Relaxing Workouts You Can Do Outside the Gym

Who wants to sweat in a hot gym when the sky beams blue and the sun shines outside?

I always feel like I’m wasting a beautiful day when I go to the gym during the summer, so I’ve tried to find certain exercises I can do without a gym machine and set up right next to the pool.

Try these exercises to enjoy the sun and get a good workout in this summer.

1. Jumping Squats

Why: These are great not only for cardio—they really get your heart racing and sweat dripping—but also for your legs and glutes. I always feel them the next day, which I love, because I know that I’m making progress.

How: Bend down into a squat position, and make sure your knees do not go over the tips of your toes. Bend as far as you can without letting your bottom hit the ground then spring up. Try to do 10 of these 3 times.

2. Leg Lifts/Kicks

Why: These are pretty simple workout but I’ve noticed they do a lot for your hamstrings and glutes. My friend, who is a certified personal trainer, says that these help to slim down and lift your glutes. You can hold a 5-lb. weight in the back of your knee to increase resistance once you get used to doing these exercises.

How: On all fours, begin with one leg and slowly lift it up behind you keeping it a right angle. Then, bring it back down and lift it out to your side. Each movement counts as 1 and I try to do 20 on each leg 3 times.

3. Step Lunges

Why: Like the jumping squats, these are a great way to get in both cardio and leg-toning exercises. I always end up sweating after doing these and my legs and glutes feel super toned.

How: I use a step I have in my back yard that leads to my deck, but you can even use a diving board or a lounge chair. With one leg, step up on the step and then bring up your other knee to your chest.

Then step down again with that leg and go into a backward lunge with the first leg. After you have done this 12 times with one leg, switch to the other. I try to do this 3 times as well.

4. Leg Lifts

Why: Leg lifts are an awesome and fun way to tone up your lower abdomen. I always feel tighter and more confident after doing this exercise.

How: Lay on your back and put your hands under your bottom. With your legs straight and together, slowly lift them straight up toward the sky and push your butt up along with them.

Then lower your legs and without touching the ground, repeat the process 10 times. I notice tightening after 3 sets of 10.

5. Burpees

Why: Burpees are dreadful and my field hockey coach once told me that they are called burpees because the up and down motion too quickly can make you vomit.

However, they are super effective and if done correctly, you’ll really feel like you got a good work out in without feeling like throwing up. They’re great cardio and help to tone your whole body.

How: Begin standing up then crouch down and throw your legs back into a push up position. Then pull them back to that same crouch position and jumping into the air and reach the sky.

For beginners, try doing 5 of these in a row 3 times. Then, as you continue to do them, gradually try to get to 10.

Image: iStock

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