Whether you are traveling, not comfortable enough to work out in the gym, or are heading home for break, you can still stay fit. Try these exercises wherever you find yourself during the holidays.
The idea of body-weight workouts has been around forever, even before weight lifting. The problem with performing only body weight workouts is that you will eventually peak in muscle gains from these exercises. However, for those looking to stay fit or gain muscular definition, it’s perfect and convenient — especially for a few weeks.
No matter what you use to get stronger or stay fit, there must be one constant: your mentality. In order to get where you want to be, you must set a goal for yourself. If you stay consistent, your goals will evolve as your body becomes stronger. You will begin to see direct results and grow more confident (and feel better) every day.
Although I am giving you a specific list of exercises, there are thousands of different exercises and variations of those exercise that can be done with similar success. Another great thing about these body weight workouts? There’s no defined amount of sets or reps that can or should be done. If you are trying to improve one area of your body, you can do so by choosing workouts that will focus on that area. You can also control the amount of reps you perform, which will vary between individuals.
This at-home workout can be divided into four sections: upper body, lower body, abs/core, and cardio. They’re equally important and you should probably give each attention if you hope to stay fit.
Pushups are a great exercise for your chest and shoulders. Changing your hand positions can provide a great upper body exercise working several different muscle groups.
Pullups are another exercise that allows you to play with different handholds. It is a great bicep workout, and it also strengthens your shoulders and core.
A dip is an exercise which works your chest, triceps, and front shoulder muscles. They go great when paired with the pulling exercise of pullups. For this exercise you can use a chair and a bed to raise your feet while you dip.
Lunges are a great all-around lower body exercise. They work your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes all at the same time. Consider changing up your lunges to add variety to your workout.
The squat may be the quintessential leg workout exercise. We’ve all done them, and they still remain the best workout you can do for your lower body. They work everything lunges work and more. If your body weight is not enough, consider doing jump squats as well.
When you want a rock solid core, you can’t go wrong with flutter kicks. Not only do they focus on your lower abs in particular, they are also a great workout for your hip flexors.
Leg raises are very similar to flutter kicks, just without the motion. They strengthen the core and focus primarily on the hip flexor.
Russian Twists work the entire abdomen. They strengthen all areas of your abs and your obliques.
This exercise works all of the muscles needed for good posture including your core, back, shoulders and chest. Planks strengthen many different areas and provide many options with the different planks you can do: side, star, front, etc.
This exercise challenges the entire core while strengthening the back muscles.
The full range of motion within sit up tones and strengthens your abs while translating to real world movements very well.
This exercise focuses mainly on the upper abs. This is one that you can really feel the burn with.
Using a jump rope is possibly one of the best exercises for your body. Not only does it work hand-eye coordination, balance, agility and your vertical, but it also strengthens your bones.
Burpees are an excellent full-body workout which work your arms, chest, quads, hamstrings, glutes and abs. There are few exercises that are as efficient for functional gains and fitness.
Although these exercise may be a good mix to create a solid workout, there is no cookie cutter way to get fit and stay strong. These exercises can be a good place to start and grow, but I would encourage you to push yourself and never settle for less. Keep adding reps, keep adding time, and when you come across a new exercise or get tired of one of these, try it out.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Cat S.
Mark is from Dallas, Texas majoring in industrial design with a marketing minor. If he isn’t in studio, he can either be found at The Rec or at the intramural fields. He is passionate about the outdoors and trying to get people to laugh at his jokes.
As a member of a large family, he loves being in the middle of the action. As an ESTJ, Mark shares personality traits with his favorite TV character, Dwight Schrute.
Mark is always juggling multiple commitments which include involvement with the Catholic Student Organization, whatever intramural sport he can get his hands on, working for the Auburn Rec marketing team, and working on his hair.
Mark peaked his freshman year when he lost big man on campus. It was all downhill from there.