This time of year, all sorts of obstacles tend to pop up in our path to health-and-wellness. Stressful interactions and food (glorious food!) are par for the course. Then, there’s the traveling. You’re jetting to family functions, gift exchanges with friends, office holiday parties. Who has time or space to work out? You do. Whether you’re crammed into a guest bedroom, stuck on a cot in the basement or tucked away in a tiny hotel room, you can work out. No equipment? No problem! These routines don’t require any, so you can take that excuse and shove it back into your suitcase. Remember to check with your doctor before doing these workouts.
Let’s be real: every bit of motivation helps. If a routine is fun, fast and adorable, I’m pretty much sold. Tone It Up trainers Katrina and Karena deliver with their Caicos Cat Workout, an awesome travel routine that combines toning with cute kitty movements. Oh, and did I mention they do this all on the beach, so you get a workout with a view? The video is less than 4 minutes long and demonstrates the moves without any verbal instruction or setup. You can follow along with the video — just pause if you need a little bit of time in between transitions — and use the downloadable printable that offers full instructions on each move. I watched the video a few times and read the printable before attempting to perform the moves, which helped me understand the workout and follow the video with minimal pausing. Overall, this was a really fun workout and, while I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners, it is good for those who are working their way toward longer, more intense routines. (Also, the cat sports bra the duo wears has officially made it onto my holiday fitness fashion wish list.)
Want to get fit and break a sweat fast? Self has a gift for all of us holiday fitness fanatics: a majorly intense Crossfit-inspired GIF workout. Don’t let the whimsical backdrop of this GIF set fool you. This tough routine uses the AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible) format, so you’ll be doing each exercise for one minute. The two workouts demonstrated with weights can be done without weights, as Self recommends for the Goblet Squat, to be a full bodyweight workout. I liked performing the Renegade Rows without weights because it helped me with my form so that when I am ready to perform them with weights, I will know how to properly position my body. Don’t let the need for speed make you sacrifice safety and proper form. Even if you’re at the level to handle these exercises in general, they can be difficult to do, especially when you feel like you’re fighting the clock. It’s quality, not quantity that counts. For instance, after a few Jump Squats, I skipped the hop and chose to alternate legs, as the hop was causing my form to suffer. Fitness is a long journey; you’ll have plenty of time to get strong and work your way up. It’s important to know your body and its limits.
Q by Equinox brings a certain sophistication to the travel-friendly routine with this Do-Anywhere workout, filmed in a dreamy, airy hotel room. The video quickly demonstrates each move, while a slideshow breaks down the specifics. This workout utilizes a stack format, so instead of simply performing one exercise after the other, you add onto the previous move, with a short rest after each sequence. In other words, move one is then followed by moves one and two, which is followed by moves one, two and three, etc. This workout is genius because it automatically introduces you to a challenging core move, getting your abs primed for all of the balance moves to come. Initially, I found the Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps tough to do, so I started out by doing regular split squats, building up to the jump. By the last round, I was indeed jumping with greater control and proper form. The workout finishes off with 180 degree Squat Jumps to really get your heart rate up. Q recommends repeating the stack once more, but you can always do one and work up to two rounds of stacked exercises over time.
Check out our suggestions for warm-ups and cool downs to complete your workout, and treat yourself to an awesome sweat session no matter where you are!