This full-body and core routine will improve muscular balance and athletic performance.
Spring is in full swing and what better way to celebrate than with an outdoor workout? As we all know, exercise comes with plenty of good-for-you benefits: reduces your risks of illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, boosts your brain health, alleviates stress, and improves sleep. Pair your sweat session with outdoor green space like at your local park, and you can also look forward to higher self-esteem, according to one review of studies. Not to mention working out in the sun, can bolster Vitamin D levels— research has linked depression with vitamin D deficiency—and brighten your mood too. (Just don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.)
This total body and core routine, developed exclusively for Ebony by Frank Baptiste, certified strength and conditioning coach and owner of FranklyFitness, gives folks a chance to take their workout outdoors where you can take advantage of the extra space and some much-needed fresh air. “It’s multidirectional so you work on muscular balance and athletic performance that will transfer to sports as well as daily life,” he says. “Not to mention the endurance sets will be sure to make you sweat, challenge your cardio, and have you feeling energized.” You may even feel a little sore for a day or two—but that’s a good thing. Now, who's ready to sweat?
To help prime your body for the workout (think rev up your cardiovascular system, up your body temperature, and increase blood flow), run through these five drills once, performing each for about 20 yards
- Forward Jog
- Back Pedal
- Butt kicks
- High knees
Perform exercises as a circuit with minimal rest between moves. Take a 90-second to 2-minute rest between rounds. Complete 2-4 rounds. Do this circuit 3 times per week.
Mini Band Squat w/ Side Step
Place a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with feet shoulder-width or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Perform one squat: Allow the big toe, pinky toe, and heel of feet to grip the ground like a tripod. As you inhale deeply, hinge at hips, bending your knees, and with a slight lean in chest, lower down, bringing thighs to just below parallel. Push into heels to return to standing, and then immediately step right foot to the right, and then step left foot to the right. Be sure to keep tension in the band. Do 10 reps in each direction.
Slow Negative Push-up
Start in a high plank with hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked over wrists and legs extended straight out behind you. Engage your core, butt, and quads. Take a breath in, and as you exhale, slowly bend your elbows, lowering your entire body to the floor for a five-second count. Push through palms to return to high plank. This is one rep. Do 6-10 reps. Make it easier: Try doing an incline negative push, placing your hands on a park bench.
Lateral Lunge to Shuffle
Stand with feet together and hands on hips. Take one big step out to the right. When your foot hits the ground, hinge forward at the hips, push your butt back, and bend your right knee to lower into a lunge.
Keeping feet in place, shift your weight and hips to the opposite side to lunge to the right. Return to center, and then do a shuffle to the right. Repeat the sequence. Do 8 reps in each direction.
Start on all fours with legs hip-width apart and arms shoulder-width apart. Lift knees so that they are at a 90-degree angle and hovering about an inch above ground; keep back flat and core engaged. Move your right hand and left foot forward at an equal distance while maintaining position. Repeat with the left hand and foot for the next step. Crawl forward for 20 steps.
Wrap a large resistance band around a fixed structure such as a tree or lamp post; grab the band with both hands. Step back far enough to cause tension in the band when arms are extended straight out. Pull the elbows back to your ribcage, and then return arms to the extended position. This is one rep. Do 20.
Jump Squat + Squat
Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Squat down by hinging at hips, bending knees, and with a slight lean in chest, lowering down, bringing thighs to just below parallel. Now squeeze your butt tight and drive hard through your legs and heels as you launch straight up; land softly. Do 5 reps, and then immediately drop back into a squat. Do 20 reps, holding the last squat in the lowered position for 30 seconds.
Straight-Arm Plank to Mountain Climber
Start in a high plank with hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked over wrists and legs extended straight out behind you. Engage core, butt, and quads. Hold for 10 seconds. Next, go into mountain climbers: Start in a plank with shoulders, hands, and wrists stacked. Engage your core and lift your right knee, bringing it toward your right elbow. Return the right knee back to the start as you simultaneously drive your left knee up toward your left elbow. Each side is one rep. Do 20. Continue alternating, using a quick motion. Repeat the sequence three times.