let’s face it: travel can throw you off. it’s a whole lot easier to stick to your daily to-dos when you’re at home on your normal schedule - meal prepping, hitting your favorite workout classes, taking your dog for a walk (hello 10k steps!). but once you set foot on that airplane, all bets are off! you tell yourself things like “this piña colada doesn’t really count if i’m in a different zip code” or “if i can’t go to my pilates studio, it’s not even worth it” or “i’ll just pick exercise back up again when i’m home in a week.” but it doesn’t have to be like that! ditch the all-or-nothing nonsense + adopt a more practical approach to daily workouts when you’re traveling, whether you’re a seasoned jetsetter or a laid-back beach bum. these 3 simple circuits are all moves pulled from our 6-week COMEBACK program, which is based on the premise that you don't have to go extreme to make progress. in fact the program's mantra is: move more, stress less - and these workouts help you do just that!
[jetsetter: upper bod workout]
when you’re an experienced traveler, you’re likely a pro at keeping up with your health routine without missing a beat - even when you’re out of town. this includes packing all the smartest travel snacks, keeping tabs on all the best local cafes in every major city for healthy takeout, and of course, booking your hotels based on which ones boast the best gyms. here’s a quick upper body workout you can fit in in-between meetings or post-workday at your hotel gym. be sure to pack your resistance bands - otherwise, you can use light dumbbells for these moves. do 2-3 sets of the entire circuit for a nice upper bod workout.
reverse fly w/dumbbells - 10 reps
1. holding a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet hip-width apart + your knees bent.
2. bending forward at the hips, raise both arms out to the sides, keeping the arms straight, no bend in the elbows. squeeze your shoulder blades together as you raise. return to start.
bent over row w/dumbbells - 10 reps
1. holding a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. arms should be hanging perpendicular to the floor.
2. keeping the elbows close to the body, pull dumbbells up, elbows bent. squeeze your back muscles as you lift, then return to start.
chest fly w/dumbbells - 10 reps
1. lying on your back on a bench or the floor, arms straight + raised parallel to one another, hold a pair of dumbbells.
2. slowly lower your arms out to your sides, keeping your elbows just slightly bent throughout. squeeze your chest muscles as you bring the weights back up.
tricep kickback w/band - 20 reps
1. standing on a band with feet shoulder-width apart, torso at a 45 degree angle, hold onto the ends of the band, elbows bent + close to the body.
2. pull the band ends back, squeezing your tricep muscles as you pull, then return to start.
lat pulldown w/band - 20 reps
1. standing with feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight + reaching toward the sky, grip a band with both hands, stretching it to hold it taut.
2. controlling the movement, bring your hands down + out to shoulder height, keeping the band taut, then return to start.
[adventurer: booty workout]
when you’re an adventure lover, your idea of cardio is exploring! when it comes to strength training, you’ve got a minimal amount of space in your bag for workout gear. that’s where bands really come in handy. they’re super lightweight, can be tossed right in your purse or carry-on + pack a huge punch when it comes time to get your hotel-room (or tent) workout on. these moves will work your legs + butt like a champ - no gym required. no bands? no problem. just do it without 'em. do 2-3 sets of the entire circuit.
single leg bridge pulses - 10/side
1. lying on your back, knees bent + feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides, raise one leg up perpendicular to the floor, bottom of your foot facing the ceiling.
2. lift your hips as high as you can, squeezing your glutes as you lift, then lower to start.
3. once you've completed the reps on one side, switch legs + repeat on the other side.
reverse lunge + jump - 10/side
1. start in a forward lunge position (start with your feet hip-width apart, take a big step forward, then lower until both knees are bent at a 90° angle, torso straight + upright.).
2. from your forward lunge, explode off the ground, jumping on your front foot, while bringing your back knee up in front of you, that leg bent. mid-jump, begin returning back to start position so that you land softly in another lunge.
booty kick w/band - 10/side
1. hands + knees on the floor, hold onto either end of a resistance band + place the center of the band around the sole of your foot.
2. holding the band taut, draw one knee forward, then extend that leg straight out behind you. return to start, then after you've completed all reps on one side, repeat on the other side.
wide squat pulses w/band - 20 reps
1. with a band around your legs, standing with your feet spread wide, toes turned outward, knees bent + thighs parallel to the ground, place your hands on your hips.
2. make small pulses up + down, only about an inch, keeping the band taut.
sumo knee drops - 10/side
1. standing with your feet spread wide, toes pointing outward, knees bent + thighs parallel to the ground, lift your arms to your head, placing hands at your ears.
2. rotating your hip, drop one knee inward + toward the ground, then bring it back up, returning to start.
3. repeat with other knee, alternating sides until all reps are completed.
[beach bum: core workout]
when you’re on a beach vacay, the last thing you want to worry about is spending time inside each day in the gym. so what’s a gal to do when you want to soak up all the sun + sandy fun you possibly can without the setback of a weeklong vacation sans sweat? take it outside with this equipment-free circuit, designed to work your core like crazy - never a bad thing on bikini days! do 2-3 sets of the entire circuit.
pilates reverse froggers - 20 reps
1. lying on your back with your arms outstretched above your head, draw your knees in toward your chest while simultaneously bringing your arms in between your legs, squeezing your ab muscles, then return to start.
plank slides - 20 reps
1. forearms + toes on the ground, hold a plank position, your body parallel to the ground. squeezing your abs, lean forward, hold, then lean back to start.
ab rotations - 20 reps
1. sitting upright on the floor, your back straight, torso perpendicular to the floor, contract your core + abs. hold a weighted object in your hands in front of you - anything you can find (a rock, a book, etc).
2. slowly rotate your torso to one side, keeping the object close to your body + aligned with the middle of your torso. pause, then rotate to the opposite side. repeat until all reps are completed.
mountain climbers - 40 reps (20/side)
1. start in a plank position, your hands + toes on the ground, your body parallel to the floor, then alternating legs, pull one knee up toward the arm on the same side, quickly returning to start + repeating with the opposite leg until all reps are completed.
bicycle obliques - 20 reps (10/side)
1. lying on your back with your abs pulled in + your hands behind your head, bring your knees up to your chest and slowly go through a cycling motion, alternating between touching your left elbow to your right knee + your right elbow to your left knee, rotating side to side until all reps are complete.
want more workouts like this? check out our 6-week COMEBACK program with over 100 exercises, complete with pics + tips to modify or advance every single exercise. best part: you can print it out or download on your iPad so you can pack your workout wherever your travels take you! what’s your go-to workout when you’re away from home? share in the comments below!