Another winter came and went. We survived it. Now it’s time to get out of hibernation, step out of our caves, and get back to the best kind of fitness for men – outdoor workouts. Sure, the gyms have come a long way, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of fresh air entering the lungs, firing up our engines and pushing us to peak performance.
If you’re just kicking off your fitness journey, you are unsure of where to start, or you’re tired of the gym, then these simple five outdoor workouts for spring will help keep your body looking lean for the summer.
One of the best things about spring is the running. You get to ditch the tedious treadmill and that wall you’ve been staring at for the last three months and trade it in for the outside world.
You will want to combine your running workouts, going for long-distance runs and then mixing them up with short sprinting bursts. You can alternate between them on a day-to-day basis, or you can make them both a part of your everyday routine – covering a mile and then doing a quick burst of about a minute to minute-and-a-half and alternate accordingly.
If you’re urban running then you should keep in mind that you will be going back to tarmac and concrete and that your legs will need some time to adjust. Most quality gym clothing will work inside or out but consider finding the right runners for the job. Or why not try trail running? You will be running on softer surfaces that your legs will prefer and that will help to protect your body from common running injuries. Since motor vehicles are usually prevented from going on the trails, you can run without having to worry about traffic getting in the way.
If you’re not ready to pound the pavements, then take advantage of the good weather and increase your fitness with high tempo walks or hikes. It won’t take long to burn the calories, and you’ll feel an equal burn in the legs. It’s a great way to build up your fitness and get that summer shred on.
As these outdoor workouts are low-impact your body will quickly adapt, ready to try more challenging types of walks. For example, you can do the so-called bear walk where you get on all fours keeping your back straight and walk that way as fast as you can for as long as you can. You can also try the crab walk where you also walk on all fours, but with your belly up. You might want a quiet spot to try these out.
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Another great set of exercises to include in your new spring workouts are bodyweight circuits. By incorporating your bodyweight into a wide variety of moves, you will help maintain and tone muscles. From dips, to pull ups, a great bodyweight workout should always include legs, such as extra-dynamic jump squats and leapfrogs. Instead of doing them in one spot pick a place that has space to move such as your local park or anywhere else where you can find grass or some other kind of soft surface.
You will be doing jump squats from a position where your thighs are parallel to the ground, and you will be doing at least 50 reps. Your leapfrogging will start from a full squat, and you will be propelling yourself forward. When you land in the plank position, you will bring your feet forward to a squat and then leap forward again.
If you’re a TRX nut, then spring is the perfect time to give your trainer a go in the great outdoors. Just attach it to a pull-up bar or a vertical bar of some kind and get going. TRXing outside is ten times more fun than indoors, plus you get a better workout thanks to more oxygen.
More likely than not, your local park will feature some parallel bars, or at least a single one (if nothing else, a tree branch will do). Start off with some good old-fashioned pull-ups and progress to some hanging leg raises and twist knee raises to give your core a great workout.
If you can find some parallel bars, even better! They are the perfect venue for some dips and hand walks that will push your arms, shoulders, and chest to the limit. You may have to fight the local kids for the bars, but it will be worth the battle.
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It might seem obvious, but cycling is one of the best outdoor workouts. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the scenery, but it has plenty of benefits as well. Biking is another low-impact choice as it’s easy on your joints leaving less of a risk of injury to your body. You can also alternate the intensity of the workout through gears or terrain to burn more calories.
With regular trips, you’ll be toning your leg muscles all over from your quads and glutes to your calves. Just like walking or hiking if you’re stepping up your fitness you can stick to flat biking paths and increase your activity to hills when you get fitter.
So now that winter is over and spring is here it’s time to get fit for the summer.