You’re busy. You’re on the go. You’re trying to log as many air miles as George Clooney in “Up In The Air”. Even if you don’t travel as much as Clooney’s character, going from city to city to let people know they’ve been “let go”, you want some travel-friendly exercises that can be done in a small space without weights or resistance bands. You won’t always have access to a hotel gym with great equipment and typed-up, perfectly planned routines. Using your own body weight and some good technique, you can form a rock-solid body ready for the beach from the comfort of the room 100 feet from the beach.
Here’s a list of awesome travel-friendly exercises that can be done anywhere. Focus on form more than the number of reps you can accomplish. When you start losing form and technique, it’s time to rest. You will get stronger, but let every rep count.
Pushups: The classic move. Keep your feet together, your back straight, and press up from the floor. Lower yourself to about a fist-length from the floor and repeat back and forth. Try regular shoulder-width, wide grip, and narrow grip to work all areas of the pectorals. See how many you can do in 2 minutes with only resting in the high plank position (no resting on your knees).
Planks: Elbows and toes. Put your feet together and prop up onto your elbows, keeping them directly under your shoulders. Maintain a straight line all the way from your shoulders to your heels. Don’t let your butt drop down or rise too high in the air. Time yourself and try to get better each time.
Body Squats: Work those glutes! Spread your feet a little wider than shoulder-width with a slight flair of your feet outward. Squat down as if sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and don’t lean forward. You don’t have to go so low that your thighs get lower than parallel to the ground. Repeat up and down 20 times or until fatigued. Repeat 3 times.
Lunges: Stand tall with your hands on your waist. Step forward with your right foot, maintain your balance, and lower your left knee to about 6 inches off the floor. Step back with your right leg and repeat with your left leg forward, all the while keeping your back straight and knees just behind your toes on the forward leg.
Diagonal Lunges. A great exercise for increasing strength, balance, and stability in the lower body. Just as with the regular lunge, perform one rep at a time with one leg at a time. Step diagonally with the foot turned out slightly. Maintain your balance and keep the forward knee behind the toes. Bonus: Add a twist with your lunge. Keep your lower body stable and twist your upper body to the left when your left foot is forward and to the right when your right foot is forward. Feel free to extend your arms for balance.
Toe Raises: Stand tall with your feet together and raise up onto your toes. Lower and repeat 25-30 times to strengthen and tone your calves.
Jumping Jacks: No these aren’t just for kids. A great way to get your heart rate up and warm the body up.
Run In Place: No treadmill? Raining outside? Jog in place for a minute, rest for 20 seconds, and repeat 5 times to really get your heart rate up and burn some calories.
Burpees: The military favorite. Stand tall, squat down and place hands on the ground just to the side of your shoes. Kick your legs straight back and get into the high plank position with straight arms and a straight back. Now bring both knees toward your chest and and jump up into the air with hands high. Repeat 10 times.
Mountain Climbers: Get into the high plank position with straight arms, straight legs, and a straight back. Now run it out and alternate bringing one knee up toward your chest as your arms stay extended with hands planted on the ground – keep your butt down!