Three things are a foregone conclusion during a summer vacation: You eat too much, you work out too little, and you have way too much fun. Luckily, I’m all about indulging in some delicious food and good times, but even on vacation I like to make exercise a priority … Seriously though, who wants to schlep weights around on a vacation? (Even I have my limits!)
Recently, my husband and I escaped for a long weekend in upstate New York since we have both been swamped with work during the first half of our pregnancy. We stayed at the Inn at Stony Creek in Warwick, N.Y., which was an absolutely amazing experience — the breakfast made with eggs from their own chickens was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten. And, with approximately ten acres of space all to ourselves, my husband and I decided to make the outdoors our gym.
Fortunately, I was prepared with my No Equipment Needed workout. Not only is it a perfect quick sweat session for all of your summer vacations, but it is also what my CrossFit instructors like to affectionately call a “Heart Attack” workout. In other words, it will burn off those extra calories we are all sure to be eating while away (hello, second helping of breakfast). As a bonus, this total body workout can be done anywhere since it requires limited space and no equipment; whether you’re off to the shore or a staycation is more your speed, you’ll be set.
1. The workout begins with air squats, which are just squats using no weights. Some common mistakes I see with this movement to watch out for is squatting too high/too low and leaning forward too far. I like to think about sitting down in a chair when I squat to try and keep my back as straight as possible and make sure my knees don’t extend past my toes.
2. Push ups are a classic move that work your entire upper body as well as your core. I sometimes switch it up by doing this movement on either an incline (if I want to make it easier) or a decline (to really challenge myself), which you can do by finding a bench, curb, or even a chair!
3. For skaters, start with your feet hip-width apart and hop to the right landing on your right foot and sweeping your left foot diagonally behind you. Simultaneously, swing your arms across your body. Repeat the movement to the left. Each hop counts as one, so 20 skaters equals 10 to the right and 10 to the left. Think: Apolo Ohno.
4. Dips look deceptively easy, but are a highly effective move for targeting your triceps. I like to use a bench or chair and slowly lower myself down for a count of three. Then, I try to explode up as fast as a can. The technical term for this type of explosive movement is Compensatory Acceleration Training, which seems complicated, but it really just means that it helps builds Type IIB muscle fibers, i.e. lean muscle mass. The closer your legs are to your body, the easier this move will be, so for a challenge try extending your legs straight out in front of you.
5. Split jumps are really just baby lunges … evil baby lunges that require you to jump and switch your legs in the air. Not only do they burn like hell, but they also get the heart rate going like crazy. I apologize in advance.
* Remember, always consult with your doctor before beginning a workout regimen, especially when pregnant.