| Article Summary:
During the warmer months, you may find your motivation levels to continue on with your workouts inside the gym waning. It's now getting warmer and warmer outside and the last thing you want to do is be cooped up in the same room you've spent the last six months over the winter.
This does not necessarily mean your workout needs to suffer, however. By making a few adjustments to your overall program and choosing to move your workouts outdoors, you can certainly maintain your fitness level, if not even increase it due to the new environment.
Here is a simple, yet effective workout you can perform outside with your own bodyweight and a set of dumbbells. If you really want convenience, look into purchasing one of the adjustable dumbbell sets that are available, reducing the need to carry out a number of plates with you to complete the variety of exercises.
Aim to perform 8-12 reps of each exercise and work your way to being able to complete the circuit three times total all the way through.
Burpies are great for working your quads, abs, and shoulders. Begin by squatting to the ground so your fingers are on the floor. Next, spring the legs out behind you, moving out into a 'full out position'.
After that, bring the legs back into the body and spring up into the air as high as you can, landing once again in the squat position to complete the rep. You will likely find these to be quite challenging to your cardiovascular system as well.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Burpees (Shown With Dumbbells).
Video Guide: Windows Media (700 KB)
2. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row:
bent-over dumbbell row is meant to target the back muscles and will be performed in much the same manner as a standard barbell row in the gym.
Bend over, keeping knees slightly bent, grasp both dumbbells and pull up towards the chest, maintaining the flat back position.
Performing clap-push-ups rather than the traditional type of push-up will take this exercise to the next intensity level. While doing these, be sure you still do maintain proper form, keeping the straight back position all the way through.
If you're struggling to perform them properly, continue performing regular push-ups until your body is strong enough to handle clap push-ups.
4. Dumbbell Deadlifts:
Dumbbell deadlifts will stimulate the glutes and hamstring muscles, helping work all the lower muscles in the body (when combined with quad dominant work such as the burpies described above).
Since you likely will be using a slightly lighter weight on these due to the fact you're lifting dumbbells rather than a barbell, increase the rep range to the higher end of twelve reps. If you're used to doing reps of 5-8, you'll find that this provides enough of a variation that you'll still stimulate the muscles.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Deadlift (Shown With A Barbell).
Video Guide: Windows Media
5. Jump Lunges:
Jump lunges are another great plyometric activity to do for the lower body. To perform these, move into the lunge position, spring up into the air, switch legs, and then land again with the opposite leg in front.
While doing them, be sure you maintain an upright position with the upper body to avoid injury.
6. Bicep Curls:
The standard biceps curl is one that everyone knows and will help to work the arms in this outdoor resistance training workout.
Just like you would indoors, watch the hip and lower back position, being sure you maintain a neutral stance and not let momentum overtake the movement.
7. Shoulder Press With Dumbbells:
Another traditional weight lifting exercise that can easily be transferred outside is a shoulder press with dumbbells.
Just like with the bicep curls, be sure when doing these that you also prevent your back from swaying, which is going to place a great deal of stress on the lower back muscles.
8. Light-Weight Dumbbell Abdominal Transfers:
To finish off the workout, you're going to want an ab exercise. This exercise provides a bit of variety, while being sure to stimulate all the abdominal muscle fibers in your core.
To perform it, hold a very lightweight dumbbell (1-2 pounds works for most people, or you can even just use a tennis ball if preferred). Hold the ball in your hands up above your head while your body is stretched straight out, back lying on the floor.
From there, sit up, bringing the legs to the chest and transferring the dumbbell/ball to your feet. Squeezing with the feet, lower your body back down to the flat out position.
Next, lift legs and back up off the floor, forming a 'V' shape with the body, where you will now transfer the dumbbell from your feet back to your hands. Lower the body back to the lying position to complete the full rep.
So, don't let yourself miss a workout simply because you don't want to be in the gym. Come up with some creative exercises that you can do using only your bodyweight or a few dumbbells that will still challenge you enough so you can get great results from your efforts in the warmer months.