3 Outdoor HIIT Workouts for More Time in the Sunshine

There's no greater feeling than making time to sweat in the sunshine. Sure, loading up on SPF and lying out by a pool or getting sandy at the beach is great, but fitting in a sweat session in picturesque weather is good for your mind and body.

If the weather is nice, why not leave the house for an outdoor workout? (Image: Filip_Krstic/iStock/GettyImages)

The best way to make the most of your outdoor workout? Turning up the intensity. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn calories and build lean muscle in a short amount of time, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). And according to a December 2014 study published in PLoS One, people typically enjoy HIIT a whole lot more than continuous moderate-intensity exercise.

Here, three experts offer up quick, effective HIIT workouts for your next outdoor date with endorphins.

Outdoor HIIT Workout #1: Work Your Endurance

If you do this regularly, you'll start to see improvements in your body and endurance within one to two weeks, says Monique Crous, a New York-based certified personal trainer and creator of the exercise program HOT HIIT.

Warm-Up

Do: Three minutes of light jogging (in place, if you want to) and one to two minutes of jumping jacks.

The Workout

Do: 30 seconds of each exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest. Do seven rounds before moving onto the next move.

Move 1: Mountain Climber

  1. Start in high plank, with your feet hip-width apart, hands under your shoulders, fingers facing forward and knees lifted off the ground.
  2. Keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, bring your left knee to your chest. Repeat this movement with the opposite leg.
  3. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds.

Move 2: Squat

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides.
  2. Sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower toward the floor. Keep the weight in your heels and lower down until your thighs are at parallel to the ground or slightly below.
  3. Press back through heels to return to standing.

Move 3: Squat Thrust

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
  2. Explosively jump both feet back so you finish in a plank. Your body should form a straight line from the feet to your head.
  3. Explosively push through both feet again to return to the squat position.
  4. Stand and repeat.

Move 4: Bicycle Crunch

  1. Lie on your back and lift your knees up to form a 90-degree angle at your hips and knees. Cradle the back of your head and upper neck with your hands.
  2. Lift and twist your right elbow toward your left knee. Simultaneously extend the right leg.
  3. Return to start and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Move slowly and methodically to get the most muscle activation out of the exercise.

Move 5: Plank Up-Down

  1. Start in a high plank with both hands under your shoulders.
  2. Lower down to one forearm. Both your forearm and elbow will be resting on the ground.
  3. Bring your other arm down to rest on the ground in the same way. You're now in a low plank.
  4. Return to the push-up position, one arm at a time.

Move 6: Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the ground, and your hands should be able to touch your heels.
  2. Drive your hips up while keeping your upper back, head and arms on the ground.
  3. Hold for three seconds.
  4. Lower and return to start.

Cooldown

Do: Three to five minutes of stretching

Outdoor HIIT Workout #2: Target Your Lower-Body and Abs

"Always be aware of your form and make sure your movement stems from your core, even if that means slowing it down a bit," says Crous, who also designed the following routine.

Warm-Up

Do: Three minutes of light jogging (in place, if you want to) and one to two minutes of jumping jacks.

The Workout

Do: 30 seconds of each exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest. Do seven rounds before moving onto the next move.

  • Plank jacks
  • Chair pose squat
  • High knees
  • Flutter kick
  • Cross-body mountain climber
  • Glute bridge

Move 1: Plank Jacks

  1. Start in a high plank with hands under your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, jump your feet out about six inches.
  3. Jump them back together and repeat.

Move 2: Chair Pose Squat

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
  2. Squat down as much as your mobility and flexibility will allow without arching your lower back.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, bring them up until your upper arms are by your ears.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Move 3: High Knees

  1. Stand with your feet at hip-width distance.
  2. Drive your left knee toward your chest and quickly place it back on the ground.
  3. Follow immediately by driving your right knee toward your chest.
  4. Continue alternating for 30 seconds.

Move 4: Flutter Kick

  1. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms facing down. You can place your hands slightly under your glutes for extra support.
  2. Lift your legs four to six inches off the floor. Engage your core to keep your back from overarching.
  3. Keep your legs straight as you rhythmically raise one leg higher, then switch. Move in a fluttering, up and down motion.

Move 5: Cross-Body Mountain Climber

  1. Start in a high plank with hands under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from the feet to your head.
  2. Engage your core and bring one knee toward the opposite elbow.
  3. Return to the starting position
  4. Repeat on the other side, quickly switching back and forth.

Move 6: Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should be flat on the ground, and your hands should be able to touch your heels.
  2. Drive your hips up while keeping your upper back, head and arms on the ground.
  3. Hold for three seconds.
  4. Return to start.

Cooldown

Do: Three to five minutes of stretching

Outdoor HIIT Workout #3: Build Up to Burpees

"The best place to do a HIIT outdoor workout is a park," says Ali Stamler, creator of the below workout and LivFit With Ali, a HIIT circuit-training studio in Miami. "Usually parks will have benches, areas to run, climbing stations for pull-ups and dips and different objects to get creative with."

Warm-Up

Do: Three minutes of light jogging (in place, if you want to) and one to two minutes of jumping jacks.

Circuit #1

Do: 45 seconds of each, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat three times, resting one minute between each round.

  • Jump squat
  • Forearm plank
  • Mountain climber

Move 1: Jump Squat

  1. Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width distance. Put your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked.
  2. Squat down with your thighs slightly higher than your knees.
  3. Quickly explode upward into the air for maximum height.
  4. Land in the squat position.
  5. Pause for a moment before repeating.

Move 2: Forearm Plank

  1. Lie face down with your forearms and palms on the floor and your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your feet flexed with the bottoms of your toes on the floor.
  2. Engage your core and rise up on your toes so that only your forearms and toes touch the floor.
  3. Look at the floor to keep your neck in a neutral position.

Move 3: Mountain Climber

  1. Start in a high plank with hands under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from the feet to your head.
  2. Engage your core and bring one knee toward the same elbow.
  3. Return to the starting position and quickly switch sides.

Circuit #2

Do: 45 seconds of each, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat three times, resting one minute between each round.

  • Walking lunge
  • Sit-up
  • Speed skater

Move 1: Walking Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet together and hands on your hips.
  2. Take a large step forward with your right foot. Lower down toward the ground until your front and back knee are both bent at about 90 degrees. Stop with your right knee just above the ground.
  3. Press into your right heel to return to stand.
  4. Step forward with your left leg to immediately repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Move 2: Sit-Up

  1. Lie on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  2. Put your hands on the sides of or behind your neck.
  3. Bend your hips and waist to raise your body off the ground or bench.
  4. Lower your body back to the start.

Move 3: Speed Skater

  1. Start in a curtsy stance with the majority of your weight on the front leg.
  2. Launch off of the front foot and take a wide, low, lateral leap onto the other foot.
  3. Land in a low curtsy stance on the other leg.
  4. Continue jumping side to side.

Circuit #3

Do: 40 seconds of each, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat three times, resting one minute between each round.

  • Push-up with shoulder tap
  • Superman
  • Burpee

Move 1: Push-Up With Shoulder Taps

  1. Start in a high plank. Engaging your core, lower your body to floor.
  2. Push back up to start.
  3. Keeping hips square to the floor, tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then your left.

Move 2: Superman

  1. Start lying on your stomach. Bring your legs together and extend your arms overhead so your biceps are alongside your ears.
  2. Using the muscles of your back, raise your legs and torso off the ground. Keep your legs straight and reach your fingertips away from you.
  3. Hold for five seconds
  4. Lower back down and repeat.

Move 3: Burpee

  1. Stand with your feet together. Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump both feet back so you finish in a plank.
  3. Perform a push-up, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and maintaining your body alignment.
  4. Jump your feet back underneath your hips.
  5. Stand up with a flat back as you transition into a jump.
  6. Land softly with your hips back and knees in line with your feet and hips.

Cooldown

Do: Three to five minutes of stretching

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.