The Outdoor Park Workout You Can Do with Just a Bench

For a quick, no-fuss cardio and strength-training session, sprinkle this park workout into your afternoon walks.

The Outdoor Park Workout You Can Do with Just a Bench
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It's easy to believe that, unless you have access to a set of dumbbells or resistance bands, your outdoor workouts have to be completely cardio-focused. But that idea couldn't be further from reality.

In fact, you can fit in a fun, effective strength and cardio session with this six-move park workout that requires only a bench. Try this total-body circuit as to break up your run or hot girl walk, or do the park workout as a standalone strength session anytime your training routine needs a breath of fresh air — literally.

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 park workout circuit 2 to 3 times total, resting in between rounds as needed.

What you'll need: a sturdy bench or platform

01 of 06

Lateral Step-Up

Step Master

Not only does this park workout exercise target your entire lower half, but it also challenges your core and increases your heart rate, making it an effective cardio exercise to boot.

A. Stand with a bench at right side. Place right foot flat on top of bench and clasp hands in front of chest. Feet should be hip-width apart, right knee bent at a 45-degree angle, and left knee slightly bent.

B. Push off left foot and drive through right foot do step up onto bench, then lightly tap left foot next to right foot, keeping knees bent and driving elbows back by sides.

C. Return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

02 of 06

Driving Incline Push-Up

Driving Incline Pushup

Perfect push-ups are more manageable on an incline, and adding a knee-drive forces your core to engage even more throughout the park workout move.

A. Start in a high plank position with hands on a bench directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart. Lift left leg off the ground and hover foot in the air, toes pointed.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral, engage core, and ensure body forms a straight line from head to toe. Slowly bend at elbows to lower body, stopping about 3 inches above the bench. Simultaneously, raise left leg out behind body so it's in line with torso.

D. Push away from the bench to straighten arms while driving left knee up to chest. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

03 of 06



This park workout exercise will get your heart racing and make you feel like a powerful athlete, thanks to its plyometric nature.

A. Stand facing the bench with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides, and core engaged.

B. Quickly step right foot onto bench, driving left arm forward. Then jump straight into the air with both feet, driving left knee up to hip height and right arm forward.

C. Land softly on the bench with right foot, then immediately step down to start the next rep.

Do 20 reps, alternating legs.

04 of 06

Triceps Dip with Kick

Dip and Kick

In this park workout move, you'll target your triceps, core, and thighs, making it an exercise that's sure to leave your muscles quivering.

A. Sit on the bench with both hands resting on the edge at sides, knees bent at 90-degree angles, and feet flat on the ground. Scoot forward until glutes are completely hanging off the bench.

B. With arms fully extended and core engaged, raise right leg off the ground until it's in line with hips and fully extended, toes pointing toward the sky. This is the starting position.

C. Slowly bend elbows until they form 90-degree angles while driving knee up to chest, keeping foot flexed.

D. Press through palms to straighten arms and simultaneously extend right leg in front of hips. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

05 of 06

Bulgarian Split Squat with Twist

Elevated Lunge and Twist

Elevating your back leg during a split squat amps up the balance challenge, and adding a crossing crunch takes this park workout exercise to a whole new core-activating level.

A. Stand in front of a bench with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Take one step forward, then place left foot on top of the bench behind body, instep resting on the surface. Place hands on back of head.

B. Sit back into hips and bend right knee to lower until both knees are at 90-degree angles, keeping chest up and preventing back from rounding. Simultaneously, rotate trunk and hinge forward slightly to tap left elbow to right knee.

C. Press through right foot to straighten leg and return to standing, simultaneously rotating trunk back to center.

Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

06 of 06

Power Burpees

Power Burpees

This amped-up burpee is a serious cardio and coordination challenge. But safety should come first: Always make sure you use proper form with every rep and modify when necessary to avoid injury during this park workout exercise.

A. Stand in front of a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and arms at sides.

B. Sit back into hips and bend knees to lower into a squat, keeping chest up and preventing back from rounding.

C. Hinge at hips to fold forward and place hands on the bench. Shift weight onto hands.

D. Jump both feet back and softly land on balls of feet in an elevated high plank position. Body should form a straight line from head to heels.

E. Bend at elbows to lower body until chest is about three inches above bench, then quickly push up to return to the elevated high plank position.

F. Jump both feet forward directly into a slight squat, lift both hands off the bench, then press into heels to rise up out of the squat and explosively jump onto the bench. Land softly.

Do as many reps as possible.

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