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10 Exercises to Turn the Outdoors into a Gym

  • Lauren Passell

    Get Out of the Gym

    You'll not only boost your calorie burn, you'll hit muscles you'd never reach on your beloved machines. Nobody knows more about working up a sweat outside than Tadeo Arnold, the face of Cuerpaso Brazilian boot camp, an explosive workout that takes fat burning moves to the beach and beyond using a mix of soccer-like drills and Brazilian dance. Do this circuit three times with 5 minutes of jogging between each round for a 45-minute total-body scorcher.

  • Heinrich van den Berg

    Explosive Pull-Up

    Targets quads, biceps, shoulders, and back

    Find a branch or horizontal pole that's high above your head. Jump to reach it, exploding from the ground and thrusting up. Use your arms to lift your head above the pole or branch, then ease yourself back down. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds. MAKE IT HARDER: Do a push-up between each pull-up.

  • Johner Images

    Park Bench Push-Up Trio

    Targets chest and shoulders

    In this exercise, you'll do three kinds of push-ups using a park bench. First, put your feet on the park bench and your hands on the ground, belly down. Do 10 push-ups this way. Then switch and put your feet on the ground and your arms on the bench. Do 10 more this way. End with 10 regular push-ups completely on the ground.

  • Koji Aoki

    Calf Hops

    Targets calves

    Near a tree, put your hands above your head. Jump up, touching the tree at the highest point you can, making sure you stay on your toes the whole time. Do this for 60 seconds.

  • Laura Doss

    Bench Hops

    Targets glutes and quads

    Sit on the edge of a bench. Throwing your arms up as you go, jump in the air as high as you can, and then go back to being seated. Do this for 60 seconds. MAKE IT HARDER: Lift leg straight in front of you a few inches off ground and bend right knee to sit down briefly on bench. Do as many as you can for 60 seconds, then switch legs.

  • Jupiter Images

    Karaoke Shuffle

    Targets butt, calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes

    Find a large hill located on grass. At the bottom of the hill going up, start running to the right, putting your right leg far right, and then following up with your left leg, planting it behind your right leg in a grapevine movement. Put your right leg out to the right again, this time following up with your left leg planting in front of your right leg. Continue alternating, increasing your pace and swinging your hips as you go. After 30 seconds of going uphill, turn around and go back, leading with the left leg.

  • Tyler Edwards

    Leapfrog Burpee

    Targets chest, abs, quads, and calves

    Choose a destination point in the distance. Imagine that you have a leapfrog partner, and crouch down, springing from your legs to leap over your partner. Once you land, plant your hands on the ground in front of you and kick your legs back to land in plank position. Then thrust your legs back to your hands so you're in crouch position, leaping across your partner again to complete one rep. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds. MAKE IT HARDER: Use a partner to leap frog over.

  • Patrik Giardino

    Bench Climbers

    Targets abs

    Stand a few feet away from a bench, placing your hands on the seat facing the bench. For 30 seconds, do hill-climbers against the bench, driving your knees to your chest as you run like you're heading uphill. Switch after 30 seconds with your feet and hands on the floor for a minute total.

  • Laura Doss

    Park Bench Step-Ups

    Targets abs and arms

    Keeping your right foot on a bench, step up and down with your left foot, bringing your leg to your chest. Then keep your left foot on the bench, and do the same with the right foot to complete the set. Repeat 20 times.

  • Mike Powell

    Sandbox Shuffle

    Targets butt, abs, and arms

    On a playground, get in the middle of a sandbox. Assume a squat position and staying low, shuffle from left to right maintaining the same depth and posture the entire time. Hold your arms out perpendicular to your body for balance and to tone your arms. The slower you go, the more intense the isometric contractions will be — which may cause some shaky legs! Shuffle for 60 seconds, going back and forth in the sandbox as needed.

    Originally published on, May 2013.

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