Holiday workout

When you're out of your usual routine, physical activity can often go out the window. Here are five easy moves you can take with you.
Published 14 September 2017

Try our workout to do while on holidays

What you'll need: A gym mat or beach towel.

1. Knee rolls

How to: Lie on your back on a towel or mat, with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet in the air. Engage your core and lower your legs to the right. Pause with your legs just off the ground, or as low as you can go while keeping the movement controlled, then squeeze your abs and return to the start position. Lower to the other side. Roll your knees to each side 10 times.

Works: Your abdominal and lower back muscles. This is a great core exercise that engages your rotational muscles and provides a gentle stretch through the thoracic spine.

Tip: If you want to make it more challenging, you can start to straighten your legs.

2. Walking lunges

How to: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your right leg. As you land, stabilise and engage your core, then lower your back knee until it is just above the ground, with your front knee at 90 degrees and your hips above your back knee. Push through your right leg and come back up to a standing position. Repeat on the other leg, moving forward as you go so that you are ‘walking’. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Works: Your lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Walking lunges require you to use both sides of the body for every movement, just like walking.

Tip: To make it even more challenging, try to pause for a couple of seconds at the bottom of each lunge.

3. Rotation push-ups

How to: Start on your hands and knees in a high push-up position, with your core engaged. Keep your knees wide for better stability. Slowly lower to complete a push-up. Then, as you return to the high push-up position, lift your right hand off the ground and raise it so it’s pointing straight up in the air. Slowly return the hand to the ground and start your next push-up. Complete a total of 10 push-ups, alternating your arms each time.

Works: Your chest, shoulders, back and core. Not only does this exercise have all the usual benefits of push-ups, such as targeting your chest, shoulders and arms, the rotation and arm raises strengthen your core and upper back, too.

Tip: Take it to the next level by trying these on your toes.

4. Lateral squat walk

How to do it: With your weight in your heels and your core engaged, squat until your thighs are about parallel to the ground. From here, keep your bottom low and your core engaged and slowly start to step sideways. Focus on maintaining a good squat position and squeezing your glutes as you go. Complete 10 steps to the right, then 10 steps to the left.

Works: Your glutes and thighs. This is great for building stability and endurance through your lower body.

Tip: If you have a resistance band, wrap it in a big loop around your thighs to increase the work your glutes have to do throughout the movement.

5. Supermans

How to: Lie face down on the ground with your arms out in front of you and your feet hip-width apart. Lift your arms, with your thumbs pointing up to the sky and your shoulder blades squeezing together. At the same time, slightly lift your feet and squeeze your glutes. Hold this position and squeeze for three seconds, then return to a relaxed position on the ground. Repeat 10 times.

Works: Your shoulders, upper back, lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Most of our movements throughout the day bring our spine and hips into flexion. This exercise counters that by extending your body and helps to stabilise and strengthen all the muscles at the back of your body.

Tip: If you have lower- or upper-back issues, do these with your arms by your sides rather than up above your head to reduce the load on your back.