Summertime is a great opportunity to change the setting of your workout. Take advantage of the weather and get outdoors! Even on an overcast day, walk or jog to the local park and find a picnic table or bench. These are often associated with leisure activity, but they are great (and free) tools for fitness.

Complete the following exercises in order for a quick and effective bodyweight workout.

Alternating touches

Begin with one foot on a bench, curb, or rock and one foot on the ground. A lower object is more suitable for beginners. Push with both legs to hop and simultaneously switch feet. Repeat in a controlled, alternating fashion. This will raise your heart rate similar to jumping jacks. Complete 20 total touches.


Center one foot on a bench. Press through the heel of the elevated foot to lift your body, bringing both feet onto the bench. Keeping one foot on the bench, lower the other foot back to the ground. You can either keep one foot elevated for multiple repetitions before switching or alternate the leading foot. This is an excellent way to work each leg individually. Complete 10 step-ups pushing off of each leg for a total of 20 step-ups.

Tabletop crunches

Sit on the edge of a picnic tabletop. Extend your legs and lean back. Bend both knees and bring them towards your chest by squeezing your abdominal muscles. Extend the legs to their starting position but keep your feet off the ground and repeat the movement. Holding the edge of the picnic table top with each hand will help you stay balanced and focused on the movement. Complete 10–15 repetitions.

Incline pushups

Place your hands on the edge of a bench or picnic table top. The higher the surface, the easier the pushup. Feet remain on the ground. Hips should be neutral so that you form a straight line from the shoulders to the feet. Bend your arms to lower your chest. Your arms should bend to about 90 degrees before pressing to bring your body back to the starting position. Complete 10 pushups.

Incline mountain climbers

The starting position is the same as that for incline pushups. Bring your right knee toward your chest, then return it to its original position while bringing your left knee toward your chest. This should be a quick, alternating movement. This exercise acts as a “finisher” and challenges the entire body. Repeat for 20–30 total repetitions.

Rest 1–2 minutes and repeat for 2–3 rounds.

*Avoid exercising outdoors on particularly hot and humid days to help prevent dehydration. Always have water available.

—Submitted by Frankie R., Lipscomb University