Try our ultimate outdoor gym circuit
You’ve probably seen a free outdoor gym in one of your nearby parks, but are you making the most of yours? PT Luisa Valenti, founder of the Your Body Programme provides the ultimate outdoor gym circuit, whatever your level.
First do the warm-up, then perform the set of 8 exercises, doing 12-15 reps of each (ie 12-15 rows, then 12-15 press-ups etc) with minimal rest between each. Rest for 3 minutes after completing the set. Perform 3 sets, then move on to the cardio section. Finish with some stretches to help reduce muscle fatigue, recover more quickly and improve mobility and posture.
Use the cross trainer gently for 5 minutes
1 Row – back (mid traps) and biceps
Position yourself beneath the bar. Take an overhand grip (palms facing outwards), just wider than shoulder-width, and walk forward until the bar is in line with your chest. Begin with the arms extended and maintain a straight line from head to toe. Pull up, bending arms until chest touches bar, elbows flared to side.
2 Press-up-chest and triceps
On the lowest pull-up bar, begin in a press-up position with hands on the bar, just wider than shoulder-width, arms extended. Engage your core and keep your body straight. Bend your arms with elbows flared slightly; lower your chest towards bar, then extend your arms. The lower the bar, the more challenging the exercise.
3 Leg press – quads and glutes
Place feet shoulder width apart on the leg press and engage your core. Ensure feet are parallel and push through heels to extend legs. Knees should track in a straight line and shouldn’t lock. Lower slowly.
LAT PULL-DOWN MACHINE
4 Lat pull-down lats and biceps
Facing machine, take an underhand grip, with your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width. Retract your shoulders, lean your torso backwards an inch, and pull the bar towards your breastbone. Keep your chest lifted and your core engaged. Return the bar slowly.
SHOULDER PRESS MACHINE
5 Shoulder press – shoulders
Sit upright on machine and take hold of handles. Engage your core, keeping shoulders pressed down as far as possible, and extend arms above you. Lower with control.
6 Leg raise – core
Lie on a flat bench with your legs raised to the sky. Hold onto the bench beside your head and engage your core as you lower your legs with your knees bent. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Take your legs slightly below the level of the bench. Raise your legs as you exhale.
7 Lunge with back leg raised onto the bench – lower body and core
Stand in a lunge position and rest your back foot on the bench behind you, with knee flexed slightly. Begin by bending the standing leg and lower your body until back knee is just off the ground. Keep pelvis tucked under and torso upright. Maintain ankle and knee alignment. Extend your supporting leg. Repeat with the other leg.
8 Squat jumps
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat and push through the feet into a high jump, land back into a squat position and continue the movement. Maintain alignment of knees and ankles. Do not allow your knees to buckle inwards.
After 3 sets of your circuit: Use a spin bike and sprint for 20 seconds at 100 per cent effort, at 70-90 per cent of your max heart rate. Recover for 40 seconds, lowering intensity. Repeat 10 times