My Top 5: Awesome Outdoor Workout Spots in Philly (With Workouts for Each!) 

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Trainer Jordan Hankins making the most of Cira Green (Don't try this at home kids.)

Trainer Jordan Hankins making the most of Cira Green (Don’t try this at home, kids).

While the sun seems a bit reluctant to shine these days, all other signs say outdoor workout season has arrived: Dilworth Park has had their free Spring Training fitness classes[1] going for the past few weeks, all sorts of outdoor yoga has kicked off (here[2] and here[3], to name a few places to get your downward dog on), and the Schuylkill River Trail is oh-so-busy come 5 p.m.

So, for days when you want to squeeze in an outdoor workout without taking a workout class, we got Jordan Hankins (remember the trainer from that insane Art Museum video[4]? That’s him), training director at Weston Fitness[5], to dish on his top five outdoor spots around Philly to squeeze in an awesome outdoor workout. And being the helpful gent he is, he even included some ready-made workouts for you! (Bonus: Most of them just take about 20 minutes.) Check out his top five spots for outdoor workouts in Philly, plus the workouts, below.

 

Race Street Pier | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Race Street Pier | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Race Street Pier[6]
“While a popular destination for yoga, Race Street Pier is also a great place to stop and get your interval workout in. Start with flat sprints at the beginning of the pathway’s grassy cutout to the end of the pier (about a 40-yard dash). Repeat five to 10 times, then make your way over to the stacked seating area and perform five rounds of 10 push-ups (Place your hands on the first step of the base or on the ground) and 10 alternating step-ups or step jumps onto the first step of the seating area. Finish with core work by lying down one of the steps to complete three rounds of lying leg lifts, seated Russian twists, and side planks. Do each of those exercises for 45 seconds each with 15 seconds recovery between each exercise. After you’re done, kick back, relax, and enjoy the view. This workout should take no more than 20 minutes.”

Your Move sculpture | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Your Move sculpture | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Your Move Sculpture at the Municipal Services Building
“While this area can get busy during the day, it is designed as a game board with pieces from the games like Sorry, Dominos, Chess and Monopoly, which makes it great for working out. The flat Dominos are a great height for anything plyometric: You can do low-impact step-ups or high-intensity jumps using these pieces. Start your workout on the Domino with 10 reps of one burpee followed by one box jump-or step-up. After this, perform 10 elevated deck squats: squat down until you’re seated on the domino, slowly roll back your chest forward so that you’re sitting straight up, then stand back up. Finish with 30 seconds of stationary mountain climbers.Complete this circuit for five rounds and you’ve got a nice, quick lunch-break workout.”

The hidden side steps at the Art Museum | Photo by Jordan Hankins

The hidden side steps at the Art Museum | Photo by Jordan Hankins

The Art Museum (But not the front steps!)
“The Art Museum has become saturated with boot camps at the front steps and even the back steps during the weekends, so finding space can be problematic. Rather than skipping your interval stair workout, opt for the somewhat hidden pathway to the left side of the front steps that features an incline and double staircase. Start your workout with incline sprints, starting at the base. When you get to the top of the incline, perform 10 burpees or squat thrusts and immediately continue with double leg hops on every step of the first staircase (or every other). When you get to the top of the staircase, perform 10 push-ups on the ground or on an incline. Then do a lateral shuffle on the second staircase (perform shuffle in one direction, return to the base, and then switch and perform facing the other direction). Perform this circuit five times for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Required: when you are finished, run upthe Rocky steps like all the tourists do and relax while looking over the Philly skyline.”

The boulders along the Schuylkill River Trail | Photo by Jordan Hankins

The boulders along the Schuylkill River Trail | Photo by Jordan Hankins

The Schuylkill River Trail [7]
“Besides connecting you to many great spots on this list, the SRT features some areas for unconventional training. My favorite are the boulders that are set up between the Chestnut and Market Street bridges. Uneven surfaces provide a way for us to work on balance and spatial orientation and these boulders have multiple heights that are great for all strength levels. If you are lacking upper body strength, start on a higher boulder. Start your workout with 10 boulder push-ups with a rotation at the top of each push-up, reaching up to the sky (make sure your hips and shoulders rotate together). After your push-ups, perform 20 squats, touching your butt to a boulder that allows you to get your quads legs parallel to the ground. This will act as a gauge to make sure you are squatting low enough. Finish with a staircase sprint up to street level, then run back down. Complete five Rounds for a total of 50 push-ups and 100 squats. This workout will take approximately 20 minutes.”

Cira Green | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Cira Green | Photo by Jordan Hankins

Cira Green[8]
“Cira Green is the city’s first elevated park that sits on top of Cira Center South’s parking garage. Besides being a relaxing place to go eat lunch or take your dog for a run, the design offers some great features to get a sweat sesh in. When you walk up the incline from the parking garage to enter Cira Green, there will be a grassy incline to your right. Start your workout at the base of this incline with a bear crawl on a fours to the top of the incline. When you get to the top, reverse your bear crawl and make your way down the incline. After your bear crawl, perform 20 squat jumps and repeat for five rounds, taking 30 seconds of recovery in between each round. Cira Green also offers multiple step heights and railings, perfect for push-ups, that make it easy for someone of any  fitness level to get a workout in. You can keep your workout brief because, chances are, you ran there from somewhere and you’ll be running back.”

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Endnotes:
  1. free Spring Training fitness classes: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2016/03/30/free-fitness-dilworth-park/
  2. here: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2016/02/24/spring-is-coming-dates-announced-for-free-outdoor-yoga-at-race-street-pier/
  3. here: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2016/04/05/yoga-on-the-banks-schedule/
  4. that insane Art Museum video: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2016/04/20/philly-trainer-walks-down-steps-hands/
  5. Weston Fitness: http://westonfit.com
  6. Race Street Pier: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Race+Street+Pier/@39.9533537,-75.1419877,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c6c8890c144559:0x9e23c0e7c3652589!8m2!3d39.9533537!4d-75.139799
  7. The Schuylkill River Trail : https://www.google.com/maps/search/chestnut+street+bridge+schuylkill+river+trail/@39.9525541,-75.1830281,17z/data=!3m1!4b1
  8. Cira Green: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cira+Green/@39.9530157,-75.18603,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c6c64f4a930ccb:0x2b617c034c5f3bde!8m2!3d39.9530157!4d-75.1838413
  9. Be Well Philly Boot Camp: https://www.phillymag.com/bewellbootcamp/
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Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2016/05/12/best-outdoor-workout-spots-philly/