Sunday, April 11, 2010

Take It Outside!

It's official. You may no longer use the weather as an excuse to get out of a good, healthy, outdoor workout. By now you've either had your fill of people watching at your local fitness club or added another 10lbs on top of your winter weight due to a lack of membership to said fitness club. No more get-out-of-fitness-free card!! Get outside!!
Here are some of my no-fail, no-fuss recommendations.
1. Plank Pose

Yep, I realize that I've mentioned this move before. But come on people. How much simpler can I get?
Start in the prone position (on your tummy). Pick up your hips, shift onto your toes and forearms. Keep your forearms parallel- no clasping hands together. Don't allow a sway in your lower back- hips up, abs tight!
Hold this position for 20-30sec at a time.

2. Walking Lunges
With so many variations to this move, I decided to go with the old-faithful walking lunge. This move tones your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Kick it up a notch by holding a 10lb weight out in front of you (like a steering wheel). This simple upgrade brings in your deltoids, biceps, and triceps. I love multi-tasking. Repeat 20 full steps forward, then turn around for 20 steps back.

Start with good posture: Shoulders back, core tight, feet together.
Extend hands out in front of you for balance. Step forward with your R foot, bend R knee and L knee simultaneously. Keep your shoulders over your hips- don't lean forward or backward when bending legs. This will keep your core engaged.
Now step forward with your L leg (in a walking manor from Step 2). Repeat the same movement with knees bending at 90 degree angles.
*Note: Try to keep the knees at 90 degree angles (see above images). This will ensure the safety of your knee joints. Never allow your front knee to extend in front of the front toe, ouch!
3. Quad Dips
Tone those thighs! Use a park bench or picnic bench (free equipment!).

Begin by standing in front of a park bench. Place your R foot back onto the bench (90 degree angle). Extend arms in front for balance.
Balance on your L leg, lowering straight down- shoulders over hips. Keep your L knee from jutting out over the toe. Once in the ending position (at left), push through the heels back into the starting position. Repeat this move 10 times, then switch legs.
4. Bench Jumps
Jumping exercises falls into the Plyometrics school of exercises. Great for balance, core training, and muscle tone. A 10" height is a good starting off point. Benches are usually between 12-16". 20 of these jumps should do the trick. Not enough for a good burn? Find something else demanding a higher jump. 24" does the trick for me!
Ah, yes. Another "keep it simple" move. Start with bent knees, tight core, hands extended for balance. Stand approximately 6 inches back from the bench.
Hop forward onto the bench with knees bent. Shift hips forward to stand straight up. Step backwards onto the ground into the starting position.
5. Rent a Puppy!!
How much more fun can it get? I'm sure you know someone with an active dog in case you don't own one. No? Go to your local humane society and they'll let you take the pooch of your choice out for a jaunt. Community service= two birds, one stone. Awesome.
Oh wait, and youre exercising too!!!
*Kudos: Thank you to my wonderful hubby-to-be for your amateur photography. Your support is much appreciated!


  1. Wonderful job Sarah and Archer! Love it!! Now I just need to get out there and do it!! Your future Mom in Law

  2. I ♥ your blog!!! You're a pretty dang strong gal! I'm writing this out and taking it to the gym... Too dark for outside, but I needed some inspiration. :)