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Six Park Workouts To Take Advantage Of Warm Weather

 pull-up-park-gym-workout
(Image credit: Unknown)

After what seemed like an especially long and cold winter, spring has sprung in the UK with a bout of sunny and clear weather that makes being outside a delight. So if you’ve been diligently logging home workouts through the colder months, we heartily recommend taking those same workouts to your local park.

Many parks will have outdoor gyms that will help you get fit, and below you’ll find three workouts – each appropriate for a different strength level – using some of the common bits of equipment you’ll find in them. In case your park is equipment-free, we start with a set of workouts for all levels that only requires the use of a bench and a tree. And if your park doesn’t have a tree, we recommend finding a better park.

Level 1 Park Workout

Warm-up

Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by a few bodyweight lunges and squats.

Workout

Start with a five minutes of hard running to get your blood pumping, then move through three circuits of the below, resting for a minute between each circuit.

Squat

Reps 15-20

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower, bending at the knees and pushing your hips back, until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then push through your heels to drive back up to standing.

2 Negative tree pull-up

Reps 15-20

A negative pull-up involves just the lowering part of the move. Use a low branch and jump up to reach the top position with your chin over the bar, then slowly lower under control.

3 Incline press-up

3 Incline press-up

(Image credit: Unknown)

Reps 15-20

Perform a press-up with your hands on a raised surface like a bench.

4 Bench overhead press

Reps 15-20

Put your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders. Lower your body until your head almost touches the ground, then push back up.

5 Bent-knee bench triceps dip

Bent-knee bench triceps dip

(Image credit: Unknown)

Reps 15-20

Rest your hands on the bench behind you, keeping your legs out in front with a slight bend in your knees. Lower your torso until your elbows are bent at 90°, then push back up.

6 Bench step-up

Reps 15-20

Place one foot on the bench, then drive up through your leading leg so you momentarily stand on the bench. Step back down under control. Alternate which leg you lead with.

7 High knee skip on the spot

Reps 15-20

Skip on the spot, bringing your knees up as high as possible.

Plank

Plank

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Time 30sec

Support your body on your forearms and feet, forming a straight line with your body from your shoulders to your ankles. Hold this position.

Level 2 Park Workout

Warm-up

Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by a few bodyweight lunges and squats.

Workout Section 1

Run

Running in park

(Image credit: Unknown)

Sets 3 Time 2min Rest 1min

Start the workout with three intervals of hard running.

Workout Section 2

Complete three circuits of the below, resting for 30 seconds between each round.

Jump squat

Reps 15-20

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat, then push back up explosively and jump up. Land softly and go straight into another squat.

2 Tree pull-up

Reps 15-20

Reach up and grab a branch with an overhand grip, then pull yourself up until your chin is over the branch. Lower slowly.

Press-up

Reps 15-20

4 Negative tree overhead press

Reps 15-20

Get on all fours with a tree right behind you. Place your feet on the trunk and "walk" up it until you form a straight horizontal line from hands to heels. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the ground. Before pressing back up, walk your feet down the tree to the ground first.

5 Bench triceps dip

Bench triceps dip

(Image credit: Unknown)

Reps 15-20

Rest your hands on a bench behind you, with your legs extended in front of you. The further away from the bench you put your feet, the harder it will be. Lower your torso until your elbows are bent at 90°, then push back up.

Bench step-up

Reps 15-20

Place one foot on the bench then drive up through your leading leg so you momentarily stand on the bench. Step back down under control. Alternate which leg you lead with.

Jumping jacks

Reps 15-20

Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides. Jump and simultaneously spread and extend your arms and legs. Land, then jump again and bring your arms and legs back to the start position.

Superman plank

Reps 15-20sec each side

From a high plank position, raise one hand and the opposite leg off the ground and hold that position.

Workout Section 3

Sprint

Sets 5 Time 30sec Rest 30sec

Find a clear stretch in the park and go all-out.

Level 3 Park Workout

Warm-up

Jog for five minutes on flat ground followed by a few bodyweight lunges and squats.

Workout Section 1

Complete three rounds of the following, resting for one minute between rounds.

1 Run

Time 1min

Run hard for a minute.

2 High knee skip

High knee skip

(Image credit: Unknown)

Time 1min

3 Lateral step

Time 1min

Take 10 big steps to the side in one direction, then do the same in the other direction.

Workout Section 2

Complete four rounds of the following circuit, taking no rest between rounds.

1 One-leg bench squat

Reps 8-10 each side

Stand with one foot on a bench and the other off to the side. Keeping your torso upright, lower as far as you can without rounding your back, then drive back up. Do half the reps on one leg, then switch to the other.

2 Tree pull-up hold

Reps 15-20

Pull yourself up until your chin is over the branch and hold that position for five seconds.

3 Decline press-up

Decline press-up

(Image credit: Unknown)

Reps 15-20

Perform a press-up with your feet on a bench.

4 Tree handstand overhead press

Reps 15-20

Walk your feet up a tree until you’re in a supported handstand. Lower your head towards the ground, then push back up.

5 Feet-up bench triceps dip

Reps 8-10 each side

Perform a bench dip as in the level 2 workout, but lift with one leg off the ground. Do all the reps on one side, then switch.

6 Bench step-up and jump

Reps 15-20

Perform a step-up but, as you bring your trailing leg up, jump up and backwards, landing on both feet.

Burpee

Reps 15-20

Drop to the ground and jump both feet back into a press-up position. Then jump both feet forwards, stand up and jump straight up.

Alternating Superman

Reps 16-20

Get into a high plank position, then raise one arm and the opposite leg. Lower and raise the other arm and leg. Keep alternating.

Workout Section 3

Run

Time 5min

Run hard for five minutes, throwing in the occasional sprint between two trees.

Level 1 Outdoor Gym Workout

Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises. If you can’t complete the reps, stop before failure and move on to the next set or exercise.

Press-up

Keeping your body straight from head to heels, lower your body until your chest is a few centimetres from the ground, then push back up.

Inverted row

Inverted row

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Hang from a dips bar using an overhand grip with your arms vertical, your heels on the ground and your body in a straight line, then pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar.

Squat

Keeping your torso upright, sink into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels to stand back up.

4 Negative chin-up

Jump up into the top of the chin-up move, holding the bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart and chin above the bar. Lower yourself slowly.

Lunge

Take a big step forwards and lower yourself until both knees are bent at 90˚ then push through your front foot to return to standing.

Bench dip

Facing away from a bench with your legs straight, your hands on the edge of the bench and your back upright, lower yourself by bending at the elbows until your arms are at 90° then push back up.

Hanging knee raise

Hang from a pull-up bar, then bend your knees and bring them up to your chest. Lower under control.

Level 2 Outdoor Gym Workout

Do three sets of ten to 12 reps for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises.

Press-up

Press-up

(Image credit: Unknown)

Keeping your body straight from head to heels, lower your body until your chest is a few centimetres from the ground, then push back up.

Pull-up

Take an overhand grip on a pull-up bar bar. Hang straight down, then pull up without swinging until your chin is over the bar. Lower under control.

Squat

Squat

(Image credit: Unknown)

Keeping your torso upright, sink into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels to stand back up.

4 Narrow-grip chin-up

Take an underhand grip on a pull-up bar with your hands close together. Hang straight down, then pull up without swinging until your chin is over the bar. Lower under control.

Lunge

Take a big step forwards and lower yourself until both knees are bent at 90˚ then push through your front foot to return to standing.

Dip

On dip bars, hold yourself in the air with your arms extended. Bend your elbows to lower your body, keeping your elbows pointing back, then straighten your arms.

Step-up

Place one foot on a bench then step up, without planting your trailing leg. Step back down, finishing with both feet on the ground. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

Hanging leg raise

Hang from a pull-up bar then raise your legs, keeping them straight, until they are horizontal. Lower under control.

Level 3 Outdoor Gym Workout

Do three sets of eight to ten reps for each exercise, then do one final set to failure, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises.

1 Plyometric press-up

Lower into a press-up, then push up explosively so your hands leave the ground.

2 Wide-grip pull-up

Wide-grip pull-up

(Image credit: Unknown)

Take a wide overhand grip and perform a pull-up.

Jump squat

Sink into a squat, then rise up explosively so your feet leave the ground. Land softly.

Chin-up

Take an underhand grip on a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Hang straight down, then pull up without swinging until your chin is over the bar. Lower under control.

Jump lunge

Lower into a lunge, then rise up explosively so your feet leave the ground. Land in a lunge position on the opposite side.

Dip

Dips

(Image credit: Unknown)

On dip bars, hold yourself in the air with your arms extended. Bend your elbows to lower your body, keeping your elbows pointing back, then straighten your arms.

7 Bunny hop over beam

Stand on one side of the beam with your hands on the beam. Bunny hop over the beam, then hop back to the start.

8 Feet to bar leg raise

Hang from a pull-up bar, then swing and use momentum to help you bring your feet up to touch the bar. Control the swing back down.

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.

With contributions from