I’ve been playing Online Personal Trainer for my brother lately to help him with his New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get strong. I’ve been out of the Strength + Conditioning Coach game for 2 years now, so I was pumped when he asked for my help.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is write up workouts. (Surprisingly, I am really awful at making up strength training plans for myself – I need my own personal trainer.) This was my favorite aspect about being a Strength + Conditioning coach… anytime a new athlete/client would sign up, I would get to write up a new workout specifically for their goals. I guess there is something about pushing someone to achieve said goals and the organization + creativity aspect of designing said plan that I absolutely love.
My bro is loving his new workout plan and I can’t wait to see the results he is getting! However, he called me last week with a dilemma – he is going out of town for a conference this week and would miss a few of his scheduled workouts. What to do, what to do?
Being away from your normal routine doesn’t have to be an issue when it comes to working out. You can get a great workout in your hotel room, condo, outside, wherever you may be without any equipment except… well… YOU!
I am a big fan of bodyweight exercises. I started really loving them when I was doing CrossFit. But now I find them as a great way to get in a quick, efficient workout anywhere I go.
So, Brian (and the rest of you, of course), here is your Workout-To-Go plan. All you need it you, a stop watch (or clock), and a floor – you don’t even need SHOES for this workout.
Perform each exercise for a minute each without resting between each exercise – just move from one right to the next one (keep a running clock, in other words). I suggest going through the circuit 4 times, for a total of 20 minutes… but you can make it as long or as short as you want. The mix of cardio with strength exercises in a circuit fashion will keep your heart rate up to burn major calories (Major Calories) while also strengthening your legs, butt, and chest.
(Note: I don’t suggest this as an every day routine, simply for the fact that you are missing an exercise for your back, which is more difficult without equipment. But, for a few days away from home, this is a nice fit.)
(Please ignore the fact that I had already run and switched into my PJs, threw my school clothes back on, but didn’t change out of my purple night shirt. I really am not that much of a scrub in real life.)
EXERCISE #1: Squats
Stand with your legs just a tad wider than your hips, toes facing forward. With your weight on the back of your heels, sit your butt back first, as if you were going to sit in a chair (you can actually put a chair behind you if you wish). Bend your knees and lower your butt until your quads (thighs) are parallel (or almost parallel) to the floor. Stand back up to the starting position and repeat. Make sure to keep your head up as this will force you to keep your back straight. If you can’t go down all the way, go down as far as possible. Be sure to keep your knees in line with your heels – you DON’T want your knees to go beyond your toes.
Variation: Squat Jumps! Lower down the same way as above, but instead of just standing back up, JUMP! Try to land on the balls of your feet first and then sit back onto your heels and lower back to the squat position. This one will really get your heart pumping! (Wee!)
EXERCISE #2: Pushups
You can either do these from your toes or knees – whichever works best for you. Starting on all fours, go up onto your hands and toes/knees to form a straight line from your shoulders to your toes/knees (your butt should not be up in the air or sagging). Your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower as far down to the floor as possible – try to make your nose touch the floor! Straighten your arms back up to the starting position and repeat. Keep your elbows in close to your sides and your head looking straight down at the floor.
EXERCISE #3: Crunches
Line on your back with your knees bent at about a 45 degree angle and your arms folded across your chest (I like to grab on to my sports bra straps or shirt). Tilt your hips/pelvis so that your lower back is pressed down into the floor. Tighten your abs (pretend like someone is about to punch you in the stomach) and lift your shoulders off the floor until only your lower back is touching the floor. Lower back down a repeat. To avoid the awful pain-in-the-neck feeling, find a spot on the ceiling to stare at and try to lift your chin up towards that spot. (I swear I have eyes and am NOT an alien.)
EXERCISE #4: Alternating Lunges
Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart and toes facing forward. Take a giant step forward with your right foot, keeping your head up and back straight. Then, lower your LEFT knee straight down to the ground until it is about an inch above the ground. Press back with your right foot to return to the standing position and repeat with your left leg. DO NOT try to bend your front knee forward when your back knee is going down. Your front knee should NEVER extend past your toes, as this puts unwanted strain on that front knee. (I’m totally falling over on the right.)
EXERCISE #5: Jumping Jacks
Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart and toes facing forward. Jump both legs out to the side while simultaneously raising your arms out to the side and above your head. Snap your legs and arms back into the starting position and repeat. (Matt is making fun of my jumping jacks.)
Variation: Squat Jacks (can you tell squats are my FAVORITE): Same starting position, but as your jump your legs out to the side, drop down into a wide-stance squat. (Yes, you will look like a sumo wrestler.)
So, there you have it. Your workout-to-go! I am thinking of making an exercise/workout feature a weekly thing, so let me know if you have any questions regarding strength training or certain exercises. I would love some input on where else I can go with this! Plus, I gotta keep these certifications useful!