City Creek Challenge

June 24, 2017

Let’s face it — we live in a beautiful area with priceless summers and there is no reason to walk on a treadmill or ride a bike in spin class when you can take your workout outside.

There is no limit to what you can do outside and as a personal trainer I like to make sure my clients understand that. All it takes is a little imagination and a desire to get a bit dirty for an excellent workout. To get you rolling, here is what I put a client — and myself — through last week. I call it the “City Creek Challenge,” where each exercise was done at a different bridge or “prop” while quickly walking or running between stops.

Begin hiking or running from the lower City Creek trailhead.

Jack Fence Jump-Ups: At the first jack fence, step up on the rail and jump back to the ground, holding onto a jack leg, if you wish. Do 20 reps per leg.

Hanging Knee Lifts or Pull-Ups: Find a tree that is solid enough to hold you while doing 10 hanging knee lifts or pull-ups.

Bird Dog Bridge Walk: First, an explanation. A traditional bird dog is done on your hands and knees, with your wrists below your shoulders and knees hip-joint-width apart. Extend your elbows to “push” the ground away from you. From here, extend the opposite arm and leg away from you.

A standing bird dog is done from a standing position where you keep one foot on the ground and extend the opposite arm and leg, keeping the non-extending arm at your extended leg’s side. Both are excellent torso-strengthening exercises, yet the standing version definitely requires more control and strength than the traditional version.

For the Bird Dog Bridge Walk, perform a standing bird dog, hold for a breath or two, return to standing, then proceed across the bridge alternating legs, turn around and return to the other end of the bridge.

Jack Fence Donkey Kicks: Position hands on a fence rail and hop your body from side to side across the rail as you kick your legs up like a donkey; do 20 reps.

Walking Bridge Plank: Place hands on one side of bridge and feet on the other in a plank position. “Walk” your plank the length of the bridge and back.

Tricep Push-Ups: Place hands close together on bridge edging or a large rock and perform 10 tricep push-ups in a full plank or with knees on the bridge/ground. You may take it to the next level and perform single-leg plank push-up or just hold the single-leg plank.

Walk the Plank: Cross the creek on a log, turn around and return to start.

Run or walk back to the trailhead. Bring your heartrate down and then spend about 20 minutes stretching. The workout took a solid hour, not including stretching.

One item to point out in this workout is what I like to call “biathlon training.” Just as in a true biathlon that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, the heart rate is high from the skiing and must be rapidly slowed for the shooting. In this challenge, the heart rate is elevated from the hiking or walking and other exercises and then must be rapidly slowed to control the balancing bird dog bridge walk and crossing the creek on a log — making extremely mentally and physically challenging combinations.

There are no right or wrong exercises when on trails, just be sure to use proper form, work hard, stretch at the finish and have fun. If you would like to join me on the trail some time, drop me a note and I’m there!

Sherrie Hebert is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates mat and equipment Instructor. She teaches and trains at Gold’s Gym of Pocatello and owns Performance Pilates & Personal Training. Contact her at 208-478-2433 or sherriehebert@gmail.com for all your fitness needs. Be sure to visit her Facebook page, PerformancePilatesAndPT.