An Outdoor Workout You Can Do Anywhere - By Zova

Posted on 17 August 2015

Chelcie from Zova shares her favourite Do Anywhere Workout to help you tone up, build confidence and get you working out outdoors!

Why are outdoor gyms most often occupied by men?

I recently made this observation jogging past Bondi Beach's sea front outdoor gym (aka muscle beach)  - 90% of those using the outdoor gym were men. With this in mind, I asked a close circle of girlfriends whether they’ve worked out at an outdoor gym and if not - why?

A common theme arose during our conversation: confidence.  

“The last thing I want to do is embarrass myself in front of an audience”

“I can barely do a pushup, there’s no way I’m attempting a workout in public”

Not only is it intimidating exercising in public but the array of monkey bars, handles, ropes, chains and wooden benches can be overwhelming.

Below I’ve outlined 6 beginner friendly exercises - which uses common outdoor gym equipment. These basic yet challenging exercises will help to build up your confidence and get you started!

Move 1 - Inverted Row - Monkey Bars
  1. Lay on your back underneath a fixed horizontal bar (this may be parallel bars - just ensure you can reach them!)
  2. Grasp the bar directly over your chest with a wide overhand grip.
  3. Keeping your body straight and your core engaged, pull your body to the bar.
  4. Return until your arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

Handy note: if you change your grip, you’ll work different muscle groups. For example, an underhand grip will target your biceps, whereas an overhand grip will work your lats and rear shoulders!

Move 2 - Assisted Sit Up

Hurdle jumps are great support for sit ups - they help to protect your neck and lower back . Tuck your feet underneath and use them as leverage to bring yourself up to your knees.

  1. Hook your feet under the bar. Ensure the bar is placed directly over your foot. Point your toes back toward your knees.
  2. Lie your back on the floor with knees bent. Place hands behind, on the side of your neck.
  3. Raise your torso to your knees and return your shoulder back to the floor.
  4. Repeat!
Move 3 - Step Up Knee Drive

Another great exercise to use on hurdles, blocks or benches is a step up knee drive. This exercise will test your balance and work your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

To begin:

  1. Place your right foot on top of the elevated surface (for example a bench).
  2. Push up from the hurdle and straighten your right leg, then raise your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Lower your left leg back to the floor and then step of the bar.
  4. Repeat with your opposite leg.
Move 4 - Hip Raise

Who doesn’t want a nice toned booty for summer? A Hip Raise will get you there!

  1. Lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground (our raised on a bar)
  2. Lift your body with straight arms keeping your back, butt and hamstrings in a straight line whilst thrusting the hips upwards
  3. Whilst your body is lifted, squeeze the glutes.
  4. Slowly lower to the ground and repeat
Move 5 - Tricep Dip

Tricep dips are a great recipe for ‘Michelle Obama’ arms. This is a fairly elementary exercise perfect for any elevated equipment - try a low bench or the hurdle bar.

  1. Hoist up onto the bench or hurdle bar. Position your hands shoulder-width apart with your hands facing forward and elbows facing backward. Ensure you have a slight bend in your elbows.
  2. Extend your legs out in front of you with a slight bend in the knee.
  3. Slowly lower your body until your elbows are at an angle and your bottom is slightly above the ground.
  4. Push back until your elbows are nearly straight but do not lock them out.

Complete 12 reps per set and aim to do three sets in your workout session!

Move 6- Elevated Push Up

A full body push up (on your toes) is a difficult exercise for women. However, if you elevate your hands on surface, the exercise becomes easier because you are angling more of your body weight to your feet.

Follow the steps below to complete a elevated push up:

  1. Place your hands at slider wider shoulder width apart on the edge of the bench or elevated surface.
  2. Ensure your body is in a straight line and keep your gaze slightly ahead of you.
  3. Inhale and lower your body to the bench by bending your elbows, allowing them to flare out to the sides
  4. Lower to a point where your chest bumps the edge of the bench then push rapidly back the starting position.

If you’re looking for a complete targeted upper, lower or full body workout for your next outdoor sweat session try the following:

  1. Equipment Free Arms & Abs 
  2. Do Anywhere Circuit
  3. Stronger Body Basics


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