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man using bench press in an outdoor gym

Upper Body Workout Plan

How to have a great Upper Body Workout at an Outdoor Gym

man using pull down challenger in an outdoor gym

4th May 2021

A good upper body workout targets the six major muscle groups in the upper body, the Pectorals (chest), Rhomboids (upper back), Deltoids (outer shoulder), Latissimus Dorsi (back), Triceps (back of upper arm) and Biceps (front of upper arm). 

A strong upper body is good for more than just opening the occasional stubborn jam jar. Regular upper body exercise improves muscle strength, posture, promotes bone health, protects the joints by increasing muscle mass around them, improves flexibility, reduces your risk of injury, and burns calories.

As well as the immediate physical benefits, exercising your upper body releases feel-good chemicals, improving your overall brain function and mental health, building up your self-esteem, and decreasing stress levels.

To feel the amazing physical and mental health benefits an upper body workout can provide, why not get out to your nearest park and try out some of the Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym equipment. It’s sociable, fun, easy to use and completely free. 

Pull Down Challenger

The Pull Down Challenger is designed to strengthen and tone the back, the shoulder muscles and build upper body strength in general. It’s easy to use and can be used with a partner or alone.  

By changing your grip when using this piece of equipment you can perform different types of exercises. Neutral and lateral pull downs can be done by sitting facing the Pull Down Challenger. Grasping the handles with your palms, once you are comfortable, fully extend your arms upward to feel a slight stretch in your lats and then contract them while pulling down to your upper chest. At the end of this movement, your shoulder blades should be pinched together with your elbows back and the handles at chest level. Slowly reverse this motion to return to your starting position and repeat until you’ve completed your desired number of reps. 

To perform reverse pull downs on the Pull Down Challenger, sit with your back facing the equipment and grasp the handles, just within your shoulder width. Once you are in position, depress your shoulder blades, flex your elbows, and extend your shoulders, before pulling the handles towards your body until your elbows are in line with your torso. Then lower the handles back slowly to your starting position and, again, repeat for your goal number of reps. Take a look at our Pull Down Challenger Video on the Fresh Air Fitness YouTube account to get even more ideas.  

Neutral and lateral pull downs will work a number of upper body muscles including your lats, biceps, triceps and the posterior deltoids. Reverse pull downs will strengthen your back, shoulders, biceps, and forearms. These exercises promote good posture and spinal stability and will release endorphins to boost your overall mental health. 

You can find the Pull Down Challenger as a stand along product, as part of our Combi and also as a station on our Big Rig.

Arm & Pedal Bike

Specifically designed for adults to improve flexibility, core strength and cardio fitness, the Arm and Pedal Bike, is a great piece of equipment to exercise the arms, the core and the legs, providing both an excellent upper body and lower body workout. 

Hop on, set your own pace, and cycle using your legs and arms either simultaneously or separately. Fresh Air Fitness recommends beginners try 2 minutes on the Arm and Pedal Bike, intermediate users start with 4 minutes and advanced users can try 6 minutes. 

Exercising on the Arm and Pedal Bike will build strength in the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, improving your balance, posture, and coordination. 

Cycling is great for a warmup, cool down or part of a regular routine. Regular cycling motion stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, strengthens your heart, lowers your resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels. Take a look at our Arm & Pedal Bike Video on the Fresh Air Fitness YouTube channel. 

Resistance Bench Press

The Resistance Bench Press is just like a bench press found in an indoor gym, allowing users to set their difficulty level from 1-11, making it suitable for all abilities. This excellent piece of equipment exercises the arms, shoulders, and chest, perfect for an upper body workout.

When using this piece of equipment, it is important to keep your core engaged and to have the bar directly above your chest. When you are positioned correctly, grasp the handles, push up your arms and bring them down in a slow and controlled manner, breathing out on the way up and in on the way down. If you are performing this exercise correctly, you should feel this in your shoulders and across your chest. Fresh Air Fitness recommends beginners do 3 sets of 5 reps, intermediate users do 3 sets of 10 reps, and advanced users do 3 sets of 15 reps. 

Exercising with the Resistance Bench Press will increase your upper body strength in general, improve your muscle endurance, prepare your upper body for other movements such as push ups and release endorphins to boost your mood. Take a look at our Resistance Bench Press Video on the Fresh Air Fitness YouTube channel. 

Using these three versatile pieces of outdoor fitness equipment provides an excellent upper body workout, targeting all of the six major muscle groups of the upper body, and providing you with a huge range of physical and mental health benefits. 

To try this upper body workout for yourself, head down to your local Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym.

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