I travel so often these days that it’s sometimes hard to find the time (and space) to get a workout in every day. Not every hotel has a gym, and I frequently stay with friends or go through AirBnB when I go somewhere for more than a few days. When I’m in Dallas, I do a combination of workouts – I now go to PureBarre 3-4 times per week, and alternate that with trips to Equinox for other classes or to utilize their cardio machines + other equipment. With all of the classes I’ve taken over the years, I’ve picked up a bunch of great exercises that I can do at home or when I’m out of town, even if I don’t have access to a gym! The only thing you need for these workouts is a comfortable outfit and a soft surface (a yoga mat or a cushy carpet both work)! When I work out, I like to be dressed well – I find that wearing cute clothes helps me get in the zone… Anyone else? I always reach for a pair of comfortable capri pants. They’re appropriate for every kind of workout, year-round – needless to say I wear a pair of capri pants every day. On top, I love a good fitted tank and a cozy fleece to throw over it. Below you’ll find some of my go-to do-it-yourself workouts – what are your favorite ways to exercise?
I picked up this exercise in PureBarre classes while I was home in Austin over Christmas. It’s basically a modified crunch, but just looks fancier. Grab a yoga mat or just sit on the carpet in your house (or hotel room)! Sit on the mat with your feet together in front of you with your knees bent. Place your hands lightly on the outsides of your thighs (close to your knees) and sink back to where your lower back almost touches the mat – note that your hands aren’t holding onto your legs for support. This arm/hand placement just helps get your core in the right position and angle for activation and tightness. If you’re a beginner to crunch-type exercises, leave your hands there and begin to tuck and release your core. Using your abdominal muscles, sit up an inch, and then back down an inch. The movement should be minimal. If your core is strong enough, raise your arms up in front of you so that you don’t rely on them during these crunches – for an even tougher exercise, alternate lifting up each leg (or both)! Do 20-30 reps, three to four times.
Another one I learned at Pure Barre, this workout targets your inner thighs. Take a seat right on your heels, knees in front of you, a fist-widths distance apart. Place your hands on your waist and tighten your abs for stability. Once you’re ready, lift your seat slightly so that they are only an inch or two away from your heels. From here, tuck your seat forward. For some variation, tuck to the right and left as well. Be sure to sit up straight – if you lean forward too much, your thighs won’t be the muscles doing the work. It can be brutal and your muscles will shake almost immediately, but you’ll see a difference only after doing this for a few weeks. It doesn’t look hard, but I swear I’m always shaking after doing only 20 reps!
This exercise targets your seat, which we all know needs its own attention (am I right?!). Lay with your back on the mat (or carpet), feet in front of you – try to pull your feet as close to your butt as is comfortable. Place your heels together and toes apart (in a Pilates V), with your knees touching, and then lift your seat off the mat to go into bridge position. From there, tuck and untuck your hips to activate your glutes. The harder your squeeze those muscles, the more you’ll get out of it. Similarly like the previous exercise, you can tuck to the right and to the left for some variety.
Here’s another good exercise for your bum: start on all fours with your knees hips width apart. Raise one leg (knee bent) up to hip height, then activate your glutes while you slowly lift up and down. The movement here should be small – up an inch, down an inch. Just make sure you keep your seat activated the whole time so that you don’t use your leg or lower back to lift. PS – the closer your heel is to your seat as you lift, the more of a burn you will feel! Once you’ve completed 20-30 reps on the first leg, switch to the other leg – alternate three or four times (or until you’ve tired out your muscles)!
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This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com.
*Please note that while I love to work out and these exercises work for me personally, I am certainly not a trained professional and cannot offer advice on how to work out. Exercise at your own risk!