An excellent method to build strength for other exercises.
I’m currently in-between places — meaning I’ve moved to another country and city, I haven’t got my permanent place arranged just yet, so I'm staying in a hotel room.
Not that the hotel bothers me, I like hotels; I must have stayed in more than 1000 so far. It’s a lovely room with a view of the Singapore skyline. However, it’s a little on the small side, with the bed more or less filling the room.
You know there’s usually a little hallway that leads from the bedroom to the bathroom and the door. And that’s what I make my gym, with only a towel. You can do many great exercises in that tiny spot if you know how.
The routine I do is one of my favorites, even though it’s super challenging and requires some skill. It also helps you build stronger muscles and joints to improve your output with other exercises you may be struggling with.
I always start by warming up my chest and shoulders with fast arm swings and a few dynamic stretches. Then I go straight into the plank, as the plank warms up all muscles and joints, prepping you for the following 3 stages.
Get into the plank position and hold it for as long as possible. I aim for 1.5 to 2 minutes — it’s hard but achievable.
I choose the wall-sit next to move from the shoulders, core, and neck to the legs and behind — thus alternating the muscle groups.
Sit against a wall with your hands dangling off your sides. Don’t rest them on your lap or knees, as that would reduce the resistance.
Make sure you go all way down like you’re sitting on a chair and press your back against the wall. Hold the position as long as you can until your legs shake like crazy.
Push yourself — your legs can hold you longer than you think.
Alight, this tricky one requires skill, confidence, and determination. Easier said than done, I know. But you can absolutely master it.
Lay a towel to the wall, and place your hands 1 hand length away from the wall, get into the run-sprint starting position, then swing yourself up back to the wall. Once you’re upside down and standing on your hands, you’re going to feel like, oh no, I can’t hold this! But you can if you focus and bite your teeth.
Practice makes perfect.
I can hold this position for 1.5 minutes — I started with 15-seconds. Keep at it every other day, and within 2 weeks, you’ll hit the minute.
Push-ups are hard for most — the negative is even more challenging but super rewarding if you practice.
Get into the classic push-up position, drop down and stay for as long as you can. You’re chest and arms will soon start twitching — keep it up and fight not to give up too soon.
That’s the routine done. Take a break and repeat 2 or 3 times. 3 sets take me 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how strong I feel.
The Benefits in Summary.
The incredible thing about this sweet little workout is that it’s done in such a short time, yet it smashes your muscles to rebuild them stronger.
It doesn’t only strengthen your muscles and joints, but your mind too, giving you a great sense of achievement and confidence.
Once you’ve practiced this method a few times, go and try regular movement push-ups — up and down, as well as squats. You’ll see that you can pump out way more reps than before.
And that’s the beauty of this static bodyweight routine — it preps your whole body, allowing you to complete different exercises with more power and force.
A win-win for your overall fitness and health goals — especially if you’re traveling and stuck in small places, as I am.