Backyard Workout: 7 Exercises for a Full-Body Circuit

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
November 03, 2021

Today, we’re happy to present the Shot of Adrenaline Backyard Workout — an awesome, full-body workout you can do in–you guessed it–your own backyard!

By using your body weight and the ordinary things found in the typical yard, you can create an at-home workout with no equipment and build a lean, toned body.

Why make an outdoor calisthenics workout specifically designed for your grassy sanctuary?

Well, have you ever been locked out of your house? It’s a very helpless feeling, but it’s happened to the best of us. Let’s set the scene:

You approach your front door, reach confidently in your pocket, but past your cell phone, you can’t locate that bunching of familiar, rigid nickel silver that is your keys.

Where are they?! Did you leave them in Steve’s car when you carpooled to work with him? They’re probably still in his glove box.

Thanks a lot, Steve.

Well, no one else is going to be home for about 45 minutes, and Steve isn’t answering your calls (what is that guy’s problem?!).

You’re going to need to do something to kill the time. May as well get a sweat going, right?

OK, that was a really specific example. In truth, the outdoor workout we’ve created is really for anyone looking for a fun calisthenics challenge.

If you’re looking to try new workouts but believe you don’t have the necessary equipment, you’re in for a pleasant surprise!

So with that in mind, it’s time to head to your backyard and get a fast, effective at-home workout.

Some other “backyard workouts” suggest you do things like flip tractor tires, lift full water cooler jugs, and swing sledgehammers.

We’re going to assume that most of you don’t have this equipment at your disposal. Instead, you’ll just be utilizing your own body weight, as well as a few things you’d find in a typical yard.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to make your bench press your lawnmower or anything… like we said, this is still going to be a calisthenics-based workout.

So even though we’re utilizing backyard items, it’s still fully dependant on using just your bodyweight.

Now, if you did in fact lock yourself out, the running around your yard and overturning flower pots and doormats in an attempt to find your spare key should have you warmed up already.

If not, let’s get you nice and loose before we begin.

Warm-Up

This is a full-body workout, so we want to make sure you’re nice and loose from head to toe.

Complete this warm-up before starting the Backyard Workout Circuit.

Swinging Fan — 20 reps
Prayer Stretch — 20 seconds
Warrior — 30 seconds
Standing Quad — 15 seconds/leg
Lunging Calf — 15 seconds/leg
Cradle the Leg — 15 seconds/leg
Jumping Jacks — 15 reps

The Backyard Workout

This challenge is meant to be performed in circuit form.

That means, once you finish all the reps for one exercise, move on to the next exercise on the list.

How many circuits should I do?

That’s up to you! One circuit should take no more than 15-20 minutes. And really, it’s probably closer to about 10-12 minutes if you’re pushing yourself. So if you’ve got time/energy to do more than one, that’s certainly recommended! If you can get 3 circuits finished in about 30 minutes or so, that’s one heck of an outdoor calisthenics workout.

backyard workout infographic

Pull-ups on a tree branch – 8

As we’ve shown you before, there are plenty of alternative ways to do pull-ups if you’re without a standard pull-up bar.

And one way you can get used this old calisthenics stand-by is with a tree branch!

If you’ve got a tree in your backyard, find a sturdy branch on which to grab with both hands and perform a pull-up, just as you would on a standard pull-up bar.

If all the branches on your tree are either too big to hold onto or too weak to support your weight, simply drape a towel over one of the larger branches and do towel pull-ups.

Jump squats w/ wall tap – 15

For a great plyometrics workout, there’s nothing better than jump squats. So we will take this awesome exercise and add a backyard-friendly challenge to it by incorporating roof taps.

What this means is, you’re going to perform a jump squat. This is done by adding an explosive jump out of the traditional squat, an example of which you can see here:

By adding an element of reaching and tapping a high point on your wall (or perhaps the gutter on your roof), you engage even more of your core and create a higher level of difficulty.

Plyometric push-ups on grass – 8

Another great plyometric exercise is going to get your upper body muscles (chest, triceps, core) activated while providing all the added benefits of plyometrics: increased flexibility, strength and power building, increased athleticism, etc.

Plyometric push-ups are done by performing a standard push-up on the descent, then exploding upon the “push” so that your hands leave the ground.

The important thing to remember is that you need a semi-soft surface on which to land. And the grass in your yard is the perfect solution for that!

Find your favorite spot on the lawn (hopefully not your dog’s favorite spot, if you catch our drift) and crank them out!

Fence plank – 30 seconds

In order to get your core activated, we’re going to add a challenging twist to one of our favorite core exercises. For this, you’ll be pressing your feet against your fence or a wall of your house.

Begin facing away from the fence or wall on your hands and knees, with your hands out slightly further than your shoulders.

Place your feet on the fence or wall, one at a time, so that your legs are fully extended and your body is straight (your feet can be a bit higher than the rest of your body, as long as your body stays straight). You should feel immediate tension in your core area.

Hold for 30 seconds, and dismount from the wall one foot at a time.

Wall sits – 1 minute

This is one exercise that’s sure to have you nice and sore the next day. Wall sits are a great way to activate your quads, calves, and glutes.

You can use either your yard fence or a wall of your house, preferably whichever is less rough.

Position yourself in a sitting position with your back against your wall. Squat down so that your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Hold for one minute.

Flowerpot push-ups – 12

Got some extra flower pots lying around? If so, they’re a great tool for extended range of motion (EROM).

EROM exercises allow you to utilize a muscle’s full range of motion as opposed to just the exercise’s typical range of motion.

So EROM push-ups will provide more of a challenge than the traditional form.

You’ll be using the flower pots by turning them upside down and placing your hands firmly on the base of the pots. Your hands should be the normal distance apart for push-ups.

With your feet on the ground directly behind you (can be together or shoulder-length apart for more balance), lower your chest down so that it goes below the level of your hands. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

If you don’t have empty flower pots at your disposal, you can use buckets, chairs, stacks of bricks… really anything that will firmly support your body weight and allow for that exaggerated range of motion.

Isometric Hose Curls – 45 seconds

Unravel that garden hose and get ready for a very unique and challenging bodyweight arms workout.

No, you don’t have to water the lawn, though you certainly have that option afterward, if you choose.

You may have seen a variation of this exercise with a towel.

Since this is the backyard workout, we’re going to go with the hose, though the results will be the same.

Lay the hose out so there is plenty of slack (you’ll probably need 6 feet or so). Place your right foot firmly over the middle of the hose and use both hands to pick it up from either side, while keeping your foot on the ground.

At this point, you should be holding the hose on both sides, palms facing up, with your arms at about a 90-degree angle.

There should be no slack in the hose and your right foot holding the middle point of the hose on the ground.

Essentially, the hose should look like the letter ‘V’ with your foot in the middle and one hand on each side.

You will then begin pulling up with your hands just as you would a bicep curl.

Of course, in this exercise your arms won’t be moving — like the wall sit and the fence plank, it’s a completely isometric exercise.

Pull hard for 45 seconds and focus on not moving your elbows. You should feel the tension in your biceps and forearms.

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