Backyard Fitness

Let’s be honest, gyms are not the most inviting or attractive places to go. First of all, you have to actually take the time to stop what you are doing, pack a bag, and leave the house or work to go to a place where people size each other up more than they exercise. On top of that, you have to either pay an instructor to take you through a workout routine or you end up aimlessly wandering through the gym, from one machine to the next, trying to cobble together a program that at best will make you sweat, and at worst will throw your back out.
Instead of going through all of that stress, here is a simple backyard workout routine that you can do in your free time without even leaving the house. Perform each one of these movements for 30 seconds before moving on to the next. Try not to take breaks between each movement and repeat the entire sequence five times before you dive into your pool!
Jumping Jacks
But these are for children right? Wrong. Jumping Jacks are a fantastic warm up and as a callisthenic exercise are great for your lungs and heart. In case you don’t remember how to do a jumping jack, the steps are simple: 1) Start with your feet together, shoulder width, with your arms at your sides, 2) jump in the air and project your feet to the sides so that when you land they are slightly wider than your shoulders, 3) at the same time raise your arms into the air so that when you land, they are above your head and bent slightly at the elbow, 4) jump again and move your arms and legs in the opposite direction so that when you land, you are back in the original feet at shoulder width and arms down position.
Bodyweight Squats
Begin in the same position that you did for the jumping jacks. Keeping your back straight, chin level with the horizon, and eyes facing forward, slowly bend your knees and lower your behind towards the ground. Go as low into a squat as you can, focusing on keeping your weight in your heels and not on your toes. When you get to the bottom of your squat, rise back up and end the movement by thrusting your pelvis forward and standing tall. While squatting, feel free to use your hand to maintain balance by raising them up and in front of your body to be parallel with your eyes.
Hand Release Pushups
Pushups are a simple and time-proven way to strengthen your arms, shoulders, and core without using any weights or machines. Begin your pushup in a plank position: hands on the ground, arms straight and at shoulder level, and slightly outside your torso. Your legs should be straightened directly behind you with your toes holding up the weight. Keeping your legs and core tight, slowly lower your chest toward until it is touching the ground. Release the weight of your upper body from your hands for a moment, then put them down and raise your torso again keeping your legs and core strong. If this gets too difficult, do the same movement but with your knees on the ground instead of your toes.
This is a simple and straightforward routine that will absolutely get you sweating in less than 10 minutes, without requiring that you leave the backyard. Add additional movements like sit-ups and mountain climbers to the mix as you get more comfortable and never go back to the gym again. Plus with the added bonus of being in your own backyard, you are free to hit the pool or spa immediately afterwards in the privacy of your own home!

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