Being away from home shouldn’t be an excuse for not doing some exercise. There is always a way to be active. If you have the luxury of staying in a hotel with a well equipped gym, that’s great. Taking some kit and heading out for a run is another option. However, there are a few simple body weight exercises you can do wherever you are to keep active, feel great and ensure there’s no lapse in your fitness regimen.
These six bodyweight exercises will work or your major muscle groups for a whole body workout while you are travelling. They can be done pretty much anywhere – a small hotel room, airport lounge etc, and don’t need any special equipment.
To get ready for action, a brisk walk or a few minutes marching or jogging on the spot will provide a good warm up before you start.
For a work out, do 10-15 of each with 30-60 secs rest between. Repeat this 2 or 3 times depending on what time you have available.
Squats – great for strengthening and toning up your legs
Stand with your feet at a shoulder width and feet just slightly turned out. Engage your core and keep your spine in a neutral position throughout. Start to lower by pushing your hips back while flexing at the hips and knees. Keep your weight over your whole foot and your shins close to vertical. (Your knees stay behind your toes and in line with your feet). Push back up to standing and repeat.
Press Ups – the old classic for the chest, arms and back
Start on your knees with your arms extended and hand on the floor just wider than your shoulders. Engage your core and lift up off your knees balancing on your toes, but keeping your legs, hips, back, shoulders and head in a straight line. Bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor until your elbows are at 90 degrees, then push back up.
If you are struggling with a full press up, do it on an incline – rest your hand on a chair, desk, bed frame etc so you hands are higher and your are lifting less of your weight. As you get stronger gradually reduce the height of your hands.
Glute Bridge – great for toning your butt and supporting good posture
Start lying on back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees, keeping a natural hollow in your lower back. Engage abs and squeeze your glutes as you slowly raise your hips up until your leg and trunk are in a straight line. As you lift your hips up ensure you keep your hips level (with each other) and don’t let your knees move out to the sides. Slowly lower until your bottom is just off the floor and repeat. You can make this more challenging by lifting and holding for a few seconds before lowering.
Tricep dips – toning up your arms
In a gym you’d use a bench or step for this, but using a solid chair, coffee table, or the edge of the bed will work just fine. Start with hands positioned either side of your hips and on the edge of a chair. Extend your feet out in front with knees bent at 90 degrees. Take your bottom forward just off chair, and bend your arms to lower your body. Then push back up to the start position. If you want to make this a bit tougher, straighten your legs and move your feet further away from you.
Russian Twists – strenghtening your obliques and abs
Sit on floor with your legs extended in front of you. Engage your core and sit up straight with your hands on your chest or stomach. Keeping your legs still, rotate your body to one side, then back to the other, then back to central.
Ab curls – strengthening your abs
Start lying on the floor face up with your knees bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on floor and lower back lightly connected with the floor. Put your fingers at side of ears (not behind neck). Engage abdominals and slowly curl up to lift your shoulders off the floor. Keep your head neutral throughout. Slowly lower back down under control
Of course if you have the ability to access some basic fitness equipment, you can add additional resistance to these exercises, as well as lots of variations or additional exercises. Also a couple of bottles of water can be used as small improvised dumbbells.