Exercising on vacation isn't always easy. I mean, who wants to take time away from drinking mimosas (or your beverage of choice!) by the pool to lift weights or do cardio in a cramped hotel gym? Not me! Fortunately, there are effective ways to stay fit on vacation without spending time on the treadmill or hoisting over-used dumbbells.
This effective workout is made up of seven equipment-free exercises that will enable you to enjoy your hotel-room view while still building muscle, burning calories, and staying fit! Best of all, the workout is quick and efficient, so you can hit your goals and get back to sightseeing in no time.
1. Plank Leg Triangle
2 sets of 10-15 reps per side
Don't leave your routine in the lurch! Get on all fours, take a deep breath, and dive into this core workout headfirst. Don't stop until you feel the burn.
- Come into a high plank by placing your hands under your shoulders, pointing your fingers forward, and placing your legs no more than hip-width apart. Keep your body in a solid, straight line. Flex your feet.
- Lift one leg as high as you can with good control, making sure not to pike your hips at the top of the movement. Continue to press through the heel of your grounded leg.
- Exhale, sending your leg out to the side while keeping it straight. Make sure to keep equal pressure on both hands. Bring the leg back to the plank position without putting it back on the floor. Maintain this tripod with extensions for 10-15 reps before switching to the other side.
2. Reverse Flutter Kick
20 sec. on/10 sec. off for 3 min.
Get on your stomach and perform the reverse flutter kick for intervals of 3-seconds on/10-seconds off for a few tough minutes. Go even longer if you really want to feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings!
- Lie on your belly, and rest your head on your arms. Squeeze your glutes, and lift your legs off the floor just enough so your thighs are still touching.
- Lift one leg higher until your thigh peels away from the mat. Lower your raised leg as the other comes up.
3. C Crunch
3 sets of 20-25 reps
Six-pack abs wait for no one, so prepare to work your core with this tough crunch variation!
- Lie on your back, and bend your knees until they're directly over your hips. Keep your legs and feet together. Set your hands on either side of your body. Exhale, and roll your shoulder blades off the ground, lifting your arms off, too. Think of pulling your sternum upward.
- Exhale, and crunch your chest into your thighs, rounding your spine so it creates a "C" shape. As you lower yourself, think of it as unrolling. Immediately crunch up again, working at a smooth, even pace. Use your breath to guide you.
4. Star Plank
Hold for 30-60 sec.
If you don't immediately start to feel the burn in your core and back muscles when doing this exercise, I'll be impressed! There are two ways to get into position for this move. Choose the one that works best for you.
- Beginning on all fours, walk your hands to the outside of your mat and forward a few inches.
- As you stretch outward, raise your knees and walk your legs to the outside of your mat.
- Make sure your back is flat and you're squeezing your core, lats, and back.
- Start in a high plank.
- Walk your feet out wide first.
- Once they're on the outside of the mat, walk your hands out and forward one at a time.
- Make sure your back is flat and that your core, lats, and back muscles are braced.
5. Tabletop Reverse Pike
3 sets of 10-15 reps
This total-body move will target almost all of your major muscle groups, giving you a well-rounded exercise to work on balance, strength, and muscle endurance.
- Sit on the floor with knees bent, feet flat, and hands behind you. Make sure your fingers are pointing toward your body.
- Lift your hips off the floor so they are even with your knees.
- Swing your hips down while straightening your legs. Your hips should end up between your arms. Hold, then return to the starting position.
6. Butterfly Bridge
3 sets of 10-15 reps
I know it sounds cute, but this move will actually make your glutes and outer thighs burn like crazy. Focus on the correct form to avoid injuring your lower back.
- Lie on your back (either on an exercise mat or on the floor) in a bent-knee position with your feet flat. With the soles of your feet pressed together, allow your knees to fall out to the sides.
- Gently contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the floor. Attempt to maintain this gentle muscle contraction throughout the exercise.
- Exhale. Keep your abdominals engaged, and lift your hips up off the floor. Press your heels into the floor for added stability. Avoid pushing your hips too high, which can cause an exaggerated arch in your low back.
- Inhale and slowly lower yourself back to your starting position.
3 sets of 10 reps
You knew this move was going to make it on the list, didn't you? For good reason, though! This exercise is a full-body killer, which makes it the perfect finishing move. End your workout by testing every muscle in your body!
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Bend your knees, and squat down, placing your hands firmly on the floor.
- Jump your feet back to come into a high plank with straight arms and legs.
- Perform a push-up, then jump both feet forward to your hands.
- From your crouching position, jump up with both hands above your head. That is one rep.