The 20-Minute Backyard Workout

by on February 19th, 2015
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It’s a beautiful day, and you don’t feel like being stuck inside the gym for an hour. Who says you need all those metal plates and treadmills to get a productive workout? Give yourself a day off from the gym while keeping up with your fitness goals by trying this outdoor workout. By quickly moving from one exercise to the next, you will combine strength and muscle building moves with a killer cardio workout. And the best part? All you need is 20 minutes and your own backyard.

How to Do This Workout
Warmup for two minutes with a light jog and some jumping jacks. Perform each of the following moves in order for the designated time or set count. In between each exercise, rest for 30 seconds before performing one set of pushups to failure. Try to vary the type of pushup you do each time, choosing from standard, wide-grip, close-grip, and explosive pushups (explode upwards when you push so your hands leave the ground.)

1. Bear Crawl
Ever wonder how bears get so jacked? The bear crawl works both your arms and shoulders. It’s a good exercise to start with because it warms up a majority of your upper body muscles, and strengthens the small stabilizer muscles in your shoulders. To do the bear crawl, get on all fours, pointed toes supporting your legs, and crawl forward like, you guessed it, a bear. Keep your back straight to utilize your ab muscles. Crawl for 30 seconds, rest 10, and repeat for 4 crawls.

2. Burpees
Work your whole body just like the cons do in their yards, minus the threat of a shank. Stand, bend so your hands touch the ground, kick your legs out into a pushup position, do the pushup, and reverse to the standing position, jumping into the air as you do so. That’s one! Do 3 sets of 10.

3. Inclined Mountain Climbers
Inclined mountain climbers fry your abs while keeping your heart rate up. Place your hands on an inclined object such as a bench or tree stump. Keep your hands in the same spot while you raise a knee up towards your chest, as if you were trying to climb up and over. Alternate legs and pause for about a second at the top portion of each rep. Do 3 sets of 20.

4. Body Squat / Jump
Work your legs and add inches to your jump with the body squat and jump. To perform, lower your body into the squat position, as if you were going to sit in a chair. From there, use your legs to explode upwards straight into a jump. Bend your knees slightly to cushion your landing before going right into your next squat. Do 3 sets of 10.

5. Sprints
Last but not least, end your workout with wind sprints, which increase speed, leg power, and lung function while torching fat. Not bad for one move, huh? Sprint as fast as you can for 50 yards, then walk back to your starting spot. Sprint a total of 4 times. For an advanced move, try sprinting backwards for the last 2.

Sources: Even-Esh, Zach. The Playground Workout. Men’s Fitness, August 2011.
Personal experience designing workouts

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