WODs (which is CrossFit for “workout of the day”), involve barbells, kettlebells, battle ropes, medicine balls, and more, there are many WODs that are are purely based on bodyweight exercises. The only equipment you might need is a stopwatch. Here are two equipment-free benchmark WODs popular with CrossFitters:
- CINDY: Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of the following:
- 5 pull ups
- 10 push ups
- 15 bodyweight squats
- MARY: Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of the following:
- 5 handstand push ups
- 10 one-legged squats, alternating legs
- 15 pull up
Keep in mind that CrossFit is meant to be a form of fitness anyone of any age or ability can do. So if you’re looking at those workouts and thinking, “no way,” it’s likely because you need to scale the workout to fit your abilities but still be challenging. For example, if you are unable to do a pull up, try pulling yourself to a bar while your body is angled beneath it and your feet are on the ground. If handstand push ups are out of your league, change them to the push ups that are the right intensity for you.
Beyond Bodyweight: Looking to lift heavy stuff? Grab an old duffel bag or two and head to the beach. Fill up the bags with sand (that you’ll return when you’re workout is done), and you have instant weights that are perfect for overhead squats, bicep curls, bench press, military press, and so much more. Working with equipment other than the standard barbells and dumbbells will require other muscles to help stabilize the weight, working you out in a whole new way.
You can get your workout on anywhere you go. Just think outside the gym and use what you have on hand to help you get stronger and burn fat fast while still enjoying the sunshine and summer breezes.
What’s your favorite summer outdoor activity? Share with us in the comments!