The sun is shining and the beaches are calling your name, so it’s time to shake up your fitness with this season’s hottest outdoor workout trends.
FUNCTIONAL FITNESS (STILL)
The functional fitness trend is here to stay and for good reason. This type of exercise trains your muscles to work in harmony (not isolation) whilst simulating common movements and daily tasks you might do at home, at work or in sports. Think squats with a shoulder press to mimic picking up your kids and lifting them in the air, or putting groceries away on a high shelf. As majority of the exercises require only your body weight (minimal equipment), it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy the fresh air as you take your workout outdoors.
Watching Olympic gymnasts makes you realise that your body is the ultimate piece of workout equipment. Mastering basic gymnastics skills like handstands or pull-ups require components of physical and mental stamina including muscular strength, balance, flexibility, core control, practice and patience – something a set of bicep curls won’t get you. Most gymnastic-like training includes calisthenics (or whole body weight training) which is also heavily reliant on using your own body weight for resistance. Similar to functional fitness, very little equipment is required, however exercise techniques are slightly different in that movements generally have less stress on the joints, which helps promotes flexibility and lessen the risk of injury.
Walk past your local park early in the morning and you’ll likely see lots of smaller outdoor training groups. Whist outdoor training is nothing new, working out with others is a great way to hold yourself accountable, and research shows you’ll likely push yourself harder than if exercising on your own. Workouts are generally catered to target most aspects on fitness and there’s a growing trend towards incorporating movement based on calisthenics, functional fitness and high intensity interval training (HIIT), rather than traditional methods using dumbbells and bounce balls.
Skip the train or bus ride, and join the bike commuters. With the boom in technology you can now track your speed, distance, and calorie burn using a wearable device or smartphone on your bike. Popular apps like Strava also let you follow your friends so you can give them a thumbs up on their efforts and post photos of your own ride. Real time feedback on how fast you’re tracking and a ranking system over popular bike routes is another excellent feature sure to entice those with a competitive spirit.
Embrace your inner child and get bouncing. After a few minutes trampolining you’ll quickly realise it’s an exercise that requires phenomenal amounts of core stability, pelvic floor and lower body strength, and cardiovascular endurance. It’s one of the most fun ways to get fit, with many trampoline centres offering specific toning classes as well as friendly dodge ball tournaments.