Whether you go to the gym every day or 3/4 times a week, it’s a ritual that can become tiring. You’re stuck inside, sweating, panting and grunting with dozens of other men and women—it can get old fast. So, leave the stuffy confines of the gym behind and hit the open air every now and then with these top outdoor workouts.

Soccer

The world’s favorite sport should burn more calories on average than a game of football, especially if you are playing with just handful of friends. The action is constant, everyone is involved all of the time and it’s a true test of speed, skill and stamina, all of which will melt that body fat away.

On average, you will burn between 250 and 500 calories an hour playing soccer, but this accounts for games played with full-sized teams and on full-sized pitches. If you reduce the size of the pitch and the number of players, then everyone has to get involved with the play. It is relentless, testing, and makes for the ultimate outdoor workout.

Of course, someone has to be the goalkeeper and that position is a little less demanding. But while you’ll miss out on cardio you will be pushing your upper body and your core much harder than the outfield players.

Sprinting

Jogging is the go-to outdoor workout for anyone looking to lose weight, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination, or if you’re worried about the damage being done to your knees, then try sprinting instead. Those short, explosive bursts of running will increase your heart rate and force all of your muscles into action.

It’s much more explosive than jogging and it will get the job done in half of the time. It won’t test your stamina as much, but it will help to build your core muscles.

Battle Ropes

Battle ropes are finding their way into more and more gyms, but they’re rarely used properly. If you’re going to use battle ropes you need to really go for it. Forget about short, jerky movements at a slow pace and go for it! You want big swings and you want to put every effort into it. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds, take a rest and then do it again.

It’s a high intensity workout that will leave you breathless and ready to give up, but it’ll be worth it.

Medicine Ball Workout

Never underestimate the usefulness of the medicine ball. A mainstay in boxing gyms up and down the country, this piece of equipment can be incorporated into your cardio and strength workouts. It doesn’t really matter what you do, because the weight of the ball will ensure that it puts your muscles under duress while the movement will stretch and strain them just like a dumbbell workout would.

The trick is to be fast, explosive and angry, all while putting your body through a full range of motion. Popular medicine ball exercises that can develop explosive power include thrusting, jumping movements that end with you throwing the ball in the air as high as you can. Just don’t try to catch it if you do this. The act of throwing is more than enough to develop those core muscles and catching it may put stress on your wrists, not to mention your face if you miss-judge the catch.

Basketball

A test of stamina and athleticism, basketball is a fun way to burn calories and with countless courts nationwide, there’s no excuse not to get involved. According to MyFitnessPal, a 150 pound person can expect to burn over 500 calories an hour playing this sport. It will also help to improve your core muscles, while strengthening your legs as you jump, block and dunk your way to success.

Resistance Training

Your body will adapt to everything that you throw at it and you need to keep challenging it if you want to experience those gains. If you’re lifting weights in the gym this is easily overcome as you can just switch-up your workouts, throwing in some new exercises and alternative splits. When it comes to sprinting and jogging, you need to incorporate some resistance in the form of chute resistance training.

This involves the use of “running chutes” which are basically parachutes that activate when you’re at speed and create an immense amount of drag, slowing you down and forcing your legs to work harder in order to get over the line. It’s a gentle way of adding extra resistance to a basic bodyweight exercise and it will send your personal best times through the roof.

Circuit Training/CrossFit

CrossFit has gown immensely in the last year or two and everyone seems to be promoting it these days. But you don’t need to join a program and spend a fortune in order to benefit from the ideas it preaches. There are countless CrossFit training programs online that you can follow. You can also create your own based on strengths and weaknesses.

Here is a sample of a CrossFit workout to show you how easy it is:

  • 5 Rounds of
  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Burpees
  • 20 Jumping Swats
  • 30 Sit-ups

Obstacle Course

This one isn’t easy to do, but it’s probably easier than you think. An obstacle course is a true test of stamina, power and agility. It combines many elements in order to give you a complete workout. There are professional obstacle courses across the country where you can test yourself, but you can also use whatever is available, whether you’re in your backyard or a local park.

Use tables to climb over, tires to run through, beams to hurdle over, nets to scramble under, cones/posts to slalom through. Park benches, bollards, walls and trees are the perfect foundation for any obstacle course, so local parks are ideal, but you can also get creative. Incorporate children’s climbing frames and park benches, set yourself a goal of stopping to do push-ups or sit-ups at certain points, and bring a friend along to time you or race you.

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