Fall fitness: 4 exercises to do on the Schuylkill River Trail

Do you need a fresh start for your fitness routine? If so, head over to the Schuylkill River Trail to soak in the cool, crisp fall season. This multipurpose trail is the perfect playground for an array of aerobics ranging from cycling to a total-body resistance circuit.

How it works: Perform three rounds of the following four exercises. Allow for 30 seconds of rest between each activity. Once you’ve completed this circuit, do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio training on the trail.

Step-ups 

This simple-but-effective move helps build a strong booty and lean legs and perfects your balance and coordination. For this exercise, you’ll need a bench.

  • Plant your left foot on the bench. Make sure your entire foot is positioned on the bench — no hanging heels.
  • Keep your core tight and shoulders back as you step through the left heel, elevating your entire body, while the right foot is pulled up into a 90-degree angle at the knee.
  • Hold for two counts, then return your right foot to the ground.
  • Keep your left foot planted on the bench for 15 repetitions, then repeat this exercise on your right foot.

Triceps Dips

Make big gains by pushing your muscles against gravity’s resistance. Triceps dips fight pesky arm flab in addition to improving core and shoulder strength. For this exercise, you’ll need a bench.

  • Begin by facing away from the bench and taking one step away it.
  • Bend down, placing your palms on the bench with your fingers facing forward. Keep your legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles as you lower your body into a dip, with your elbows forming a 90-degree angle. Protect your elbows by keeping them close to your body and parallel with each other.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Continue to dip for 12 to 15 repetitions.

Push-ups  

The push-up is a basic exercise that should be part of every workout routine. It is a total-body burner that targets big muscle groups such as the back, chest, arms, and core. Not only do push-ups increase muscle definition, but they also improve bone density, a growing concern for aging adults. To modify this exercise, drop to your knees or consider using a bench to perform an incline push-up (pictured below), which takes some pressure off your shoulders and triceps.

  • Start in a high-plank position. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your hands and the balls of your feet. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keep your elbows close to your ribs with hands stacked directly below shoulders as you lower your body about three to five inches from the ground or the bench.
  • Push yourself up, back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 20 to 25 times.

Side Planks 

Planks have become a far more popular abdominal exercise than their boring brother, the sit-up. Side planks are a unique core exercise that targets the tiny oblique muscles that line the abdomen. In addition to burning belly fat, side planks encourage the body to perfect its balance and stability. Note: If you suffer from shoulder discomfort, consult your physician before performing this exercise.

  • Start in a standard plank position on your forearms and then adjust your positioning so your body weight is evenly distributed between your right forearm and feet, which should be stacked. Your right forearm should be aligned with your shoulders.
  • Recruit your core muscles to elevate your hips.
  • Hold for 45  to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Freshen up your fitness this fall by taking your workout outdoors.

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