Marsh column: Working out on the road

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 7, 2008

Q. I am going to be traveling during the holidays. Can you give me a workout I can do on the road, preferably a workout where I do not need any weights? Thanks.
A. As many of us have found, you feel so much better when you are able to work out, especially during the holidays when stress levels can be higher.
Warm up by walking, jogging or running. If you don’t want to go outside, you can do the following: march in place for 1 minute. Step touch side to side with your feet for 1 minute. Step side to side while doing a hamstring curl (bring heel toward buttocks and alternate) and pull with arms. Knee lifts to the front and pull down with arms. Knees side to side, kick to the front, kick side to side. That is about 7 minutes; if you want to do more, repeat the sequence.
For lunges, alternate 2 sets 25 per leg. A lunge is a big step forward. Make sure your knee does not pass your toes, then push yourself back to start position.
For squats, do 2 sets of 25 reps. When you do a squat, again you need to make sure your knees don’t pass your toes, keep your back straight and look forward. Sit back, like you are going to sit on a chair but the chair is not there, then stand back up.
For side leg lifts, lie on your side and rest your head on your arm. Lift your top leg up and down. Keep the tension on the leg as you lift it back up (don’t rest in between lifts). Do 2 sets of 25 reps for each leg.
For stomach flutter kicks, lie face down with your forehead resting on your hands. Relax your upper body. Lift legs and flutter kick. Try 2 times for 1 minute.
Now for push-ups. Hold on, I’m giving you options! For full push-ups, the hands, feet body are straight. You can also place your hands and knees at 45 degrees. Keep your weight on your hands. You can stand with your hands against the wall. The farther your feet are away from the wall, the harder it is. Do two times, 10-20 reps.
For dips, you can use a bench, sturdy chair or couch. Hands are on the bench and feet are on the floor. Your buttocks come off the bench and you hold yourself up with your hands. Bend your arms and extend. The closer your feet are to the bench, the easier it is. Do two times, 10-20 reps.
For crunches, do four times, 25 reps. Lie on your back with hands behind your head to support your head and keep elbows wide. Bring your belly button to your spine and gently lift the shoulder blades from the floor and go up as high as you can and come back down but not completely to the floor. Keep the tension on your abs and go back up. Go slowly. You might not be able to do as many but you will be actually feeling your abs work.
For obliques, do two sets of 25 reps (each side). In the same start position as crunches, you are “crunching” when you turn toward the left. Now come back down and do the same to the right. Keep alternating and keep the tension on the abs.
Next week I will offer a stretch routine.
Contact Ester Marsh at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@