We all are out of home at any moment. For some people, travelling becomes a way of living because of their jobs. But, what happens when being far from home becomes an obstacle to keep in shape? Well, simply this need not happen. There are many solutions to sort it out while you cannot go to the gym or sport centre you usually attend to.
You will have to take with you any small machine (some abs apparatus or one of the many that allow to workout a multitude of parts of the body.). Obviously, the ideal thing would be to go to a gym anywhere you go, but this is not always possible. That is why I recommend you to learn to improvise, for what you will need a good dose of creativity and an authentic dedication to physical fitness.
Saying ‘Ok, never mind!’ as many others do, is the easiest thing to do, but keeping fit being on a trip is a matter of personal responsibility. To take control of your fitness you must have discipline and perseverance.
Improvisation comprises doing something unusual from the usual things. That requires creating a fitness conditioning program based on talent and dedication, towards a higher goal, perseveration. Improvisation is the only method with which people who travel a lot can fulfil its needs of achieving a good physical shape.
Usually it is more efficient to train with another person when you have to improvise. Most of the exercises I am recommending you work better with the help of a fellow, despite many can be performed alone if necessary. The best site for these exercises is usually the hotel room or any other place with chairs, towels and a solid ground.
My advice is that you get a rubber cable (in an ironmongery or any sport store), that will help to add resistance to any movement. Just join the ends and place yourself standing on it or put up some support to fix it in its place and create resistance that way. Many arms and shoulders exercises can be performed with cables, as some specific movements for the lower part of the body.
I suggest you take with you a small rug. It can be easily folded and it is really useful in many exercises when you train out of home, as abdominal exercises, leg raises to workout quadriceps and femoral movements, as it provides comfort.
You can considerable improve your training when you are on a trip if you bring several small hand weights. A pair of light dumbbells can be used to do a great variety of exercises for the upper part of the body and can assure an almost perfect training. You can also use ankle supports to apply some resistance to legs.
Many of my clients use them to jog when they are out of their homes. That way the workout legs as they do cardio exercises. This is another important aspect of improvisation. You should do any kind of aerobic training anytime you are not attending to your usual gym.
I want to specify the exercises you can do alone and the ones that need a fellow’s cooperation. If you travel with your couple or a friend, many of the following movements can be performed quite satisfactorily. No matter what, this session of improvised exercises should not replace your usual training at your gym.
It is a valid solution only for those occasions in which you are far from home, have to stay home because of the weather or any transport problem. In these specific situations, they will fulfil their purpose of keeping the muscular mass clean without accumulation of body fat for the lack of usual training.
Remember that in this session you will train the whole body, since resistance is not enough to isolate the different body parts. Try to perform these exercises all together in one session in alternated days regarding you spend three or more days out of home.
Biceps – Roll up a towel so it seems a long rope. Your fellow should kneel and pull from both ends down at each side of his thighs. Grab the towel by the middle with arms straight and do the curl motion to the chest. Strongly squeeze the biceps and make sure your partner does an intense resistance downwards as you pull upwards. Try 10 repetitions as minimum. At the end of the first set, you must seek for the congestion of the arms.
Triceps – Seat on a chair facing its back support with your partner behind holding the rolled towel by the middle. Bring your arms back above shoulders and grab the ends. As your partner pulls down by the middle of the towel, extend your arms pulling upwards from the ends of it to contract biceps.
You can also seat looking front and do a sort of pulley extension with the towel. With your partner standing above yourself pulling upwards from the middle of the towel, contract biceps and extend the arms pulling downwards from the ends (with the elbows fixed to the body). Try 10 repetitions of each kind as minimum in each set.
Back – This is one of the most difficult parts of the body to train when you are out of home and, therefore, the one which demands more creativity. You will need a partner unless you have something like a chin-up bar at the hotel room’s door (despite it can break if you apply the weight of your whole body).
That is why a towel is the best tool for training your back (in any of these movements either a rubber cable or a towel can be used). In some sort of seated rowing, seat on the floor facing your partner with feet together and the soles touching each other. Grab the rolled-up towel by the middle and pull towards yourself as your fellow resists on the other side.
To limit the rowing to one arm only, grab the towel with one hand and extend one leg front; your partner must place in the same position in font of you and you should shift repetitions. Do 4 sets of 8 repetitions.
Shoulders – Standing, turning your back to your partner, who will apply pressure downwards in your forearms as you do lateral raises with the arms. The partner provides you a resistance you have to overcome while doing each repetition.
To perform front raises, stand up facing your partner. The best way of training shoulders is doing supersets since they allow you to keep the muscular mass and even to improve it a little more, despite the lack of weight in the exercises. Try doing 3 or 4 supersets (10 repetitions each) of these 2 exercises.
Chest – For this muscular group, you can do dips with chairs. Place each hand on a chair, the feet on the other or on any other object and raise the body. This exercise also trains the triceps and provides an amazing stretch to pectorals. To simulate the opening move pec-deck, place the arms in pec-deck position while your partner place his hands on your palms, applying resistance that you have to surpass contracting pectorals and moving your hands until they are in front of the chest.
Complete 2 or 3 sets with 8 repetitions of each exercise.
Legs – You can develop femorals as much as quadriceps with a partner and the rubber cable I have mentioned before. You can also do it by yourself. For quadriceps, seat upright on a bench with flat back support, the ankles tied up to a chair’s leg but a bit loosen. However, the narrower the cable is tied up, the stronger the resistance you will have to surpass.
A fellow can push your legs backwards as you try to lift them. To workout femorals, you can do a version of the leg curl lying on the floor face down with feet up to keep constant tension on femorals. Place a towel around the ankles and make your partner pull from it downwards as you raise your legs against the resistance.
You can try doing supersets with these two exercises or doing them separately. Remember that, since legs are the bigger muscular group of the whole body, they need more work than any other group. To begin, do 4 or 5 sets of each exercise. Reach the point of fail in both exercises.
Most of these exercises are efficient if you have a fellow’s help. But, how can you perform most of them alone? In all movements with an opposite resistance involved, provided by your partner at the other end of the towel, a rubber cable can be used as a replacement. The advantage of using a rubber cable is not related to its superiority as a material; it is a matter of comfort and functionality.
You can fix an end of the cable under heavy furniture, or stepping on it for the biceps curl, or tying two pieces to two close places of the room to perform chest movements.
All these exercises can be performed without the help of a fellow if you use a cable instead of a towel. The main advantage of having a partner’s help is that he can modify the resistance following your instructions. Despite you can tie the cable narrower after each set, you will have to stop the exercise each time and it is likely you cannot achieve the same path of movement at the end.
Another option for training while you are far from home consists on doing exercises in which you use the body weight as resistance. For instance, place the back against a wall, with legs bent in a 90 degrees angle, as if you have a chair beneath, and stay in this position as long as you can. Or try out the squats against the wall only with your own weight.
You can achieve an excellent body shape running long distances with alternate high -speed phases or simply walk using ankle and wrists weights. It is also useful to practise swimming, acquaerobic and resistance aerobic exercises. The possibilities are infinite for those who are out of home.
The most important thing is to desire improvising. If your mind keeps active towards health and fitness, the body will go with it. Let you mind go through the infinite possible paths, always being open to any variation. Do not let a minor inconvenience as not being able to attend to the gym as you are out of town knocks down the intense work of training regularly!