10 Exercises For When You Travel
Traveling, whether for work or pleasure, is usually jam-packed with activities, most of which are not geared toward furthering your health and fitness goals.
Having a plan before you hit the road can help you mitigate the damage of being too sedentary, eating too much, imbibing too much alcohol and getting too little sleep. Because you are likely short on time and exercise equipment, it makes sense to focus your traveling workout plan on bodyweight exercises that stimulate the majority of your body’s muscle mass in minimum time. This will ramp up your metabolism and give you the greatest bang for your limited buck.
As I will lay out in this article traveling does not imply you have to miss out on the classic manly activity of working out and staying in shape. Here are 10 exercises that are easy to apply, effecive and solely rely on your own bodyweight. Whenever going to the gym is not an option for you these 10 exercises are your to-go alternative.
1 | Walking
Walking is an underrated and often overlooked component of a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t require special training or equipment. Because you can make it fit in with the fun activities that you are already doing, you may not need to add any new activities to your schedule.
If you are visiting a new city, walking is probably already built in to your agenda. Just be mindful of your attire and shun the cab to the extent possible. If you are traveling for work, grab a quick bite and go for a mind-clearing walk around town during your lunch break.
1 | Body Weight Squats
Squatting is a simple, natural human movement that works all of the muscles of the lower body, particularly the quads, glutes and hamstrings. A few sets of 20 should be enough to get your heart rate going and break a good sweat. This is a great warmup for more challenging exercises to come.
2 | Burpees
This exercise combines body weight squats, squat thrusts, push ups, frog jumps and the jump squat. Not only will you feel it in your quads, glutes, calves, pecs, shoulders, triceps and core, you will get a great cardio workout in the process. The downside is that if you are not graceful with your landing, you might disturb anyone on the floor below you.
4. The Turkish Get Up
Whether you have access to dumbbells, kettlebells or just your own body weight, you can get your heart rate up, break a good sweat, and stimulate every major muscle group right in your hotel room with this exercise. While it is quite technically challenging, it is low impact. Unlike the burpee there is no jumping involved so you will be less likely to wake the neighbors.
This is the simplest core exercise. If you haven’t done it before, it can be surprisingly difficult. The plank basically means getting into the pushup position but then resting your forearms on the floor so your bodyweight is concentrated on them. This should be felt immediately in your abs that now have to do all the work to keep your body up and stretched out.
Start out trying to hold the plank with perfect form for 30 seconds and build up to 60 seconds over time.
6. Wall Sit
The wall sit is essentially an isometric (meaning no movement) version of the squat, requires a lower level of overall fitness and serves as a great warm up for the lower body. Just assume the position of sqatting with a wall in your back then lean and press your back towards to wall until it allows you to maintain the squad position with the wall as your stabilizer.
The lunge works all of the muscles of the lower body and adds asymmetry and hip extension to the squatting movement. For bonus points, the side lunge provides stimulation in another plane of movement, targeting the inner and outer thighs.
8. Single Leg Deadlift
The traditional deadlift is one of the most well-known and effective total-body weight lifting exercises, but without a considerable amount of weight to lift it isn’t every effective. Consider the single-leg variety instead, which in addition to stimulating the hamstrings and lower back, will help you sharpen your balance and coordination.
Everyone knows the basic pushup, but for those looking for more of a challenge there are numerous ways to make this basic movement more difficult. Adjusting your hand spacing is the simplest, with more narrow hand placement putting more focus on the triceps and making the exercise more difficult overall. Alternatively elevate your feet on a chair, your suitcase, or – if you are really asking for it – the wall, to increase the amount of load placed on your chest, shoulders and triceps.
For those of you paying attention to bodyparts, the biceps and lats have been pretty quiet thus far. These muscle groups function to pull the arms in closer to the torso, and the easiest, most effective way to stimulate them using the weight of the body is with pullups/chinups. This obviously requires a pull up bar or some other sturdy structure that you can hang from safely. If you can’t find a gym, look for a playground where you are almost guaranteed to find something that will support your body weight.
These 10 exercises have been brought to you by Daniel Cook. Daniel is the lead developer of cookapplications.com that have just released GYMer, a streamlined weight lifting log for Android.