Who says you can’t fit in a workout anywhere – even when traveling? One of the top reasons that we get off track with our workouts is that we have a break our routine. Getting out of your routine can take just a day. But getting back into it can take weeks, months, or even years. And nothing breaks up your routine like traveling. Yet, all of us travel at some point. On a recent trip to South Carolina I created this quick, fun, and effective workout that you can do anywhere in just 8 minutes (even in a hotel room like I did).
Check out my VIDEO below for the full workout. This 8 minute Tabata style workout tones the legs, butt, back, arms, and elongates the abs.
*For this workout I used the i-phone app: Interval Timer
I set a 10 second warm-up (to have time to get set and ready). Then I set the timer for 16 intervals of 20 seconds high intensity and 10 seconds rest/low intensity.
1) Jump Squats – I started with this exercise to really get the heart pumping and the blood flowing. This allowed me to get my heart rate up quickly and get by body warmed up. The exercise is simple but really works the legs, butt, and lungs.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder width, keep torso tall, go to a sitting/squat position and then jump.
Level 1 Low Intensity/Low Joint Impact Option: If this is too challenging or bothers your joints you can do a sit to stand and get rid of the jump. Just keep the pace up based on your fitness level. Do YOUR best and you will get better each time you do it.
2) Lying Hyperextension – This exercise may look easy but it packs a powerful punch. Most of us sit hours each day. Because we do so much sitting we get tight in our bellies, front of the thighs, and our backs begin to hunch forward. This exercise is uncomfortable for most of us because we are so tight on the front side of our bodies and so weak on the back side of our bodies. The lying hyperextension elongates the ABS and keeps us standing tall and small in the midsection. It also tightens and strengthens those weak muscles on the backside (back, butt, and hamstrings).
How to do it: Lay down on your belly with your arms stretched above your head. Lift your arms, upper torso, and legs in the air and squeeze the low back and butt. Be careful to no lift or strain your neck. Keep you head looking down and your neck relaxed in neutral position.
Level 1 Option: If you feel that you are straining anything or if you are a beginner adjust to this level 1 option. Start by lying on your belly. Keep your on the floor by your chest. Now you can use the hands to help push the torso up slightly while lifting your lower body off the floor and squeeze your hips.
3) Chair Tricep Dips – No more bat wings with this exercise. Tone and tighten the shoulders and the back of the upper arm. This exercise can also help elongate the abs if you keep your torso tall.
How to do it: Sit in a chair on the front edge. Place your hands on the sides of the seat of the chair at the front of the chair. Then lift your body off the chair and walk your feet forward so that your hips are now in front of the chair. Keeping the hips close to the chair bend the arms to lower your hips then push until your body is lifted back to starting position and your arms are straight. When you do this the first time do very short movements until you get used to the position and your strength can handle the weight of your body. Keep your knees bent so that you can use your legs to push off if needed. As you get stronger use the legs less and even straighten the legs to make this exercise more advanced.
Level 1 Option: If you are new to this exercise or overweight I recommend that you first do this exercise sitting on the floor or other flat surface. From sitting position with knees bent and feet flat, place your hands about 3 inches behind your hips with your fingers pointing forward. Lean back while bending the elbows. Then push with the arms back straight taking the upper body back up to starting seated position (repeat). Your lower body doesn’t do anything during this exercise.
4) Horizontal Pull-up – This is definitely not a beginner move. It is challenging to keep the body in proper form, lift your body, and keep a good grip. This exercise is great for posture and keeping your abs elongated (which makes us taller and smaller in the midsection) by strengthening your middle back and biceps. You will also be working your forearms by gripping the table.
How to do it: Because I was in a hotel room I used a breakfast table. Make sure you have a sturdy table and you get your lower body up to your chest under the table. Place your hands wider than shoulder width on the the edge of the table. Walk forward until you feel that your body weight is supported by the table. Lift hips off the floor and pull your chest up to the bottom of the table. Return to the starting position and repeat. Keep your hips lifted, chest lifted, and your abs engaged to ensure that you do not round your back.
Level 1 Standing Option: Stand in a doorway. Place hands inside the doorway at chest level and grab the door frame. Keeping the body tall and stiff simply lean back until your arms are straight and then pull your body back to starting position by bending the elbows and repeat. Keep your chin-up and your neck relaxed.
Just 8 minutes and you are done! You have gotten your heart rate up, kicked up your fat burning, and worked major muscle groups. I would love to hear from you! Stop and say hello in the comments section below.