The Advantages of Outdoor Fitness

Wouldn't it be great if you had a workout you could do in the park, but could also be switched indoors if the weather's not playing fair? It's time to shape up – INSIDE-OUT!

For each of these exercises, your target is 12-20 repetitions, dependent upon your current fitness level.

Turkish Stand Up

Target: Buttocks, thighs and abs.

Start: Lie flat on your back, legs out straight, holding your water bottle directly above the centre of your chest with your arm straight.

Movement: Bring your feet in, with one crossed over the other, simultaneously sitting up and lifting the water bottle above your head. Now, stand up without using your spare hand to push on the floor, lifting the water bottle as high as possible with your arm extended. Slowly return to the start position, again without using the spare hand and keeping the water bottle above your head. Swap hands for each repetition.

Home – use a bag of sugar  
Gym – use a dumbbell

Decline Press Up

Target: Chest, shoulders and triceps.

Start: Facing down a hill, the steeper the gradient the better result you will get, in a full or modified (knees down) press up position.

Movement: Slowly lower your chest to the floor by bending the elbows outwards and engaging your core muscles to ensure your whole body moves as a rigid unit. On returning to the start position, try not to lock out your elbows.

Home – place your feet (or knees) on the sofa or a stable chair
Gym – feet (or knees) on a fitness ball.

Single Squat Diagonal

Target: Buttocks, thighs, core, upper back.

Start: Standing on one leg, bend your knee and lower your water bottle towards the floor outside your standing foot, holding it in one hand.

Movement: Straighten your supporting leg to stand up, lift your torso and, keeping the arms almost straight, bring the water bottle up high and out to the side slightly. Reach forward with your balancing leg and lean your whole body back. Repeat 12 – 20 repetitions on the other leg.

Home – use a partially filled rucksack
Gym – use a medicine ball with handles

Incline Sit Up and Tilt

Target: Abdominals (front and side).

Start: Lie down with feet flat on the floor, about hip width apart, and hands behind your head to support the weight and reduce stress on your neck.

Movement: Contract the abdominals to raise your torso off the ground and then bend to the side, taking your right elbow outside your right knee. Do not pull with the arms, keep the elbows wide and focus on your tummy and waist. Alternate sides on each repetition.

Home – place two cushions under your hips/lower back so your torso is again on a slant
Gym – lie on an adjustable bench

Plie Lift

Target: Buttocks, inner thighs, shoulders, arms.

Start: Feet out wide, your knees and toes pointed slightly outwards, deep bend in the knees. Press your left hand on your left thigh as you hinge forward at the hip to pick up with your right hand, your water bottle, placed equal distance between the feet but slightly in front of you.

Movement: Keep the tummy pulled in tight to protect your lower back, simultaneously pick up the water bottle to lift it overhead and straighten your legs plus jump together to stand tall. Return by walking the feet out wide and placing the bottle on the ground. Change hands after 12 -20 repetitions and repeat.

Home – use a filled shopping bag
Gym – use a dumbbell

Prone Row

Target: Core, thighs, back and arms

Start: In a full press up position, feet apart.

Movement: Lift one hand off the floor and at the same time bring the opposite knee up, keeping the body in a long line rather than hunching up. Alternative sides on each repetition.

Home – same
Gym – hold light dumbbells in the hands

Lunge Walk

Target: Buttocks and thighs.

Start: Lunge position, both knees bent, your feet are hip width apart for balance and body upright, so tummy and chest lifted.

Movement: Stand up on the front leg and lift the rear knee as high as comfortable in front, then step forward and lunge down as low as possible. Repeat travelling forwards.

Home – just two walks forward and two walks back
Gym – same

Incline Pull Up

Target: Back, biceps, core.

Start: Place the hands wide on a railing, fence or barrier (ensuring it can take your weight) and lean back so the body is in a long, straight line, under the bar and your arms are extended.

Movement: Keeping the body in line, bend the elbows and squeeze the shoulder blades together to lift the chest to the bar. Bending your knees and bringing your feet closer will make this easier.

Home – place a broom handle between two sturdy dining chairs
Gym – use the Smith machine or squat rack.

For more information about exercise options – or to book a fitness break at Ragdale Hall -– please get in touch with a member of the team today.

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