Welcome to my very first WOD series post! Since a healthy lifestyle is made up of so much more than just healthy eating, I wanted to start sharing some of my favorite workouts with you to compliment all of the yum-a-licious recipes I post here on CaliGirl Cooking.
I have been working out/being active [almost] daily (gotta have those rest days!) for as long as I can remember and I am so happy that I’ve had this instilled in me since I was a little kid. I started dancing when I was five, dancing competitively when I was about eight, then picked up basketball, track, swimming, and volleyball along the way. I finally gave up dancing to focus on volleyball, and my decision paid off because it earned me a scholarship to play on a Division I collegiate team (go Tigers!)
Playing on a collegiate athletic team is like a full-time job. You have no choice but to complete every workout, attend every practice and pass every conditioning test (we called ours the “gut check,” sounds fun, huh?)
There were days I absolutely hated it and wished I was just a “normal” college student, but looking back I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. It gave me discipline, the drive to try my hardest every single day, and lastly a wealth of knowledge about weight-lifting, conditioning, and all other aspects of training. Now, when I go to the gym, I have sooo many different lifts and exercises in my arsenal that I am never left asking myself “Well, what else can I do?”
But today we’re not talking about the gym. I’ve gotten into a great routine that balances strength training and cardio, and anytime I can I take my workout outside, I do (I do live in beautiful Santa Barbara, after all!) On my non-strength training days, you can find me playing beach volleyball, going for a long run along the water, or knocking out this quick HIIT workout at the Santa Barbara City College stadium.
Now, after seeing these photos I know y’all probably hate me and are thinking “Well, I would work out too if I had a stadium like that!” But trust me, an outdoor workout at ANY stadium is worth it. There is just something about being in the fresh air that truly invigorates you and puts you in a great mood for the rest of the day.
So, without further ado…let’s get into this workout!
My Favorite Stadium Workout
Total Time: less than 30 minutes (unless you’re incorporating some strength training between sets)
I’ve never been one for warming up, so I usually just do a light jog from my car and head straight to the first set of stairs.
Sprint up each set of stairs, and immediately turn around and slowly walk down. I’ve timed how long it takes me to get to the top of our stadium, and it’s about 30 seconds, which is the perfect amount of time for the “high intensity” portion of this workout. Don’t stop at the top of the stairs to catch your breath. This is what the descent is for!
I tend to hit every step, as the steps at the SBCC stadium get larger and larger as you get higher up and the top starts to get pretty intense. If you want to challenge yourself further, try skipping steps!
I perform this pattern all the way down the bleachers (at SBCC this is 10 flights of stairs.) On the way back, I go up one flight and down the next. My goal is to eventually end up going up and down each flight, there and back. Always set goals for yourself!
Once I’m back to where I started (and my legs are feeling like Jell-O), I jog two laps around the track to bring my heart rate down and help my legs relax a bit. That’s it! An easy and SUPER effective workout in no time at all.
Stadiums are also great places to work in some bodyweight strength training exercises. Here are some of the exercises you can try:
- Incline pushups – Place your hands shoulder-width apart on either a railing or on one of the first bleacher steps, do a push-up.
- Tricep dips – Sit on the lowest bleacher, legs straight out in front of you. Move your bum off the bleacher and place your hands behind you. Dip down and back to straight.
- Suitcase crunches – Sit on the lowest bleacher, knees bent. Lean back about 45 degrees, lift your feet off the ground and crunch in and out.
- Calf raises – Stand on the lowest bleacher so your heels hang off the back. Go up on your toes and back down to start. [Disclaimer: This exercise might be extra tricky if you are doing it while you are running stadiums. Your calves might hate you.]
What are your favorite ways to work out outdoors? I’d love to hear about them!