Body weight Work Out Strategies to Maintain Muscle Mass While on Vacation
Holidays are always a time that people find it difficult to maintain their fitness routines. Most people are unaware that it only takes 10 days to start to atrophy. However if you work out once or twice a week in a 14 day period then you should maintain your current level.
Before heading out for your vacation ensure that you ask your certified personal trainer for a bodyweight workout fitness program that will help maintain your current fitness level until you return. Your personal trainer can build a program tailored for you specifically. The following bodyweight workout is one developed for a person that has been working out for an extended amount of time. Speak to a fitness professional or your physician prior to beginning any program.
Holiday Body Weight Work Out
20 Jumping Jacks – Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your sides. Jump while abducting the arms and jump out with the legs to sides. Land with legs apart and arms overhead and clap the hands above the head. Jump again lowering the arms and returning legs to hip width. Repeat.
45 Sec Wall Sit – Start by standing with your back against a wall, feet shoulder width apart and about two feet from the wall. Slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are at a 90° angle. Ensure that your knees are in line with your ankles, adjust as needed. Keep your back neutral on the wall. Hold the position for the prescribed time. Stop if you have any knee pain.
10 Push Ups – Lie face down on floor with hands a little wider than shoulder width. Press your body off the floor by straightening the arms with body straight (keep knees on floor for less advanced). Keeping body straight, lower body down by bending arms until they are 90°. Push body up until arms are straight. Repeat.
20 Abdominal Crunches – Lie face up on mat with calves on bench or floor. Place hands on the knee slowly slide your hands up your knees until your finger tips are just below where you knees are bent (do not go past the top of the knee). Keep your lower back on mat at all times and engage the pelvic floor muscles. Make sure you keep the chin neutral and neck in alignment with the rest of the spine. Return until back of shoulders contact mat. Repeat.
15 Step Ups (left and right) – Start by placing your foot on the step or bench so that the knee is at a 90° angle. Then step up with the right foot, as you straighten your right leg make sure that your left foot doesn’t touch the bench until the right leg is straight. Place both feet completely onto the bench. Return to the starting position by stepping down to the floor, using the left foot and stopping when it hits the ground. Leave the right foot on the bench and step up again. Do all reps on one side then switch to left.
15 Squats – Start by standing with your feet hip width apart and your arms by your side. Start by hinging at the hips, pushing them back while bending your knees and distribute your body weight into feet evenly. Keep the spine neutral and your knees behind your toes. Continue bending your knees until your legs are 90° . Pause for 1 – 2 seconds when your legs are parallel to the ground then return to the standing position. Repeat.
10 Triceps Dips–Put your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench. Slide off the front of the bench with your legs straight in front of you. Start with a slight bend in your elbows to keep the tension in your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows while lowering yourself down until your elbows are around 90°. Keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the end of your range of motion, start to straighten your elbows, return to the start position. Repeat.
1 Minute High Knees (Running in Place) – Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then begin driving your right knee toward your chest and quickly place it back down. Immediately drive your left knee toward your chest and place it back down. Continue alternating the knees with speed. You can run in place for one minute or run forward for approximately 30 feet but with either keep in mind the knees need to stay high.
1 Minute Plank – Start in pushup position then bend your elbows 90°and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly in line with your shoulders, and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankle. Ensure you tighten your lower pelvic floor muscles to keep the stress off of your lower back. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds rest for 5-10 seconds then do another rep. Your goal should be to hold it for one minute.
10 Lunges (Left and Right) – Stand with hands on hips and feet shoulder width apart. Step backwards with right leg. Land on ball of your foot. Lower body bending your knees until they are both at 90°. Your hips should be even and the lower back neutral. Return to original standing position by extending the hip and stepping forward. Repeat all reps on one leg then switch.
5 Push Up Rotations – Start in a straight arm plank position. Perform a push-up as above in the warm up, then shift your weight to your left side, rotate your torso and turn your feet and raise your right arm. Return back to the plank with control. Repeat on the right side to complete one repetition. Continue until you have done 5 rotations on both sides.
45 Second Side Plank (Left and Right) – Lie on your right side with straight legs. Prop yourself up with your right forearm. Keep your shoulder in line with the elbow and elbow in line with the wrist. Place your left hand on your left hip. Tighten core and lift your right hip off of the mat and hold for 30-60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 20-30 seconds and rest for 5; continue to 1 minute. Be sure your hips stay off the floor and your body remains in a straight line from your arm pit to ankle.
Hire a personal trainer if you are new to bodyweight exercise
Run through your bodyweight workout one time, following the prescribed amount of time or repetitions. Always follow medical advice and your personal trainer’s program. It is always good to hire a personal trainer if you are new to exercise to review how to use the equipment and show you how to do the bodyweight exercises with proper form.
Cathie Glennon, BCRPA-SFL, CSNA Sports Nutrition Advisor, Pharm Tech (Level 3)