Make use of whatever outdoor space you’ve got with this garden workout from OrangeTheory Fitness head coach Sean Johnson…

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“You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how tough you can make a home workout and what progress you can make even in a small outdoor garden,” says Johnson.

“Bodyweight movements will become your ally. And if you want to increase your resistance for packing on muscle that little bit faster, get creative with what you can find in the house or the shed: a big bottle of water or your wife’s favourite vase will work just fine.

“Don’t forget, it’s still a weight – it just doesn’t look like a dumbbell!

“Try to take a full body approach,” he says. “This will help keep those muscle groups firing on all cylinders and elicit a calorie burn as well.

“The fluctuation of lactic acid up and down the body will stimulate the growth hormone which will aid muscle growth.”

Outdoor Garden Workouts

garden workout – Men's Fitness UK

Jump Squat | Photo: Sean Johnson


Equipment: Garden Chair

1a. Bulgarian Split Squat

Reps: 10 (each leg)
Rest: notraight into 1b

  • Stand in front of your chair, with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Position one foot on the chair and the other foot around 1ft in front.
  • Keeping your rear foot as static as possible, lift your chest and bend your front knee until your front quad is parallel to the ground. (Make sure you are stood far enough away from the chair to ensure your knee doesn’t extend beyond your front toes during the lunge.)
  • Drive back up to the start and repeat 9 more times.
  • Too easy? Hold a weight in each hand.

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1b. Step-Up

Reps: 10 (each leg)
Rest: straight into 1c

  • Make sure the chair is sturdy enough to support your full weight.
  • Stand in front of the chair and place one foot on it.
  • Engage your glutes and quads to drive through the elevated leg and bring the other leg to standing.
  • Keep the elevated foot on the chair and return your other foot to the floor.
  • Repeat the movement with the same leg for 9 more reps, then repeat on the other side.

1c. Tap Squat

Reps: 20
Rest: straight into 1d

  • Stand facing away from the chair, with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Keep your head up, shoulders pinned back and core braced, then hinge at the hips to squat down.
  • Squat until your backside lightly touches the chair (don’t fully sit down), then drive back up to standing.
  • Add weight to make them move more challenging.

1d. Jump Squat

Reps: 20
Rest: 60 secs, then repeat the circuit
Sets: 3-4

  • Repeat the movements for the Tap Squat, but without the chair behind you.
  • Instead of simply returning to standing, explosively drive through your heels to perform a mini-jump on your way back up (don’t jump too high, to keep tension in your quads).
  • As you land, immediately squat back down and repeat.


Equipment: Chair & 2 Full Tins of Paint

1a. Bicep Curl (with paint tins)

Reps: 12
Rest: straight into 1b

  • You might want to use duct tape on the handles for better grip/comfort. (Also, make sure the lids are on properly.)
  • Grab both tins by the handles, with palms facing away from your body.
  • Curl both tins up, keeping your elbows fixed, and squeeze your biceps at the top.
  • Return with control.

1b. High Row (with paint tins)

Reps: 12 
straight into 1c

  • Begin with your hips back and chest up, holding a pair of paint tins just above your knees.
  • Drive your hips forward and drag the weights up in the air, so your elbows flare out and the tins come to around chest height.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the move with elbows wide.
  • Return to the start position and go again.

1c. Alternating Press-Up (with paint tin)

Reps: 12 (each side)
straight into 1d

  • Assume a press-up position, with one palm on top of the paint tin, the other on the floor.
  • Perform one press-up, then swap hands and perform a press-up with the opposite hand on the tin.
  • To make the move harder, ‘jump’ each hand onto the tin.

1d. Tricep Dip (with chair)

Reps: 12 
60 secs, then repeat the circuit
Sets: 3-4

  • Stand facing away from the chair.
  • Sit down and grip the edge of the chair with both hands.
  • Extend your legs straight in front and hinge at the elbows to dip down as low as you can.
  • Drive back up until your arms are extended and repeat.
  • For added resistance, place the paint tin (or any weighted object) on your lap.


Related: Best full-body dumbbell workout to try at home

Equipment: Lump of Wood/Bag of Soil & 1 Large Plant Pot

1a. Squat Thruster (with wood or soil)

Reps: 10
straight into 1b

  • Hold the lump of wood or bag of soil at chest height.
  • Do a deep squat, keeping your back in good alignment.
  • Drive up through your heels and punch the object straight up in the air.
  • Drop down into the next squat and repeat the process.

1b. Sumo Squat (with plant pot)

Reps: 10
Rest: straight into 1c

  • Hold a plant pot at chest height.
  • Stand with a wide stance and toes at 45-degree angles.
  • Keep your chest up and core engaged as you drop into a squat.
  • Keep going until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Drive back up through your heels.

1c. Burpee to Jump Over

Reps: 10
60 secs, then repeat the circuit
Sets: 3-4

  • Place the bag of soil or any object on the floor to one side of you.
  • Bend your knees and place your palms flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your feet together, thrust them out then back in again. (Make the move harder by lowering your chest to the ground as well.)
  • Drive yourself up and instead of jumping straight into the air, perform a hop over the object on the floor.
  • Bend your knees as you land and go straight into the next burpee, then reverse the jump.


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