The forest as a gym – a five-point workout for a jogging path

Metsä kuntosalina – viiden kohdan treeni lenkkipolulle

There has been a lot of talk about the beneficial effects of forests recently. You can get more power for moving in the forest by adding a muscle fitness workout along with Lenkkipolu. In fact, the forest is a great gym. Stones, stumps, tree trunks and branches serve as tools in the forest's own hall.

Suitable stone blocks can be used as weight for both squatting and upper body movements, extensor dips or calf movements can be done against the edge of the stone, a sturdy branch can be used as a bar for hanging or chin-ups, and you can even push up against a fallen tree trunk. Only your imagination is the limit!

When I went for my last run in the forest, I took a water bottle and a phone with me in my backpack. I had pre-loaded Tabata songs on my phone. They are four-minute songs with pre-timed 20-second work and 10-second rest sections. In my opinion, Tabata rhythm is an easy and effective way to rhythm your own training; no need to count reps or rest times when the music dictates the tempo! You can find Tabata songs on e.g. streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify).

My training first started with a brisk walk in the forest, after which I did some opening movements for the trunk and back, as well as light squats and jumping jacks. The actual workout consisted of five Tabata pieces, during which I did movements/pairs of movements as follows:

1. Thuster and step squat with rotation

In these movements, I had a boulder as a weight. Thruster is an effective full-body exercise that is a combination of a squat and a push-up. In the step squat, I included the rotation all the way to the side of the front leg.

2. Single leg deadlift

A boulder was also involved in this movement. When lowering the stone, the other leg rises with it in a seesaw-like movement. Always change legs after a break.

3. Rock jumps and Russian Twist

A stone about half a meter high served as a "box", on which I always jumped for 20 seconds at a time. The second movement is the Russian twist, where body rotations are performed in a small backrest. Taking your feet off the ground enhances the movement. Here I had a boulder as a weight again.

4. Push-up and extensor dip

I did these movements with my own body weight, using a fallen tree trunk as an aid.

5. Chin-up and squat

I did chin-ups while hanging on a strong branch, and I did squats while leaning on a tree trunk.

So the workout lasted 20 minutes (5x4 minutes), after which I turned off the music. I stretched in silence, using rocks and tree trunks as help, while enjoying the colors and scent of the forest. After that, it was nice to walk towards home and the heated sauna. The whole journey took about an hour. I got fresh outdoor air and at the same time challenged my body with brisk muscle fitness exercise. The gym is a dear and homely place for me, but the forest gym brings a nice change to the basic workout. I did this forest workout alone, but I'm sure you'll also have a nice time with a friend!

And if the weather is good, you can find pie berries or mushrooms along the way.

I wish everyone a sunny and active autumn! Let's enjoy great outdoor sports while they last!