Has your workout routine left you in need of some fresh air? Try stepping outside! Read on to learn how to turn any outdoor space into your very own personal gym – open 24 hours and free of charge. All it requires is a touch of imagination, a sprinkle of will power, a dose of desire and a pinch of knowledge.
Let’s break down the key elements involved in creating a safe and effective outdoor workout. The first thing to do before creating your outdoor workout is to choose your workout “goal”. The goal of your workout will then help drive the design of the elements you include. Some possible goals for your workout might be
a) to burn fat – work aerobically
b) to train for power and speed – a sports specific workout
c) to reduce stress – a more meditative – stretch oriented workout
d) overall fitness – a bit of each of the above goals.
Once you have decided on your workout goal it is then important to assess what you have to work with in your given environment. A few general assumptions can always be applied no matter what your geography.
Fixed objects (defined for our purposes here as objects that will not come loose when pressure is applied) – such as trees, sturdy fences, telephone poles, picnic benches, lifeguard stations etc. can always serve as a fixed “anchor” for looping ropes, tying ropes and resistance bands etc. This will allow you to create a sort of cable, pulley type of exercise station. This will be the area where you can do exercises like cable rows, bicep curls, chest presses, wood chop and golf swing drills.
Flat and wide open non-cement surfaces – such as grass, sand, dirt. These surfaces are perfect for jogging, sprint drills, sports drills, plyometrics and lunging.
Flat hard surface – such as pavement, tennis court, cement area. This is a great surface for jumping rope, doing medicine ball drills and footwork drills.
Raised (at least 6” and not more than 18”) and fixed objects – such as benches, steps, picnic tables. Excellent for doing step ups, push ups – incline or decline, abdominal knee-ins, tricep dips.
A staggered line of repeated objects – such as light poles, trash cans, fence posts etc. Excellent to use for doing repeats of an exercise such as sprints, running drills, line drills and more. Two poles or trees in a line can be used to tie off a rope between the length that can be used for over/under drills – common in boxing training, sports training and more.
After you have assessed your area and made decisions about how you will use what you see, it is time to come up with the workout design. Here are the basic guidelines to use to create an effective and “out of the box” type workout. I find that a hybrid workout of the goals I mentioned at the beginning of this article creates the most effective routine. With that in mind, here are some ideas about what to combine for the most complete workout.
The workout should contain a warm up and cool down, five to ten minutes of each – followed by thirty to forty five minutes of your main workout.
Include some resistance exercises for strength and toning – rowing, push ups, bicep curls, tricep dips.
Include some aerobic activity in the workout, i.e., jump rope for three minutes in between a set of rows and push ups. Sprint one direction to a tree and then light jog back to starting point. Repeat several times.
Include some agility and leg/glute work, such as sprint repeats on a flight of outdoor stairs or take two stairs at a time all the way to the top. Walk back down – then repeat.
Include some power work using a hard surface for medicine ball “throw downs” or plyometric drills.
Include a stretching and flexibility element by adding some yoga poses. This can easily lead into your cool down.
Put all that together and you will have created a well rounded, fun and challenging “environmentally” based workout.
| Rebecca Kordecki, aka the “Booty Guru”, is a fitness and lifestyle expert, media personality and creator of the hottest, new core and lower body workout, Booty Slide®. Rebecca and Booty Slide® have been featured on “The Today Show”, “EXTRA”, Channel 11 News and have been written up in such high end periodicals as Vogue, InStyle, Shape, TimeOut NY and Daily Candy amongst others.
Recently named “The Best Personal Trainer” in the Hamptons for 2009, a much coveted and hard to come by title, Rebecca has had a career in fitness for over 17 years. From the East coast to the West coast she has worked with celebrities, high profile executives, professional athletes and others from all walks of life. Her client roster includes such celebrities as Raquel Welch, Hunter Tylo (“The Bold and The Beautiful”), Oliver Stone, Elijah Wood, Rick Fox, Scott Wolf (ABC’s V and Party of Five), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Bright (Executive Producer of ”Friends”) and Fortune 500 Company CEO’s and Executives.
The Blackwatch Polo team including world famous polo player and the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo, Nacho Figueras, have hired Rebecca for two seasons in a row. Due to her strong athletic background, Rebecca’s knowledge and understanding of athletic conditioning and strengthening has been a tremendous asset. Rebecca’s clients think of her as their coach, confidant and have often referred to her as an inspiration.
Rebecca continues to train clients one on one, as a personal trainer, and while customizing her workout to suit each individual’s needs, she believes in providing a refined and targeted approach for the best results.
On a group fitness level, Rebecca’s newest creation, Booty Slide® originated out of her desire to create a quick total body workout for her celeb and VIP clients’ demanding schedules. Booty Slide® can be done almost anywhere and anytime without cumbersome equipment. Weighing under two ounces and fitting in your back pocket is the secret to the most effective, mobile workout in the world, Booty Slide® patented booties and the Booty Slide system! An intense, total body training “system” that focuses on building core strength, increasing cardiovascular fitness all while targeting problem areas; hips, buns and thighs.
Ms. Galaxy Title holder and Tri-Fitness finalist, Rebecca has been active in the industry as a fitness trainer, health & fitness Company Ambassador, commercial actress (national commercials), fitness model and spokesperson.
Pro Athletes, Celebs, high profile clients all have one thing in common and that is a trainer who provides discipline, results and a focused strategy for achieving their goals. There is a reason, Rebecca was awarded “The Best of The Best” personal trainer for 2009 in the Hamptons.
Rebecca has certifications from ACE, ACSM and AFAA.
Sipping cocktails, relaxing by the pool, firing up the grill… few things mean summer more than a barbecue. We’ve got an eclectic roundup, from cool tools to great plates, that will create a fantastic outdoor soirée. Be prepared to entertain with all the essentials for an unforgettable time!
Rattan Globe String Lights
A summer barbecue can begin mid-day and continue all through the night! Luckily, with Pottery Barn’s Rattan Globe String Lights you can always keep the party going. These lantern-like lights create a magical mood and are the perfect decoration for any backyard party. Illuminate your night by adding these easy-to-use lights on a terrace, balcony, or in the trees.
Buy Now, Rattan Globe String Lights, $29
Chill Salad Bowl with Servers
Crate and Barrel’s Chill Salad Bowl with Servers is perfect for any summer festivity. Its bright orange and yellow colors suit the season while keeping your food fresh, even for your most fashionably late guests. This bowl combines a cooling ice-pack base with a lidded container that is ideal for storage and transport.
Buy Now, Chill Salad Bowl with Servers, $9.95
Citrus Sippers Ice Cube Tray
Keep your fruity, frozen concoction extra cool with these two-in-one ice cube straws. Sure to be a hit with both your pint-size party guests and cocktail-sipping contingents alike, these citrus slice-shaped ice cubes also make great stirrers! Try squeezing some lemon juice into the ice trays before sticking them in the freezer for an extra citrusy twist.
Buy Now, Citrus Sippers Ice Cube Tray, $7.99
Sewing Basket Aprons
The kids are out of school for the summer, so what better way to spend time with your tiny tot than by cooking? These lovely matching mommy-and-me aprons from Anthropolgie come in both adult and child sizes, featuring beautiful embroidery and dainty colors. Now you and your little one can cook in style.
Buy Now, Sewing Basket Apron, $38
Carter & Cunningham Candle Pot
Nothing can ruin a great outdoor gathering faster than unwanted guests: Mosquitoes. To avoid having your invited guests itching and scratching, light up a gorgeous citronella candle. This ceramic candle will truly keep those party crashers away for up to 35 hours of burn time. A must-have for all summer barbecues.
Buy Now, Carter & Cunningham Candle Pot, $16
French Bull 8-Inch Melamine Plates
Add a playful mix of color to your barbecue with French Bull’s 8-inch Melamine Plates. These are available in a number different patterns and bright colors – perfect for the summer season.
Buy Now, French Bull 8-Inch Melamine Plates, $32
Nito Rectangular Tray
Bring a tropical look to your table with this hand-woven tray designed by villagers in the Philippines. I love to use serving trays all summer long and can never have too many. A great and functional accessory!
Buy Now, Nito Rectangular Tray, $79
Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything
The centerpiece for any barbecue is, of course, the food. Step up your grilling game with this cookbook full of hundreds of mouth-watering summer recipes.
Buy Now, Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything, $16.47