Summer is finally approaching, and with longer evenings and brighter mornings, hundreds of people are looking to switch up their training or take their workouts somewhere airy and fresh, whether your local park, the beach, or a quiet corner of your garden.

If you have limited time, equipment, or motivation to train, a full body workout is a good option and offers maximum bang for your buck. Rather than focusing on specific muscle groups as you would with a piece of gym kit, you can use compound exercises to work your entire body.

Let’s think about outdoor training, some of the bodyweight exercises you can perform anywhere, and how to replicate your favourite gym workout sessions in your chosen location.

The Benefits of Full Body Workout Routines Outdoors

There are countless reasons you might prefer to train outdoors. For many who dislike or feel uncomfortable in the gym environment, the drier weather is a perfect opportunity to invest a little time in your health and fitness.

You might also be about to head on holiday or want to maintain your baseline strength and fitness over the school break, or simply want to make the most of the warmer weather to factor in a couple of extra workouts first thing in the morning – now that it’s not so dark and cold!

Regardless, training outdoors can be amazing for your sense of well-being. There’s ample room to try any workouts you fancy without worrying about infringing on the space of the person next to you. If you’re somewhere remote, you can make as much noise as you like or play your favourite motivational music to get your heart rate pumping.

Another great advantage of outdoor training, whether you’re with your personal trainer, attending a class, or exercising with a friend, is that the variable terrain presents natural challenges that help with full body training; think hill sprints at a country park or navigating sharp corners on the nearest cycle track.

Natural sunlight and fresh air are undoubtedly good for the mind and the body. If you’re near a playground, you’ll also find tons of equipment you can use in your full body workout session, from monkey bars to climbing frames and benches for dips and planks.

Creating an Outdoor-Based Full Body Workout Programme

Of course, everybody is different, and I’m always keen to reiterate that the right types of movements or workouts should always be structured around the time you have, your current fitness levels and the goals you’d like to achieve.

Here are a few quick ideas to demonstrate the variety of workouts you can perform anywhere you like:

  • Bodyweight exercises are suitable for anybody, and you can use street and park furniture like grass, branches, and walking paths for cardio, dips, lunges, squats, wall sits, sit-ups, and step-ups—you don’t have to have a boot full of gym equipment to get started.
  • If you have sports-specific goals, you can use awkward objects – a concept that Crossfitters will be familiar with – or bring one or two sandbags, kettlebells, or dumbbells. Farmer’s carries, weighted squats and lunges, overhead presses and bench presses are all highly effective workout options and help with strength building.
  • HIIT full body workouts are perfect if you have a short gap in your day to fit in a full body exercise session. This type of workout routine is based on maximum effort mixed with brief rest periods, using bursts of vigorous activity to boost your heart rate and maximise your fitness gains.

If you have a smartphone and a set of headphones, you can download a wide range of workouts to listen to and select your targets, time availability, equipment to hand, and other variables to ensure every trip to the garden or park offers a different workout to prevent boredom.

Top Exercises to Include in a Full Body Training Programme

Full body training is often the gold standard for gym members and personal training clients because it uses all of your muscles throughout your body, enhancing strength gains, working your core muscles, and cardiovascular fitness all in one go.

I’ve put together some short, sharp summaries of my top three full body workouts that you can perform with no equipment at all or using one or two items that are small enough to carry.

1. Outdoor Sprint Workouts

Sprinting is a powerful exercise, and if you have problems with your knees or hips, you can run on grass or softer surfaces to avoid the impact and stress that concrete pavements often place on your joints.

Find your nearest hill, and jog to the top for five to ten minutes to warm up your legs and lungs. When you’re ready, aim for repetitions starting at around four sprints, putting max effort into the climb and then walking or jogging back down to catch your breath.

2. Skipping Sessions

Skipping is often overlooked, but it’s an accessible form of exercise you can do anywhere, adapted to your fitness level, and with just one lightweight rope.

You can try a variety of workouts, such as longer sessions at a steady pace, fast intermittent periods of maximum speed skipping, or changing it up to try double-unders, crossovers (where your hands cross in front of your body) or high knee skipping.

3. Heavy Carries

Outdoor workouts can be performed with any kit, so if you have a medicine ball, a kettlebell, or a sandbag, you can get creative. Depending on your equipment, you could run or walk, perform cleans and squats, use your weight as resistance for step-ups and lunges, or make sit-ups and Russian twists that little bit harder.

All of these ideas aside, it’s also absolutely possible to fit in a great full body workout using any of the normal seating and features all around us, whether you’re using a tree to anchor a resistance band or TRX, using benches for push-ups and dips, or simply enjoying the fresh air while you perform your choice of bodyweight movements.