Workout Mix-up!

Written by: Elsie Velazquez cert. Personal Trainer at Prescription Fitness (Cleveland, Ohio)

Warm temps and sunny days are finally here!  If you are tired of working out indoors or you are simply bored with your current routine, consider taking your workout outdoors.  More specifically, head to the nearest track for a fun but challenging workout.  Heading to a track for all-out bleacher runs is my favorite summertime workout!

What I love about heading to the track for a bleacher workout is the fact that I can make it up as I go.  I can simply use it as a cardio workout by simply running the bleachers and running/walking laps around the track or I can add bodyweight exercises that will make the workout more of a challenge.  The fact that there are so many options is what keeps me going back.  Of course, if you are new to bleacher/track workouts, it can be a bit difficult to put it all together.  Well, I am going to give you some of the benefits of adding in a weekly or bi-weekly bleacher/track workout to your routine.  I will also provide you with a few workout suggestions.

Benefit #1:

We all know that running burns a good amount of calories, but when you switch to running bleachers, you greatly increases the number of calories burned.   The reason for this increase in calories being burned is that bleacher runs engage more of your leg muscles than running.  If you are looking to lose weight, increasing your calorie burn is imperative.

Benefit #2:

Running bleachers activates all of the muscles in your lower body. Running bleachers helps build these muscles because of the repeated stepping motion involved with the workout.  Bleacher runs help increase muscle mass and strength in your glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and calves. We all know that lean muscle mass boosts your metabolism, which provides an increase in calorie burn.

Benefit #3:      

Running bleachers is a form of cardio and it boosts your aerobic capacity. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you get at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, and this is one way to get that done.  Bleacher runs raises your heart rate faster than walking and faster than light jogging.

If you are thinking of heading to a track for a workout, here are several sample workouts that you can try.  Be sure to start every workout with a warm up of 10-15 minutes.

Workout #1 (beginner):

  • Walk or run up (2 steps at a time)
  • Sprint up (1 step at a time)
  • High knees up (1 step at a time)
  • Hop on 1 foot up (1 or 2 steps at a time)
  • Broad jump up (both feet and as many steps as possible at a time)
  • Repeat as many times as possible

 

Workout #2 (intermediate):

  • Sprint up (clear as many steps as possible)
  • Hop on 1 foot up (1 or 2 steps at a time)
  • Lateral step ups each way (1 step at a time)
  • Step hops (hop on and off the bottom step, 10 per leg)
  • Lunges (2 or more steps at a time)
  • Repeat as many times as possible

 

Workout #3 (advanced):

  • Sprint up twice
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral run up twice
  • Pushups
  • Broad jumps up twice
  • V-ups
  • Sprint up twice
  • Plank
  • Repeat as many times as possible

 

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