The fit traveler: Workouts for when you’re on-the-go

Josef Brandenburg, special to

WASHINGTON – Some people love to travel. I’m not one of them.

There’s nothing like a string of business trips to completely dismantle a good exercise rhythm, leaving you feeling sloppy and out of shape.

But with a little bit of planning and some flexibility, you can complete fast and effective workouts that maintain your overall fitness while on the road.

Working out while traveling:

The key to maintaining a routine while on the road is to let go of any fitness purist attitude you may have and accept “standby” workouts when a gym is not available.

Here are three workouts you can do at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world.

  • The pushup matrix: Warm up for a few minutes to wake up your body and get your blood flowing. Then do three pushups, followed by a tuck-jump. A tuck-jump is when you squat down and jump as high as you can, bringing your knees up. Always aim to land softly and gracefully.

    Next, do six pushups and two tuck-jumps, then nine and three. If you’re able to keep going, try 12 and then four. At this point, if you are worn out, rest for twice as long as it took you to finish your routine. If you have more energy, work your way back down to three and one. Then take your rest.

    If you find pushups to be much harder than tuck-jumps, reverse the numbers for the exercises. That is, do three tuck-jumps and then one pushup, and so on. Feel free to do your pushups on an incline, with your hands on a bed or desk.

  • A body weight circuit: To keep your work quality ideal, use three non- competing exercises. An example would be side lunges, followed by some sort of pushup, followed by a squat-thrust (a burpee without the pushup).

    This kind of sequence gives your muscles a lot of local recovery, which actually lets you work harder and safer. Try starting with 10 reps of each exercise with little-to-no rest in between moves. Then, rest for one minute at the end of the circuit. Do this three or four times the first day, just to be sure you can walk the next day. These repeatable workouts that aren’t too hard are what create results over the longer term.

  • Pavel’s program minimum: Pavel Tatsouline is the guy who brought kettlebells, once popular a century ago, back to popularity in America. When I’m driving during travel, I throw a kettlebell and a foam roller in the trunk of my car because they make travel workouts so much better.

    As always, start with a warm up that includes mobility work, especially for the hips. Then, do five Turkish get-ups per side. Alternate sides — left then right, then left, etc. — so that one arm doesn’t get too tired.

    Finish this routine with 10 sets of the following: 10 kettlebell swings, then two goblet squats. Rest as needed, and repeat until you’re done.

Editor’s Note: Josef Brandenburg is a D.C.area fitness expert with 14 years of experience and co-author of the international best-selling book “Results Fitness.” In 2004, he started The Body You Want personal training program, which specializes in helping you get the body you want in the available time you have. You can also check out his blog, follow him on Twitter, or check out his fitness videos on YouTube. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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