With warmer weather finally on the horizon, British and National Wrestling Champion, Keith McNiven – founder of rightpathfitness.co.uk and the man behind DATEERCISE pop-up fitness classes – has some top tips to get active in the park…
“When it comes to keeping in shape, there’s really no need for fancy equipment,” says Keith. “Your local park has everything you need for a good workout. Training outside improves mood, offers variety and can increase motivation. Here are six exercises to try…”
Start with a stretch. Stand with your knees together and bring your foot behind you to touch your heel to your bottom. Hold for 30 seconds and do same with your other leg. For the lunge, stand with legs about shoulder width apart. Step forward, keeping your back straight and most of your weight on your front foot and heel. A 90 degree angle with your front leg is your aim. 10 reps is a good starting point but seek advice if you’re new to exercise or have any injuries. Repeat for the other side.
2. Walk-out push ups
Good for building core strength and working on your arms and chest. Start from a standing position, then bend and slowly walk your arms along the ground until you’re in a push-up position. Hold for a second, then gently lower into a controlled push up. Slowly walk your hands back and rise back to standing. The numbers of reps you start with depends on your personal fitness level.
A park bench, if it’s nice and stable, is the perfect place to do your dips. Sit on the edge of your bench, hands gripping the edge and legs shoulder width apart, with knees bent and toes pointing up. Slowly lower your bottom over the side dipping down, keeping the movement controlled and feeling the stretch in your triceps. Repeat 10 times.
4. Step ups
Here the humble park bench comes into its own again, being an ideal height for some step ups. Making sure the bench is sturdy, place one foot onto the bench and step up so you’re standing fully on the bench. Step down. Complete 10 reps for each leg. And make sure you’re keeping that back straight and not slumping, as this can affect your balance.
5. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are one of my favourite exercises for building core strength as well as working the glutes and legs. Check your bench is secure, then place your hands on the edge and legs out straight behind you, toes down. Bring each leg alternatively in towards the bench in a low down climbing motion. You can up the reps and pace, depending on your fitness experience.
6. Press ups
The press up is brilliant for strengthening pectoral muscles, triceps and shoulders. Once again, rest your hands over the edge of the park bench with a firm grip facing towards the ground. Get your legs out straight and arms shoulder width apart. Hold then slowly lower yourself down into a press up. Start with 10 and increase each time you train.
For more top fitness and training tips, go to rightpathfitness.co.uk