Don’t Let A Vacation Or Time Crunch Get Between You And Your Workout

plank
Even as someone who is exceedingly dedicated to my workout routine, when I travel, the first thing that falls to the side is my workout regimen (and in a one-two punch, it’s usually replaced by copious amounts of carbs and sugar – I’m a sucker for big hotel breakfasts!). It has been shown time and time again that a morning workout – even a quick one – can make all the difference in setting you up for a healthy day (and that means everything from being more likely to make “good” food choices to being less prone to stress). With that in mind (along with an upcoming trip to Vietnam and Cambodia…) I turned to Kiesha Ramey-Presner, the VP of Teacher Development and a Master Instructor for Bar Method, to show us a quick circuit we could literally do anywhere. Here’s to making a smart choice…pre-pancakes.

1. PLANK
Planks warm up the whole body, and specifically strengthens and tones the abdominal, back, seat and shoulder-stabilizer muscles.
How-to:

  • Come down to the floor on your knees, or for the most challenge, the balls of your feet.
  • Place your forearms on the floor with your palms facing towards each other – you may either separate your hands (making fists or not) or interlace them.
  • Open your legs to hip-width apart.
  • Grip your glutes and tuck under by gently rolling your hips underneath your spine.
  • Lift your head in line with your spine.
  • Pull in your abs and exhale sharply.
  • Pull your shoulders down and flatten your back.

Hold for about one minute.

 heellifts_2
2. HEEL LIFTS
For this exercise, you’ll need a stable (non-rolling) chair with a high back that you can hold lightly for balance. This move works to warm up your feet, strengthen your knees, tone your calves and hamstrings and sculpt your glutes.
How-to:
  • Face a half-arm’s length from the backside of the chair, and hold it lightly for balance.
  • Open your feet hip-width apart and parallel.
  • Straighten your legs.
  • Tuck under by gently rolling your hips underneath your spine.
  • Bend slightly forward at your waist, and pull your shoulders back and down.
  • Lift and lower your heels up, down, up, down… For more challenge, you have the option of balancing with your hands on your waist or your arms overhead.

Do about 30-60 reps max.

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3. PARALLEL THIGH
For this exercise, you’ll need a stable (non-rolling) chair with a high back that you can hold lightly for balance.
This move makes your whole body leaner, burns lots of calories and strengthens and protects your knees.
How-to:
  • Face a half-arm’s length from the backside of the chair, and hold it lightly for balance.
  • Open your feet hip-width apart and parallel.
  • Lift your heels as high as is comfortable for you, so that you are on the balls of your feet.
  • Bend your knees and come about a third of the way down.
  • Upright your spine and look straight ahead.
  • Relax your seat and maintain a light grip on the back of the chair.
  • Press down an inch, up an inch, down an inch…Vary the tempo and include static holds to your preference.

Continue for 1.5-2 minutes.

standingseat_5

4. STANDING SEAT
For this exercise, you’ll need a stable (non-rolling) chair with a high back that you can hold lightly for balance.
This move improves your posture and streamlines your body from your shoulders to your knees, making your body look straighter, longer and more elegant.
How-to (gluteus maximus):

  • Face a half-arm’s length from the backside of the chair, and hold it lightly for balance.
  • Press your heels together and open the balls of your feet 2-3 inches apart into a Narrow V.
  • Soften your knees and gently roll your hips under your spine – grip your glutes firmly.
  • Pick up your (right) foot and rest it on the floor behind you.
  • Align your (right) knee underneath your hip or slightly forward.
  • Push the top of your (right) foot into the floor and use that pressure to roll your hips underneath your spine and squeeze your glutes tightly.
  • Use your hamstring and glute muscles to lift your foot off the floor a couple of inches.
  • Draw your abs in tightly and use the muscles underneath your shoulders to pull your shoulders down your back and open your chest. Exhale and continue breathing.
  • Use the powerful muscle at the base of your seat to pull your leg back against the resistance of your tuck.
  • Pull back-hold, back, back…Vary the tempo and include static holds to your preference.

Continue for 1.5-2 minutes per leg.

How-to (gluteus medius):

  • (From your previous setup) Lower your (right) foot.
  • Retuck your seat.
  • Draw your (right) toes 6-8 inches to the side to activate the corner of your seat, your gluteus medius.
  • Tuck again and shift your body weight slightly towards the (right).
  • Align your (right) knee in line with your hip and lower your (right) hip down.
  • Use the muscle in the side of your seat to lift your (right) foot about an inch off the floor. Exhale and continue breathing.
  • Use your gluteus medius (corner of your seat) to draw your leg out and diagonally back. Press out-hold, out, out…Vary the tempo and include static holds to your preference.

Continue for 1.5-2 minutes per leg.

Images: Kiesha Ramey-Presner/Bar Method

4 Comments

  1. Daniella
    November 6, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    do you actually do this when you travel?

  2. Lisette
    November 9, 2016 / 8:31 am

    now to actually commit to this.lol

  3. Tamera
    November 18, 2016 / 8:33 am

    Ⅰ thought this post wwas grеat. Cheers!

  4. November 19, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

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