Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
A good workout doesn’t always have to be at home or at the gym. Another option to explore is exercising outdoors during the different seasons.
In this week’s BestReviews, personal trainer and “Serious Fitness” founder expert Judd NeSmith is showing Scott some products to take your workout outdoors.
Products for taking your workout outside
By Sian Babish
Although you can exercise at your home or the gym, they’re not the only places you can get a good workout. Exercising outdoors is also an option worth exploring, especially for people who are looking to change up their fitness routines. It’s not just a matter of running or cycling outside, either. When you invest in the right fitness equipment, it’s easy to get a full-body workout in any outdoor space, including the backyard, park, or beach.
BestReviews’ Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES joins Scott Moak to discuss fitness products and equipment people, including those ages 50 and over, can use to bring their workouts outside.
Bring workouts outside with these fitness products
How to get a full-body workout outside
Circuit training, which involves a combination of several exercises targeting various muscle groups, is one of the best ways to get a full-body workout outdoors. It doesn’t take much time to break a sweat, either. A quick, 20-minute circuit training session is enough to feel your blood pumping and muscles working.
You can use any combination of equipment to build the circuit, including suspension trainers, kettlebells, yoga mats, and slam balls. It’s easy to incorporate basic exercises into your circuit workouts with these products, particularly pushups, squats, and rows. Additionally, the products may aid older adults in safely modifying certain types of exercises.
According to NeSmith, circuit training can help people over 50 develop bone density and lean muscle strength. “As people age,” says NeSmith, exercises like these “can make sure they’re not frail.” Circuit training can also prepare older adults to handle and withstand falls later in life.
Perfect Pushup Handles, a popular choice for circuit training, make it easier to achieve good, safe form during pushups. “What it does quite well is put the elbow joint, shoulder joint, and wrist joint in a good position to minimize strain and wear and tear,” says NeSmith.
The pushup handles are beginner-friendly, but they require correct body positioning for optimal results. NeSmith recommends placing feet hip-width apart and placing hands in a neutral position. Once you pull in your belly button and straighten your back, you can begin performing controlled pushups with better form. If you’re not able to keep your legs straight, you can perform the pushups with your knees touching the ground.
Smashballs, which are weighted, are used in circuit training and other types of workouts to elevate the heart rate with more intense exercises. NeSmith explains they’re one of the simplest pieces of equipment to use, as well.
Start by getting into a good squat position and raise the ball over your head as you rise onto your toes. Next, throw the ball onto the ground as hard as you can. NeSmith recommends doing approximately 10 reps.
Kettlebells have become more popular in recent years, both for stand-alone workouts and circuit training. Kettlebell swings work the hamstrings and glutes, and according to NeSmith, good form includes starting the swing between the inner thighs and stopping it at chest height. Ten to 15 reps are ideal for circuit training.
If you’d like to target the upper body, including the upper and middle back, you can use a kettlebell for rows. The key to performing the row correctly is keeping the chin tucked, which helps maintain optimal spinal alignment. Like kettlebell swings, 10-15 reps are recommended.
Shop this segment
The TRX bundle has everything you need for suspension training indoors or outdoors. The bestselling set includes a carabiner and locking systems with a 700-pound stress capacity for added safety.
Sold by Amazon
Thanks to their ergonomic design, these rotating handles take stress off of wrists and shoulders during pushups. They’re suitable for all fitness levels, including beginners who need help developing good form.
If you’re short on space but still want flexibility in kettlebell workouts, the Bowflex SelectTech is an ideal choice. It adjusts between 8-40 pounds and has an ergonomic handle for comfortable swinging.
The textured slam ball is a versatile piece of equipment that lets you engage your core and build strength. It’s available in weights between 6-40 pounds and has a thick, durable shell that withstands heavy use.
The best-selling Gaiam yoga mat has extra-thick cushioning to support joints. It’s made with non-toxic, eco-friendly materials and has a nonslip texture that helps you find your balance.
Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
Pullout: After exercising outdoors with fitness equipment, wipe it down to make sure you don’t bring pollen, dirt, or dust indoors.