Four express workouts for holiday travel

November 21, 2015

The busiest travel weekend of the year is coming up, and you’ll more than likely be scrambling to find a way to get your workout in before packing up and hitting the road. So just in case you can’t make it happen and need an express workout, look no further, just cut out this article, follow one of the plans and you’ll burn off those extra calories before you can say pumpkin pie.

Cardio-infused weight training

If you don’t have extra time to spend on the cardio deck but you have access to weight lifting equipment, try injecting high-energy exercises into your weight training routine. Exercises such as mountain climbers, Burpees, squat thrusts, sprints and jump roping are sure to get your heart pumping and your body sweating without spending an extra 30 to 45 minutes on the cardio deck.

A good example would be doing a set of squats, jumping rope for two minutes and then finishing with a set of walking lunges.

2-in-1 combo exercises

If you are visiting family for the holiday and you are short on time, try doing four to five combo movements - exercises combined together - working groups of muscles for maximum efficiency, such as dumbbell squats with overhead press, dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts with calf raise, dumbbell lunges with hammer curls or a swiss ball pike with pushup. These exercises work a variety of muscles at the same time by combining two exercises together in a hybrid format, giving you much more bang for your buck in less time.

Bar complexes

Bar complexes are a quick way to get a great workout. The best part is all you need is a set of dumbbells or a straight bar to get it done.

To get started, choose five to six exercises that can be done with the same weight so you don’t even have to put the bar down. A great example with dumbbells would be hammer curls, push-up rows, standing overhead dumbbell press and bent dumbbell rows.

Body weight workout

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get to a gym or don’t have access to any weight lifting equipment, you can still make it work; you just have to be creative. Below is a workout that I made for my clients who found themselves in this situation during the previous holiday season. Complete one set of the following exercises to failure and repeat the desired amount of sets depending on your fitness level.

• Spiderman push-ups - intermediate - Start with your hands and feet on the floor, but eliminate the push-up. Instead, lock your elbows and turn your knee parallel to the floor and bring it toward your elbow. Alternate with both legs until the required amount of reps are complete.

• Step-ups with side squat - intermediate - If you have never done squats or if you have knee issues, try substituting a wall sit by positioning your body so your back is pressed against a wall with your legs bent 90 degrees or more and hold.

• Burpees with jump - intermediate - If this exercise is a little too difficult or you have knee or leg injuries, simply get down to the floor slowly with less impact and stand back up, eliminating the jumping portion of the movement.

• Diamond push-ups - intermediate - If you can’t do a full push-up, try going to 90 degrees only or starting in the push-up position with your knees on the floor.

• Bear crawls - intermediate - To make this exercise a little easier, substitute mountain climbers instead.

For a full description of the above exercises, see the Ask the Trainer Cape Gazette archives for Nov. 29, 2014, or check out Antonio’s Personal Training Facebook page, as we will be posting a description on Friday. Have a great Thanksgiving and don’t skip your workouts.

Chris Antonio has trained a wide variety of clients. To send a question, email Chris at or check out for training tips, news and inspirational stories.


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