Inactivity is the curse of the sedentary job. Break the curse by working your key muscle groups in this quick and easy park workout. It’s a great way to add strength and power to your muscles over the colder months. Words: Dominic Bliss Pictures: James Carnegie Expert: Christopher Smith
This workout is designed to focus on your key muscle groups, ensuring that most areas of your body are covered. Each exercise aims to promote muscles growth. For that reason, each is presented as a pair (known as a superset) so that muscles are overloaded. It also targets fast twitch muscle fibres – the ones needed for greater strength and power.
Move straight on from one exercise to the next in each superset. Take 30 seconds between each superset.
Always warm up before your 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.
Total workout time should be around 30 to 40 minutes.
Who’s this workout for? Since it covers all your key muscles groups, it’s great for any sports that require strong arms, legs and core muscles. A larger muscle – everything else being equal – will be able to produce greater strength and speed and will be less prone to injury.
Superset 1: Squat Jumps and Straight Leg Jumps
How to: Start in a squat position. Dynamically extend your legs to jump into the air – high enough that both legs fully extend. Land and return to the squat position. Repeat, quickly transitioning into the next jump. Use your arms for assistance.
For the straight leg jumps, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and use your ankles and calf muscles to jump upwards. Use only a minimal knee bend throughout and really use your lower legs to gain height. React quickly on each landing.
Why: “The jumps combo will really develop the fast-twitch muscles in your calf and quadriceps muscles, boosting power for hill climbs and sprint finishes, for example,” says Smith.
Do: 10 reps of each x 4 supersets
Superset 2: Decline and Incline Press Ups
How to: For the decline press-up, place your feet on a bench or a log, and lower your chest to the ground, making sure your back doesn’t dip. Then dynamically drive your body back up through your arms. For the incline press-up, place your hands on a bench or a log. 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: “Switching from decline to incline press-ups makes for a great way to build up your chest and triceps,” says Smith.
Do: 10 reps of each style x 4 supersets