A holiday is on the horizon...
Although for most people this is a time to relax and take some time for themselves, it’s not quite the same for us is it? The fear sets in that all that hard work will be undone after 2 weeks of nothing and the healthy eating thrown firmly out of the window.
Well, we’ve got your back. We feel the same way so we put it to the team to develop some exercises you can squeeze in anywhere to maintain your fitness.
Firstly, if you’re a heavy lifter its worth noting that taking a bit of time off can be beneficial to your routine. Especially if you use this time to work on alternative exercises, like bodyweight exercises and movement and stability exercises. If you’re productive, you’ll be going back to the gym with better technique and stability which is never a bad thing!
That said, we all want to maintain our gains whilst on holiday. To make things easier, lets split into 3 areas of opportunity; the beach, the hotel room/apartment, the hotel gym.
Now assuming you’re near to a beach on holiday there are plenty of exercises for you. Most tend to have an area you can workout in these days, if you’re heading to the likes of Barcelona there’s plenty of Calisthenics going on and people are usually friendly enough to let you get involved in their circuit routines.
However, you may not have quite enough time or this may just drive your friends/other half crazy (it's easy to get carried away!). In that case, keep it simple. Get running on the sand… Sand is less stable so its great for training on, even simple movements are more challenging. Take the simple movement of pulling your knees up, this takes more energy because the sand gives with every step. This means, you can burn more calories and feel fatigued in half the time.
If you want to focus on strength training then stick to these kinds of exercises: plank twists, jump squats, traveling push-ups (while in plank, walk your hands to one side and go down into a pushup, and then travel to the other and repeat), jump rope or jog in place and finish with a side shuffle (shuffle to one side for 5-10 steps, then shuffle to the other). Practice each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat the circuit three times.
The Hotel Room
One thing we can assume, even if there is no beach, is that you’ll have some space somewhere, it might be tight or it might be a large Airbnb apartment. Either way, there is plenty you can do in that space.
Two areas you can really focus on in your room:
Bodyweight Workouts - Do compound exercises to burn more calories in a shorter space of time. Bodyweight exercises are often overlooked but you don’t have any equipment they can be incredibly beneficial. As a circuit you can give the below a try and increase or decrease volume to suit you.
Perform three times: 25 body weight squats, stationary lunges (15 on each leg) 30 seconds of mountain climbers, 30 seconds of burpees and 25 double crunches (bring your knees and elbows together).
Resistance Bands – The beauty of these is you can take them anywhere and they don’t take up to much space. Not only can you use them for simple exercises but you can also fix them to pretty much anything in the room; such as behind a door frame, a table leg or even a chair. They will give you more intensity than a standard body weight workout too. Give this simple routine a go: 50 pushups, 50 shoulder presses, 50 chest fly’s, 50 bicep curls and 100 air bikes for your core.
The Hotel Gym
Again, no gym, no problem. There’s plenty you can do with your bodyweight and resistance bands alone but if you do happen across a hotel gym then there’s room to manoeuvre. Typically they won’t include even half the equipment you need for a good session but a little compact gym routine will certainly give you that pump and definitely isn't just a waste of time.
Within a short amount of time (30 minutes or less), you can incorporate bodyweight exercises, strength training and cardio. Warm up with a 5-minute walk or jog on the treadmill or elliptical. Use a pair of weights to do 30-45 seconds of a strength/resistance movement, such as squat press or lunge curl. You’ve got a short space of time so focus on compound movements that will burn more calories when time is of the essence. After this, switch to 30 seconds of a core movement, such as planks or bicycles. Finish the circuit with 30 seconds of cardio, such as high knees, jumping jacks or burpees. Repeat the entire routine 4-5 times and finish with 10 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical at medium to high intensity.
So there you have it. It is possible to get some short intense workouts into your holiday without ruining it for you or the people you’re with (or yourself), just remember that above all you’re there to enjoy yourself and a little rest won’t hurt!