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Working Out in the Park: Unleashing Your Potential with a Bench Only

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  • Post last modified:September 25, 2023

It’s simple to believe that, unless you have access to a collection of weights or resistance bands, your outdoor workouts must be solely focused on cardiovascular activity. But that notion could not be farther from the truth.

In reality, you can incorporate a enjoyable and effective strength and cardiovascular session with this six-move park workout that only requires a bench. Test out this full-body circuit to mix up your jog or empowering walk, or engage in the park workout as a stand-alone strength routine whenever your training regimen needs a breath of fresh air — quite literally.

How it functions: Up to four days a week, perform 1 set of each exercise consecutively, with minimal to zero rest between movements. Complete the entire park workout circuit 2 to 3 times in total, taking breaks between rounds as necessary.

What you’ll require: a durable bench or platform

Side Step-Up

Not only does this park workout exercise target your entire lower body, but it also challenges your core and elevates your heart rate, making it a valuable cardiovascular exercise as well.

A. Stand beside a bench. Position your right foot flat on top of the bench and clasp your hands in front of your chest. Your feet should be hip-width apart, with your right knee bent at a 45-degree angle and your left knee slightly bent.

B. Propel yourself off your left foot and thrust through your right foot to step up onto the bench. Then, lightly tap your left foot beside your right foot, continuously keeping your knees bent and your elbows driven back by your sides.

C. Return to the starting position. That counts as one repetition.

Perform 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Incline Push-Up with Drive

Flawless push-ups are more manageable when at an incline, and integrating a knee-drive further activates your core throughout the park workout maneuver.

A. Commence in a high plank position with your hands on a bench directly below your shoulders and your legs extended, with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left leg off the ground and suspend your foot in the air, toes pointed.

B. Engage your core by tucking your tailbone and pulling your navel inward toward your spine. Stabilize your lats by drawing your shoulders downward and away from your ears. Activate your glutes and quads. Push your elbows outward so your arms form a 45-degree angle to your body.

[C.] Gaze downwards to maintain a neutral position for the neck, activate the core muscles, and ensure that the body forms a straight line from the head to the toes. Gradually flex the elbows to lower the body, stopping approximately 3 inches above the bench. Simultaneously, lift the left leg out behind the body until it aligns with the torso.

[D.] Push away from the bench to extend the arms while simultaneously bringing the left knee up towards the chest. This completes one repetition.

Perform 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.


This exercise performed in the park will increase your heart rate and make you feel like an empowered athlete due to its plyometric nature.

[A.] Stand facing the bench with feet positioned hip-width apart, arms resting at the sides, and the core muscles engaged.

[B.] Quickly step the right foot onto the bench while driving the left arm forward. Then, propel yourself straight into the air using both feet, raising the left knee up to hip height and extending the right arm forward.

[C] Land softly on the bench with the right foot and immediately step down to start the next repetition.

Perform 20 repetitions, alternating legs.

Triceps Dip with Kick

During this park workout movement, the triceps, core, and thighs are targeted, resulting in a muscle-quivering exercise.

[A.] Sit on the bench with both hands resting on the edge at the sides, knees bent at 90-degree angles, and feet placed flat on the ground. Scoot forward until the buttocks are hanging off the bench completely.

[B.] With arms fully extended and the core engaged, raise the right leg off the ground until it aligns with the hips and is fully extended, pointing the toes towards the sky. This marks the starting position.

[C.] Slowly bend the elbows until they form 90-degree angles while simultaneously driving the knee up towards the chest, keeping the foot flexed.

[D.] Apply pressure through the palms to straighten the arms and simultaneously extend the right leg in front of the hips. This completes one repetition.

Perform 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

Bulgarian Split Squat with Twist

Raising the back leg during a split squat intensifies the challenge to balance, and incorporating a crossing crunch takes this park workout exercise to a higher level of core activation.

[A.] Stand in front of a bench with feet positioned slightly wider than hip-width apart. Take a step forward and place the left foot on top of the bench behind the body, with the instep resting on the surface. Position the hands on the back of the head.

[B.] Shift the weight back onto the hips and bend the right knee, lowering down until both knees form 90-degree angles. Keep the chest upright and ensure that the back remains straight, avoiding rounding.

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At the same time, spin torso and pivot forward marginally to tap left arm joint to right knee.

C. Apply pressure with the right foot to extend the leg and go back to a standing position, all while rotating the torso back to the center.

Perform 15 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

Dynamic Burpees

This enhanced burpee is a demanding challenge for cardio and coordination. However, prioritize safety: always ensure proper technique with each repetition and modify as necessary to prevent injury during this outdoor workout exercise.

A. Stand in front of a bench with feet positioned shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward, and arms at the sides.

B. Sit back into the hips and bend the knees to descend into a squat, maintaining an upright chest and avoiding rounding of the back.

C. Pivot at the hips, folding forward and placing the hands on the bench. Shift the weight onto the hands.

D. Jump both feet back and land softly on the balls of the feet, assuming an elevated high plank position. The body should form a straight line from the head to the heels.

E. Flex the elbows to lower the body until the chest is approximately three inches above the bench, then swiftly push up to return to the elevated high plank position.

F. Jump both feet forward directly into a slight squat, raise both hands off the bench, then press into the heels to rise up from the squat and explosively jump onto the bench. Land gently.

Perform as many repetitions as possible.

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