How To Workout No Matter Where You Are
12.21.12
Stacked Foot Push Up

Holiday travel can be both “ahhh…” and “aaah!”-inducing! Seeing our loved ones, getting away from our daily routine and basking in that special holiday glow can be just plain amazing. But the stress of family expectations, lack of routine and the inevitable travel mishaps can leave our fitness routines in the dust!

Just in time for a little pre-New Year’s tune up, we’re equipping you with this quick 22-minute routine designed to fit right in to tight spaces like hotel and guest rooms. These plyometric cardio sets will get your heart rate up, while the strength moves will tighten and tone away those extra raw gingerbread men you couldn’t help but scarf down. Follow the routine and check out our slideshow for all the visual cues and clues you need.

  • What You'll Need:
    • a hotel or guest room 
    • a couch, bed or another piece of sturdy furniture with legs
    • a suitcase, duffel bag or other moderately heavy piece of luggage
    • a clock or timer
    • 22 free minutes
  • Warm Up: Jumping Jacks

    Get ready to start sweating! Perform as many jumping jacks as possible in two minutes' time. Start to breathe deeper, jump stronger and speed up slightly at the one minute mark to expedite the warm-up.

  • Stacked Foot Push Ups
    • Place your toes and hands on the ground, making sure your arms are straight and back is flat. Keep your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
    • Lift your right foot and gently stack it on top of the left, toe to heel.
    • Tighten your abs and inhale as you lower yourself down until your elbows reach a 90 degree bend. Exhale as you push yourself back up to start. Perform one minute on each side.
    • Yoga push-up variation: keep your elbows pointing towards your toes. Traditional push-up variation: bend your elbows out to the sides until they reach a 90 degree angle.
    • Modification: keep your knees on the ground. No shame in that!
  • Luggage Row
    • Assume a lunge stance, right foot in front, right hand resting lightly on a bed or bench for balance. Tilt your upper body 45 degrees to create a straight line from back foot to crown of the head.
    • Hold a duffel bag, suitcase or other piece of moderately-heavy luggage in your left hand, arm in line with shoulder.
    • Slowly pull the luggage up by tightening your core and focusing on the strength of your back, until your elbow is in line with your shoulder. Lower and repeat. Perform one minute on each side.
  • Cardio Set 2: Jump Squats
    • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, back straight, shoulders down, toes pointed slightly out.
    • Keeping your back straight, lower your body down and back as if you are sitting down into a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or as close to parallel as possible).  Make sure your knees do not pass over your toes, and keep your abs tightly activated to ensure a straight spine.
    • Instead of pressing up slowly, jump up as explosively as you can, reaching towards the ceiling and landing with bent knees and weight in the heels back in squat position. Perform as many as possible in 2 minutes.
  • Single Leg Tricep Dips
    • With your back turned, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the side of the bed. Move your feet out to create a 90 degree angle, then cross your right foot over your left thigh, keeping a straight spine and arms perpendicular with the ground, as well as a very slight bend in your arms to avoid locking out your elbows (you want the work in the triceps, not your joints).
    • Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, keeping them tucked by your sides and slowly lowering your body towards the ground.
    • Press up through your hands and return to starting position with triceps still engaged. Switch legs at the one minute mark.
  • Sumo Squats With Luggage Press
    • Assume the same squat position as in the jump squats (or check out our squat tutorial), but widen your stance and turn your toes out slightly.
    • Hold a duffel bag or other piece of luggage in both hands, arms hanging straight down and perpendicular to the floor.
    • Lower into a squat, and as you press up to standing, raise the luggage over your head. Lower arms as you lower down to your beginning stance, and repeat as many times as possible for 2 minutes.
  • Cardio Set 3: Mountain Climbers
    • Come into plank position (top of a push-up) on hands and toes.
    • Bring the right knee in towards your chest, resting your foot on the floor in between your hands.
    • Jump your right foot back and left foot forward into the same position, switching feet mid-air.
    • Perform as many as possible in 2 minutes, aiming to go breathless in the last minute.
    • For higher intensity, speed up and keep your foot off the floor as your pull it in between your hands.
  • Bridge
    • Start with your back and feet on the floor, shoulders relaxed and fingers lightly touching heels.
    • On an exhale, tighten your core, firm your hands into the ground and squeeze your glutes to push your body into a diagonal position. Hold for 2 minutes
    • For a more intense pose, lift one leg, and switch at the one minute mark.
    • Tip: Imagine pulling your knees forward and your heart towards your face. This will not only keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, but will lift you off the ground (your knees will not really move forward, but the intention will help give a stronger lift!)
  • Side Crunches
    • Lie on your right side, legs extended with feet stacked on top of each other and right arm fully extended onto the ground perpendicular to your body.
    • Rest your left hand behind your head like you would do with traditional crunches. In one motion, contract your abs and lift both legs and torso off the ground up, forming a wide "V" position. Release. Perform as many as possible for one minute each side.
    • Modification: Only lift your torso.
    • Tip: Instead of thinking of "crunching" your upper and lower body together, imagine a string pulling your upper and lower body upward simultaneously. This will prevent strain in the neck and shoulders, and keep your form spot-on!
  • Reverse Crunches
    • Lie on your back with knees bent and hands clutching the foot of a bed, sofa or other sturdy piece of furniture.
    • Raise your legs to a 90 degree angle with legs perpendicular to the floor.
    • Exhale and slowly raise your hips off the ground, rolling slowly up the spine as if you were trying to touch your knees to your head. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed - we like to tense them up when things get rough!
    • Continue to curl up until your spine cannot roll further, shoulder blades remaining on the ground,  and hold for 1-3 counts. Slowly and with control, inhale and lower your spine and hips to start position. Perform as many sets as possible for 2 minutes.
  • Final Push: Jumping Jacks

    We've come full-circle! Perform as many jumping jacks as you can for 2 minutes, with the aim to go breathless. Now go enjoy those chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

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  1. these are great when the gym is lacking, thanks

    • So glad you enjoyed the piece, Toya! Let us know if you try the workout!

      The Chalkboard | 04.27.2013 | Reply

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