Ten easy beginners’ exercises for your garden gym
3rd April 2020
Yes, gyms are currently shut, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up exercising altogether, and if you’ve never exercised then now is the perfect time to start. Why not do a work out in your garden gym?
But I don’t have a garden gym!
Actually, all you need is a bit of space. If you have a garden building, you can easily convert it into a garden gym with minimal effort. Or if the weather is good, you can just go outside, put down a mat and exercise in the garden.
Here are ten easy beginners’ exercises you can do without any equipment at all:
1. Sit ups
Great for building abdominal muscles, all you need is a place to lie down with your knees bent. Put your lands behind your ears or crossed in front of you. Start with 20 at a time if you can, working your way up!
Crunches, where you peel up towards the legs but don’t sit right up, are a good alternative which also work your abs.
2. Forward Lunges
Lunges are great because anyone can do them – anywhere, including your garden gym! Stand with your feet parallel and step forward with one leg. Hold this and then return to standing. Doing one or two sets of ten on each side will give your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core and the hard-to-reach muscles of your inner thighs a good work out.
3. Press ups
Everyone knows how to do a press up. Form a plank and lower your body towards the floor, pause, and then raise up. It is important that this movement is controlled, keeping your body straight. If you are new to exercising and you find a full press up hard, half press ups forming a kneeling plank are a good way to start. Press ups work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders.
Another exercise which is perfect for your garden gym is the simple squat. Place you feet apart and slightly turned out and keeping your back straight, lower to a seated position. This works your leg muscles; quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
5. Squat Jumps
Like the squats above, but slightly harder, Using your arms to gain momentum, when you come up jump off the floor as high as you can, landing back down in the squat position. Make sure to keep your back straight. Do two sets of ten jumping squats.
A plank is a really simple exercise to set up; come down onto your forearms and toes keeping your body straight and your bum down. Although it looks really easy, it works your core muscles like crazy. Hold for 30 seconds, then a minute, aiming for two minutes if you can.
Jogging is a great cardio exercise that you can do anywhere, but if you can’t leave the house for a large run then jogging on the spot is perfect for your garden gym.
Getting your knees up as high to your chest as possible, jogging on the spot for one minute will get your heart rate up.
8. Shoulder bridge
The Shoulder Bridge is quite a relaxing exercise for improving posture, working abominal muscles and glutes. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet on the mat, knees bent and pelvis lifted. Raise up onto your shoulders one vertebrae at a time, hold, and then peel back down using your core strength to control the movement. Do this at least ten times.
9. Star jumps
Another one for raising the heart rate, jump up and down moving the arms and legs into a star shape, for at least one minute at a time.
Lie flat on your back with your feet in the air and your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head. Use your legs to cycle vigorously for a minute at a time.