You don’t need a gym to lose weight from around your midriff. Just get outside in your local park and use these exercises to raise your heart rate and torch fat

This workout is all about getting rid of excess fat around the waist. It’s important you work at a high intensity so that you end up using more muscle fibres and creating a high metabolic cost workout. That way your metabolism stays elevated even after the end of the workout and continues to obliterate calories. For the workout, you’ll do 20 seconds “on” with 10 seconds “off” except for plank variations which require 20-second holds for each. Increase your rest time if you need too.

[1] High Knees

park workout

How to: Sprint on the spot. Bring your knees up to waist-height, drive your arms back and forth in the normal running motion, and stay light on your forefeet.
Why: “This exercise will get your metabolic rate up from the get-go,” says Smith.
Do: Blast thorough those 20 seconds.

[2] Press-ups

park workout

How to: Work your triceps and the upper portion of your chest as you lower your body. Work the lower portion of your chest as you raise it back up.
Why: “A great compound move for the upper body that will target a lot of muscle fibre,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

[3] Burpees

How to: Get down into the burpee position. Bend your knees, placing your hands directly below your shoulders. Push down into the floor with your arms to activate your lower abdomen. Then drive your legs backwards, almost to full extension. Bring your legs back in and under your hips, getting your feet close to your shoulders, lift your hands from the floor and extend your legs and body to leap into the air. Land lightly, bend your knees, and return to the burpee position to repeat.
Why: “With arms and legs beaten from the two previous exercises, burpies are going to be tough,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

[4] Front plank and side plank


How to: For the front plank, start with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, and set your legs back so that your feet are in line with your hips. Look straight down at your hands. Lengthen your spine and squeeze your lower abdominals. Make sure your head is still, your back doesn’t dip, and that there’s no pressure in your lower back. For the side plank, start with your elbow directly below your shoulder. Place one foot on top of the other and align your ankles, hips and shoulder joints. As you lift your hips off the floor, broaden your chest, and lengthen your spine. Make sure your nose is pointing down the middle of your chest. Roll over to repeat the exercise to your other side.
Why: “Core strength is vital for everyday and sporting movements. Remember to breathe throughout,” says Smith.
Do: Hold in a static position for 20 seconds each (left side plank, plank, right side plank).

[5] Hill sprints

How to: Sprint up a short 20m hill, and jog back down. Easier said than done. Focus on leg speed and a powerful arm drive.
Why: “Power, speed, strength and agility, will all be developed,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

[6] Cycle abs

How to: Lie with your back on the ground and lift both legs up so your knees and hips are at 90 degrees to each other. Interlock your fingers behind your head but don’t pull on it, and lift your chest off the floor. Rotate your upper body, pointing your left elbow towards your right knee and vice versa. Keep your hips in a stable position.
Why: “A great dynamic exercise for all the core, which will develop greater rotational movement control,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

[7] Jumping jacks

How to: Your legs and arms should move outwards at the same time as you do this exercise.
It’s very similar to a star jump, except there is no squat involved in the landing phase.
Why: “Another dynamic move to keep your metabolism turned up to max,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

[8] Jump squats and step lunge

How to: Start in the standard squat position, with fingertips pointing up toward the sky. On the up phase of the squat, drive dynamically through your feet so you leave the ground. Once mid-air, your arms should be straight. As you land, bend both knees and push your bottom backward. Now take a big step forward with one leg, bending 90 degrees at the knees. Try to keep your front knee in line with the front part of your shoe. Drive from the heel of your front foot on the way back. Alternate legs. Your upper body should remain in the same position all the way through. Then repeat the sequence.
Why: “Jumping power will help you run faster and climb better too for those involved in OCRs,” says Smith.
Do: As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Things to bear in mind

Always warm up before the workout
Do five to 10 minutes of jogging followed by functional movements for all body parts, such as marching on the spot, calf raises and arm swings. Cool down with five minutes of easy jogging and some held stretches.

Make it tougher
Move straight from one exercise to the next and/ or add more circuits.

Who’s this workout for?
It’s for anyone who wants to get rid of excess weight around the waistline, plus it’s a great conditioner for all outdoor activities.

Words: Dominic Bliss
Pictures: James Carnegie
Thanks to Christopher Smith (pictured) from Zip Fit Club which offers 30-minute lunchtime workouts for Londoners.