August 2020 - OAthletik Fitness
August 18, 2020

The Best Outdoor Workouts To Improve Your Athleticism

workouts for outdoors

As many gyms around Houston remain closed, more and more people are transitioning their workout programs from weight style training to outdoor exercises.

While this may seem like a huge step backwards for some, there are actually many benefits to outdoor workouts.

For many, the biggest drawback of outdoor workouts is the belief that they will not be able to build muscle. But is this true?

Can you build muscle outside of weight training?

calisthenics training

Weights are awesome. They look great in pictures, are easy to track, and make progressively overloading your muscles a lot easier. Fortunately for us, they aren’t completely necessary.

Calisthenics, a workout routine consisting of exclusively bodyweight exercises, has been proven in multiple studies to be an effective workout routine for muscle building, and there are many ways to shift your focus to these types of exercises. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, squats, lunges, and anything else that burns after 10 reps.

The Physical Benefits Of Outdoor Training

Now that you know there is nothing to be afraid of in terms of muscle building, let’s talk about the other benefits of exercising outdoors. 

Probably the biggest one is the environment. When going on a run through a park or by the beach, you will experience patches of hills and other natural occurrences that force you to adapt your training on the spot.

The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Training

mental health and training

Spending time outside has many mental health benefits as well.

Several studies have shown that exposure to sunlight causes the brain to release serotonin, the chemical associated with happiness and focus. 

Additionally, sunlight allows the body to absorb vitamin D, an important vitamin responsible for a whole bunch of awesome health benefits including fighting depression and improving bone health.

The Best Types of Outdoor Workouts

We already touched on calisthenics training, but how else can you train outside to increase your athleticism?

One workout that everyone has a love-hate relationship with is hill training.

types of outdoor workouts

Hill training in itself is often overlooked as a strength workout. The higher the incline of the hill, the harder your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves will have to work in order to keep going. The result is a surprisingly taxing hypertrophy workout.

Hill training doesn’t have to be just running either. Exercises like lunges or frog jumps are excellent for lower body activation and will feel significantly harder going up or down a hill. 

The magic isn’t reserved for your legs though. Backwards bear crawls up a hill will have those front deltoids popping out in no time.

Sand training is also hugely beneficial to increasing strength, speed, and overall athleticism. 

Studies show that simply walking on sand vs concrete can burn up to 1.6 times as many calories

sand training to increase explosiveness

This doesn’t mean you should find the nearest volleyball pit and walk back and forth, but it does mean you should consider adding some explosive work to your routine.

Running shuffles, squat jumps, or any other explosive exercise could reap double the rewards if done in a sand pit vs a flat service.

Weight training feels awesome and intense, but in times like this, let’s look at the bright side of training outside. No pun intended.

Going Back To The Gym

We just covered all the awesome benefits of training outdoors and what exercises you can do to best improve your athleticism. At O Athletik, we combine these elements of outdoor training as part of our facility. Amenities such as our outdoor turf hill and outdoor sand pit are available to all of our members, meaning you can run some incline sprints in the middle of your workout!

Does your Houston gym offer that? Probably not.

If that sounds as awesome to you as it does to us, be sure to click here to schedule a tour of O Athletik and claim a free day pass to try it for yourself.