Sometimes the thought of going to the gym seems way too complicated. Although the gym might be right around the corner, or even in your own home or apartment building, we somehow find a million different ways to make a simple workout seem daunting. But, no matter who you are, breaking a sweat is a sure way to boost your mood and help you feel more accomplished about your day. With our Get Fit category on the blog, we aim to help you figure out new ways to change up your scenery and simplify your workout so that you can get fit and stay consistent! Remember, any exercise is always better than no exercise. And there is always a solution for every excuse you can come up with. So in order to help you change things up, our friend and resident fitness coach Dr. Hunter Vincent has come up with a simple, effective, and easy total body workout that you can do on a park bench. This workout will motivate you to get outside, enjoy what’s left of our good summer weather, and get your sweat on.
Hunter grouped specific exercises together creating “super sets”. Try to do each exercise in the set in the designated order before cycling back and starting again from the beginning. One of the groups focuses more on the lower body muscles, while the other focuses on upper body and core. See what you think and let us know which “super set” you liked the most!
Dr. Hunter Vincent’s Park Bench Workout
1. Step Up with with Knee Drive: (3 sets of 15 each leg)
This exercise is great for not only strengthening the glutes and thighs, but also focusing on balance and total body mobility. Start with one foot on the bench in a running pose. Step up on to the bench, and drive your knee up towards your chest. Without pausing, return to the ground and get ready to step up again. Expert Tip: Keep the same form as you would if you were running. Stand tall, shoulders back, core activated, and always swing your opposite arm with the opposite leg.
2. Plyo Jumps: (3 sets of 10)
When it comes to plyometrics, you either love them or you hate them. Hopefully you aren’t the latter, and let’s get ready to leap! Starting in a squat position with your core tight, chest up, and feet and knees slightly wider than shoulder width apart, jump up onto the bench. Try to land softly in a squat position on the bench. Then go ahead and stand up, turn around and safely jump down from the bench.
3. Single Leg Sit to Stands: (3 sets of 10 each leg)
As simple as this one may sound, I wouldn’t start laughing just yet… Try to remember that you’re using the bench for an actual workout and not just a place to rest! While balancing on one foot, slowly sit down into a squat, barely touching the bench with your glutes, and immediately stand back to the starting position. Expert Tip: Use your hands to help with balance. As you squat down, hold your arms in front of you to help counterbalance. And when you stand back up, push through your heel to activate those glute and leg muscles.
4. High Knee Runs: (3 sets of 50 touches)
Now that your legs are burning from the first three exercises, it’s time to burn them out with some high knee runs. The key to this exercise is to stay in control, and pump your legs as quickly as possible. You are running in place while driving your knees towards your chest, and lightly touching the touch of the bench with each foot. Each touch counts as one. See how fast your can crank through 50! Then, take a 60-second break and start back at the first exercise in your super set. Ready, set… GO!
5. Tricep Kick Outs: (3 sets of 15)
Here’s a variation on a classic tricep exercise… This will be sure to tone your arms, but also get your heart pumping. Start in tricep dip position, with your knees at 90 degrees. Kick one leg out straight then return it to its starting position. Then kick out the other leg. When both legs are back at 90 degrees, do a body weight tricep dip. To keep it simple, the move goes like this: Leg kickout Right, Leg kickout Left, Tricep Dip.
6. Plank Climbs: (3 sets of 15)
This one may seem basic, but it is an excellent core exercise and great for developing total body strength. Start in a push-up position on the ground, with your hands approximately one foot away from the bench. Keeping your body straight (try not to let your hips sway or dip!), bring one hand up to the bench seat, then the other. Make sure to keep your feet in the same spot. You will feel a bit stretched out, but that’s the idea. Then bring each hand down, one at a time, back to the original push up position. Expert Tip: The slower the better with these ones! Keep your legs tight, and your core tighter. Focus on moving your arms, and lifting your body, but staying as straight as possible.
7. Side Plank Holds with Knee Drive: (3 sets of 45 secs each side)
Start by getting into a side plank position with your hand on the bench seat and your arm straight. To make things just a little more difficult, bring your bottom leg into a knee drive, so your leg is at 90 degrees. Now point your other arm toward the sky, take some deep breaths, and hold firm for 45 seconds. Don’t forget to switch sides to stay balanced! Then guess what? Yep… Start back at the top of the super set again.
If this won’t keep our beach bodies in shape until the end of summer and beyond, we don’t know what will. We love how we can do this workout pretty much anywhere there’s a bench. Thanks again for this awesome workout, Dr. Hunter!
What’s your favorite way to stay in shape from summer to fall?
XO Team LC