No gym? No problem: It’s possible to get a full-body workout with only ambition and an outdoor space
Amy Good, owner of Feel Good Fitness (feelgoodfitness.fit), a boutique personal training studio in Delray Beach, designed this outdoor urban workout for Boca magazine. Do these exercises in a complete circuit one to three times, with 12 to 20 reps of each exercise, she says.
1. BENCH SQUATS
Squats strengthen lower body large muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves—and translates to being better able to do everyday activities like bending down to pick up heavy objects.
HERE’S HOW: Stand in front of a bench with feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Keep the core engaged and upright, and press your hips back behind you as you lower your body down to sit on the bench. “Lightly tap your bottom to the bench, then immediately stand back up,” Good says. “Be sure to fully extend both the hips and knees by activating the quads and glutes. Beginners should start with a higher bench and progress to a lower bench when ready.”
Pushups are a great way to strengthen the upper body by working the backs of arms, chest and shoulder muscles.
HERE’S HOW: Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width on the edge of a bench or other stable surface. Start with your arms straight but not locked at the elbows. “Engage your core so your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels. Inhale as you bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the bench. Exhale as you straighten your arms to push up to the starting position,” Good says. “Do not let your hips sag or hike upwards.”
3. BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
The Bulgarian split squat helps reduce lower body asymmetries and injuries and helps with balance.
HERE’S HOW: Find a bench that’s about knee high. “Stand facing away from the bench and place one foot on the bench behind you. Keep your core engaged and hips square as you lower yourself until the thigh of your front leg is near parallel with the ground,” Good says. “Keep your front knee in line with your foot, and do not allow your knee to move past your toes. Press yourself back and up, focusing on straightening the front leg.”
4. TRICEPS DIP
Triceps dips increase upper body strength and muscle definition.
HERE’S HOW: Sit on a bench with your hands on the edge, fingertips pointing forward. “With your legs extended out straight, move your bottom off the bench so you’re supporting your body weight in your arms. Lower body until arms reach a 90-degree angle, driving your elbows behind your body,” Good says. “Straighten your arms and repeat.”
5. DOUBLE- OR SINGLE-LEG BOUNDING
“Bounding can increase lower body speed and power. It’s also a great way to increase your heart rate,” Good says.
HERE’S HOW: Find a few steps and hop up. Land softly and walk back down to recover. Then hop up on one leg.
6. INVERTED ROW
The inverted row is a pulling workout that works the upper back muscles without straining the lower back. “Upper body pulling exercises are especially important for anyone that works on a computer or sits for prolonged periods of time,” Good says.
HERE’S HOW: Find a railing or a bike rack that you can lie under with your legs stretched out straight. Position your shoulders directly under the bar and grasp it with both hands in an overhand grip, with palms facing away from you. “Only your heels or feet will be on the ground. Keep your core engaged, and maintain a straight line from your head to heels as you bend your elbows and pull your chest up to the bar,” Good says. “Pause at the top and lower yourself slowly to the starting position.”
7. GLUTE BRIDGE
The glute bridge targets glutes, hamstrings, adductors and core muscles—and can help people with low back pain.
HERE’S HOW: Lie flat, knees bent, feet on the ground and ankles directly below the knees. “Rotate your pelvis to press your lower back into the ground, drive through your heels and lift your hips until you have a straight line from your shoulders to your knees,” Good says. “Pause briefly at the top of the movement and fully contract your glutes before lowering your hips back to the ground.”