Working Out On-The-Go: Exercises and Tips
Keeping up with a workout schedule can be tricky when travelling regularly is a part of your lifestyle. On-the-go exercises are a simple solution and can leave you just as sore as a regular gym workout if executed properly.
Practice and perfect this well-rounded routine in your hotel room, at the park, or pick another cool spot! To start, stretch your back, chest, core, and legs — these are the main muscle groups you’ll engage during this equipment-free workout.
Back, Forearms & Biceps
When it comes to working out on the go, resistance bands are the best. They can be used for tons of different workouts and exercises, plus they take up hardly any space in your bag. We’ll begin with a few easy resistance band exercises to strengthen the muscles on both the front and back of your legs.
Fasten your band to the bottom of the door, grab the other end, and do curl-ups. You can do these with both hands to start, and single arm curl-ups once you’ve gained strength. These band exercises are done easiest inside where there are doors and desks you can use to anchor the band.
Finish off these muscle groups with two more back and forearm exercises. These sets are done without resistance bands:
V-Sit Kick Combo: get into reverse plank position and bend your knees. Life one leg up and point your toe to the ceiling, then put it down and lift the other leg up.
Mountain Climbers: Start in a pushup position, bend one knee and pull your leg forward — not quite between your arms. Then jump and switch legs, bringing the opposing leg forward and sending the first leg back. Jump and switch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
Next, we will take a few minutes to work the chest, shoulders, and triceps. When it comes to muscle toning, push exercises are crucial. Start with different types of push-ups including diamond, wide, incline, decline, and pike.
You can also engage these sets of muscles by reverse planking. Sit on your bottom, outstretch your legs, and place your palms on the ground on either side of you. Lift up, keeping your legs straight, and hold for 20 to 40-second sets.
A stronger core can relieve back pain and help with posture issues. It also provides a better sense of balance and stability in just about anything else you do! These five exercises can be done equipment-free and will leave you shaking.
- Superman: hold Superman three times for 30-second increments
- Planks: hold a plank three times for 30-second increments
- Full Sit-ups: three sets of 15 to 30 full sit-ups
- Crunches: three sets of 15 to 30 crunches
- Flutter and Bicycle Kicks: two sets of both flutter kicks and bicycle kicks for 30 seconds
Switch up the scenery and try your chest, shoulder, tricep, and core exercises at a park, then head back to your hotel to finish the resistance band sets.
Finally, finish off the workout with some leg exercises. These three are enough for me but anyone looking to work the legs a little extra can try these other great resistance band exercises.
- Let’s start with the calves by closing one end of the band under a door and grab the other end. Use the wall for balance, stand on one foot and lift up onto your tippy toes, then back down. Up again, and back down. Do this 20 to 30 times on each leg, gauging your own strength.
- Next, we’ll dig into the thighs and hip flexors with standing leg extensions. Go ahead and leave your band anchored to the bottom of the door but this time turn your back to it. Slip one ankle into the band, lift your knee to a 90-degree angle, and extend/retract your leg as you resist the band. Do three sets of these in 10 to 15 rep increments.
- The final leg exercise I’ll cover works the hamstrings. Start with one or two bands in the door jam and lay down on the ground, stomach down. Your feet should be closest to the door but still four to five feet away. Loop one or both feet into resistance bands and do 30 to 40 hamstring curls on each leg.
More on-the-go workouts can include yoga flows and circuit routines. Both require minimal equipment and yoga can be done mat-free in a hotel room on a towel. You can also save space by bringing outfits that can be worn interchangeably as workout clothes, street clothes, and pyjamas. This can be done easily by packing solid coloured workout clothes and yoga pants that can be matched easily with other items you bring.
Once working out on the go becomes habitual, lacking a gym or equipment will sound like a silly reason to miss a day. If low motivation becomes an issue, try bringing an after-workout treat to reward yourself. Whether it be movie rentals or a coconut face mask, recognizing the commitment feels good and it keeps you honest next time.
Veronica Baas is a recent Colorado State University graduate who just moved to Arizona pursuing more advanced coding skills. She has spent her life travelling as a pilot’s daughter and lived in the UK as part of a study abroad program. Follow her other writing and photography endeavours on her website.