Despite being a key time to get fit, the summer can be a difficult time to keep in shape with many people’s regimens disrupted by travelling, jumping on and off flights and without access to their gyms. Here are my personal tips for maintaining a fitness regimen while on the go this summer, with simple exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.
1. For a simple and effective lower body strength exercise try the Bulgarian split squat, it’s one of the best exercises there is for toning the glutes and thighs. You will need an elevated surface around 3 ft. high for this which could be a bed, couch, or a chair.
• Stand with you back to your bed/couch/chair, reach your left leg behind you and rest the top of your foot on the elevated surface
• Start to slowly squat until your knee nearly rear touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep the weight in the front leg and maintain a neutral spine
• Pause for three seconds and rise back up
• Continue this ten times before switching legs and doing the right side
• Want to take things up a notch? Try pausing for three seconds 3 times during the descend, once when thigh is above your knee, once when it’s parallel to your knee, and lastly when it’s below your knee.
• -our torso angle dictates which muscle works harder. A straighter back will hit your quads more, and leaning forward will work more on teh glutes.
2. After a few sets of the Bulgarian split squat, I love to do a few reps of squat variations. No weights are required for these, you can do them anywhere as you only use your body weight to work the thighs. One of my favorite variations is to start with 8 squat jumps, 12 basic air squats, and then 12 wall squats. Make sure stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and push your hips out and down behind you as if you were sitting into a chair. Keep your weight on your heels and make sure your knees are over your toes, but not beyond them. The key with the squat is to keep the core engaged at all times.
3. I love the long lever plank for a challenging core exercise that takes the traditional plank up a level. This is a great one to finish off the end of your strength training routine.
• Start with a traditional plank, but instead of having your elbows under your shoulder; place your arms out in front of you with your elbows in line with your nose
• Keep your spine neutral and squeeze your quads and glutes tight
• The intention is to drive your elbows toward your toes and your toes toward your elbows without actually moving them
• Try and do 2 sets, holding each plank for 60 seconds
• If you can’t do all 60 seconds, build up by 10 seconds each week until you can get there. It’s worth the challenge!
4. A great exercise for stretching out and getting the circulation going after long plane journey is the Brettzel (credit to Physical Therapist Gray Cook). It works on your hip flexors, quads, and thoracic spine mobility all at once.
• Begin by laying down and rolling over to lie on one side of your body
• Bring one knee up to your chest, keeping the other down in a neutral position
• Using the arm that is in contact with the ground, grab the knee and pull it into the stomach. Take the other hand and grab the ankle of the leg that is behind the back, if it is too difficult to grab the ankle then you can use a towel
• Begin to inhale and on the exhale start to rotate to the side of the up leg. Cycle through this progression a couple times until the shoulder is in contact with the ground. If it is too difficult to get the shoulder down, then elevate the flexed leg with towels or another object such as a step.
5. 1 last tip is nutrition related, a great snack for when you’re on the go and want to sustain hunger between meals is the pistachio. This super nut contains most of the nutrients required in our bodies, it contains proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C to name a few.
About Howie Tse (Odinson Trainer)
Howie has been a certified personal trainer in Hong Kong for over 6 years. He began his career as a personal trainer at Pure Fitness and over the years has developed a circle of loyal clientele through his personal approach based on individual goals and fitness history. His numerous fitness qualifications include being a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer, International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation certified kettlebell teacher, International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation certified movement specialist and PTA Global certified personal trainer.
Odinson is a boutique fitness studio dedicated to mind and body wellness. Located at The Pemberton, the studio’s open yet minimalist space is the perfect setting for their expert staff to provide a balanced offering of personal training, yoga and nutrition counselling for optimal health. With a community of results-focused teachers, trainers and clients, Odinson is a pioneer in private and small group fitness classes.
Odinson’s 12th floor fitness area is home to Mr. Green Juice, a premium-quality organic juicery and eatery with nourishing cold-pressed juices, nut milks, soups and salads that are raw and vegan friendly. Mr. Green Juice has also developed protein shakes exclusive to Odinson.