A toning 5-10 minute workout you can easily fit in during your vacation, with no equipment required. When you’re done, let me know where you did your holiday workout in the comment box at the bottom.
“I’m going on holiday next week, do you have a quick workout I can do?”
Most of my training clients asked me that question this week. From Barbados, to France, to Portugal, the two things my training clients had in common was a “beach vacation”; and wanting a “quick” workout.
When I go on holiday for a week, I make sure I fit in three full-length workouts during my stay. However, I’m not so naive as to think my training clients will be able to spend that much time, in-between any sightseeing or activities with their family.
You’d be surprised how much strength and flexibility you can lose after 2 weeks of inactivity — many people only walk during their holiday, neglecting the upper body and core. Doing a short 10-15 minute workout, covering some of the major sites in the body, will help maintain what you have, so you can reduce muscle soreness when you get back from holiday and start your full workouts again.
Some of the exercises seem a little advanced, so start with the easier versions if you’re unable to perform the more difficult ones with good technique.
Holiday Beach Body Workout
For this workout, the lovely Sarah, a mother of two young children, did the workout in her garden with the kids running around — just to show that you really can tone up your beach body anywhere, even in the park, or on the beach.
How Many Times To Do The Beach Body Workout?
As the workout is short and intense, I’d recommend doing it 2-3 times during a one week holiday, with at least 1 rest day between workouts.
Start with a dynamic stretching warm up [Click Here]. This prepares and lubricates the joints for exercise, and will reduce your chances of injury.
As we are aiming to get through this routine as fast as possible (with good technique), in order to maximise the intensity.
Exercise 1: Push Up
Start the clock!
Push ups are a great exercise for the chest and arms. You can do the push up either on your knees, or on your toes if you’re strong enough. Click here for a push up tutorial.
Exercise 2: 1-Leg Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back, with head on the floor, and arms straight by your sides
- Bend your legs and put your feet a foot or so away from your bottom
- Lift one leg up and keep it raised for the whole of this exercise
- Place your weight on your heel of the other leg and push to raise your hips
- Keep your abs flexed so that your lower back doesn’t move
- Lower your bottom back to the floor, and push back up again with the same leg
12 reps on each leg
If you’re having difficulty raising your hips, then you can perform this exercise using both legs at the same time, instead of only one leg.
However, if the 1-Leg Glute Bridge is too easy, and if you have a helpful child who can sit on your hips, or some other kind of weight, you can get a great workout. You may need to use both legs, depending on the weight of the child. Sarah typically holds 66 kg / 145 lbs on her hips, using both legs.
Exercise 3: Shoulder Press
They say shoulders are the “new breasts”. Working the shoulders has the great effect of making your waist appear smaller. It’s something we’ve all known subconsciously for some time, and is the reason why many garments contain shoulder pads.
Beginner: Against The Wall
- Find a wall or other object you can lean against
- Bend over ninety degrees at the waist and look down at the ground
- Keep your arms in line with your ears
- Lean into the wall until the top of your head touches the wall, then push back
Intermediate: Pike Push Up
Don’t try this unless you can easily achieve twelve reps of the wall version. Be safe, don’t collapse onto your head, otherwise you will injure yourself.
- Get into a pike position (inverted ‘V’). Try to make your back as vertical as you can.
- Keep looking at your feet the whole time
- Slowly lower your head towards the ground and push back up (only go down as far as you feel confident you can push back up, without collapsing)
Exercise 4: Side Plank With Leg Raise
This is two exercises in one! Working your core and your butt at the same time.
20 reps on each leg
- Lie on your side
- Bend your bottom leg at the knee, and place your bottom elbow directly below the shoulder and raise up. Maintain this side plank position throughout the exercise
- Keep the other leg straight, then raise and lower the top leg for reps
If it becomes difficult to maintain the side plank, you can make the exercise easier by lying your arm on the floor and resting your head in your hand.
Exercise 5: V-Ups
A great exercise for the core, often used by gymnasts.
- Lie on your back with your body outstretched — arms straight above your head and legs together
- Moving to a sitting “V” position.
- This is a fairly dynamic exercise, so you’ll probably need to move fairly quickly into the “V” in order to achieve it
- Avoid putting your feet on the ground when in the “V”
- Lower back down to the outstretched position
If you suffer from lower back pain (and do not have high blood pressure), then instead, do a 60 second static hold of the “V” shown in the picture above.
Repeat The Circuit
Do the circuit 2 times. Then stop the clock and see what time you managed to complete it in.
Fit Girls Morning Rituals
— Healthy Habits That Changed My Life
Monica over at Fit Girl’s Diary has written some tips on her healthy habits, that would be great to start during your vacation. Click HERE to read it.
One More Tip For Your Vacation
With the popularity of “all you can eat” buffets, there is the temptation to eat as much as you can, in order to get your “money’s worth.” I’ve done two weeks of this in the past, and come back 14 pounds heavier — it takes a lot longer to remove the fat, than to add it.
I’ve learned since then, and I try to avoid them as much as possible. They are the norm for hotel breakfasts, so I’m always careful to only go up for food once, and put on my plate exactly what I’d normally eat, not extra. That way, I typically come back from vacation with zero weight gain, or only one or two pounds.
Please do share where you did your holiday workout — let me know in the comment box at the bottom of the blog post. George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom