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How To Keep Fit When Traveling
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How To Keep Fit When Traveling

If you're like me, being fit and working out is important. But there may be times, like when traveling, that you want some exercise but have no access to a gym or workout equipment.

And going for a run or walk just won't cut it.

So what to do?

Well, you can actually get an amazingly good workout by doing a few bodyweight exercises. No equipment required.....just your body.

Here are suggestions for 3 exercises that will pretty much work the entire body.

(1) Pushups

Pushups are one of the most basic of exercises, one that we all probably learned to do in elementary school. It's a compound movement for building upper body and core strength.

I'm sure that some will likely feel that pushups are so basic that it can't really be all that effective in achieving a challenging workout.

However, the exercise is often done incorrectly, and consequently, much of the benefit is lost.

Here are tips for doing them the right way.

Tips for doing pushups:

  • Bend over and put your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart or a little wider.
  • Raise up on your toes and move your feet behind you so that your body is in a straight line from head to foot.
  • Lower yourself until your chest is close to the floor, then push back up.
  • Inhale going down, and exhale pushing up.
  • Keep the ab and glute muscles contracted and the body in a straight line throughout the movement.

Note: Keeping the hands at shoulder width apart will focus on the center chest muscles, while positioning them wider will work more of the outer chest.

Errors to avoid:

  • Don't let your torso arch or sag. Keep your back straight and abs tight throughout the exercise.
  • Don't look straight ahead. Keep your head tucked in toward the chest to avoid hyper-extending the neck.
  • Don't let the elbows flair out too much to avoid straining the rotator cuff and possibly causing shoulder injuries.
  • Don't just drop to the floor. Going down and pushing back up with controlled technique will engage more muscle fibers.

This is the fundamental version of the exercise. But you could also try some variations, such as incline or decline pushups, diamond pushups, T-pushups, etc.

Depending on which ones you do, you can make your workout more challenging or easier.

(2) Curl/Pressdown Combo

This exercise was inspired by a technique called dynamic tension, a form of isometrics developed by Charles Atlas in the 1920's.

The idea is to pit a muscle of one body part against a muscle of another body part, creating as much tension between the two as possible.

In this case, the biceps of one arm will be working against the triceps of the other arm.

Tips for doing the curl/pressdown combo:

  • Stand so that your feet are about shoulder width apart and firmly planted on the floor.
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you at a 45 degree angle to the body
  • Clasp your hands together and position them so that the back of the right hand faces down and the left faces up.
  • Press the palms firmly together, bend the elbows and slowly begin to raise your hands and lower arms toward the chest while keeping the upper arms stationary.
  • While raising your hands, pull up as hard as possible with the right hand and press down as hard as possible with the left.
  • Continue raising the hands in this manner until they touch the chest. Then lower them while maintaining the same force of pressing with one and pulling with the other.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  • Then reverse the process and pull up with left hand and press down with the right.

Errors to avoid:

  • Don't let up on the tension until the set has been completed. Maintain the pressure of the opposing forces of pressing and pulling throughout.
  • Don't let the shoulders roll forward. Keep them back and the chest up.

(3) Modified Sissy Squats

For the lower body, you could do regular squats using your bodyweight.

But why not try this for something more challenging.

It's a version of the sissy squats exercise. So named, not as you might think, but after the Greek mythical king Sisyphus, who had massive muscular thighs.

Tips for doing modified sissy squats:

  • Stand about one foot from a doorway on the side where the door hinges.
  • Face the doorway and grab the inside of the door frame (one hand on each side, thumbs down) at about chest height.
  • Place your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • While holding onto the door frame, raise up on your toes, bend the knees and start to lower yourself toward the floor in a controlled manner, keeping your arms outstretch and not bent at the elbows.
  • As you descend, thrust your hips and pelvis forward so that your body remains in a straight line from the neck to the knees.
  • Go down as far as possible without causing any strain on your knees. Then push back up.
  • Inhale going down, and exhale pushing back up.

Note: By remaining at the bottom for a moment and tensing the thigh and butt muscles, you'll increase the effectiveness of the exercise.

Errors to avoid:

  • Don't completely unbend the knees in the top position until the set has been completed.
  • Don't unbend the elbows. Keep the arms outstretched throughout the exercise, and maintain a firm grip on the door frame.
  • Don't go down further than what is comfortable for the the knees. You should feel a burn in the quads after a few reps, but no pain.

So there you have it. Three exercises that will give you a good workout at no cost, without any equipment and can be done anywhere.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this information to be useful.

Street Talk

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