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No Gym? No Problem. This Beginner Street Workout Torches *Major* Calories

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Practicing a physical activity is becoming more and more of top priority for many people. Staying fit and improving one’s health and well-being are the main reasons many of us prioritize staying physically active. Most activities can be practiced at the gym, individually, or in group classes, but some options tend to be costly–or not very motivating if you are cooped up inside! This is where the street workout comes in; it’s a free discipline that can be done out in the open without any specific material needed, and it allies strength, creativity, and endurance.

The street workout: 4 tips to get started

Rumored to have originated from the East (Russia more specifically) and also from the United States, the street workout is said to have been invented by prison inmates who did not have a lot of workout equipment. They started getting exercise using only the weight of their bodies. It became quite a trend in developing areas and then became more well-known worldwide–and why not? It’s free, motivating, and strength-building. The street workout does not require any type of material during the exercises; those that practice this sport use urban property such as benches, bars, playgrounds, or poles to help them out. The principle lies in building muscles solely by using the body’s weight and gymnastics. It involves a chain of positions that build up force, resistance, flexibility, and balance. To be able to do more advanced moves, you’ll need to persevere and be rigorous.

Are you up for the challenge? Here are 4 tips to get you started!

Start slow.

The street workout revolves around traditional muscle-building exercises such as pushups, squats, planking, dips, sit-ups, and more. These basic exercises help increase endurance, build core strength, and tone the body. If you have not practiced a physical activity in a long time, it is best to start slow, working out three times a week, and work your way up to create endurance. The typical street workout exercice involves:

  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 10 lunges (each leg)
  • 3 seconds L-Sit Hang (5 reps)
  • 15 incline Push-Ups
  • 5 seconds flexed arm hang (3 reps)
  • 10 seated dips on chair or bench
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 15 step-ups
  • 30 seconds plank

Try to do it for two rounds, and then try three rounds the next time. Each round normally lasts for 10 minutes and is a great way to get your heart pumping!

Be patient and keep it regular.

Getting results takes time, so be patient with yourself. The street workout is an activity that should be done on a regular basis, allowing you to increase the repetitions of the sets as you move forward. It’s a good idea to warm up and stretch your muscles before beginning the exercise.  Once you’re ready to dive into the routine, set an alarm that beeps after a few minutes to change sets (or keep count of the number of sets you do) and enjoy! Having your favorite music in the background can help make the workout even more enjoyable.

Join group workouts.

Because the street workout can be quite intensive, sometimes when we do it alone, we may not feel like doing it on a regular basis. Joining group workouts can be very motivating and supportive. Many of these workout groups can be found on Facebook or Meetup, but if you aren’t lucky enough to a street workout group in your area, create a support team yourself! It’s fun and encouraging, and you’ll see your endurance and core muscles develop quite quickly. Plus, you’ll be able to make new friends or bond with your current friends in another manner. Remember to take it easy and have a great laugh!

Eat and hydrate well.

When practicing a physical activity, it is essential to eat and hydrate well. Having a balanced lifestyle on the side can help you feel healthier and more energized–especially when you are practicing an intense activity like the street workout. Start by eliminating sugar-rich foods and processed food, which tend to make you feel more weary and bloated because they are full of preservatives. Slowly incorporate healthier options such as more fruits, vegetables, and nuts into your diet. I also recommend including blueberries (great antioxidants to fight off diseases) and oatmeal (reduces cholesterol). Also, when possible, buy organic, unprocessed food. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated, too. Bring at least a liter of water with you during practice, and if you are lucky enough to be in a sunny area, make sure to not only drink but to also splash a bit of water on yourself and hair to help you stay cool.

Sounds good? 

This type of fitness activity is an excellent way to build up muscle, gain force, and increase endurance, which will help you do more challenging exercises as though they are a piece of cake. Plus, this workout helps you stay in shape even if you have budget or time constraints. If the street workout seems too intense, remember to take things at your own pace. Your endurance and resilience will increase with practice. Nothing is impossible.

Have you tried the street workout?

Also by Emilie: Beyond Stressed? Take 5 for these Gentle Yoga Practices (Not Mat Needed)

Related: Confessions of a Vegan Crossfitter

The Real Reason You’re Not Seeing Results (When You’re NOT “Cheating”)

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Emilie Blum

Emilie Blum

Contributor at Peaceful Dumpling
Emilie is a half-French, half-Thai world citizen who is passionate about leading a mindful lifestyle. She works in the internet sector to help out sport instructors to build their online presence and on the side she is a yoga student and encourages people to eat local. You can find out more about how she helps out fitness coaches on the website Heek.
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