How to Work Out in Your Own Backyard

Tips and tricks for exercising at home
Published April 25, 2022

At last, warmer weather is here and that means it’s now much more appealing to exercise outdoors.

Your backyard is the perfect place to get a home workout in, because you’ll have lots of room and you’ll reap the mental health benefits of being in nature at the same time. So what kind of home workouts can you do? We asked a couple experts for some suggestions.

“One of the best backyard workouts that not only yields excellent results and gets your heart rate pumping but also can be done without equipment is Tabata workouts,” says John Gardner, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the CEO and co-Founder of Kickoff, a remote personal training platform.

“Tabata is a form of High Intensity Interval training that alternates between bursts of high intensity movements and rest periods,” he explains. “A set in a Tabata workout is usually four minutes consisting of eight rounds of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.”

Tabata workouts are great for weight loss and endurance, he says, and can even be considered strength training depending on the form of exercise you use. Movements Gardner suggests include jumping jacks, squats, tricep dips, planks with shoulder taps, lunges, burpees, and V sit-ups.

Whether you’re looking for a core workout or a cardio workout, you can use Tabata to target various areas of the body and build both strength and endurance.

“The advantage of a Tabata workout is that you get maximum results in the least amount of time. In fact, after a Tabata workout, your body still continues to burn fats for up to 48 hours later.”

While Tabata workouts are best for intermediate and advanced activity, Gardner says, they can be adapted for beginners by decreasing the number of sets and starting off with low-impact movements.

For a different home workout vibe, consider channelling your inner ballerina.

Celebrity trainer, professional ballerina and founder of Ballet Beautiful Mary Helen Bowers recommends these three equipment-free moves that you can do indoors or out:

  • Plié a la seconde (for inner thigh): “Stretch your legs long and straight out of the plié, think of pulling up instead of locking your knees back. Imagine that you are trying to pull your feet together to activate your inner thighs, but your feet will not actually move. As you slide your foot along the floor into first position try to relax the muscles in the front of your thigh and only use your inner thigh muscles.”
  • Relevé: “Raise the body on two feet with the knees straight in first position. These are a great way to tone the calves and thighs while working your core and getting your heart rate up.”
  • Swan Arms: “Keep the neck long, chest open and your abs pulled in. Stretch the arms long and out to the side. Lower and lift the elbows. Remember don’t lift with the shoulders. Lift up and out with the arms. Add a set of one-pound weights for challenge and extra burn!”