Be honest, how often have you made the following statement, “but I don’t have time to go to the gym!” A complaint I hear all too frequently and one that I retort to with a cliché myself, “you’ve got to make time!”
But I have to agree sometimes it really is impossible to get yourself out to the gym and this invariably is the issue I face when I travel and when I am not staying in a hotel. Out of sheer necessity I had to start working out in the room I was staying in and hey presto! My top 5 exercises which can be done anywhere, anytime and which require zero equipment. Try to do as many of these in a routine spanning from 30-45 minutes. When you plan your workout it’s okay to focus on one key area i.e. legs, arms, core more than the other in one session but make sure you tend to the remaining areas in later sessions. Also, don’t forget to warm up with some on the spot jogging and then cool down with some stretches after.
** Google or Youtube are incredible sources to look up variations of these exercises and to ensure you maintain correct form.
1) Squats & Lunges – By far my favorite section! I love squatting especially because it has this amazing way of engaging every single muscle in your legs and making sure they’re used to the max. I for one am a sucker for that muscle burn and enjoy doing these both with and without weights. Naturally if you don’t have access to a Weights Rack do them without and mix up your routine by doing a variety of squats like : Narrow-stance squats, Squats with feet a bit wider than hip-width, Sumo squats, one-legged squats and to bring in that HIIT element, JUMP SQUATS! Keep your chest & head lifted, stick your BOOTAY out and remember, “Ass to the Grass or Go home!” Lunges are similar to squats in how they encompass all leg muscles. Ensure your form is bang on accurate and indulge in forward, reverse, side-step and bouncing lunges. Knee positioning is the key with lunges as is the depth you sink down to, so go lower and lower and lower … Upper body holds upright and in control.
2) Planks – What squats are to legs, planks are to the full body. And what’s more is with planks that mad desire which is sparked within to hold them for a little longer, a little longer and just a little bit more … Don’t feel bad at all if you’re unable to hold them up for longer than 20 seconds (I started out at 15 seconds and on my knees). Keep at it, don’t give up, involve your abdominal muscles and EMBRACE that tremor 😉 Mix up the routine with simple planks, elbow-tapping planks, military planks or commando planks and mountain-climber planks. Quite a test of your core strength and stability! Remember to keep those hips steady and stable and ensure your body is dead straight in a line.
3) Cardio boosts – It’s very important to get your heart rate soaring in these workouts and there are moves which will get your blood surging. Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers and Skipping. A skipping rope is light and easy to pack and take with you on travel. Aim for 100 of each and love that feeling of your heart thumping in your chest. It’s a sign that you’re alive!
4) Push ups – Working upwards and it is time to hit the shoulders, chest and biceps. These can be done on a bench or a coffee table and/or on the floor. Place your hands wider than your shoulders, have your elbows reaching wide open, keep your hips steady and high and aim to bring your chest as low down to the bench/table/ground as you can. Push back up and keep going! How many reps can you do?
5) Tricep dips – Again these can be done on the same bench/coffee-table or even on the ground. Set yourself up in a correct posture, place your hands hip-width apart with your fingers facing front and dip by virtue of bending your elbows backwards at 90 degrees. How delicious is that squeezing burn running down the back of your arm?
Juggling many roles from physician to writer to pilates instructor to Marketing-PR executive, Dr. Daamini is constantly pushed and inspired to get creative on how to encompass a Retreat into her daily life.