Gyms and fitness studios are starting to re-open in different parts of the country, but if the coronavirus pandemic has you concerned about working out indoors, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get a good sweat session outside.
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Take a walk around your neighborhood park, and you'll see that there are countless ways to get creative with your exercises. A park bench, for example, can be used the same way you would use an exercise box or step. You can do everything from box jumps to incline push-ups to triceps dips on park benches.
Just make sure that the surface of the park bench and the soles of your shoes are dry before doing any type of movement. You can also go the extra step of sanitizing the bench with some disinfecting alcohol wipes and applying some hand sanitizer.
So the next time you're at the park, try this 20-minute outdoor bench workout to get your muscles moving and your heart rate pumping.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.
Move 1: Box Jump
- Stand in front of a park bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and the front of your toes about 10 inches away from the bench.
- With your knees slightly bent and arms by your sides, swing your arms behind you as you tip your hips backward while leaning forward.
- Using your hips, jump up onto the bench while swinging your arms forward. Land your feet firmly on the bench and make sure to fully extend your legs at the top.
- Once on the bench, stand tall for one count before jumping back off the bench to the starting position.
Avoid landing on the bench with just your forefoot and make sure you land with your entire foot on the bench to prevent falling or losing balance.
Move 2: Triceps Dip
- Sit at the edge of the bench with your feet on the ground in front of you and your knees bent at 90-degree angles.
- With your hands resting on the edge of the bench beside your body, straighten your arms to keep your body lifted.
- From this position, lower your body with your arms while keeping your elbows pointing backward. Stop once you form 90-degree angles with your arms.
- Hold this bottom position for one count before engaging your triceps to raise your body back to the starting position.
Move 3: Single-Leg Lunge
- Stand in front of the bench with your back facing the seat, hands on your hips and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place one foot on the bench behind you and take a step forward with your front leg.
- Slowly lower your legs into a lunge until your back knee hovers just a few inches off the ground or forms a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this position for one count before slowly straightening your legs to stand back up. Complete 12 to 15 reps on one leg before repeating this movement on the other side.
Move 4: Push-Up
- Get into a high plank on the bench with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your shoulders directly over your wrists. Keep your back flat and your neck and head parallel to the ground.
- Keeping your core, quads and glutes tight, slowly lower your chest toward the bench with your elbows pointing back at 45 degrees.
- Hold this bottom position for one count before pushing your body back to the starting position.
If you find this push-up too difficult, you can modify it by kneeling on the ground. The idea is to bring your chest to touch the ground, like in a regular push-up.
Move 5: Abdominal Crunch
- Lie face-up on the bench with your knees bent and feet flat. Place your hands behind your head with your fingers clasped, and rest your head gently in your palms.
- On an exhale, slowly curl your upper body toward your knees, so your shoulders and upper back come off the bench. Make sure the middle and lower back stay firmly on the bench.
- Hold this position for one count while keeping your abs tense, then inhale and slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
Move 6: Sit to Stand
- Start by sitting at the edge of the bench with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of you.
- Keep your upper torso straight while slightly leaning forward. Your arms should be straight and extended in front of your chest.
- With your feet firmly on the ground, stand up while swinging your arms backward beside your body.