Summer is on the way - but it’s not here yet! If you’re about to take a tropical escape to ease your winter blues, but don’t want to lose that hard earned muscle, then you’ll have to put in some work while you travel. Enjoying your holiday is important, but with a little self-control when it comes to diet and 20-30 minutes of exercise a day you can stay right on track with your fitness goals. Here are 10 exercises you can do on your holiday outside of your gym.
The mighty push-up is the first exercise for this workout and has some great variations. Firstly, we’ve got the classic wide stance push up to hit our pecs. Simple ways to make this harder are by putting your feet up on the bed or on a chair. If you can find some books, bricks or even your bags to put your hands on, you can get nice and deep and even do some negative push-ups. You can then bring your hands closer together (form a diamond with your thumbs and index fingers) to smash a narrow tricep hammering variation! Again, raising your legs onto the bed or a chair will also make it harder if you can handle it.
Growing up I think most of us were smashing out dips in the corner of the kitchen bench or using dinning room chairs before we even knew what our triceps were. Well guess what?! These work on holidays as well! Using 2 chairs, the side of the bed and the pool ladder handles are a great width for dips if they’ll hold your weight. Make it harder for yourself by keeping your legs straight out in front of you while you dip away. Dips will also hit your pec minor which is great for shaping your pecs!
I’ve seen guys who can move a lot of weight in the gym, but ask them to do some pull-ups and they are King of Struggle Town! Then you’ll see a skinny guy smash out pull-ups like their nothing. Pull ups can be done everywhere! I’ve been on tiny islands in South-East Asia where the local guys have put up a pull-up bar to keep in shape. You’ll also find most beaches in western countries have some kind of free exercise equipment along the beach front. If all that fails, use a tree! There’s no escaping pull-ups! Pull-ups hit your lats as well as rhomboids in the middle of your back. Change the grip to underhand and then you’ll be smashing your biceps.
4. Bent-over Rows
Nobody wants to end up with rounded shoulders because their chest muscles are so tight, and they never work back. So we need to keep working the back when we’re in holiday mode too. Using your heavy bag again you’ll bend at the hips, keeping your back as straight as you can and hold your bag with straight arms and then bring it up to your chest. When it’s up at your chest you squeeze your shoulder blades together for a second or two. Imagine there is a pen between your shoulder blades and you can’t let it drop, SQUEEZE!
5. Bicep Curls
Now before you step out of your room to hit up the pool, the beach or the club at night, you want the gun show looking good! Smashing out some bicep curls is a must. What you use for weight will determine what kind of curls you do. Use your bag that’s weighing in somewhere between 10-32Kg, your girlfriend, or a chair from your room for standing curls (make sure you don’t drop your girlfriend or it might be an awkward rest of your holiday). If you grab something lighter like your day pack or a big book then you can do concentration curls with the help of a chair or with the side of your bed you can do spider curls.
6. One Arm Shoulder Press
Boulder shoulders is what we all want and look good all year round. Grabbing your day pack in one hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and the shoot your hand above your head. You want to make sure your hand stays in line with your ear and make sure you don’t curve your lower back, keep it nice and straight. Doing a one arm shoulder press is also great for your core.
Now that the upper body part of the workout is done, it’s time to work the lower body. While we can’t load a bar up and squat like our life depended on it, try doing body weight squats for 1 minute and tell me it doesn’t get a good burn going! Now body weight squats are great, but again use your bag to add resistance! The awkward shape will help you work your stabilizer muscles and the extra weight and the way you’ll have to hold it will make sure your core gets a great workout while you tear those quads and hammies to shreds. Don’t forget to add a calf raise into your squat. Never forget your calves!
You can never go wrong with adding some lunges to your workout routine. Great for the quads, hammies and glutes. Variations of the lunge that you can incorporate include doing your lunges backwards, adding a twist to the lunge (if you step out to lunge with your left leg, then you twist to the left side, lunge with your right leg then you twist to the right). Up the intensity by grabbing your bag or something that weights between 5-10Kg and hold it straight out in front of you while you lunge. If you hold it in 1 hand next to your body or above your head then you’ll give your core a great workout at the same time as your legs.
9. Hip Thrusters/ Glute Bridges
Glute exercises are one thing that for some reason guys don’t do much of or even at all in their workouts. To let you all in on a not so well kept secret, women like a guy who actually has an ass! There are two ways of doing this one outside of the gym. Firstly, you can lean back against a chair or the bed and then bring your hips up as high as you can. Alternatively, you can lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. From that position you again bring your hips up as high as you can. Either way you do it when you get your hips to their highest point you squeeze your glutes for a couple seconds. These exercises will also help work your hammies and calves.
Any good workout regime will have exercises that use a lot of core while you work other muscle groups, then some isolated core exercises. If you get lazy on your holidays and don’t do all the other exercises at least do a 10-15 minute core routine in the morning. For every 2-3 ab exercises I get my clients to do, I always make sure they do at least one lower back exercise. Ab and oblique exercises you can do include the plank, mountain climbers, sit ups and all variations of them. For your lower back you’ve got Supermans, alternating leg and arm raises and stiff legged good mornings using your day pack. When you go on holidays it can be really tempting to do nothing and just eat and drink. If you’re serious about the goals you’ve been working towards, you won’t want to take a step or two backwards while you’re on holidays. Spending 20-30 minutes at the start of your day can keep you on track. Run through this workout routine by doing 3 sets of 10 reps. Remember to pack some protein bars for that protein hit after your workout.