We’re ringing in the first official days of summer with a few tips on how to get your flex on outside and the scoop on local spots other than your backyard.
Running + Hiking
Though it might be obvious, taking to the trails this summer might be just the thing to do. Now more than ever, nature is a welcome change from months of quarantining. There is nothing quite like hitting the trail with picturesque views. If you're an avid runner we're here to encourage you to try out a trail you've never traversed. Changing it up and experiencing new terrains with unexpected inclines and turns will challenge you. If you're thinking about getting into hiking and running for the first time we have a couple of trail suggestions to get you started and work your way up to.
For the Beginner
Lady Bird Lake | Town Lake Trail
Brushy Creek Trail
For the Trailblazer
Hill of Life entrance on the Greenbelt
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
Expert Tip: It’s also a good idea to keep track of your mileage, time and, or number of steps. Log your stats to see improvements over time and keep track of what conditions make for a good run or hike. Sometimes it might be easier to get through a run in the mornings or evenings when it’s cooler or on a trail with ample shade like Walnut Creek.
Park or Playground Upper Body Circuit
We recommend bringing the hand sanitizer with you for this workout unless you have what you need in your backyard. Do the exercises in order and repeat for three rounds.
1. Park Bench Push-Ups | 6-15 reps
Stop by a park bench for a few rounds of push-ups. Press your palms onto the top edge of the bench a little wider than your shoulders, walk your feet out maintaining a solid plank by engaging your core, and push-up. On the third round try a narrow hand position with elbows coming into your sides.
2. Park Bench Tricep Dips | 6-15 reps
Hang out at the park bench a little longer and flip to face away from the bench. Press your palms into the bench with fingers pointing toward your back, elbows straight to start, walk your feet out digging your heels into the ground with legs straight, (walk your feet in closer and bend your knees to make it easier), bend your elbows as you dip your hips down toward the ground like you’re sitting in a chair, don’t touch the ground and straighten your elbows to return to the starting position.
3. Knee Raises on a bar | 6-15 reps
Find a bar you can hang from! Monkey bars on playgrounds or the bars near the dog park at Town Lake are great options. Targeting the core with this exercise, grab the bar and hang, raise your knees up to your chest and lower back down, repeat to feel the burn. Keep your legs straight for a challenge.
Extra Exercise for the High-Achievers: If you’re able to complete Pull Ups, add these into the outdoor upper body circuit! Or, find a partner who can assist you as you give it a shot — usually giving you extra support on the way up with their hand on your back or hips. Do this exercise to failure.
Park Lower Body Circuit
Target all of the leg and glutei muscles with this hard hitting circuit. Complete these exercises and then repeat for three rounds.
1. Elevated Back Lunge | 10 reps per side
Rest the top of your foot on the bench, walk or hop the standing leg out so that when you bend your standing knee it doesn’t go past your toes, keep the back leg slightly bent, bend into both knees and straighten. Make sure to repeat on the other side.
2. Lunge jumps | 8-10 reps per side
Keep the same positioning as the previous exercise, but replace the extension with a jump. The back foot will stay glued to the bench while the standing foot straightens in the air.
3. Bench or wall jumps | 45-seconds on, 15-second rest
If the bench you’re at is sturdy enough, great! If not, find a nice concrete wall at the right height for you — nothing too high. Get into a squat position and jump with both feet onto the bench or wall. Step down and repeat.
Cardio Blast: Add on alternating running toe taps on the bench or wall for 45-seconds with a 15-second rest for three rounds if you’re looking for a little extra heat!
Just for fun we thought we'd also give you a running intensive HIIT circuit to try!
What goes up must come down
Find your favorite shorter hill to sprint up and walk down. Parts of the Hill of Life could work, but would probably be very challenging for any athlete. Shoot for completing this circuit in 20-30 minutes. Complete 12 sprints total at varying intensities. The walk down will be your rest. Try sprints 1-4 at 50% effort, 5-8 at 75% effort and 9-12 at 90-100% effort.