We’ve all been in a situation where we are traveling and we end up with a layover that’s several hours long. I don’t know about you, but when I’m flying and sitting on my butt all day in a little cramped plane seat, I feel pretty crummy by the time I get to my destination. Some airports are nice enough to have a gym facilities right there! If this is the case, go ahead and take advantage of it to get your blood flowing! Most airports, however, are not so well equipped. For these situations, I have designed a quick, full body airport workout that only requires your carry-on suitcase and two water bottles.
To warm up, feel free to walk a couple laps around the airport. Airports are great for walking and sight seeing (and people watching!). They also usually have TONS of stairs. Take advantage of them and carry your suitcase up a few flights of stairs.
When you feel warm and limber, find a relatively quiet area and do the following exercises in a circuit fashion. This means go from one exercise to the next, with little rest. Once you’ve completed all of the exercises, rest 2 minutes or so, and repeat the whole list again for a total of 3-4 rounds.
1. Suitcase Bear Hug Squat. 15 reps.
Hug your suitcase to your chest with feet a little wider than shoulder width. Take a deep breath and sit back into a full squat. Keep the chest up as you drive through the heels to return to standing. Exhale and repeat for 15 reps.
2. Suitcase Overhead Press. 10 reps each side.
Kneeling on the floor, start with your suitcase on one shoulder on it’s side. Without using momentum, press the suitcase up straight over your head and slowly lower it onto the other shoulder.
3. Walking Lunges. 10 reps per leg (20 steps total).
You can use just your bodyweight, but if that feels too easy, you can bear hug your carry-on while you do these for extra quad engagement.
4. Pushups. 10 reps.
There are many pushup variations you can do, but you want to choose a variation where doing ten reps is challenging but won’t have you go to failure. You can do these on your knees, on your feet, with your feet up on a bench, or even with your hands on a wall. Just be sure to maintain good form.
5. Suitcase Bent Over Rows. 15 reps.
Start by standing up straight, holding your carry-on at the top and bottom. Hinge forward from the hips, keeping the back flat and let the arms hang straight down. From here, be sure to engage your core as you “row” the carry-on up, driving your elbows straight back, touching the suitcase to your chest before lowering it again.
6. Suitcase Romanian Deadlift. 15 reps.
Hold your suitcase from the side handle and stand up straight with chest up and shoulders back. Keeping your core tight and back flat, hinge at the hips until your suitcase taps the floor. Using mainly your glutes and hamstrings, drive your hips forward to return to standing.
7. Water Bottle Side Lateral Raises. 12-15 reps.
Despite the light weight of water bottles, these will be more challenging than dumbbells simply because of how thick they are in the palm. Be sure not to bounce and to really focus on the squeeze of your medial delt.
8. Suitcase Isometric Bicep Curl. 30-60 seconds. *As long as you can hold it!
For this exercise, simple hold your suitcase in a “bicep curl” position from whichever two side handles are the most comfortable, keeping your elbows into your sides. Hold this position for as long as you can.
9. Water Bottle Triceps Kickbacks. 10-15 reps.
Holding a water bottle in each hand, standing upright, hinge at the hips until your upper body is at a 45 degree angle. Bring your elbows back as if you were rowing and at the top, extend the water bottles straight back so that your arm is parallel with the ground. No swinging! Really squeeze the tricep!
10. Plank. Aim for 60 seconds.
Choose a plank variation that will be challenging to hold for 60 seconds. If 60 seconds is too easy with your bodyweight, put your luggage on your back and do it.
Rest for 2 minutes and repeat for three rounds! Happy travels!