It has not been the fairest of springs in Toronto this year. I know some of you from other, more northerly climates are rolling your eyes right now but for those of us who are chasing a lovely stroller fitness season (or running, or hiking, or cycling), a cool, rainy spring feels a bit discouraging. You can put a rainy day to good use, though, if you know a few tricks. Get outdoors and work some killer legs. The cool temperatures will feel great after just a short warmup and you’ll be amazed how energized you will feel at the end of a rainy day workout. The best part? No sweatiness!
In just a couple of hours I will head out in the wind and rain, on wet and muddy grass, to whichever die-hard mommies choose to come out and get their asses kicked over curling up on their couches with a cup of tea. Have I ever mentioned how much a personal trainer is actually inspired by… her clients?
So what does a trainer do on a rainy, muddy, cold day? When the grass is too wet for push ups, kneeling work, and definitely, definitely, anything that involves lying on one’s back?
Simple. You do legs. Throw on a warm jacket and maybe a light toque and gloves. Pull out last season’s sneakers… you won’t care if they get a little muddy.
Give yourself 4-6 weeks to really tone up your legs while you enjoy this preamble to summer. This kick-ass (kick-leg, kick-hip, kick-calf, kick-abs) workout can be done 2-4 times per week, with or without a stroller. Leave a day in between these leg workouts for just walking, running, yoga, etc. Adjust the length by adding more cardio and save time by restricting the cardio to just warm-up and cool-down.
Warm up: 5-10 minutes brisk walking or light jogging
Pause your walk or jog in a safe spot and perform each of the following for 30 seconds:
Squat & Front Kick: if you’ve got a bench available, face away from the bench and tap your butt on each squat. Squat, pushing butt behind you and keeping weight in heels, until thighs are parallel with ground or you tap the bench, then stand and kick high with right leg. Repeat on left and continue alternating for 30 seconds.
Walking Lunge: with or without stroller, step forward into lunge position so back heel is lifted and weight is on front leg. Lower until front thigh is parallel with ground (push butt back so front knee doesn’t push beyond front toes) then press up to standing. Swing rear leg forward into front position and repeat. Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
Jump Squat: squat, pushing butt behind you and keeping weight in heels, until thighs are roughly parallel with ground, then explode upward and jump up (use arms if needed, to propel you). Land softly and return down to squat position to repeat immediately. Continue for 30 seconds as quickly as possible while still squatting low between each jump.
Butt Kicks: jog forward, with or without stroller, keeping good posture while you kick your heels up. Take lots of small steps and focus kicking all the way up to tap your butt with each kick. Continue for 30 seconds.
Cardio: 5-10 minutes brisk walking or jogging.
Repeat the leg circuit & cardio intervals as many times as you have time for. One circuit alone will give your legs a good jolt; 3-5 circuits will give your lower body an amazing endurance workout.
Cool down: 5 minutes easy walking.
Take advantage of the cooler temperatures, which not only force your body to burn more calories while you exercise than you would indoors, but keep you from overheating and actually help you last longer! Besides, you can decide when summer starts for you by enjoying what we’ve got. It could be worse. It could be snowing… Get outside!