Outdoor sports can offer a lot of relief when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. Grinding out miles on a stunning ridgeline trail or tackling a new route at your favorite crag are what so many of us crave, not just for fitness and fun but for our mental and emotional well-being.
If you love to spend time outdoors, indoor workouts can feel a little uninspiring.
That being said, the outdoor community is offering a ton of creative ways to stay in shape for your favorite outdoor sports right now. Top athletes, influencers and experts are using social media to keep you motivated, inspired, and ready to tackle whatever outdoor adventures await.
These workout tips and videos are a great way to mix up your usual routine whenever you’re stuck indoors.
For hikers and runners
If your favorite nearby trail has been closed or you’re responsibly avoiding any potentially crowded paths and trailheads, there are some things you can do at home to maintain your running fitness.
Yassine Diboun, ultrarunner and co-owner of Wy’east Wolfpack in Portland, Oregon, says, “High-intensity interval workouts and Tabata workouts can improve strength, VO2 max, and aerobic strength, which can all really benefit runners.”
Diboun offers a dynamic, 45-minute at-home workout on Youtube, specifically designed for runners. All you’ll need is a mat and a set of dumbbells (if you have them).
Diboun says at-home workouts are good opportunities for runners to focus on the little things, like core work, which can really strengthen your running.
For a workout specifically designed for hikers, check out Chase Mountains on Youtube. His body-weight workout requires zero equipment, and it focuses on giving you an awareness of your full body strength. Moves can be adjusted based on your fitness level and are meant to encourage, “redefining the way that your body moves.”
Professional rock climber Sasha DiGiulian knows you hate to miss out on sending season. But she also knows now is not the time to go to the crags, and most climbing gyms are closed.
DiGiulian shared her at home workout for climbers on Instagram, with a focus on cardio, arms and abs. Gear is needed for some of the exercises, including a jump rope and pull up bar, but alternatives are offered for those who don’t have them. The three sets she shares include burpees, high knees, spider planks and more.
The USA climbing team is also finding creative ways to keep in shape from home. Several of them are demonstrating these new tactics on Instagram. Brooke Raboutou has been getting creative from the confines of her house, using her kitchen counter and other household features to climb on, and Kyra Condie installed a hangboard over her closet door. Condie shares some tips for other climbers who are trying to stay fit at home: “Create a good warm-up routine (it’s hard to fully warm up on just a hangboard, try doing off the wall body weight workouts to get your whole body warm, stretchy bands can be really helpful for this).” DiGiulian also recommends making a playlist of “psych-up music” that will help you tune out the distractions of your house.
For mountain bikers
Do you miss that lower body burn of pushing hard on a single track? If your bike is taking a staycation in the garage, you can still work your legs so they’ll be ready to pedal as soon as you’re able to get back out there.
Kirsten Peterson of Rim Tours in Moab, a mountain biking tour and rental company, recommends squats and lunges. “Squats are great for keeping your quads strong, and adding weights really helps with the extra push type moves you see in mountain biking,” she says. And “lunges, both forward and backward to work different muscle groups,” will keep your legs feeling solid.
Stretching before and after these workouts is important, too. These stretches from Pinkbike are recommended for mountain biking, and keeping up those stretching routines while you’re home is part of staying strong and injury-free. Peterson says she also likes “pigeon pose” and “hip openers.”
Ski mountains have all closed for the season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay strong for next year.
Artist and athlete Rachel Pohl offers a “Workout” highlight reel on her Instagram that’s full of challenging at-home routines for people who miss the powder. Skip ahead to her “Legs and Booty” section which contains a bunch of recommendations for online workouts that have “really helped [Rachel] with skiing.”
This 30-minute ski conditioning workout on Youtube is Pohl's favorite. She says it is “amazing for strengthening your legs, for stabilizing your ankles, hips, and core, and there’s also some cardio!”