No membership required – Use a natural gym
By RACHEL NARKEWICZ • RiseVT Promotions Specialist & CHRISTINE GRIFFING • Certified Athletic Trainer
Often seen performed on a set of bleachers, nature’s staircase can also make a great scenic location for the SKIP JUMP, just be sure to clear off any slippery leaves and use caution if the path is wet. With feet shoulder width apart, use your arm to help propel you up onto the first step. Engage your core, and take care to keep thighs parallel (don’t let your knees cave in together) during takeoff and landing. Keep knees, hips and ankles soft to land softly. Continue one step at a time or skip by one, until you reach the top. Jog or walk back down to the starting position.
PUSH-UPS are used to develop upper-body strength, and they can be performed anywhere. In order to gain the upper-body strength
necessary to do a push-up from the ground, start with the hands elevated on a bench, block, box or a staircase. Keep your core engaged, and hands directly below your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the box or bench; do not let your hips sag at any point. Pause at the bottom, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Commonly done with an assist of a dining room chair, the ELEVATED LUNGE really works your thighs and gluteal muscles, and can easily be performed outside. Find a sturdy elevated surface, and be sure to kick any slippery leaves out of the way if you are
performing outside. Place the top of your foot on the elevated surface, be sure your foot is far enough away so that when
you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle. Engage your glute and bend your front
knee to 90-degrees. Pushing through your front heel, straighten your front leg and rise back up to the starting position.
With a simple step, stair or box and your own body weight you can tone the muscle that runs on the backside of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow — your TRICEPS. Position your hands shoulder-width apart, slide your bottom off the front and extend your legs. The straighter you keep your knees, the more challenging this exercise will be. Begin by bending your elbow, and lower your body toward the ground until you have reached a 90-degree angle with your elbows. (If you can’t make it to 90-degrees, just start with a micro-bend in your elbows to build strength) Be sure to stay close to the bench. Press down into the step, straightening your elbows to return to the starting position.