If you’re a little bored with your current gym routine, summer is a great time of year to mix things up a little by getting outdoors. The world is a great gym and even better, membership is free. Try this little routine and get yourself a shot of vitamin D in the process:
Choose a fairly flat path or piece of road with no crossings that has lampposts equally spaced along it. After warming up thoroughly try the following:
· Sprint to the first lamppost, walk back to the start
· Sprint to the second lamppost, walk back just one
· Sprint three lampposts, walk back
· Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2-6 times depending on how you feel
Park bench circuits
You can work every muscle just with a local park bench and a resistance band. Try this great little circuit for 30-60 seconds on each exercise depending on how fit you’re feeling:
· Squats (bum to bench)
· Press-ups (off the back is easier, off the bench is harder, feet on the bench is super-hard)
· Step-ups (alternate legs to make it easier, do all on one leg then swap to make it harder)
· Dynaband rows (close to your body)
· Triceps dips (legs bent to make it easier, straight to make it tougher)
· Dynaband rows (elbows out wide)
Children’s play area make for great training kit. Just be sure to let the kids use it first of course! If it’s free then try these challenging exercises:
· Hangs – if pull-ups is too tough, just try holding the rail and hanging in mid-air. Work up until you can do 20-30 seconds.
· Knee raises – once you’ve mastered the hang, holding your body as still as possible, draw one leg at a time up towards your chest doing 8-12 each side. You can progress by performing with both legs at the same time.
· Swings – if you like monkeying around this is a great exercise for you. Swing from one bar to the next without letting your feet touch the floor if you can.
· Pull-ups – there are so many variations here, close grip, wide grip, holds at the top, shifting your bodyweight left and right and many more. Aim to do 4-10 repetitions.
Here's me messing about with a few different pull-up variations;
Assisted with a band if you find pull-ups tough but want to be able to do them: http://youtu.be/mRV-vX3rh3c
Pull-ups with a pull to one side to add some variety and work the core and upper body harder: http://youtu.be/DvUxsEvEzIk
A more advanced version pulling to both sides in one rep: http://youtu.be/RszZO2Lj7yY
Climbing stairs is a phenomenal way of keeping fit and burning calories. It’s great for toning your thighs, backside and core and keeping your heart in good shape. Try one of these options to suit you:
· Walking up stairs – find a flight of steps with at least 20 steps. Aim to spend 5-10 minutes walking up and down with as little rest as you can.
· Stair running – you can place both feet on each step to develop fast feet or take steps one or two at a time to develop leg power.
· Step jumps – stand at the bottom of the steps and jump onto the first step then step back down. If you’re feeling confident you can try the second or third step.
If you'd like a simple exercise routine to tone your body, you can download my guide 'A Week in Balance'. As well as healthy recipes, you'll find a range of bodyweight exercises to tone all areas. Even better, there are three difficulty levels for each exercise so you can pick the one that feels right for you. Get your copy here for just £2, half of which goes to the Genetic Alliance UK charity.