As I continue to recover from my muscle spasm that crept from my ankle to calf to adductor and has now mostly receded, I’ve been focusing on upper body work to keep myself active. And, since I’m heading out on a camping trip over the “long weekend” (stupid Canada day falling on a Wednesday…) I thought I’d share what I came up with to keep me going with limited equipment.
I love this workout because I find that (even when injured) I do a lot of walking and hiking when camping but pretty much nothing that involves the upper body.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Plyo pushups: start in plank position with your hands on the bench and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Lower into a pushup position and then push up explosively so your hands briefly come off the bench. More advanced folks can try to clap their hands on the explosive movement. Be careful of your wrists on this one, and feel free to eliminate the plyo movement and just to regular pushups instead.
- Tricep dips: sit on the bench with your hands planted beside your hips and your knees bent. Shift your hips forward just off the bench and lower your body toward the ground, bending your elbows toward the back of the bench (not outward) and keeping your back right next to the bench. Press up firmly through your hands (not your legs) until your arms are straight. More advanced: straighten your legs.
- Legs-up plank: come into a plank position with your feet on the bench and your hands on the ground. Engage your core and hold for 60 seconds. To make it easier: do a regular plank on the ground or a plank with your hands on the bench and your feet on the floor. Remember to keep your core engaged – don’t let your hips push up or sag down and don’t arch your back.
- Wide-stance pushups: as with the plyo pushups, come into plank with your hands on the bench and feet on the ground. In this version, you want your hands in line with your elbows when they are bent to 90 degrees, so wider than shoulder width. More advanced: try using only one leg or take the pushups to the ground.
- Dive bombers: come into plank position on the ground then push back into downward dog with your hips up and back straight (bend your knees if needed). Roll your body down coming into upward dog in a single smooth movement. Reverse the movement to return to downward dog. To make it easier: drop to your knees as you move into upward dog, then lift back off them as you come into downward dog.
- Side plank: come into side plank position with your left hand planted on the ground and your feet on the bench. Keep your body straight on all planes – don’t let your hips sag or your butt stick out. At the 30 second mark switch over to your right side. To make it easier: move to the ground. More advanced: raise your upper leg or hold one side the entire 60 seconds (hold the other side on the next round).
- Military pushups: come into plank position with arms on the bench and feet on the ground. In this variation you want your hands very close together so your arms graze your torso as you lower your upper body. More advanced: take it to the ground or raise a leg.
- Pike press: start in plank position and then press up into downward dog. Bend your arms outward and lower your head toward the ground as you keep your hips raised and back straight (remember to bend your knees if you need to). Press through your arms to return to the downward dog position.
- Lolasana: sit on the bench with your hands beside your hips. Bend your knees and lift them toward your chest with the ankles crossed. Press down firmly through your hands and lift your lower body off the bench. This is a balance-strength pose so all of your weight is in your arms. Keep your legs and feet lifted and hold for ten seconds then release and repeat twice more. More advanced: take it to the ground. To make it easier: also move to the ground, but allow a portion of your weight to be borne by your feet.
That’s it. You can repeat once or more, just make sure to balance out those side planks. This is great to throw in after a hike or a run, followed up with some nice static stretching, before you hit the shower (or hot springs!)
So how do you get your fitness fix in when you’re camping / on holiday? Or do you give yourself a fitness vacation at the same time?