Before you begin: You need… a park bench
1. Incline push-ups
Start in plank position with your hands on the bench, slightly wider than your shoulders. Lower your body until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.
Perfect your form: Keep your body in a straight line.
Dial it down: The steeper the incline, the easier it is to push up, so place your hands on something higher, like the bench’s backrest.
Amp it up: Do push-ups with your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground.
2. Bench split squats
Standing about three feet away from the bench, extend your left leg behind you and rest the top of your foot on it. Lower down until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees. Return to starting position. Do 15 per side.
Perfect your form: Keep your front knee directly above and in-line with your ankle. If your knee is past your toes, you’ve gone too far!
Dial it down: Do regular squats (with both feet on the ground).
Amp it up: Bring along a set of hand weights, and add some bicep curls to your squats.
3. Bench jacks
Start in plank position with your hands on the bench, under your shoulders. Tighten your abs and do jumping jacks with your legs for 30 to 60 seconds.
Perfect your form: While your lower body is working, keep your upper body as stable as possible and don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears.
Dial it down: Do regular jumping jacks.
Amp it up: Jump both legs from side to side.
4. Bench dips
Sit on the bench with your hands gripping the edge close to your hips. Take a half-step forward so your butt comes off the bench and only your arms are supporting you. Straighten your legs out in front of you, with your heels on the ground. Slowly lower, bending your elbows to 90 degrees, then return to starting position. Do 10 reps.
Perfect your form: Be careful not to drift too far forward, as this can place extra stress on your shoulders.
Dial it down: Bend your knees and place your feet fl at on the ground.
Amp it up: Lift one leg for the first five reps and the other for the last five.
Calorie-burning bonus: To blast away more fat and get your heart rate pumping, do 30 to 60 seconds of your favourite high-intensity cardio move between exercises. This month, try using your bench for step-ups. Remember to switch your starting leg each time you step up.