The season of warmth calls for long hours by the pool, cheerful barbecue get-togethers with your best buds, and downing one boozy cocktail after another. And while this sounds nothing short of an ideal way to spend the summer, those extra pounds settling around your waistline won’t be very pleasant to deal with.
Why not just stick to exercising through the summer to prevent the weight gain in the first place? But no, we aren’t saying you ought to hit the gym. Summer only lasts for a few months and even suggesting that one spend all that time indoors would be sacrilege, not to mention a complete waste of the good weather. Instead, you could turn your neighborhood park into the perfect gym this summer! That way you can enjoy the sunshine and all the joys that come with it, and have your workout too!
Here are 5 intense exercises you can do at a park. All you need is a tree and a park bench, and you’re good to go.
1. Tree Plank
Target areas: Shoulders, back, chest, and abs
- Keeping your back to a tree and get down on all fours. Your heels should be only a few feet away from the tree trunk.
- Place both your forearms on the ground with your elbows placed firmly beneath your shoulders.
- Straighten your legs behind you one at a time and make your feet walk up the trunk of the tree till your body is parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and then slowly bring walk your feet down the tree trunk and get back into the original position.
- Rest for 10 seconds, taking deep breaths.
- Repeat and complete 2 reps.
Tip: Remember to keep your back straight and your ab muscles well engaged for this exercise.
2. Power Pledge
Target areas: Shoulders, triceps, chest, and abs
- Keeping yourself about 3 to 4 feet behind a park bench, stand with your feet hip-width.
- Lean forward and place both your hands on top of the back of the seat. Your arms should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
- Squeeze your ab muscles and keep your body in a straight line all the way from your head to your heels. Now bend both your elbows to lower your chest toward the bench.
- Apply pressure on your palms to forcefully push yourself up. Just before your arms are fully stretched out, quickly lift your right hand off the bench and bring it across your chest to touch your left shoulder.
- Bring your right hand back immediately to the bench.
- Repeat the steps, this time lifting your left hand. This will complete 1 rep.
- Do 12 reps of this exercise.
3. Rond de Jambe
Target areas: Hips, butt, and legs
- Keeping your hands on your hips, stand in front of a bench.
- Step onto the bench with your right foot and stand on the seat. Lift your left leg upward behind you simultaneously and squeeze your glutes.
- Standing steady on your right leg, bring your left leg around to the left side and then bring it to your front, drawing an invisible semicircle.
- Reverse the motion so that your left leg goes back to being stretched out behind you.
- Step down to the ground.
- Repeat the steps while switching the sides.
- Do at least 12 reps.
Tip: To really tone your butt, hold your hip as still and level as possible while keeping the muscles tight.
4. Hot Seat
Target areas: Butt and legs
- With your back to the bench, stand about one foot in front of the bench seat.
- Bend your elbows to clasp your hands firmly in front of your chest.
- Lift your left leg straight out in front of you so that it’s a few inches above ground level. Bend your right knee simultaneously to sit down on the bench, but only very briefly.
- Keeping your left leg raised throughout, stand up immediately after your butt hits the bench seat. Push your right heel hard into the ground to straighten your right leg.
- Repeat the steps while switching your legs.
- Do at least 12 reps.
5. Toe Tap
Target areas: Abs, obliques, and hips
- Sit on the edge of the bench and place your palms behind you on the seat, fingers pointing forward.
- Lean back slightly. Now keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees, lift your legs off the ground.
- Keeping your chest lifted, shoulders thrown back, and right knee still, touch the ground with your left toe, then raise your left knee back into the starting position.
- Repeat steps while switching sides.
- Do at least 10 reps.
Tip: If you want to firm up your ab muscles, even more, focus on extending your legs forward quickly so that they are parallel to the ground. Then bend your knees to return to the starting position.
Note: Stick with this workout religiously and pair it with swimming session to get optimal results. Muscles need time to recover from the strain, so make sure to take a day off in between. It is also important to remember to leave a little rest in between sets; this will further increase your rate of fat burn.