March is here. And as it gets warmer, it’s totally okay to be confused about taking your workouts outdoors or not. Especially if you’ve been doing a lot of walking, running, or playing sports, you’ve been working out outside already. But as winter quickly turns to summer, we’ve chosen five workouts for those of you who would like to sweat it out outdoors, but are unsure what exercises to try. These workouts are not just warm weather friendly, but, as a bonus, also perfect to try out at home with minimal equipment.
The park bench workout
If you like parks or gardens (or even if you don’t), finding a suitable bench shouldn’t be a huge issue on the streets. If you find one, this brilliant bench workout will make for a welcome change to your routine. It’s a full body 20-minute workout that will torch your abs, arms, and legs. It’s also a follow-along, which makes the workout even more fun to do. So go on, and maybe you’ll teach some bystanders how a park bench can be as good as any bench in the gym.
One-hour full-body pilates
Nicole’s shorter workouts are fun and forgiving, but this one-hour routine is slow torture. You will want to scream at her making it look so easy, but just imagine the feeling of accomplishment when you finish it. The life-saving grace in this video is a tempo which also slows down in intervals, giving enough time to stretch and rest. Feel free to replace a lifting or a cardio day in the gym to do this at home. All you need is a mat, and a will to survive. But at the end of the hard road lies a dopamine rush unlike any other.
Coach Kozak’s 30-minute kickboxing
This video is on my list of top-ten online videos I’ve seen since I clapped eyes on it in 2012. Also, it’s called “BEST 30 minute cardio kickboxing workout” so it couldn’t be more true. Coach Kozak’s videos used to be grainy and homely at the time, unlike the more slick videos he produces now, so it has a nostalgic feel as well. Apart from the emotions though, the workout will provide you a new range of movements and skills when it comes to understanding boxing. It doesn’t require perfect technique, so don’t push the limit when it comes to the air kicks, but any attempt at it is also enough. The punches though, yes, go for them. Imagine you’re Rocky Balboa.
Shoulder workout with resistance bands
No list of great workouts can be complete without Jeff Cavaliere and his obsession with form and technique. I attempted this shoulder workout with bands just a week ago, and it was as challenging as lifting weights on shoulder day. There are no sets or reps prescribed, so I went for two sets of 15-20 reps on each exercise with 45 seconds to a minute of rest between sets. But more than just the pump, resistance training is an excellent way to avoid injury and correct posture. A paper published in the Journal of Physical Science, on the effects of elastic band exercise on subjects with rounded shoulder posture and forward head posture concluded “that the elastic band exercise program used in the study is effective for lengthening the pectoralis major and correcting rounded shoulder and forward head posture.” So, you know, go for it!
Slow abs workout
The importance of focusing on form and technique tends to get lost while doing ab routines. It’s just instinctive to crunch out a few extra reps just for an added burn. This workout is a change from that. In fact, it is the exact opposite of that. This 20-minute slow workout with well concentrated reps will add more resistance to your core. Don’t be surprised if the burn is not as intense as regular core workouts, but that doesn’t mean your muscles aren’t working. Don’t forget to take breathing seriously in this one, and a great tip is to try to breathe normally while engaging your core.
Pulasta Dhar is a football commentator and writer.