Catch me outside: 6 exercises you can do anywhere
If you can’t imagine your life without your training split, then the gym is probably your second home. A place where you start your day and end it, where you celebrate your victories and get over your fails, where you meet up with your bros and set new goals… But as with anything regular, it’s easy to fall into a rut, when everything just seems all-too-familiar, predictable and, hence, boring. And when it’s boring, your motivation takes a nosedive, and that’s the last thing you want.
Ever caught yourself lifting at the gym and looking out of the window thinking, man, I wish I could just be out in the sun! Well, next time you feel like you’ve been cooped up inside for too long, put on your training gear, drink some pre-workout and get outside. An invigorating open-air practice every now and then will keep you going at times when yet another gym session just doesn’t seem to be appealing to you any longer. (Or when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere on your backcountry camping trip with the closest gym 100km away.) The following six exercises can be done anywhere and are a great foundation to build your outdoor workout routine on.
Rear foot elevated split squat
Or, in short, the Bulgarian split squat. When you’re in the gym, you’re doing the Bulgarian split squat against a standard weight bench, but now that we’re taking it outdoors, you can easily re-adjust by recruiting a park bench for support.
Fold a towel and put it in front of the bench. Stand in front of the towel. Now, extend your right leg behind and place the top of your foot on the bench. Gradually lower yourself down, until your back knee touches the towel. Get up and repeat. Don’t forget to keep your torso straight at all times and alternate legs.
Incline bench push-ups
Face the bench and put your hands on the edge, slightly wider than shoulder width. Step away from the bench into a push-up position. Your body should be straight, and your arms perpendicular to the body. Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the bench. Push yourself back up. Repeat.
If you’re up for the challenge, you can reverse your position by placing your feet on the bench and pushing yourself off the ground.
Starting position: Hold on to the edge of the bench, facing away. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart, fully extended. Bring your legs forward so that they are nearly perpendicular to the body.
As you inhale, lower yourself by slowly bending at the elbows until you reach an almost 90-degree angle. Make sure your forearms are pointing down and your elbows are close together. Return back up to the starting position (your triceps should be doing the work here). Repeat.
TRX inverted rows
As you pack your gym bag, don’t forget to grab the TRX suspension straps. You can hang them on a tree or the monkey bars if you’re exercising at a playground. Once the straps are secured, hang down right underneath the ropes. Extend your arms up, palms facing in. Pull yourself up by the handles to about chest level. Lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat.
Start with your feet hip-width apart, standing a couple of feet away from the bench. As you prepare for a jump, do a short squat, swinging your arms behind you. Extending through your hips, knees and ankles, jump as high as you can over the bench. As you land, make sure your knees are bent to absorb the impact. Turn around and jump back. Repeat.
This one you can do wherever and whenever you see something you can hang on to, like a monkey bar or a tree branch, or even a sturdy ledge… Start by simply hanging on it. Hold the bar shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms straight. As you pull your elbows towards the ground, bring yourself up until your chin reaches the bar. Then lower yourself back down by slowly extending the arms. Repeat.