5 Min Read
The Top 10 Bodyweight Exercises to Help You Stay in Shape While Traveling
It's the holiday season! That means loading up the family truckster or waiting in line at the airport next week for many of us. The holiday feasting and drinking that follow don't leave much time for exercise, but we're going to need it after a few days of gluttony.
The chances are that your parents or in-laws don't exactly have an L.A. Fitness or CrossFit box in their basement. So what's a guy needing a good sweat supposed to do to get a little exercise. It's time to go old school and hit the bodyweight workout.
Our bodies have everything we need to get a great workout, whether we're in a cramped hotel room, grandma's house, or a rest stop on the interstate.
Here's to the top ten bodyweight workouts you'll need to burn off those holiday calories:
Although many of us simply despise burpees, they're maybe the single-most full-body exercise we can do anywhere. If you want to get the blood pumping after sitting in the car or an airplane seat for hours, knock out a few of these and embrace self-torture.
For those who don't know how to do a burpee, first of all, did you not have gym class in high school? Secondly, welcome to the world of "Oh, that looks easy enough, until you try it."
Burpees begin by squatting on the floor and then jumping your feet back into a plank position. Next, pull your feet back to a squat and then stand up. That's one. If you're feeling frisky, do a pushup from the plank position and jump off the ground when standing up.
Since we mentioned the plank position during burpees, we might as well explain what it is. A plank is when you hold a pushup position for as long as possible. Some guys use their hands, while others rest on their elbows for support. Try not to stick your butt in the air. It's called a plank and not the bell curve for a reason.
Planks are core exercises that work the abs and lower back while engaging stabilizer muscles in the shoulders, glutes, and hips.
While you're down on your belly after collapsing from a few planks, try some pushups to get the blood back in your arms. If you don't already know how to do a pushup, then we doubt exercising over the holidays is your thing. Why are you still reading this?
In case you need to cheat a little on your pushups, it's okay to do some from your knees. Just don't let your brother or dad see you doing it.
Once again, if we need to explain a sit-up, you may want to enjoy your holiday and look into a personal trainer when you get home. Sit-ups come in a wide variety of movements, but make sure you're not jerking on the back of your neck when pulling upward.
A wall sit is simply sitting with your back flush against a wall for as long as possible. The more you can keep the knees at a 90-degree angle, the more difficult the exercise. This exercise seems relatively easy for the first twenty or thirty seconds, and then the quad burn kicks in as your legs begin to shake.
Wall sits are a fantastic gauge of physical fitness. The longer you can stay in the sitting position, the better shape you're likely in.
Squats are a good bodyweight exercise but adding some weight increases their effectiveness. Grab a gallon of milk or your partner's suitcase full of spare shoes when dumbells aren't available.
Maintaining the proper form is essential if you have knee issues. Basically, bend at the knees like sitting in a chair, go as low as possible, and then stand up. Always keep the weight on your heels and the knees behind your toes.
Lunges work all the major muscles of your lower body while targeting balance and stability. Beginners should first try lunges by holding onto a desk or a chair for balance.
Lunges start from a staggered stance by bending the knees and kneeling with the back leg. Try to kneel until the back knee touches the floor and then stand up again. If you don't feel the burn in your thighs, you're likely doing them wrong.
This bodyweight exercise requires using a chair or other support as you brace your weight with your hands and bend your elbows in a tricep pushup. Dips can stress your shoulders and wrists, so keep your hips close to the chair in case you need to bail out.
Triceps are an often neglected upper body exercise but the next time you see a guy with a set of guns, notice how developed his triceps are. Big arms are more triceps than biceps.
This exercise is probably the one most people don't recognize. It can be done anywhere and doesn't require any equipment or props, although beginners may struggle with balance and need to hold onto something.
To perform a one-legged dip, balance on one leg and bend from the hips, lower the torso, and bring the back leg straight up until both are parallel to the floor. Try to imagine reaching as far forward as possible on one leg. Do sets on each leg.
We started with the dreaded burpee and ended with the most challenging bodyweight exercise ever invented. Obviously, you'll need a bar, or a solid overhead hand-hold to do a pull-up. There's only one way to get good at pull-ups, practice.
Many people think they can jump up and rip off a dozen pull-ups until they try their first one. Most people end their pull-up routine at one or two. There's nothing to be ashamed of, the average 50-year-old man can't do a single pull-up, and the minimum standard for a U.S. Marine in boot camp is three. Good luck!
So, there you have it. There are no more excuses for why you couldn't exercise over the holidays, but if you decide just to relax and enjoy your time with friends and family, good for you.
Have fun and stay safe.
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.