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Going for a vacation? Don’t forget to bring the most important thing – your shape

Young man on the white beach on vacation

Going on a vacation is something we all love and enjoy so very much. It’s a couple of days we take off during the year to relax, let our minds wander and most of all enjoy life. However, we all know very well that your fitness habits can hardly let you take any days off.

If you’re of the type who always hear a voice telling them “do something”, we are here to help you out. We’ve put together a small list of exercises for you to perform anywhere you decide to spend your special days. It can come in handy to keep some of these exercises in your workout arsenal.

We won’t be able to cover all the exercises in this article, but we will try to make the most out of it. Without further ado, let us get to the topic.

Pushups

Let us start with the good old exercise we’re all too fond of. There is almost nobody out there who has not heard of pushups. It is a really popular exercise and an important edifice in building muscle.

The pushup is not a single muscle group exercise. Doing the pushup activates more than just your pectoralis. It involves the shoulders, triceps, and deltoid muscles. Also, keeping a tight core is crucial if you wish to maintain a proper form while performing any type of pushup exercise. There are several components of the pushup we would like to talk about.

First off, be aware of the position that put your body in since once you’re ready for the exercise you will have to keep it that way throughout. Your hands should be at shoulder width (during the regular push-up), your belly should be tight, without too much motion and your feet shouldn’t move once you’ve set them in the right position.

Keep in mind that this is primarily a chest exercise so try to use your chest muscles to do the majority of the work. Once you become exhausted it is natural to use other parts of your body, but once you notice that it is happening, you should finish your set. Rest a bit and then move on to the next one.

Guy pushing up
One of many push-up variations

The pushup is interesting because of its many variations. There is the close grip, the wide grip, deltoid pushup, pike pushup, you name it. No matter how fit or unfit you are, there is a variant of a pushup suitable to you. If you are a beginner, try performing the exercises with your knees on the ground and progress from thereon. On the other hand, if you are already experienced in this exercise, feel free to perform several variations simultaneously or raise the number of reps you do.

The squat

Similar to the pushup, the squat also deserves its spot amongst the cream of the crop when it comes to bodyweight exercises. It focuses on building strong quads, hamstrings, glutes, and a lot of other lateral muscles.

To perform the squat, you need to position yourself to a stable, balanced out stance. Your feet position will vary in regards to your body constitution. By definition, the taller you are the wider your feet position. Stance also may depend on the length of your femur bone. Trying out the exercise in different ways will help you establish the proper position for you.

Make sure your knees never go inwards while you squat down. They should stay in line with your feet at all times, otherwise, you risk hurting your back and injuring your knees. Also, you should maintain a natural arch in your back while squatting since this helps with keeping the proper form. Additionally, you should think about keeping your abs tight.

Outdoor deep squat
An example of the squat exercise

There are numerous ways to perform the squat too. Switching your feet position and widening your stance will result in different muscle activation. Ideally, you want to squat to a bit below the 90° angle. This is recommended if you have the mobility to do so. If not, you should work on stretching out your ankles and hips first. Generally, you should go as deep as your body allows it.

You can transform and upgrade your squat in many other ways. Holding the bent squat posture and moving left-right will trigger a nice activation of the gluteus muscles; transferring from a squat to a jump and then back to the squat will develop your vertical and work on calves too. Make sure to always surprise your muscles, that is what essentially keeps them evolving.

Pullups

All hail the back-building king! Pullups are perhaps the best bodyweight exercise we know of for building an aesthetically pleasing back. It also develops the biceps, which not a lot of bodyweight exercises can trigger.

This exercise activates a wide range of muscles, but mostly the latissimus dorsi. It is perhaps the biggest back muscle on our bodies. Therefore, having strong lats is detrimental to developing a good look.

To perform a pull up you will need some sort of a bar. This is one of the exercises which requires some equipment. Luckily, finding a bar is quite easy.  Anything slightly elevated from which you can hang will do the trick. You can bend your knees to gain on the space if need be.

You can hold the bar with your thumbs facing you or facing the opposite side. Different grip means different muscle activation.  Also, you can grip the bar with a wide or with a close grip. If you choose the close grip with thumbs facing you, you will stress the biceps more and if you choose the wider grip with thumbs facing away from you, expect to trigger the lats more.

Try relaxing your legs while you hang from the bar. This way you will activate the muscles you want to (lats) and make the exercise a bit harder. It will not be easy in the beginning since your whole body naturally tends to move forward. However, practice makes perfect so give yourself some time if you just began the exercise.

If you can’t perform a single repetition, don’t worry. Nobody could in the beginning. Ask your partner to help you out! Once in the starting position slightly bend your knees and have your partner lift your legs as you pull yourself up. It will help you significantly with developing strength. You can use a band if you have one. The principle behind it is pretty much the same.

Athlete doing exercises at stadium
The starting position of a pull-up

Hanging knee tuck

The reason why this exercise made it to the list and not some other ab exercise is simply because it keeps a neutral spine position. Some of the ab exercises can compromise the health of our back therefore we didn’t want to include them.

Your starting position should be hanging from a bar. From there on, flex your ab muscles and bring your knees towards your chest. Once there, hold it for a second or two, and then slowly return to the starting position. It is quite important not to rush when performing this exercise.

Keeping the movement controlled will restrain any unwanted motion. Remember, this exercise builds a strong core so keep using it at all times and not the momentum you get from swinging. Not that the momentum is some kind of a cheat, but it’s a completely different form of exercise which we don’t need at this time.

Try performing at least 10 repetitions if possible. This will trigger a sufficient burn of your abdominal muscles and slowly develop your core strength. Later on, as you progress, try keeping your legs straight while you raise them. This will be significantly harder so be patient.

Working on that six pack
Hanging knee tuck

Conclusion

We tried to keep it simple. Performing every exercise on the list will keep your whole body pumped while you’re enjoying your days off. The variations of all of these mentioned exercises will perhaps keep them from becoming dull and repetitive. We hope you have a great time sightseeing and an even better time staying in the best shape!

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