‘Can’t get to the gym because ….’
We can all finish this sentence with one of the hundreds of excuses we can all come up with in a heartbeat.
And we seem to think the gym is the only place we can do weight training.
Jo Sharp is the master of creating energising fusion sessions, including strength moves, in the most unusual and inspiring places on our trips.
The beach, a jetty, rice fields, market stalls are transformed into an instant gym or a pilates/yoga studio. There’s no shortage of ‘gym equipment’ when you toss in coconuts, sandbags, bands, steps, trees, hiking poles and SUP paddles.
Can’t get to the gym? Jo has 3 smart strength moves to get your muscles firing up, without the gym. Over to Jo…
Being strong is about being smart strong.
Strength is the key to flexibility, mobility, balance & lowering your risk of injury, so it is an important element in your training.
The good news is you don’t have to be lifting a 100 kg weight. There are simple, powerful, effective movements you can do. The key to any strength workout is doing movements which involve multiple body joints and therefore multiple muscles. You need ensure those muscles are actually activating or “firing up” how they are designed to.
Here a 3 exercises which will engage multiple deeper muscles and build on the strength of your entire body:
Making sure your back is strong is key to overall strength. Rows can help a weak back and build a strong core and arms. The main muscles used are lats, traps and rhomboids which help reinforce good posture by pulling your shoulders back. They also help the core in stabilising your spine.
Put exercise band around a pole retract your shoulders and brace your core then pull back on the band with your elbows in line with your shoulders. Feel the motion of gliding your shoulder blades into the squeezed position. 15 rep x 3 sets
Holding a weight in front of your body gets your core working double time to keep you tall, while your legs work to control your movement down and up.
Hold dumbbell vertically with both hands at chest level. Set feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing outwards. Push your butt back like you are sitting on a chair and squat until your elbows hit your knees. Pause, then push up from the feet to standing. 8 reps x 3 sets
Hip thrusts help to not only mobilize the hip joint but also strengthen the glutes. If you do a lot of sitting chances are your glutes aren’t “firing” how they’re supposed to.
Lay on your back with your feet firmly planted on the ground close to your butt. Lifting up vertebrae by vertebrae through the front of your hips you activate your butt in the up phase. Lower down with control. 15 rep x 3 sets.
I’ve put together a post on the ‘Sharp Moves Studios’ around the world here. They’ll either have you reaching for your passport to join a trip or at least rethinking that “I can’t get to the gym” excuse. Check them out here.