I am holding out hope that warmer, dryer weather is going to show up at some point here on Canada’s west (wet) coast. However, rather than allow myself to get frustrated over days and days of rain, I decided to create a few exercises to help get my body ready for some of my favourite outdoor activities. 

Mountain biking
After spending hours climbing the reward is the downhill, but those of you who ride know that going down is just as hard as going up. Here is a fun exercise to help work the isometric strength of your legs as well as build your core stability and upper body strength. You will need a BOSU, a set of light weights and something that will slide under your foot (I like to use a weighted sand bell to add a little extra resistance but something as simple a paper plate will suffice).

Begin with the BOSU flat side up and place your left foot in the center with your right foot on the glider, heel raised and slightly off to the side. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand and come down into a squat on both legs then slide your right foot in and out while maintaining stability on your left side and keeping your arms straight out in front of you. Repeat this motion 10-20 times. Next, place your hands onto the BOSU in a push up position with your right foot still on the glider. Do one push up, then slide your right foot in towards your chest. Repeat 10 to 20 times and then repeat the squats on the other side followed by another set of pushes.

(Click on images to expand)

Hiking can be a nice change from walking but the terrain can be a challenge for the stability of our ankles, knees, hips and backs. To get your body better prepared for all the ups, downs, roots and rocks try this:

With a BOSU placed flat side down, place your right foot on the center and your left foot on the floor behind. Press down into the BOSU with your right foot and float your left foot up and over the BOSU so it is now in front. Press back down with your right foot and float your left foot back. All of the work for this exercise should come from your right leg and watch your form to ensure that your ankles, knees and hips stay in line. Repeat 20 times then balance in the center of the BOSU on your right foot for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Stand-up Paddle-Boarding
Nothing says summer is almost here like an evening paddle board ride into the sunset, and nothing works your core more than trying to stand and paddle at the same time. Here are two quick exercises you can do to help strengthen your core to make your paddles a little more pleasant. You will need a BOSU and a medium weighted dumbbell. 

With the BOSU flat side up, stand on it with your feet hip distance apart. If you are unsure of your balance stand near a ballet bar or a wall for support. With your left hand on the top of the dumbbell and your right hand grabbing the center of the dumbbell move the weight on a 45 degree angle across your body from your left shoulder to your right hip, all the while keeping the BOSU still. Repeat 20 times then grab both sides of the dumbbell and squat down while raising your arms straight out in front to shoulder height. Repeat 20 times then switch to the other side.

Beach Volleyball
Whether you are a seasoned pro or just having a beach day with your friends, there is no denying that a game or two of volleyball in the sand demands mega leg and core strength. Here are two great exercises that will focus on your 6 pack and your legs. You will need two sand bells and one exercise band. 

Begin by placing each foot onto a sand bell and hold onto a cable with your arms extended straight out. Squat down on one leg, extending the other leg out straight (like a side lunge) and then stand back up tall, bringing your extended leg with you. Do the same on the other side, while keeping your arms outstretched and in the midline of your chest. Alternate between legs, going as slow or as fast as you like, for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, standing on the sand bells with your feet hip width apart, rotate into a side core twist without allowing the sand bells to twist under your feet. Return back to center and repeat for 30-60 seconds.

Hopefully it won’t take long for that sun to start shining but until then these exercises should not only spice up your current workout routine but prepare you for a summer of outdoor fun.