It's hard to work out when you're on the road. Unless you're staying at a luxury hotel or floating on a cruise ship, finding a gym can be a real challenge—especially in a foreign country.
I'm a frequent traveler, so I've worked out in all types of strange gyms and have had to improvise workouts wherever—and whenever—I could.
These five exercises aren't meant to build a lot of muscle and get you ripped, but they are a great way to spike your metabolism, burn calories, and maintain muscle mass until you get back to your home gym. Best of all, they require zero equipment.
Single-Leg Squat From Box
The Single-Leg Squat is a great leg exercise for any on-the-road workout because the technique is straightforward; you can make it harder or easier; and it can be done practically anywhere.
- Stand on the edge of an elevated surface (chair, step, bench, etc)
- Lower one leg toward the ground, squatting as you lower
- Once the bottom leg touches the ground, drive yourself up with the leg on the box
- Do not push off with the bottom leg
- Finish all your repetitions on one side and then repeat on the other leg
The Single-Leg Deadlift targets your glutes and hamstrings.
- Start from a stand and bend one knee
- Sit back into your hips and try to keep the shin on your bent leg perpendicular to the floor
- Lower your bent knee as close to the ground as you can, lifting your other leg out behind you
- Come back to a standing position
- Finish all your repetitions on one side and then repeat with the other leg
The T Push-Up is one of my favorite exercises to develop chest, shoulder, and core strength. To make it harder, elevate your feet a few inches.
- Do a normal Push-Up
- When you return to the starting position, rotate your body so your chest is facing out and reach up with one arm
- Do the same on the other side
Planks are a dime-a-dozen; spice things up with this dynamic variation.
- Begin in a normal plank position
- Reach up with one hand in a "salute" motion and hold for two seconds
- Return your arm to the starting position
- Repeat with the other side
Pulling exercises are the hardest type of exercise to do without equipment. Never fear, though. The YTWL is a simple exercise that develops the small stabilizer muscles at the back of your shoulders and promotes good posture and shoulder health.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms over your head in a "Y" shape
- Squeeze your shoulders back and lift your arms
- Repeat with your arms straight out to the sides in a "T" shape
- Repeat with your arms out to the side but bent in a "W" shape
- Finally, bend your arms out in an "L" shape on either side and rotate your thumbs outward
Quick Workout Template
If you're squeezed for time, try a density-training program. But pace yourself. This workout might smoke you.
Set a timer for 15 minutes:
- Single-Leg Squat (8 repetitions on each side)
- T Push-Ups (8 each side)
- Single-Leg Squat (8 each side)
- Salute Planks (30 seconds)
- YTWL (6 repetitions each side)
Do these exercises in order with no rest in between sets. Repeat the cycle as many times as you can until time runs out.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock