No one wants to be stuck indoors behind a treadmill — especially when you could be outside getting fit in the gorgeous summer sun!
Here are some easy but effective exercises you can do this summer outside in the fresh air.
Yoga in the morning is an excellent way to kick start your day! Not only does it help increase concentration and reduce stress, it also strengthens muscles and improves posture.
This summer, try doing it outside at your local park or even in your backyard, it’s a great way to get some fresh morning air and some early vitamin D.
If you’re thinking ‘there’s no way I can twist and bend like a pretzel’, don’t worry! Here are some exercises even the least flexible of people can do, all you’ll need a yoga mat.
Start in a kneeling position, with your knees and tops of your feet flat on the floor. With your knees apart rest your belly and chest down between your legs. Place your head on the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you. If your head doesn’t reach the floor just use a pillow to rest it on.
This pose will stretch out your back and arms.
Stand with your feet hip width apart. Keeping your legs straight, slowly roll down placing your palms flat on the floor (your bottom should be up in the air). Your hands should be shoulder width apart and the arms, shoulders and back should line up in a straight, diagonal line. To ease the stretch a little slightly bend your knees.
This pose will really stretch out those quads and hamstrings.
Stand on one leg, bring the other foot up and rest it on your thigh. Once you have your balance, stretch your arms out over your head putting them into a praying hands position. Balance for as long as you can then swap legs.
This pose will really help you with your balance and posture.
If you’re after a bit more of a workout in the morning, Kettlebells are great for working major muscles, burning body fat and building power.
Kettlebells come in a range of different weights anywhere from 2kg to 30kg, depending on your fitness levels. They come in a range of different colours too.
Companies like Hart Sport have a range of different kettlebells and weight training equipment to suit your individual fitness needs. Click here to have a look.
Here are a few exercises you can do with kettlebells out in the summer sun!
If you’re looking to work those legs, kettlebell squats are a killer! For this exercise you’ll only need one kettlebell. Depending on your fitness level and capabilities it’s best to start with a lighter one and work your way up.
Flip the kettlebell upside down; hold it with both hands close to your chin, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Stand with your feet apart then squat, keeping the kettlebell close to your chin. Squat 10 to 15 times, and repeat for 3 sets.
This exercise will work your entire lower body, including your thighs, hips, bottom, quads and hamstrings.
This exercise is great for working your upper and lower body and your core. For this you’ll need one fairly heavy kettlebell.
Stand with your legs hip width apart with slightly bent knees, grab hold of your kettlebell with both hands making sure your palms face towards you. Start with the kettlebell between your legs, then swing it up above your head and back down again, keeping a straight back and making sure you bend your knees on the way down. Try not to lift the kettlebell with your arms and allow the bell to follow a natural arc in front of you. Swing at least 10-15 times for 3 sets.
This exercise can be dangerous if not performed correctly, so make sure you ask for a professional’s advice if you’re doing it for the first time.
This exercise will work the muscles in your hips, bottom, hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders and pecs.
Single Arm Rows
If you’re looking to strengthen your upper body and back, single arm rows with a kettlebell are perfect. For this you’ll need one kettlebell.
Kneel on a park bench with one foot on the floor, make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are even. Pick your kettlebell up off the floor and keep your arms tucked in close to your body, row upwards with your elbow pointing towards the ceiling. Then, lower the kettlebell back to the starting position. Perform this exercise 10 to 15 times on each side for 3 sets.
This exercise works the lats, upper back, trap muscles and the upper arms.
Another great exercise for your upper body and back is the overhead press.
Hold the kettlebell by its handle placing it up near one shoulder, making sure your elbow is bent and tucked tightly into your side, the kettle should hang behind your hand (so your palm is facing away from your body). Push the kettlebell up above your head, extending your arm straight up, and then back down again. Repeat and don’t forget to swap arms.
This exercise will work your deltoids, triceps, lats and traps.
Boxing and sparring is an excellent way to get fit, have fun and let off some steam. And, the best thing is you can get all your mates together and do it in your local park!
You’ll need a partner for this one and boxing gear, like focus pads and gloves. You can get a range of boxing equipment from online sports stores like Hart Sport; click here to see some of their boxing products.
Get your partner to put on the focus pads, while you don the boxing gloves. Your partner should hold the focus pads out in front of their body, then you’ll jab each pad as fast as you can for one minute. Partners: try moving the pads on different angles: high, low, out to the side. Then swap with your partner.
You could also do this by yourself with a punching bag or speed ball.
Shadow boxing is basically sparring with an imaginary opponent, but it really gets that heart pumping! It’s easy, simply punch the air as fast as you can for as long as you can and after a short rest repeat.
Ok so it’s not technically boxing, but a lot of boxers do it to stay in shape. Skipping is an excellent form or cardio training; it also helps build coordination, timing and rhythm which is crucial for boxing.
Count how many jumps you can do in one minute and then try to beat it! For more of a challenge try touching the floor each time you skip, or bringing your legs up one by one into a marching position each time you jump.
For more information on Hart Sport and their products visit www.hartsport.com.au
Just so you know, this is a sponsored post. Regardless, we only recommend products, services and events we believe our readers will appreciate.