How to achieve any fitness goal with outdoor training


Fitness goal with outdoor training: Fresh air, sunlight and a short journey. Why you can get in shape much more effectively with outdoor fitness. Plus: the most ingenious exercises for outdoors

“The best body is created outside,” says personal trainer Felix Klemme from Bonn. “Here I can get myself to be as efficient as possible – in all areas.” Training without a gym? Is that really possible? In fact, keeping fit exclusively in the fresh air is better than you think.

Of course, if you “only” have the goal of doing 190 kilos on the bench press , you probably won’t achieve that with outdoor fitness. But if you want to improve your strength, flexibility, endurance and speed in one session, you should definitely bite the dust. Or use this idea as an incentive to go even lower when doing push-ups on the lawn.

What are the advantages of outdoor training over a gym?

“In the gym, every bar, every piece of equipment and even the floor is standardized. The load is always the same,” says the sports scientist. “In nature, the exact opposite is the case. Every branch, every surface is different and requires a different level of strength.” On top of that, the work involved outdoors is greater. In order to do a squat with a log on your shoulders, the log first has to get up there. “That’s a completely different feat of strength and requires more coordination than if I were to take a barbell out of the rack,” says Klemme.

You can certainly lift more weight this way and eventually train at bodybuilder level. If that’s your only goal, outdoor workouts are probably not your thing. But if you want to have an athletic body that also develops a six-pack and strong arms , you should get your hands dirty while training outdoors. Afterwards, you can show them off to those who stayed at home as a trophy. And while you’re at it, you have other things to worry about than protecting yourself from dirt.

“We often use stones like kettlebells. However, the stone is not as easy to grip as the kettlebell and a completely different perception is required,” explains the founder of the ” Outdoor Gym ” training concept. So if you don’t fully immerse yourself in the moment, you are more likely to injure yourself.

1. Outdoor training strengthens your muscles and immune system

Every outdoor session has an unbeatable advantage over the comparable indoor version: “The immune system is stimulated in nature on a completely different level than is possible in closed rooms,” says psycho-neuro-immunologist Klemme. In other words: you strengthen your immune system even more outdoors. Of course, you always benefit from this, regardless of whether you have put a few devices in the garden or are handling natural objects.

The combination of exercise and fresh air has a positive effect on the immune system. Why? The blood circulation gets going, the blood is pumped full of fresh oxygen, the supply of nutrients runs more smoothly and inflammation levels stay where they are best: low. And no one will object to the extra portion of sunlight. After all, the body needs light to produce vitamin D. This regulates calcium metabolism and ensures strong bones.

On top of that, a workout in the fresh air protects against diseases of the blood vessels, metabolism and cardiovascular system. At the same time, vitamin D also strengthens the immune system. If it is lacking, the T cells cannot work properly and bacteria, viruses and other bad stuff have an easy time. With regular outdoor fitness training, you won’t have to swim naked in the Baltic Sea next New Year’s Day to activate your immune system. Unless you want to. If you are looking for other alternatives:

2. Outdoor fitness helps combat stress

When you’re training outside, you don’t have time to think about the next meeting with the new customer or the argument with your loved one. Whether you’re using bark or a wooden hammer, it’s easier to focus your attention where it should be in the open air: on your body. This gives your head a well-deserved break.

It is also the nature of things that we relax more easily outside. The sounds and smells calm the nerves and have an invigorating effect. And the pleasant, warm feeling of the sun on your skin simply puts you in a good mood. Which doesn’t mean that you should stay at home because of a thick blanket of clouds. This option only applies if the German Weather Service has issued severe weather warnings. Otherwise, any weather is suitable for outdoor fitness. Doing one burpee after another on a muddy meadow in the pouring rain is pretty much the best feeling a workout can give you. Even if you only have time in the morning before work. I promise. If you haven’t been able to get yourself to do it yet, here are a few tips on how to change that:

3. Outdoor fitness provides lasting motivation

“A long-term customer was barely making any progress in the gym, so I met him for a workout outside. Suddenly he could do pull-ups , was in a better mood and had a lot more energy afterwards,” says personal trainer Klemme. Success motivates and to make that happen, outdoor fitness offers variety. “Every session is different. For example, we once trained in the river for a whole hour,” says Klemme. Working against the water resistance is a completely different challenge. The ground also feels slippery and uncomfortable, so you need a lot more than just strength. Try it out!

Mud and sand are also ideal training locations for a workout under the clouds. After all, uneven ground puts even more demands on your balance and coordination, which also requires more energy. Want more inspiration for getting your butt up?

4. Outdoor sports make you happy – without side effects

Nowhere is it easier to become a superman than with outdoor fitness. You just have to pick a rainy day, put on your workout clothes and get going outside. “After 10 minutes at the latest, my customers think it’s great. In that moment, they are the heroes of the day, not sitting on the cozy couch, but doing something,” says the expert. You may know this feeling when you are surprised by the rain while jogging. At first the precipitation makes you depressed, but shortly afterwards everything just goes even better and the feeling after the shower is – great.

Which exercises can I do outdoors? The 6 best moves without equipment

1. Outdoor exercise: Stair crab

Crawl up a flight of stairs on all fours – but backwards, with your feet “up”. On the way down, do a crab-like position and walk with your feet first, with your hands behind your bottom. Your stomach is pointing towards the sky, and your posture is reminiscent of a table.

2. Outdoor exercise: Stone slingshot

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a heavy stone in front of your body with long arms. Bend your knees slightly and push your bottom backwards, with your upper body leaning forwards with a straight back. With your arms outstretched, guide the stone backwards through your legs and then swing it back over your head. Your arms remain outstretched. Pay attention in advance to where the stone will fly. Run to the stone as fast as you can and repeat the process. If you want, take off your shoes and socks.

3. Outdoor exercise: slope running

Run up a hill in the woods as fast as you can! The incline should be steep enough to require your hands. Yes, dirt can collect under your fingernails.

4. Outdoor exercise: Seal round

Lie on your back in the sand and fold your arms in front of your chest. Put your feet up and step alternately with your heels into the sand to crawl backwards. To support yourself, turn your upper body over to the side.

5. Outdoor exercise: trunk steps

Place a log on the upper part of your shoulder blades. To do this, pull your shoulder blades together. Hold the log with a wide grip. Now step forward with your right foot and bend your legs. Lower your left knee towards the floor. Make sure not to push your front knee over your toes.

When you reach the bottom, turn your upper body as far to the right as possible with a straight back. The trunk should not move as much as possible. Turn back to the middle, stretch your legs and stand up straight. Lift your left foot off the ground and take a step forward with your left foot to repeat the process on the opposite side. Professionals then perform the exercise backwards.

6. Outdoor exercise: climbing

It doesn’t have to be the treetop, but just climbing the lowest branches of a tree requires full-body effort. And is rewarded with strong muscles and a lot of pride.

What do I need for outdoor training? Tools for DIY outdoor workouts

If you don’t have the time or desire to be active in a group at set times and/or get bored quickly, the following purchases will help you:

  1. Sling trainer: A device for a huge number of exercises, whether for strength or endurance training. Outside, you can hang the sling trainer just about anywhere, the best examples being the climbing frame on the playground or the thick branch in the park. In contrast to your apartment, where often only the door frame remains, which limits the area of application to a few exercises. A small number of square meters also significantly restricts freedom of movement. Outside, however, there are no limits. Our recommendation: TRX GO sling trainer.
  2. Body tube: This tool can be placed around any street lamp and you have immediately created the basis for efficient resistance training – the height can be adjusted within seconds and thus to the targeted muscles. Strong exercises for the arm and shoulder area, as well as your core, are possible with this tube, which weighs just 300 grams. Ideally, you should treat yourself to a tube with a coating, which lasts longer and is more comfortable on the skin. Our recommendation: Dittmann Premium Body Tube.
  3. Speaker box: Motivation to go – with a Bluetooth speaker you have the right sound for your training with you wherever you go. Ideally, this buddy is waterproof and not easily shaken so that it can withstand challenges such as wet grass or gravel surfaces. Tip: Get music on your tablet and install a timer there. This way you can keep an eye on your exercise times. Our recommendation: JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker.

What types of outdoor training are there? The best outdoor fitness concepts and courses

If you like to sweat in a team or are a team player (in terms of training), you should take a closer look at the following offers. Tip: Many outdoor courses are certified by health insurance companies. This means that you will either get the costs (partially) reimbursed or receive a subsidy. It’s always worth asking.

1. Original Bootcamp

The circuit training with small equipment and a lot of bass is available in over 50 German cities. A bootcamp is booked as an 8-week package with 1-4 units per week, which take place in small groups: .

2. Outdoor Gym

There are outdoor gym concepts in small groups available in 9 cities across Germany. All units take place in the great outdoors, payment is made via a monthly fee, but individual bookings are also possible:

3. MovNat

The mix of gymnastics, obstacle courses and bodyweight training uses the environment as a training partner. There are different tariff classes to take part. You can find locations and trainers in your area on the MovNat website .

4. Outdoor Nation

Outdoor training in large groups at more than 250 locations, which is mainly carried out without equipment – at Outdoor Nation, you can book as many courses as you like for a monthly fee. However, each course must be reserved online, and there are also online offers:

Conclusion: From now on, you will only grill your body fat outside

When you train outdoors, you challenge your body with constantly changing loads that make you stronger, more enduring, more flexible and more agile, break down fat deposits and protect you from injuries. Plus: Working out in the fresh air reduces stress, protects you from colds and boosts your motivation. So what are you waiting for? Get out there!

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