For today’s road warriors or vacationer, being away from home can put a huge damper on your fitness goals. We eat worse, drink more. We’re on cramped airplanes surrounded by germs, and we’re away from our home gym where we’re used to putting in the hard work. It’s enough to throw anyone off track. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of wandering around the hotel “gym” with a whopping two treadmills and three dumbbells - all being used - opt for these 4 no-equipment-needed movements to create a quick and effective fat-burning workout.
1. Hand Release Pushups
Hand release pushups are similar to normal pushups except one key difference. You take your hands off of the ground at the bottom of each rep to ensure you’re getting your chest all the way to the floor instead of cheating yourself out of those last couple inches. After placing your hands back on the floor, press up like you would normally until your arms are fully locked out at the top. Want to kick up the intensity? Turn these hand release pushups into explosive pushups by pressing up hard enough that your hands “jump” off the ground a couple of inches at the top.
2. Jumping Lunges
Jumping lunges have the same glute-burning powers of normal lunges, but they add in a dose of coordination, explosiveness, and speed. To do them, lunge as you normally would, keeping your front shin vertical while lowering your back knee close to the floor, but instead of stepping back up after the lunge you’re going to press up explosively and “jump” into your next lunge. There should be no foot contact with the floor in-between lunges. Want to kick up the intensity? If your hotel gym has dumbbells available, hold one in each hand while doing the jumping lunges.
Nothing is more foundational to human movement that the squat. It’s how we sit on the couch, stand out of a chair, and get out of bed. Training the squat regularly can make this daily ritual a breeze. Here's the key - work on improving your depth, or your range of motion, over time. All of us are limited to squatting to different depths based on our flexibility, our experience, and previous injuries. Try to work lower and lower into the squat over time. Eventually you’ll be perfectly comfortable hitting a depth below parallel. Want to kick up the intensity? Turn regular squats into goblet squats by holding a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate) in front of your chest while squatting. Just make sure you’re keeping your torso as vertical as possible to keep from putting unnecessary and unsafe torque on your lower back.
Ahh, the burpee. Everyone’s favorite movement. There’s a reason the burpee has become so popular in recent years - it works. It forces your entire body to work at a high intensity, and not only gets all of your muscles on fire, but your lungs as well. Burpees can have you sucking wind in no time. Not familiar with the movement? From a standing position, jump your feet backwards while dropping your chest to the ground and catching yourself in a pushup position. Once your chest has touched the ground, jump your feet back up to your hands and stand all the way up. Want to kick up the intensity? Do them faster!
THE ROAD-WARRIOR WORKOUT
You have the four perfect road warrior movements - now how do we put them together? Follow this simple formula and you’ll have a high intensity, fat shredding workout in no time.
Pick a time domain between 10 and 30 minutes. The shorter time domains should have a higher intensity, whereas a longer time domain will naturally have slightly less intensity. Choose a rep scheme for each of the four movements. This means pick a number of reps that you’re going to do in each circuit. It can be anything from 5 to 25. Put the circuit together. Let’s say you chose to do a 20 minute workout, and you chose 10 hand release pushups, 10 lunges per leg, 15 squats, and 5 burpees. This means that you will put 20 minutes on the clock, and will cycle through that circuit as many times as you can in 20 minutes. The key is moving as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.
Don’t want to put your own workout together? No problem. Try this one on for size the next time you’re on the road.
15 Minute Circuit
20 squats (goblet squats if you have a weight)
10 jumping lunges per leg
15 hand release pushups