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Outdoor Workout: Tone Every Inch On a Park Bench

Total-Body Alfresco Workout

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Don't limit your outdoor workouts to cardio only! You can fit in a fun and effective strength routine while you soak up some sun using only a park bench. Try this total-body circuit as an intermission for outdoor cardio, or do it as a standalone strength session anytime your workout needs a breath of fresh air!

How it works: Up to four days a week, do 1 set of each exercise back to back, with little to no rest in between moves. Do the full circuit 2 to 3 times total.

You'll need: A sturdy bench or platform.

RELATED: 5 Moves for Toned Triceps

Step Master

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Reps: 15 per side

Not only does this side step-up squat work your entire lower half, it engages your core and pumps up your heart rate to increase overall calorie burn too!

How to do it: Begin in a squat position with left foot on bench, hands together, elbows bent in front of chest. Step up onto bench, pushing off right foot and tapping it lightly next to left (staying low in a squat position), driving elbows back by sides. Return to start. That's one rep. Do 15 reps, and then switch sides and repeat.

Driving Incline Pushup

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Reps: 10 per leg

Perfect pushups are more manageable on an incline, and adding a knee-drive forces your abs to engage even more.

How to do it: Begin in pushup position with hands on bench, left leg lifted low, toes pointed. Lower into pushup, and as arms extend, bend left knee into chest, bracing abs in tighter. Return to start. Do 10 reps, and then repeat on opposite side.


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Reps: 20 (alternating)

Blast calories, boost your buns, and tone your thighs with this plyometrics exercise.

How to do it: Stand facing bench, arms by sides. Quickly step right foot onto bench, driving left arm forward, and jump straight up. Land on right leg (on bench) and immediately step back down to start. Do 20 reps, alternating legs each time.

Dip and Kick

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Reps: 10 per leg

Target your triceps, abs, and thighs with this triple-duty toner.

How to do it: Sit with both hands on edge of bench, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Scoot forward until your hips are just off the bench. Bend elbows to about 90 degrees and bend right knee up into chest, foot flexed. As arms straighten, extend right leg out in front of hip. Do 10 reps, and then repeat on opposite side.

Elevated Lunge and Twist

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Reps: 15 per side

Elevating your back leg and adding a crossing crunch (hello, balance challenge!) takes this lunge to a whole new core-activating level.

How to do it: Begin in a lunge stance with back foot resting on top of bench, hands behind head. Lower into lunge and slowly bring opposite elbow across to knee. Return to start. Do 15 reps, and then repeat on opposite side.

Too much? Start with just the elevated lunge and add in the crossing crunch when you feel ready.


Power Burpees

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Reps: As many as possible with good form

This amped-up burpee is a serious cardio and coordination challenge. But safety first—always make sure you use great form with every rep and modify whenever necessary to avoid injury.

How to do it: Stand facing bench in a squat position. Quickly jump feet out behind body as hands land on top of bench, lowering into a pushup. Jump back into starting squat position and immediately jump up onto bench, swinging arms to help, landing in a squat. Jump back down to start position. Do as many reps in a row as you can safely handle.

Too tough? Take out the squat jump up and just keep it on the ground. To make it more challenging, perform your pushups on the ground (full burpee style).


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