The sun has finally made an appearance and it’s coming up to our favourite time of the year where the days are getting longer and the evenings are getting warmer. After sitting in the office all day staring out the window out our glorious British weather, spending more time inside at the gym might not be as desirable as usual, even for those of us with slightly more obsessive dispositions. So here at CSN we pooled together our knowledge and experience to bring you five simple but effective workouts that can be done whilst enjoying our limited summer weather whilst we can.
1. Hill Sprints
Let’s be honest, nobody wants to do cardio on a treadmill when the weather is nice outside. However, Hill Sprints are an excellent, arguably more beneficial and fun, alternative that still allows you to enjoy the great outdoors whilst still burning the calories. Hill Sprints are classed as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and is an excellent exercise to help both burn fat and build muscle. All you need to do is find an appropriate hill and you are ready to go. The steeper the hill, the harder it will be, so choose a hill that suits your fitness level. Ideally, you want hill that is around 40 yards in length, or takes and around 20-30 seconds to reach the top while sprinting.
Before beginning, make sure you warm up thoroughly as this will be a very intense few minutes. The basic idea is to all out sprint to the top of the hill followed by a moderate jog back down. Repeat as many times as possible, making note of how many rounds you completed as your target for the next session. You should be able to complete this within around 10-15 mins, assuming that you are pushing yourself to your limits!
2. Park Circuits
Most public parks have a degree of fitness equipment for use these days, and make the perfect opportunity build some muscle whilst getting some fresh summer air. All you need for this simple bodyweight circuit is a bar you are able to do pull ups on, and a bench or something similar for triceps dips. This circuits aims to target all the major muscle groups in the body, legs, chest, back and arms.
4 rounds of 10 reps per exercise. No rest best exercise, 30 secs – 1 minute rest between rounds.
• Pull ups
• Triceps Dips
• Push ups
• Body weight Squats
Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise the world over. It is vastly underrated due to the fact that is a low-impact exercise that almost anybody of any level of physical fitness can take part in to obtain the health benefits as well as the enjoyment factor. Walking can be easily tailored to the individual, to increase or decrease the difficulty depending on the route or the type of terrain undertaken. For those of us who are a little more physically active, choosing more difficult walks such as hilly coastal or countryside walks can make an excellent alternative to the standard treadmill pounding of the gym. This enables us to get outside, enjoy the weather and the surroundings whilst still keeping up the cardiovascular exercise and burning those calories. Just because hiking is predominately low intensity, the variability of the terrain can have a much larger than expected impact. Do not underestimate the physical effort required to take a tough coastal path. Walk a couple of hours on one of these and I guarantee you will sleep well that night, just take plenty of water.
Cycling is similar to hiking in the respect that it can be made to suit almost any level of fitness, and the intensity can be varied easily depending on your goals. It is also very low-impact, so the risk of injury or repetitive strain is very low, and like walking, can be considerably more enjoyable and scenic outside than just sitting on a stationary bike in the gym. The advantages of cycling means that it doesn’t just have to be for the purpose of exercise. Swapping the car of bus for the bike means that you can get your cardio in on the way to work, reducing the time you need to spend in the gym and leaving you free to enjoy the weather as you please. Cycling is excellent for fat loss and cardiovascular health, but can even be used to build powerful leg muscles. For those looking build muscle on the quads, hamstring or glutes, a more explosive and intense style workout can be very effective, just take a look at any sprint cyclist’s legs! Hilly routes, or HIIT style workouts will be help to build leg muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness and allow you get outside.
5. CrossFit Style Burpee/Kettlebell circuit
This CrossFit inspired workout is an excellent weighted HIIT circuit that is sure to leave your lungs burning and your muscles aching. Designed to tax both your cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance, this quick workout can be done almost anywhere with nothing more require than a little room and a singular kettlebell. The idea here is to complete 5 rounds of the following exercise with no breaks as fast as possible.
• Burpees – 10 reps
• Kettlebell Swings 15 reps
Record your time so that you have a target to beat on consequent sessions. Start with a weight you are comfortable with, but once it becomes too easy increase the weight to feel the burn.