6 Ways to Turn Your City Into a Gym

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Have More Fun, Get Stellar Results

Jenn Pattee, Basic Training
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

This sequence is designed and executed by Jennifer Pattee, founder of Basic Training and pioneer of urban fitness. It’s a simple and effective way to have more fun with working out. Jenn's secret? She doesn’t train in the gym. Instead, she uses her city. It's a basic way to incorporate more fitness and fun into a daily routine, without spending extra time and money in gyms and studios.

Jenn’s workouts, much like the sequence provided, target all the major muscle groups in the body by performing short, effective bursts that you can do on your coffee break. You don’t even need to change out of your work clothes. For more information about Jenn and Basic Training, go to http://www.basictrainingsf.com/ and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vimeo.

The following moves don’t require any equipment, just basic infrastructure you can commonly find in offices, plazas and city streets. You’ll need a handrail, crosswalk sign, and jump rope. Click through the slideshow above or hit the "show all" option below to see the workout in action.

About Jenn Pattee

Featured in O Magazine, Outside, Sunset, and San Francisco Magazine, Jennifer Pattee is a competitive ultrarunner, outdoor fitness maven, and relentless pursuer of playtime. She founded San Francisco’s Basic Training in 2008 to fill a void she noticed in the fitness world: A program geared to those who join an outdoor training program with modest goals, only to discover their innate athletic ability. For her, that modest goal was weight loss (fifteen pounds) but it soon turned into marathons, 50Ks, adventure races, triathlons, and hundred-mile ultra marathons. Every morning and evening, she and her team of instructors take groups of dedicated amateur athletes through scenic trail runs and innovative cross-training routines designed to increase endurance, flexibility, core strength and speed. While they’re moving their bodies, her clients often overcome fears, discover a healthy sense of play, and find the inspiration and courage they need to translate those well-earned endorphins into positive change in other aspects of their lives.

Even if you don’t live in San Francisco, you can follow along with Jenn’s workout and ignite your inner athlete wherever you live with the workout above using plenty of other basic urban objects that you pass by everyday. You can add exercise into your schedule by changing something as simple as your commute to work by jogging (there are great running backpacks to carry your laptop). An urban workout is also a great way to build camaraderie in the workplace. Meet up during your lunch break or after work and hit the streets using the workout provided. This will increase accountability and you'll actually have fun!

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Jump Rope

Jump Rope
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Start your workout with a 10-minute jump rope session. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can use lines of the sidewalk as targets by jumping side to side.

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Pushups

Pushups
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar. Next, walk your feet back until your body forms a straight diagonal line between shoulders and heels. Slowly bend your elbows until your chest touches the bar. Push your body back to the start position.

Perform: 1 set, 15 repetitions

Tip: This move can also be done on the sidewalk or using a bench, picnic table or other horizontal objects.

4
Australian Rows/Pull Ups

Australian Row/Pushup
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Grasp a horizontal bar and lower yourself so that the bar is above your chest using an overhand grip. Keep both legs stretched out with your heels on the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up toward the bar, with your elbows pointing out, until your chest touches it. Lower back down slowly.

Perform: 1 set, 15 repetitions

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Side Planks

Side Plank
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Start with a regular plank. Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below the shoulders, arms parallel to the body at shoulder-width distance. Hold, and after 30 seconds, switch to a side plank. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Turn around so that you're lying on your right side and repeat.

Perform: 3 sets (one per side), 30 second reps

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One-Leg Squats

One-Leg Squat
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Stand with your arms extended onto the bar. Balance yourself on one leg and lower your hips by slowly bending you knee as if you were going to sit in a chair. Press down into the heel of your planted leg, and make sure your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Only go as low as feels comfortable. From this position, lift the opposite leg out straight. Return to standing.

Perform: 1 Set, 10 repetitions per leg

Tip: This can also be done on light posts, street signs and other vertical objects.

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Chin Ups

Chin Ups
Jenn Pattee, Basic Training

Using crosswalk sign or tree, jump and pull yourself up with the goal of getting your chin parallel to the bar.

Perform: 1 set, holding as long as you can before releasing

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