Best Places to Sweat Outside This Summer: Where and How to Work Out in Portland and Skip the Gym

Following a long winter of hibernation, staying indoors, and avoiding the gym and other indoor workout classes because of COVID, many of us feel eager to get outside and get moving. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather can turn in a snap so making the most of a sunny day is a must. Learning how to get in a great workout outside is essential, especially in the post-pandemic world, and that’s why workout apps, like Mission Lean, can help guide you towards perfecting your outdoor routine.

Portland is known for its renowned parks, which make perfect backdrops for cardio, bodyweight, strength or mobility training in the great outdoors. With nearly 300 public parks, there’s no shortage of places to take in the scenery while simultaneously staying healthy. Incorporate Mount Tabor Park’s infamous stair set into your next leg day routine, and don’t forget to cool down and stretch after a cardio-heavy game on Irving Park’s tennis courts.

But even running outside or on a trail can become boring fast. That’s why workout apps, like Mission Lean, make perfect companions to keep you motivated and provide great variety and depth to your exercise routine.

Mission Lean gives users a customizable workout plan, with over 150 on-demand outdoor workouts that can be done without any equipment needed, and is complete with guided videos for each. It’s signature subscription, as well as its “Age Defying” plan specially targeted for older adults and seniors, start at $20, which is less expensive than a personal trainer but just as engaging and results-focused. Every subscription includes a 3-month workout and meal plan tailored for every fitness level, so if you’re committed you can make the summer of 2021 your breakout fitness year.

Here’s a few of our favorite places to workout outdoors using the Mission Lean app:

1. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Bodyweight

Any runner or cyclist knows Tom McCall is the best place to score some cardio. But the park also offers ample space for folks looking to add a little extra full body muscle that simple cardio won’t provide. Head to one of the many green patches of grass and hop on the Mission Lean app to complete their signature Bodyweight routine, which includes powerful core exercises like leg raises, scissor kicks, and ab twists to get you six-pack ready fast. This is a total body workout as well, which hits legs, abs, chest, and arms using simple exercises that promote rapid visible results. If you soon find out bodyweight training is your sweet spot, grab a copy of The Lean Body Manual, a comprehensive guide to getting peak results from a functional, bodyweight-based training program.

2. Mount Tabor Park, Legs

Mount Tabor is known for its intense stair set, located at the southeast side of the park. The view of downtown is stellar once you reach the top. So why not incorporate a leg workout and make it doubly rewarding? Many of Mission Lean’s 50+ leg workouts integrate stairs by utilizing step ups and side step ups. The many other leg moves, like sumo squats and bird dogs, will help you to build perfect balance and tone within your body.

3. Pier Park, Abs and Arms

Keep your social distance and skip the sweaty gym on the next sunny day and head to Pier Park. The breeze off the Willamette will provide the perfect temperature for cranking out a quick abs and arms session. You can find a spot to sprawl out by the baseball field, or find a discreet location under the cover of trees to complete a couple sets of mountain climbers, arm circles, plank holds, and snap jumps. Snap jumps are a great exercise to get your heart pumping while building amazing ab and leg tone: get on all fours into the plank position and then, with your legs together, spring them back and forth as you focus on engaging your core.

4. Irving Park, Mobility Workout

Irving Park hosts a number of tennis courts for you and friends to catch a quick game. If you are looking to add on to the high intensity of the match while also improving your on-court movement, consider a combining Mission Lean’s many mobility workouts as well as their “Full Stretching Routine.” The mobility workout includes glute pulls, tricep extensions, and side lunges, and the full stretching routine uses parts of the tennis net to assist with hamstring, adductor and quad stretches to really help your muscles recover and ensure you aren’t reeling from soreness the next day.

5. Grant High School Track, Full Body

While the track at Grant High School may call out for a several-mile run, consider changing it up by utilizing the padded, rubber track for a full body workout. Start off with frog jumps, explode into squat jumps, and then get down on the ground for plank knee kicks and “around the world” leg lifts. These exercise moves have some creative names, but that’s not by chance. Getting creative with your workout is key to finding consistency and maintaining interest, according to one of Mission Lean’s 50+ lifestyle motivational videos that are included with your $20 subscription.

The Full Body Mission Lean workouts are sure to make your temperature rise in just a few minutes. And don’t worry if you lose service: the app offers each of its subscribers the chance to download videos ahead of time so you never miss out on a chance to improve your technique no matter where you are.

This article was paid for by Mission Lean.