The word is starting to get out that strength training is no longer just for men. In fact it can be the most time efficient and effective way to work out for men and women. This is because the more muscle a person has on their body, the higher their metabolism will be. So when you are at the gym make sure you to hit the weights (2-3 times per week for the average woman will suffice.) When you are on the road it is much harder to get your lift on. That is why I have designed this full body work out that you can do on vacation, a work trip or even when you are stuck at home with the kids and don’t have time to drive to the gym. Each exercise has a beginner (a), intermediate (b), and advanced (c) variation for each. Your goal should be use the variation that becomes difficult for you to complete all 12 repetitions in each set. Continue to progress by moving up to a more difficult variation or adding repetitions.
1a. Body Weight Squat - with feet shoulder width apart bend at the knees and hips as if you were going to sit back onto a bench. Try to squat down until knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Return to the top.
1b. Squat to a Calf Raise - perform the above squat. When at the top of the squat, raise your heels off of the ground and return to start. (Make sure that the weight is on your heels throughout the squat, until you do the calf raise).
1c. Squat Jump - Squat down about half as far as you did on the squat and explode up, jumping off of the ground. Land and repeat.
2a. Alternating Lunge - Start with feet about shoulder width apart, take a big step forward and lower your back knee straight down( beginners may start by going ½ way down) until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Return to start position. Switch and do your other leg.
2b. Split Squat - Use the same technique as a lunge only you do not switch feet. Keep the same foot forward and the same foot back until the prescribed number of repetitions is done, then switch legs.
2c. Bulgarian Split Squats - Similar to a split squat with your back leg resting, laces down on a bench or chair. Lower your body down and back, then return to the starting position.
3a. Knee Push Up - Start out on your knees with hands directly under your shoulders and elbows pointed back. Lower until shirt hit the floor and return to start. Many beginners mistakenly start with hands too far forward and go down with elbows pointed out.
3b. Push Up - Same as above only on your toes. Keep your belly button sucked in throughout. Avoid over arching your back when it gets difficult.
3c. Stability Ball Push Up - Start face down with feet on a stability ball or a low bed if you don’t have a stability ball. Perform pushups without sinking your hips too low or sticking your behind way up in the air.
4a. Modified Plank Hold - Start out on knees and elbows, lean hips forward until your body straight across. Hold for 1 minute.
4b. Plank Hold - Same as modified only on your toes instead knees, hold for 1 minute.
4c. Plank-Side Plank - Start out in plank position. Pivot on feet and one elbow so that your opposite elbow is directly above your body and your hips are pointer sideways. Return to plank hold position and perform a side plank to the opposite side, perform for 1 minute.
Pick out variation a, b or c for a given exercise. Perform exercise number 1 followed by exercise number 2. Rest and repeat until you have done 3 sets of 12 repetitions for all four exercises. Each time that you do this calorie scorching work out try to move up to the next difficulty level, or even increase your repetitions. Next time you are not able to make it to the gym, give this body weight road work out a try.