Amy’s Learning About – The Science of Outdoor Exercise


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Get outdoors and get fit, naturally

The outdoors is the perfect place to exercise! Who needs a stuffy gym full of machinery to get fit? Head out to your local outdoor Multi-gym for some exercise outside or just make up your own exercises! Nature offers some great materials that you could use and here’s some ideas to get you started, along with the science of the exercise.

  1. Bicep Curls

All you need for this exercise are two largish rocks! Hold one in each hand, palm up, and draw your hands up towards your shoulders. When your arms are fully bent and your hands are nearly touching your shoulders, bring you arms back down so they are adjacent to your body. Don’t choose a rock that’s too big and heavy and means you can only do a couple of lifts. Choose one that you can do three sets of ten with, with short breaks in between. This exercise isn’t about straining your muscles and overusing them – it’s about slowly building up their strength.

  1. Tricep dips

You’ll really feel your arms burning when you try these! Find two boulders that are securely in place and are about the width of your shoulders apart. Crouch down and place your hand on each of them so your arms are bent and you’re facing upwards. Put your weight on your arms and try and straighten your elbows. It’s a bit like doing an upside-down press-up. When you’ve done that, lower yourself down again so that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Keep repeating this but, again, don’t push yourself too far.

The Science of Muscles

Biceps pic
When you’re doing these, the muscles you’re exercising are your Biceps and Triceps, as the exercises’ names may suggest. Biceps and Triceps make up the area of your arm above the elbow, with Biceps on the top, Triceps on the bottom. These muscles are Antagonistic, meaning they work against each other.

Muscles can only pull so, in order for the arm to be able to move, you need two working at the same time. When you move your hand towards your shoulder, the Biceps are pulling your arm up and your Triceps are relaxing. When you move your arm back down, your Biceps relax and your Triceps pull. And that’s how your arm moves!

Image credit: es.wikipedia.org

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