If you’ve ever felt the urge to start training but been put off by the thought of overcrowded gyms and stuffy studios, exercising outdoors could be the ultimate option. Better yet, you don’t need any expensive equipment to get on the road to super fitness.
The following are classics that’ll be found in every elite boot camp instructor’s kitbag. Varied and versatile, they can be used in every conceivable combination.
- Skipping Rope
- Exercise Balls
- Resistance Bands
- Battle Ropes
Rocky and co knew it back in the seventies: jump rope workouts are among the most efficient forms of training there are. The reason why: they activate a lot more muscles than you’d think at first glance. Without noticing it, you’ll be getting a full-on, full-body workout.
Pro tip: Make sure you have the right length for your height. If you stand feet together on the middle of the rope and the ends come up to just below your shoulders, you’re clear to start jumping.
Exercise balls that vary in size, weight and hardness are perfect for pushing your outdoor workout to the limit. Larger inflatable exercise balls can be used for a range of exercises that target your abs, while smaller, weighted medicine balls are great for improving coordination and strengthening your core.
Pro tip: Use balls to incorporate some more playful exercises into a training program, or in between harder drills to bring down the intensity.
Resistance bands might sound like the sort of thing you’d expect to find in a new age workout, rather than the tough environment of a boot camp. They are, however, an essential piece of kit that can be used to train every muscle group, develop dynamic power and improve flexibility and mobility. If you’re new to fitness, lower resistance bands are ideal for gentle strength training or for rehabbing an injury.
Pro tip: As well as working up a sweat, get creative. Bands can be fixed almost everywhere – use them to find new ways to push your personal training goals.
As fierce as they look, battle ropes offer an intense total-body workout for those who want to achieve a super-ripped look. Arm, shoulder and back muscles are engaged dynamically, while those in your torso compensate for the movement of the ropes by remaining constantly tensed. Brutal stuff…
Pro tip: Still not difficult enough? Add in additional lunges or one-legged variations to really feel the burn in your legs.
Providing an intense and varied workout like no other, the kettlebell is the king and queen of total-body outdoor fitness kit. The kettlebell swing can generate enormous centrifugal force, and even lighter bells will deliver a huge boost to overall strength. Even better, it offers a great cardio-vascular workout at the same time.
Pro tip: To maximise your training and strength gains, concentrate on maintaining the best form with every swing of the bell.
As strange as it sounds, plastic marker cones are among the most flexible bit of kit you can own. For example, you can use them to mark out agility drills or circuit training stations, fix bars to for low-level hurdles or to count repetitions of various exercises.
Pro tip: Use them as a visual motivational tool by stacking one on top of another each time you complete an exercise. The higher the stack grows, the more you know you’ve achieved.
As well as the equipment above, add in a range of bodyweight exercises to take your training regime to the next level. By throwing burpees, push-ups and pull-ups into the mix, you’ll rapidly achieve the powerful, toned body you’ve always dreamed off.