The lockdown has finally come to an end in most cities of the country. I see people walking on the road after a long time but gyms may not open for some time. Now is the time to utilise the “great outdoors” for a workout. I am not just talking about going for a run or a walk. Not even close! What I have in mind is one of the best ways to get a workout, which trains the cardiovascular and the muscular system at the same time. This is usually a form of Obstacle Course Running.
Obstacle is the Way!
The armed forces have long used the obstacle course for testing the mettle of their soldiers. They go out of the way to construct these special obstacle courses, which have all kinds of difficult and sometimes dangerous “stations,” which the soldier has to overcome to complete the obstacle course. In a lot of ways, this is actually the height of functional training. But it is not possible for a non military person to incorporate the benefits of an obstacle course without having access to various military establishments. But the solution to this conundrum is pretty simple – all you need is access to a park or a playing ground which has benches, pull-up bars etc.
Running the improvised obstacle course
Start running at an easy pace for about five to six minutes. Stop at a park bench, do a quick set of 10 jumps on to the bench, taking care to step down from the bench and not jumping down. Start running again for another five to 10 minutes, stop at another bench and do a set of 15 push-ups, run for another five to 10 minutes, stop to do a plank for 45 seconds, then a set of five broad jumps, finish with a five-minute walk/jog.
This workout does not require a lot of equipment and it is pretty modular. If you have access to pull-up bars or even parallel bars, you can add sets of chin-up, dips to the obstacle course to make it harder and more comprehensive. My only recommendation would be that to progress this slowly and not try to add too many obstacles initially. The load on the cardiovascular system could be too much and you might not be able to finish the workout.
This workout does not require a lot of equipment and it is pretty modular. If you have access to pull-up bars or even parallel bars, you can add sets of chin-up, dips to the obstacle course to make it harder and more comprehensive
•Find a park that has benches, pull-up bars etc.
•Alternate between running at a slow pace for five-10 and doing push-ups, planks, squats, broad jumps etc.
•As your fitness improves, you can either increase the time of the workout from say 20 minutes to 30 minutes by adding either longer running phases, doing more repetitions for the exercises or add harder exercises like lunges, single arm push-ups, burpees etc.
•For the really fit and hard core, you can add a weighted back pack to up the intensity of the workout.
The Obstacle Course Run is a great way to lose fat, build muscle and do cardio all at the same time. You need about 30-45 minutes from start to finish for this workout to get great results. Try it and let me know!
From HT Brunch, June 14, 2020
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