Fitness Pros: My Go-To Holiday Workout
We asked five trainers and instructors to share the routines they do when they're on the road.
With Thanksgiving just a few short days away and travel plans kicking into high gear, the holidays can be a difficult time to maintain a consistent exercise routine. Luckily, there are ways to stay fit when you're away from specialized equipment and your favorite group fitness class. We spoke to five Equinox trainers and instructors on their go-to do-anywhere workouts.
Compound body-weight exercises (plus focused breathing)
"Body weight exercises are essential, and your body is all the equipment you need. With arm circles, flutter kicks, planks, squats, back bends, etc., you can get a full-body workout in any space at any time. Many of these are compound exercises, which give you more bang for your buck; utilizing multiple groups at once. Also, if I feel overfed, overwhelmed or stressed, I give myself 2-5 minutes of focused breathing in a quiet space. It takes just a few moments to check in with my breath and get back on track."
— Khalia Frazier, group fitness instructor
EMOM high-intensity intervals
"I like to mix in some high-intensity intervals before the festivities. Intervals are great because they don't take much time, can be done anywhere with little to no equipment and have a significant impact metabolism (both during and post-workout) and muscle glycogen stores. EMOM (every minute on the minute) sets are one of my go-to choices because they are incredibly effective and make time keeping easy. You work as long as it takes you to complete the specified number of repetitions and rest for the remainder of that minute. I will generally pick two to three exercises and do each for a set number of reps (depending on the movement) for a total 10 to 15 minutes."
— Matt Delaney, Tier 3+ trainer
"With the absence of weights and machines, my go to is plyometics: squat jumps, jumping split squats, and I often use my couch to prop my leg back to do some one-legged squats. Add some upper body by simply doing pushups, planks for core work, and bicycles for abs. Do 5-8 sets of 10 reps for each exercise with 60s rest between each set and you got yourself a super effective 20-30 minute workout. You’ll be burning, don’t worry."
— Rachel Mariotti, Tier 3 trainer and Precision Running coach
Commercial-break strength and yoga
"I actually got this idea from one of my coaches, Dave Cary, who does this with his wife: Since most of us are glued to the TV to watch football through the holidays, an easy way to sneak in your exercise is to do some bodyweight exercises during the commercial breaks. You can add a lot of variety by using strength and yoga movements. Run through each for 15 seconds (no break), which should take you through around 2:30 minutes.
Example: Side Plank Rotation Reach, Trikinasana, Downward Dog/Upward Dog, Lateral Skaters, Crab Reaches, 1-leg inchworms, Flutter Kicks, Reverse Lunge w/ Twist, Plank Contralateral Arm/Leg Reaches"
— Kai Karlstrom, Tier 4 manager
A four-minute Tabata AMRAP
"If there is no equipment available, my favorite is a total-body Tabata circuit of four exercises with 20 seconds AMRAP (as many reps as possible) and 10 seconds off, repeated twice, because it hits everything and you're done in 4 minutes. Let's say you decide your 4 total body exercises will be push-ups, speed skaters, plank with alternating limb lifts and broad jump burpees.
The key really is to go HAM (hard as a motherf-cker) for those 20 seconds because the more oxygen you take in during and after exercise, the more calories you burn. The set-up is a great combination of high-intensity cardiovascular training and total-body resistance that'll help shed fat and build lean muscle or in this case, keep you energized on Thanksgiving."
—Annie Tran, Tier 3+ trainer trainer