A Bench Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Take on this full-body strength workout outside or in the gym.

This workout is designed for versatility. You can complete the circuit whether you’re at a park or in the weight room. You’ll need a sturdy bench or a wide step or ledge. If you’re in the gym, you can use a box.

Strength and conditioning coach and exercise physiologist Kevin Shields recommends going through the workout as follows: Complete each exercise for the designated number of reps. Rest for 60 to 75 seconds and repeat for a total of three to four sets.

THE WORKOUT

Incline Bench Push-Ups: 12 to 15 reps

  • Place your hands directly under or just outside of your shoulders, near the edge of the bench, setting up for high plank. Tip: Try both hand positions to see what feels more comfortable.
  • Squeeze your legs and core.
  • Lower the midline of your chest to the bench. Maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  • Actively push the bench away from you to return to high plank.

Modification: Hold high plank for 30 seconds.

Knee to Triceps: 10 reps (each side)

  • Place your hands under your shoulders near the edge the bench, setting up for high plank.
  • Keep your arms straight but allow for a bit of softness in your elbows.
  • Maintain a straight line from head to heels and keep your core tight.
  • Alternate driving your knees to your triceps ­­­– right knee to right triceps, left to left.
  • Avoid tucking your hips under. Instead, isolate the movement to your legs and core.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats: 10 reps (each side)

  • Start with your right foot on the ground, about a foot away from the bench.
  • Place your left foot flat on the bench behind you with your shoelaces facing down.
  • Lower your back leg until your knee hovers a few inches above the ground.
  • Push through your front foot to return to starting position.

“Box” Jumps: 10 reps

  • Start in an athletic stance with your knees soft.
  • Rise as tall as you can on your tippy toes.
  • Send your hands and hips back, then explode up, using your arms to propel yourself up.
  • Step down one foot at a time.

Modification: Eliminate the jump. Step up and step down.

Mountain Climbers: 50 reps

  • Place your hands under your shoulders near the edge of the bench, setting up for high plank.
  • Keep your arms straight but allow for a bit of softness in your elbows.
  • Maintain a straight line from head to heels. Squeeze your core.
  • Alternate driving your knees into your core quickly.
  • Avoid tucking your hips under. Instead, isolate the movement to your legs and core.

Modification: Move slower through the knee to core reps.

With just five exercises, you’ll target your lower body, upper body and core — and you can do it all when it’s convenient for you. Want to add a cardio element to your outdoor workout? Try our stair workout ideas.