A bad situation for fitness enthusiasts can be having no gym when overseas and on vacation. Yes, vacation is all about relax time but fitness enthusiasts are a passionate bunch who love to work a sweat even when on a relaxing trip. Although no gym availability might be a big time bummer, that doesn’t mean you can’t workout effectively nonetheless. In this article we feature a wide variety of exercises that can help you maintain that body you worked so hard on or those chiseled abs you'll want to keep stimulated while on vacation.
We didn’t only include exercises such as the cocoon crunch and air squat. We also put in meaningful stretches than can help shake off that terrible plane jet-lag. Sitting in the same position for hours can cause lots of stiffness especially for fitness enthusiasts. We feature exercises than help shake off that rust in no time.
We recommend you use the exercises on this list in a sequence. So maybe perform the different workouts in a circuit type of workout with little breaks in between. You can also use super-sets as well. We advise that you start and finish with some of the suggested stretches that we have also included. Who needs weights when you have a wide variety of booty and ab workouts to use? Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a fellow traveler looking to maintain their shape. Here are 20 exercises you can perform while traveling without the use of any equipment. Let’s get started!
20 Step-Up Knee Raises
Let’s face it, when it comes to vacation we need the type of exercises that are quick and impactful targeting several muscle groups. Bodyweight step-up knee raises do exactly that. Various muscles are put to work and those include the hamstrings, quads and even glutes. The exercise is a great calorie burner when performed at a quicker pace.
For those that opt to work in the movement at a slower pace, it can also be beneficial as a stretch. After getting off a long flight or long bus ride, knee raises can help battle that travel soreness rather quickly.
19 Pistol Squat
You’ve worked all summer trying to develop that glute muscle and it’s now time to hit the beach. Let’s say you don’t have access to a proper gym with a barbell, the next best thing would be a wide range of glute activating bodyweight exercises; one of which might just be as rigorous as the normal barbell squat: a pistol squat.
The movement isn’t easy and demands lots of lower body strength and core stability. The goal is to squat down on one leg while trying to keep the other as straight as possible. It isn’t the easiest bodyweight exercise. However it can be quite impactful based off stability and mobility purposes alone.
18 Freehand Jump Squat
You might have incorporated this exercise into your fitness routine already. The jump squat is another great glute builder. If you want to get that heart rate up, try performing this exercise on the beach. We guarantee you’ll work up a quick sweat in no time. It’s also an exercise you can incorporate as a super-set during a quick bodyweight-only workout.
Along with burning calories, the jump squat activates lots of lower body muscles. Active muscle groups include the hamstrings, quads, glutes and even calves. Make sure to keep your back as upright as possible. The last thing you want is a sore back while on vacation.
Bodyweight exercises while on vacation don’t need to be fancy or complicated. Something as simple as a plank can be just what you need in order to give your body a great overall pump. You can perform this exercise just about anywhere, whether it be on the beach or in the comfort of your own hotel room.
This exercise is an awesome calorie burner and strength builder. The plank involves lots of muscle endurance, particularly for your back, abs and entire core for that matter. Other muscles worked include the hams and glutes. The exercise promotes greater posture and improves one’s balance.
16 Push Ups
Like we have mentioned a few times thus far, bodyweight exercises don’t need to be complex. Another routine exercise that can get the heart pumping and sore those muscles quickly is the classic push up exercise. You’ll burn lots of calories while stimulating multiple body parts. A misconception about the push up is that it only works the chest area. That isn’t true. Push ups also target the abdominals, shoulders, deltoids and triceps.
This is another exercise you can easily incorporate into a circuit type of workout or even place as a super-set with another bodyweight exercise.
15 Glute Kickback
The glute kickback is another exercise you can perform easily whether it be on a beach outside or on a mat inside. The glute kickback is a great exercise stimulating the glutes. It can also serve a great purpose in ailing any type of traveling stiffness. After sitting down on a plane or bus for so long, the glute kickback is one of the better exercise stretches to perform.
If you really want to blast the glute you can put this exercise in a type of circuit alongside a free squat or another type of dynamic squat. You’ll get the booty revved up in no time without the assistance of a fancy machine or barbell.
14 Bodyweight Calf Raises
Oh, that calf muscle. Lots of men struggle to develop calves. For the most part genetics have a lot to do with the growth of this muscle group. If you plan on hitting the beach and want a little calf pump beforehand why not perform a couple of standing bodyweight calf raises?
A preferable location to perform such a workout would be with the use of a staircase or any type of platform. This would offer an optimal contraction due to the elevated platform. Like so many other bodyweight exercises on the list, it can also serve as a great stretch as well.
13 Air Bike Crunch
The air bike crunch will have those abs burning in no time without any use of free weights or machines. The goal of this exercise is to crunch while keeping both legs in constant motion. A pivotal part of ab development is contracting the abs. Yes, doing lots of reps is nice however the tempo is of the even greater importance.
Make sure to perform any type of ab exercise slowly with an optimal contraction at the peak of the movement. It’s all about finding the muscle contraction and squeezing it out. Keep that in mind with the air bike movement and you’ll forget all about fancy ab machines really quickly.
12 Glute Bridge
You can do lots of bridge variations that can positively impact the development of the glute. The great part is that you don’t even need the use of dumbbells or barbells in doing so.
You can perform this exercise however you want, whether it be raising both legs at the same time or opting for one leg at a time. Both movements play a great role in terms of muscle stability and flexibility as well. Remember to go easy on the knees when executing this workout and focus on contracting the glutes. Mind and muscle contraction are essential components when executing an exercise properly.
11 Bodyweight Lunge
Weights or no weights the lunge is one of the top lower body movements. Not only are you building muscle but you’re also burning lots of calories due to the fatigue on various muscle points. Lunges help to engage the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Similar to the squat you can hit several lower body parts at once.
The movement doesn’t necessarily help in weight loss directly but it does a fantastic job at tightening one’s lower body core. If you want to get your heart rate going, perform the walking lunge out on the beach. But if you do, prepare to sweat!
10 Lying Leg Raises
Lying Leg Raises continue to be one of the most popular workouts. In the gym area this exercise is typically performed while standing upright and lifting your legs. However you don’t need the fancy machine to stand upright. You can also lay down on the ground while still performing the exercise.
Leg lifts are a great lower abdominal builder. They can also help with that highly desired v-taper shape. Once again make sure to keep the movement controlled at all times while keeping the contraction for a couple of seconds. Proceed to go back down as slowly as possible. You don’t want your momentum to do the work for you.
No, you don’t need to perform Supermans while on the airplane traveling to a new destination. Instead you can wait until you’re in the comfort of your own room or on a beach setting for the matter. Supermans can be regarded as a stretch rather than an exercise. This is another movement that can help shake off the terrible jet-lag.
Stretching similarly to how Superman flies across the sky, this movement helps to stretch and strengthen the lower back. According to Live Strong it is also a great way to prevent back pain from showing up. Another positive? The movement can help with posture issues.
8 Air Squat
Let’s just say you really want to perform a squat. You look to your left, and there are no dumbbells, you look to your right, and nope, no barbells. Well, here’s some advice, just get down and start squatting without the use any weight. A normal free squat can still prove to be effective while on vacation.
Remember when it comes to a squat, bodyweight or weighted, the main purpose is to feel the movement in your glutes and thighs. Make the mind-muscle connection. It is also important to keep your feet placement shoulder width when doing the exercise. Keep your head straight at all times and avoid looking down.
7 Body Weight Hip Thrust
You can perform this exercise while flat on the ground. You can also do the movement while elevated. Perhaps a bench that can support half of your body can enhance the workout movement even further.
The hip thrust has a variety of benefits which includes strength increases along with improved speed as well. The true hero of this exercise is one’s glute power. This is the dominant muscle being put to work when using the thrust motion. You can use this bodyweight exercise as a workout. You can also use the movement as a warm-up stretch just prior to a squat session as well.
6 Alien Squat
A plyometrics type of workout, don’t be too freaked out by the name of this exercise. Instead, it’s another great bodyweight exercise that improves core stability while stinging the hamstrings, quads and glutes.
To perform this exercise you must keep a wide stance at the starting position with your knees slightly bent. Make sure your toes are pointing outwards. Push upwards with both your hips and back. While landing you are required to land in a squat position. Make sure to keep your hands on your hips throughout the movement while keeping a straight back.
5 Walking High Knees
Another workout stretch you can perform to avoid muscle fatigue, the walking high knees can help improve mobility along with aiding the flexibility of both the hams and glutes. You can easily perform this exercise while walking on the beach. It is typically used as a sought-after warm up movement just before a leg workout. The exercise triggers lots of the lower body muscles.
We recommend using this bodyweight movement just prior to executing some of the other glute, quad and hamstring workouts on the list. You can also finish with the stretch as well.
4 Glute Bridge Hamstring Walkout
This workout is easy and one even inexperienced trainees can perform. The purpose of this exercise is to trigger the glute muscles. You want to start on the floor and bend both knees. Keep your feet close to the glute area. Drive the hips up and perform the bridge movement. That’s the point of contraction, then proceed to go down slowly while getting back to the neutral position.
This is another exercise you can incorporate before hitting a free squat or a walking lunge. Remember you can always get some serious glute work done even without the assistance of weights or machines!
3 Cocoon Crunch
Another body part we work on so hard year-round is developing those darn abdominals. With vacation comes the eagerness to eat different foods. With that said we want to engage those abs so we can at least maintain those shreds while hitting the beach. The cocoon crunch is among the top ab builders. You really get a two-for-one type of exercise with this movement.
The exercise consists of a crunching motion along with the extension of the legs. It’s like performing an ab crunch and leg raise all in one. You’ll hit both the upper and lower abs in the movement but be aware, this workout will have you sweating.
2 Hip Stretch With Twist
This hip stretch is a movement than can help fight those post flight body issues. The hip stretch dramatically improves one's posture and mobility. It is also a beneficial stretch in terms of core engagement. The torso and hamstrings get a nice stretch when performing this movement.
This stretch isn’t only great to shake off the plane rust but it is also a fine activation movement prior to a jog or even a workout. A vacation jog by the beach is a favorite activity for lots of travellers. Incorporate this movement before and you’ll be ready to go.
1 Spider Crawl Crunch
You might look a little weird trying to mimic a spider that’s crawling. However there’s nothing weird with the result of this bodyweight exercise. The movement is a preferred ab exercise among experienced weightlifters.
The spider crawl not only involves optimal ab strength but the entire core gets engaged as well. Keeping your body upright requires the work of lots of muscle fibers - this causes quite a few calories to be burned. Among the body parts at work includes the shoulders, back, chest, arms, lower body and of course, the abdominals. For a bodyweight exercise this movement is one of the best while on vacation.