By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
It’s summer! That means it’s time for camping on the weekends, afternoons by the pool, and finding creative ways to incorporate the outdoors into your exercises. With plenty of sunshine and blue skies, it’s the perfect backdrop for your next workout.
Here are our favourite summer exercises you can do without any equipment – perfect for when you’re away from the gym enjoying the season.
Diving Board Pull Ups – Upper body
Find a pool and jump on in. Swim over to the diving board and use a neutral grip to hold the diving board. Pull up until the top of your chest reaches the tip of the diving board. To make the exercise more difficult, reduce the water level of your pool, or superset with high knees in the shallow end.
Bear Crawl – Core
A must-have for any campground. Starting on your hands and knees, rise up onto your toes, tighten your core, and slowly reach forward with your right arm and right knee, followed by the left side. Continue the crawl for 8-10 reps or until you scare your parents.
Hill Sprints – Cardio
Hill sprints give you some outstanding benefits, such as building muscle and shedding fat. They make you faster and more explosive, and they take less time than distance running down a long country road. In your training, keep it progressive and run the same length. Have a start and finish line, and time yourself for each sprint. Race yourself and try to beat your best time every two to three weeks!
Single Leg Summer Squats – Lower body
Begin with a pad placed directly behind you. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Transition your weight to your dominant leg and lift the opposite leg slightly off the floor. Drop down in control until your knee contacts the pad. Upon contact, push through the heel of your stationary leg and return to the starting position. It’s a touch exercise – you need to maintain balance and utilize your strength to do the movement in control.
Mini Band Bent Over Row – Upper body
We’d rather be rowing a boat on Lake of the Woods, but in a pinch, you can do it in your backyard! In a split stance, loop a resistance band around your front foot, and hold the other end with your opposite hand. Hinge forward from the hips so that your back leg and torso are in one straight line from shoulders to ankle. Keeping your core tight and shoulders back and down, bend your elbow and bring your arm up toward your body. Think about using the back of your shoulders and your lats to initiate and complete the movement, rather than your arm doing all the work.
Bird Dog – Core
It’s summer, which means modifying two of my favorite activities: dog-walking and bird-watching. Begin in a kneeling position with your knees on the ground and your hands under your shoulders. Start by extending your right arm forward and kicking your left leg backwards in a slow and controlled manner, making sure to engage your core at all times. Once both your right hand and left leg are fully extended, return to the starting position on both knees and hands. Alternate by extending your left arm forward and right leg backward. This exercise is great for working on core stability.
Summer Reading Plank Pass – Core
Each time you finish a chapter of your favourite book this summer, flip over to begin in a plank position on your forearms. Put your toes together, toes apart, or plank from your knees, depending on your fitness level. Use a weighted flat object (such as your book) to place on to your back with one hand and return it to the ground in front of you using the opposite hand. Repeat this pattern, alternating which hand you use first.
Fence Sit (Wall Sit) – Lower body
Slowly slide your back down the fence until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Stand with your hands on your hips and hold for 90 seconds. Watch out for slivers!
Happy training this summer!