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Crank Up Your Intensity on Fitness Trails

Take advantage of the great outdoors and turn a trail hike into a full-body workout with simple variations of staple exercises.

Pull-up Variations

When it’s time to hit the pull-up bar, pump up your lats with these variations. Variation One: Pull-up bar hangs are a simple way to incorporate a solid stretch for the shoulders and lat muscles in the back. With an overhand grip, grab the bar with your hands at shoulder-width and let all of your weight fall. Remain in the hanging position as long as possible for three sets. Rest for 60 seconds in between sets. To slightly increase the challenge, perform small “partial reps” as you hang. Variation Two: The wide grip pull-up will work wonders for adding width to the back and also engage the rear deltoid. Grab the bar extra wide with a traditional overhand grip, fully hang from the bar and complete as many pull ups as possible for a total of three sets. Rest for 60 seconds in between sets. Variation Three: The alternating arm pull-up is a great way to work each lat individually while making the exercise more interesting. From the traditional wide grip pull-up position, favor one side and pull yourself up so your chin finishes over the dominant hand. Slowly return to the beginning position and lift yourself to the other side. Perform as many reps as possible on each side for a total of three sets. Rest 60 seconds in between sets.

 

Dip Variations

Dips stations are another useful amenity of fitness trails that provide several options for hitting the chest, shoulders and triceps. Variation One: Place one hand on each bar and stand in between them. Raise your body up, cross your legs behind you and slowly lower and raise yourself up and down. If you lean forward during the motion you will concentrate on the chest, if you remain in an upright position, more emphasis will be placed on the triceps. Try performing three sets to complete failure with 60 seconds rest in between. Variation Two: Dip walking is a technique to go from one end of the bar to the next while holding your body weight up in the traditional dip position. Start at one end of the bar, push yourself up and “walk” with your hands to the other end of the bar. Try going back and forth as many times as possible. Perform three sets of dip walks with 60 seconds rest in between. Variation Three: Fire up your entire upper body and arms with dip hops. The hop is performed by using both hands at the same time to “hop” you along the bar. Try hopping back and forth as many times as possible. Perform three sets of dip hops with 60 seconds rest in between.

 

Leg Raise Variations

When it’s time to get in core work, the leg raise station provides a number of options. Variation One: The full leg raise will hit the entire abdominal area. Start by laying down on the inclined bench, grab a hold of the bar or bench behind your head. Slowly raise your legs up all the way until they are perpendicular to the ground. Perform as many reps as possible for three sets. Rest 60 seconds in between sets. Variation Two: Leg raise twists will help engage the oblique muscles by slowly turning and rotation one leg across the other during the lift. Begin to turn your legs and midsection as soon as you start lifting your legs. After completing a full range of motion on one side, perform the twist to the other side. Perform as many reps as possible for three sets. Rest 60 seconds in between sets. Variation Three: Nothing will test and challenge the endurance of your core more than a static hold version of the leg raise. When in position for a traditional leg raise, hold the motion for as long as possible when you feel the most strain in your midsection. Prepare yourself for serious abdominal fatigue after these. Perform three sets of static hold leg raises with 60 seconds rest in between.

You can follow Mike on Twitter: @Mike_Simone_MF

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