By Alena Hall
Sweet summertime has finally arrived and what better way to celebrate than pausing that gym membership, saving a little cash and taking your workouts outside?
There are so many bodyweight-based exercise moves you can combine to create workout circuits that are challenging and effective anywhere and at any time. This exercise style is known for getting your blood pumping, working every muscle group, easily allowing for modifications that best suit your needs, and preventing that workout boredom we are all too familiar with.
Not sure where to start? Give this set of six exercises a go! Work through them in order, spending one minute on each move before moving immediately into the next one. Rest for one minute after completing all six exercises, and then repeat the circuit two more times for a sweaty, total-body workout accomplished in just 20 minutes.
Ready? Set? Go!
No outdoor track? No problem. Use the distance between two lamp posts on your street, or the distance between your house and your mailbox to make this one work.
Step 1: Starting at one end, begin sprinting as fast as you can to the other side.
Step 2: Once you reach it, shift into a lateral lunge as you change directions, tapping the ground with your leading hand.
Step 3: Carry that momentum forward as you rotate into your next sprint. Continue repeating for one minute.
Need a modification? Take it at a jogging pace to sustain the activity for a full minute.
Step 1: Move into a plank position with your hands stacked beneath the shoulders, hips in line with the shoulders and feet, and core engaged. Lower into a pushup.
Step 2: As you return to the original position, shift your weight to the outside of your left foot, stack the right foot on top of the left, and reach your right arm high toward the sky. Hold this extended side plank for a moment before returning to the original position.
Step 3: Complete another pushup and find a plank on your right side. Continue repeating at your own pace for one minute.
Need a modification? Perform the pushups with your knees resting on the ground, and as you transfer into the side plank, stagger your feet wide for additional stability.
Lateral Tuck Jumps
Use a painted line in grass, a sidewalk crack or even a shadow as a placeholder for this one.
Step 1: Stand to one side of the line with both legs and feet held closely together. Lower into a slight squat, and push off the ground with explosive force, tucking the knees toward the chest as you shift laterally in the air to the other side of the line.
Step 2: Land on your toes first, being careful to not slam your feet flat into the ground. Lower into another slight squat, and jump with knees tucked again back to the original side. Continue repeating for one minute.
Need a modification? Instead of tucking the knees at the chest as you jump, keep the feet lower to the ground as if you were jumping rope.
Downward Dog to Spiderman Plank
Step 1: Move into a plank position with your hands stacked beneath the shoulders, hips in line with the shoulders and feet, and core engaged.
Step 2: Lift your right foot off the ground and reach your knee toward your right elbow, shifting the majority of your weight into your hands. Reach the foot back to the original position, and lift your hips back and toward the sky as you find the downward dog position.
Step 3: Return to the original position and repeat the knee reach on the left side, ending with another downward dog. Continue repeating for one minute.
Need a modification? Skip the knee hikes for now and focus on keeping strong plank form between your downward dog shifts.
Walking Single-Leg Deadlift
Step 1: Using the course you set for first set of sprints, stand at one end with feet together, hands on hips, posture nice and tall. Take a step forward with the right foot, keeping a slight bend in right knee for balance, and hinge forward at the hips as you lift your left leg into the air behind you. Make sure you keep your back straight, and continue moving forward until you feel a moderate stretch in the right hamstring.
Step 2: Remaining balanced, return to an upright position as you bring the left foot down and take a step forward. Keeping a slight bend in the left knee, hinge forward again as you lift your right leg into the air behind you.
Step 3: Slowly return to the upright position, and continue repeating for one minute. If you reach the other side before the minute is up, simply turn around and start backtracking.
Alternating Leg Raise and Toe Touch
Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs stretched out straight in front of you with your arms by your sides.
Step 2: Reach the right arm up overhead. Use your core strength to simultaneously lift the left foot straight toward the sky as you reach your right hand toward your foot (tap them together if you can!). Lower to the original position and complete two more reps.
Step 3: Swivel the arms so that your left arm is now overhead. Left the right foot and the left hand together to repeat on the opposite side. Complete three reps before alternating sides. Continue repeating for one minute.
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