Although any exercise is better than no exercise, getting out of the gym after a long winter on the machines not only allows you to enjoy the awesome weather, but helps you burn more calories and target muscles you couldn't quite reach on your indoor machines.
Check out these 10 tips for bringing your usual indoor exercise routine outside this spring.
1. Explosive Tree Branch Pull-Up
Find a large horizontal pole or tree branch high above your head. Bend your legs and jump up to reach it in one smooth, explosive motion. Then use your arms to pull your chin over the branch or pole, and ease yourself back down to the ground. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds!
2. Park Bench Push-Up Trifecta
In this strengthening exercise you'll perform three different types of pushups with the help of a park bench or bleacher. First, rest your feet on the park bench with your hands on the ground, face and stomach down. Do 10 push ups in this position. Then switch it around and put your hands on the bench and your feet on the ground, again face down. Do 10 more push-ups this way before completing the exercise with 10 normal pushups with both your hands and feet on the ground.
The U.S. Army via Flickr
3. Tree Hops
In order to perform this calf-strengthening exercise, find a large tree and stand beside it. Put your hands high above your head, and jump up to touch the tree at the highest point you can. It is important that you stay on your toes the entire time! Do this for 60 seconds.
4. Sandbox Shuffle
Head to your local park and find the nearest sandbox. Assuming there aren't too many children playing in it, stand in the middle of the box and get into a low squatting position. Shuffle from left to right, maintaining straight posture and consistent depth. Extend your arms outward, perpendicular to your body for a great toning exercise.
5. Uphill Lunges
This is a fantastic workout to strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Find a reasonably steep, grassy hill. Starting at the bottom, slowly lunge forward up the hill, bending your knees almost so that they touch the ground, but not quite. Try to continue this motion all the way up the hill, and stretch out when you get to the top. If you're really looking for a challenge, try it multiple times!
James Chew via Flickr
6. Stoop Dips
Find a step or stoop. Sit with your back to the stoop and your legs extended outward. With your arms on either side of your hips and stomach facing up, place your hands behind you on the stoop, fingers extending outward in the same direction as your legs. Straighten your body, bend your elbows and push yourself up (butt off the ground) in one fluid motion, then repeat this motion for 60 seconds.
7. Hanging Crunch
Once again find that high horizontal tree branch, pole, or set of monkey bars and lift yourself up so that you're hanging from the bar. With your arms fully extended, exhale as you bend your knees bringing them up, curled at your stomach. Then inhale as you slowly release them back down. Do as many reps as you can and repeat!
8. Swim Laps
Head to your community pool during lap swimming time for a phenomenal summertime workout. Swimming is awesome cardio, produces no impact on your joints, and burns hundreds of calories. Try out the breast, free, and butterfly strokes as you methodically make your way back and forth in the lane.
Devon Christopher Adams via Flickr
9. Hit the Bike Trail
It's finally time to dust off your two-wheeled ride and take it out for the first spin of spring. Take a couple hours on a weekend afternoon to explore a new bike trail while getting fantastic exercise in the process. Just make sure to wear a helmet and map out your route ahead of time!
10. Outdoor Yoga
See if your fitness center provides outdoor yoga during weather-permitting seasons. Yoga outside is a great way to burn calories, relax, and enjoy the peaceful outdoors.