Most people love to travel. At the same time, most people also love to have a body that is in top shape. However, sometimes these two goals don’t go well hand in hand. When travelling most people push physical exercise aside and neglect to include brief but effective workouts. There is no reason why you wouldn’t use the world as a gym by performing a „traveller’s minimalist workout“.
In this post I want to present some super effective bodyweight (BW) exercises which can be performed no matter where your travel takes you. You may be surprised how incredible bodyweight exercises can be in building a stunning physique. In fact, while I personally like using exercise equipment, there is no doubt that a basic set of BW exercises can easily help you to maintain a high level of fitness, health and agility.
Here is my list:
1.) PUSHUP –> classic BW exercise that can be perfomed in all kinds of variations as shown in the video below. Even if you are able to perform the clapping pushup I still wouldn’t recommend it as the strain on your elbow joints will be noticeable when performed regularly.
2.) CHINUP –> finding a bar or a ledge when travelling is pretty easy. About every playground will have a bar of some sorts where you can perform a chinup. If you happen to be travelling through the deep wilderness of Canadian forests, you can always find a suitable tree branch.
Just for clarification: a pull up is performed when you have a pronated grip (i.e. back of the hands facing you). Doing a chin up requires you to have a supinated grip (i.e. palms facing you). I prefer doing chinups as the range of motion is greater than in the pullup. Also, your shoulder joints will thank you for not doing excessively doing pullups. Listen to Bill de Simone in the video where he takes you through the anatomical basics of performing a congruent chinup:
3.) DIPS –> Another great BW exercise that will give you nice arms, chest and trapezius muscles. The classic version of the dip is performed using two parallel bars. However, finding perfectly parallel bars with the right distance in between them can prove bit of a challenge when travelling. You could definitely use two chairs to perform a dip. However, chairs can be quite wobbly and unstable which make this option less than optimal. Therefore, when I travel I usually resort to the „bench dip exercise“. You can literally perform everywhere. See the video on how to perform correctly. If you want to make this exercise harder, just rest your legs into an elevated position – just use a chair.
4.) WALL SIT & SQUAT –>let’s turn our attention to the lower body. Training your legs is done easiest doing a wall sit. Very basic upper leg exercise that is sure to give your muscles (i.e. quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus) a burning sensation. Doing this exercise I usually reach muscular failure after 3 minutes. After that I feel pretty wiped out. If you want to make the wall sit even harder just take hold of some extra weight (you can use full water bottles or stones).
Here comes the BW squat. If you think the BW squat is easy – think again. Perform a so-called „static hold“ in the mid-position of the movement and you will quickly realise that holding this position for a one minute is harder than you had previously anticipated. Again, use additional weight to fatigue your leg muscles more quickly.
5.) LATERAL RAISE –> the following exercise may look ridiculous and ineffective to some but it is great for stimulating muscle growth in your shoulders. Just find a door frame, raise you arms to both sides, lean forward slightly and start to push against the door frame. Doing this exercise with a 100% intensity allows me to endure a bit more than one minute.
So there you have it: no more legitimate excuses not to perfom some basic BW exercises while exploring the world.