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Most people know that you can improve your physical fitness in an indoor (home) gym. Luckily there are also equipment options to exercise outdoors.
Exercise can offer you a variety of benefits that include weight control, longevity, better sleep, better cardiovascular health, building muscle, and many more.
Working out indoors at a (home) gym is a popular way to do this but you can also combine your daily dose of sunlight and fresh air with a workout outdoors.
Outdoor bodyweight exercises can already offer a lot of benefits but using the right equipment can be more fun and offer more results in a shorter amount of time.
When talking about outdoor exercise equipment you likely want something that is resistant to weather conditions. Even so, many of the equipment options on this list are still preferably stored inside and/or used in good weather conditions.
Also keep in mind that even though there are upsides, like with any exercise there is always a certain injury risk. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.
1. Jump rope
A jump rope is simply a rope that can be used to jump over at a fast pace. At first, it can be hard to imagine that a small piece of cardio exercise equipment like this can be a good option for outdoor workouts.
However, jumping rope is a great way to get a variety of exercise benefits at home, outside, or in the gym. Some of these include burning a lot of calories, improving cardiovascular health, improving lung health, engaging muscles, improving coordination and balance, etc.
On top of that, a jump rope is definitely one of the cheaper outdoor exercise equipment options on this list. It also requires basically no storage space and you can bring it with you wherever you go.
One thing to keep in mind is that jumping rope can be relatively rough on body parts like knees and back.
As long as you don’t overdo it this can lead to stronger bones but your injury risk does become higher. Jumping on a softer surface like a grass field or an exercise mat can also be helpful.
Something else to remember is that to use a jump rope to its full extent you may need to go through a learning period. Initially, the rope may hit your feet a lot.
2. Weighted vest
A weighted vest is basically its name, a vest with extra weight to make your exercises harder.
You can use it to make cardio exercises like running, high knees, or jumping jacks harder. But you can also make bodyweight strength training exercises like pushups, squats, and pike pushups more challenging with a weighted vest.
One of the benefits of a weighted vest as a piece of outdoor fitness equipment is that it is extremely versatile. You can use it in many exercises for many body parts and different exercise categories.
One potential downside is that you likely want to store your weighted vest inside. However, even for this, a weighted vest is great since it is so compact. This piece of fitness equipment also has a medium price tag.
3. Traditional free weights
More traditional free weights mean standard fitness equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, and a barbell.
The reason these deserve a separate category is that they are not the most ideal outdoor exercise equipment but at the same time they do deserve a spot on the list.
Steel workout equipment does not do well in the rain or on wet grass since this makes things like dumbbells and kettlebells rust.
At the same time, these fitness equipment options are still a great way to make most resistance training exercises more challenging.
So if you have the storage space inside and live in a place with generally good weather, you can consider these traditional free weights.
A benefit of free weights is that they generally last an extremely long time. One dumbbell can potentially improve your workouts for many years and potentially even decades.
On top of that, many free weights do not really lose their value. This means that if you decide to stop using dumbbells or other free weights you can likely sell them for a very similar price as what you put into them.
One disadvantage is that free weights often require a slightly bigger investment compared to the more short-term outdoor fitness equipment options on this list.
4. Outdoor power tower
A tower power is basically a pull-up bar, captain’s chair, and dip bars combined into one piece of exercise equipment. Most models are made to use inside but there are also outdoor power towers that are more weather-resistant.
This allows you to do typical power tower exercises like pull-ups, dips, leg raises, etc. outdoors. Unless you are really advanced these exercises will focus on muscle strength and endurance.
A benefit of outdoor power towers is that they enable resistance training for a variety of body parts. This piece of equipment is also made to last a long time.
A downside of power towers, especially the outdoor ones, is that they come at a relatively steep price.
The outdoor models also generally do not have the soft back support of a captain’s chair since this would not be resistant to bad weather conditions.
5. Medicine ball
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is made from relatively soft material and doesn’t bounce that well.
This piece of outdoor fitness equipment can be used in throwing exercises, as regular resistance in weight training, in balance training, etc.
You can use medicine balls in weather conditions like rain but at the same time, you likely want to store them in a dry place so they last longer.
A benefit of medicine balls is that they are very versatile. There are not many pieces of fitness equipment that allow you to do throwing exercises.
At the same time, you can also use it to make cardiovascular workouts more challenging. Additionally, medicine balls are relatively inexpensive.
A downside of medicine balls is that they are often not great for one-handed exercises. This makes it easier to use one side of your body more than the other which can lead to muscle imbalances.
6. Outdoor battle ropes
Battle ropes are heavy ropes that you anchor somewhere. You use this equipment by swinging the ropes back and forth in a variety of ways for a variety of body parts.
Many models are mainly for indoor usage but there are also models that are suited for outdoor use.
Depending on how strong you are and how heavy the outdoor battle ropes are, using this piece of equipment can be a cardio or strength training workout.
A benefit of battle ropes is that many people consider them a more fun way to work out than running a 5k or moving a dumbbell up and down in exactly the same way.
A potential downside is that you need a sturdy anchor like a tree to anchor the battle ropes. Something else to remember is that their resistance is not very adjustable unless you buy multiple battle ropes. Storing this piece of equipment inside may increase how long you can use it.
7. Training sled
A training sled is a steel construction that can hold weight. These come in two main types. The big prowler sleds weigh 64.6 pounds (29.30 kg) on average but models will vary.
The smaller models come with a harness that requires you to pull the sled, others are pushing-only.
Training sleds are mainly for training sprints in a straight line on a grass field, track field, or similar surface. For short turns this piece of outdoor exercise equipment is not suited.
Using a training sled can help you improve muscle power which in turn can increase your sprinting speed. It will also just get your heart beating faster which in turn can lead to many benefits as long as you don’t overdo it.
A potential downside of this option is that the best training sleds can be relatively pricey for such a specific workout. Especially since you need extra weights to put on top of the sled.
Using a training sled can also influence your running gait slightly.
8. Agility ladder
An agility ladder is a rope with plastic ladder rungs that are horizontal to each other. To use it you put this agility ladder on the ground.
After that, you can jog/run over it facing forward, backward, or sideways. You can also do specific step sequences.
This piece of outdoor fitness equipment is mainly for improving your agility and speed although it can certainly help you get in a good cardio workout too.
Something more unique about the agility ladder compared to the other equipment options on this list is that it is inexpensive, compact to store, and easy to bring with you to your favorite outdoor exercise site.
9. Workout sandbags
There are workout sandbags that can be used as a piece of outdoor fitness equipment. Certain types can be used for throwing but sandbags are mainly for creating resistance in a wide variety of resistance training exercises.
A running or agility training session with sandbags will also definitely get your heart beating faster than the same workout without sandbags.
Sandbags are a great outdoor-friendly way to add a relatively high amount of resistance to your strength training exercises. Especially for training strong body parts like your legs and back, this can be helpful.
One potential downside of sandbags is that you do likely want to store them inside. Some models will also absorb and retain water relatively easy.
All in all, good workout sandbags are a great option to make your outdoor resistance training exercises more challenging. Both in good or bad weather conditions.
10. Outdoor pull-up bar
A pull-up bar is simply a horizontal bar you can use to do pull-ups or other outdoor calisthenics exercises. The outdoor versions are made to be more resistant to different types of weather conditions.
You can definitely also get an outdoor power tower instead of only a pull-up bar but this option is generally cheaper.
Pull-ups are a great way to train the strong back muscles at home. There are also many hanging core exercises.
A downside of outdoor pull-up bars is that it can be a challenge to set them up. Often you need a sturdy tree or drill holes in a wall to attach the pull-up bar.
Many stand-alone pull-up bars are preferably stored inside so not ideal for outdoor conditions.
How much does outdoor exercise equipment cost?
The price of outdoor exercise equipment can vary from less than 10 dollars for a jump rope to a few 100 dollars for an outdoor power tower. You can find many good options in the 25-75 dollar price range.
What kind of equipment do you need for outdoor fitness?
Bodyweight exercises without any equipment can offer a lot of benefits. That being said, especially for strong muscles like legs, back, and chest, equipment like a weighted vest, outdoor-friendly free weights, and a pull-up bar can be good for outdoor fitness training.
How do you use outdoor exercise equipment?
Specific outdoor exercise machines are each used in their own specific ways. If you have more general outdoor exercise equipment you use it by doing certain specific exercises with the equipment.
What outdoor exercise can I do?
Most indoor exercises can be done outside too. Some examples include lunges, pushups, running, cycling, squats, etc.