It’s summer, and who wants to go to the gym (or down to the basement) and do a strength workout on a gorgeous day? With a bit of imagination, you can do most any gym exercise outside, using your own body weight. And as an added bonus, research has shown that compared with exercising indoors, exercising outdoors is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.
Here’s a strength workout that will take you through Downtown Kenosha. For all exercises, try to do 8 to 15 repetitions (reps), starting at one set and building to 3 sets. Take about a minute rest between each set.
We begin at the Columbus statue at Celebration Place, off the east end of Ring Road.
Calf Raise – standing on one of the curved “steps”, with your heels off the step. Raise yourself up on your toes, then back down.
Step-Up – Go to one of the seats by the statue. Place the right foot on the seat, then step up with the left foot and balance steadily. Step down with the left foot, and then the right. Put the left foot on the seat and repeat. This is one rep.
Bench at 54th Street and 3rd Avenue
Now run/jog/walk west on the path alongside 54th Street. You’re going to go to just past 3rd Avenue to the bench next to the path (near the “high chair” sculpture).
Bench Push-up – Stand a few feet behind the bench, placing your hands on the back of the bench. Lower your chest to the bench, then back up.
Bench Dip – Sit on the edge of the bench, with hands on the bench seat. Scoot yourself off the bench, where you are supported by your arms. Bend your elbows and lower yourself to the ground (but not resting on the ground), then back up.
Bench Crunch – Laying on the ground, with your calves and feet on the bench, hands behind the head, engage to abdominal muscles to bring your head and torso up, then back down. Important Note: do not lock your fingers behind your head and use them to raise your head. Think about your torso raising and your head coming along for the ride.
Simmons Island Park Playground
Continue your run/jog/walk along the path, going by Common Grounds Café and the Wyndham Garden hotel. Scramble up to the 50th Street bridge and continue east to Simmons Island, taking the first left. Go down to the playground on your left. We’ll be using the swings as a free TRX substitute.
Swing Row – Holding on to the sides of the swing seat, lean back and extend your arms. Keep your feet in place and bend your arms to bring your chest up to the seat.
Swing Side Lunge – In the same position as the Swing Row, pivot to the side into a lunge. The front foot should be pointing straight, and back leg parallel to the ground. Make sure your front knee does not travel beyond your toes! Return to the starting position and do the other side. This is one rep.
Swing Rollaway – Kneel in front of the swing, hands on the inside of the seat. Extend the upper body as far as possible, while remaining stable. Return to the starting position.
Simmons Island Beach
Our last leg is to run/jog/walk down to the Simmons Island Beach.
Beach Run – remove your shoes and walk out into the lake until you’re about shin-level in the water. Start running for one to two minutes, then take a brief rest, and start again. Alternately you can run on the sand, but again, barefoot.
You’re done! Take a quick dip in the lake to cool down. So next time it’s nice outdoors, skip the gym and head outside.
Author: Ken Johnson is a writer based in Kenosha. He is also a USA Triathlon Level 1
Certified Coach and a National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer, and holds
an M.S. in exercise science.