With summer here does your schedule get all mixed up? It’s in a good way usually, but I used to find it difficult to keep my workout consistent, until I started taking it with me. Here’s some suggestions for easy to do exercises (no equipment required), when you’ve got company, your’re camping, traveling or whatever else summer throws your way! Just remember to have fun.
We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up. One of my favorite exercises for the legs is Lunges. They work your hamstrings, quads and glutes on both sides. They’re easy to do and you can vary how they’re done to mix it up. To start let’s focus on stationery lunges. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and take a big step to move your right leg forward. You may need to scoot your left leg bag a little. Next bend your knees to move down, making sure your right knee doesn’t move forward of your toes. If it does widen your stance, move your right foot forward or the left knee back. Continue moving up and down with your right knee over your ankle for 5-10 reps. You can add an isometric hold when you go down – hold for ~5 second, then push back up to standing.
To add more challenge you can walk forward in a lunge, taking big steps, dropping down and back up then stepping again. Just be sure to watch that your knees stay behind your toes and don’t move inward when going down. Next walk backwards, lunging with each step back. You can add small pulses when your down for a count of 6 to 12. For extra resistance add hand weights held at your hips.
Next up the core -both your abs and back side. For our extensors or back side were going to do Pilates Swimming. If you have a back injury please skip this one. To start lie on the floor with feet together and your arms stretched over head, shoulders relaxed. Pull your navel up off the mat and raise your head, then arms and legs up simultaneously. Flutter the right arm with left leg, then the left arm with right leg. Keep swimming alternating back and forth. Reach arms and legs away extending your body as much as possible. Swim continuously for about 24 beats. To modify instead of keeping all 4 limbs raised, you can touch down one arm and opposing leg while the other arm and leg is raised and pulses for 5 beats. Switch arm and leg and repeat several times. If needed you can try the arms and legs separately – raising the legs and kicking, then raising the head and arms to swim. Press into a child’s pose to rest and stretch your back.
Now for the front side. Lying on your back place your hands behind your head keeping elbows wide. Let your feet turn out and lift up straight left leg ~45 degrees. Raise your right side, keeping right elbow back and left elbow at rest. Pulse for 5 beats moving left leg up slightly as you pull the right shoulder towards the left. Continue for ~5 beats. Lay back down and do the other side – raising right foot and left side – pulsing for 5 beats. Don’t touch down while you’re pulsing, as you raise the leg you’re turning the trunk and bringing the opposite arm/shoulder forward. Continue for a count of 10 to 20. With the leg rotated out as you lift you’ll be working your inner thigh too. To vary it bring one leg to 45 degrees and flex the other knee into your trunk. Hold this lower body position while your upper body pulses toward the bent knee 5 times, with hand behind the head and elbow out wide. If your right knee is bent, you’ll bring your left arm toward it then left knee with right arm.
Lastly we work the upper body and arms. I love planks! They’re a good overall strengthener and there’s several variations. Planks really hurt my wrists so I wear my WAGs then my wrists feel fine. Assume a good plank – arms shoulder width apart and hands, elbows and shoulders lined up. Pull the abs in tight and don’t sway in your back or stick your butt up in the air. Legs are straight, hip width apart and you’re resting on the balls of your feet. Hold plank for 1 minute, then rest and repeat several times. You can increase your time in plank or the number of repetitions you do.
You can also flex one knee, touch the floor then straighten it and flex the other knee going back and forth. Next try to lift one leg straight up for 5 to 10 sec., then repeat with the other leg and go back and forth. If you need a break push back into child’s pose for a nice rest. Next, assume a stable plank and lift your right hand up to touch your left shoulder. Resume plank and lift your left hand to touch your right shoulder. Continue doing 5 or more. To prevent swaying from side to side widen your feet slightly for a more stable base. To finish it off throw in some good ole push ups- with hands narrow and elbows close to your sides (triceps push ups), and with hands wide to focus more on your pecs. If push ups are too hard, try them with your knees touching down, it definitely make them easier!
There you have it – simple exercises to keep yourself fit while you enjoy the company, camping and traveling of summer.