5 Exercises You Can Do on a Bench
There’s no need to waste another sunny spring day on an indoor workout. Instead, hit the great outdoors, find a park bench (or stable platform), and get to sweating. The benefit, besides some energy-boosting, stress-busting fresh air? “A bench is a very versatile tool that can really up your fitness game,” explains Courtney Paul, creator of CPXperience and fitness and creative coordinator at Liftonic, a boutique weight-training studio in New York City. “It can be used for cardio, strength, and even endurance-style training.” Try these moves, put together by Paul, which hit all major body parts (core, too!), as well as shore up your balance and stability.
One + a Half Step-Up
Start with left foot on bench and right foot on ground (A). Pushing through left heel, step up to full extension (B); right foot does not touch bench. Slowly lower down to “A” and then immediately push into left heel, coming up halfway and tapping toes of right foot on bench (C). Lower back to “A,” and then repeat sequence for 60 seconds.
Triceps Dip + Toe Touch
Sit on the edge of the bench with hands shoulder-width apart; slide butt off bench. Slowly bend elbows to a 90-degree angle (A); hold for 1 second. Push through left tricep as you kick left leg straight out and twist core, reaching right hand out to left foot (B). Repeat on opposite side. Alternate for 60 seconds.
Step-Up + Reverse Lunge
Begin with right foot on bench and left foot on ground (A). Push into right foot to come to full extension; raise left knee to a 90-degree angle (B). Step back with left leg, bending knees to lower into a reverse lunge (C). Return to "B," and then repeat "C." Continue for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.
Reverse Mountain Climbers
Start on all fours facing away from bench. Prop feet on bench, lift knees, and slowly walk hands out to a plank (A); keep core tight, hips tucked, and hands under shoulders. Twist right knee toward left elbow (B). Return right foot to bench, and then repeat motion with left knee and right elbow. Continue alternating for 60 seconds.
Sit on bench, with hands next to hips. Keeping butt glued to seat, lean torso back slightly and lift feet, elevating legs straight out in front of you (A). Draw knees in toward torso as you crunch up with upper body (B). Lower back to “A” and repeat for 60 seconds.