The Active Traveler

Moves to make to stay fit on vacation.


Q: Juggling the fall routine is getting frustrating. One kid’s in soccer practice, another is in gymnastics, and my work schedule is proving unreliable for keeping my summer strength workout routine. Any advice for what I can do?

—Sarah T., 42, Alameda

A: Time is always tricky, but try to fit in strength workouts two to three times a week. Instead of adding in commute time to the gym, use the convenience of Alameda’s parks and schools, the Bay trail, and, especially, the benches at the soccer field. You will notice significant muscular gains, and the workouts will help with speed and endurance for a myriad of sports.

Single leg step-ups—right and left: Engage your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves as you stand tall, one leg at a time, on the bench. Keep shoulders back and look forward. Do 15 to 30 reps each leg.

Reverse lunge—right and left: Instead of traditional lunges, reverse them, maintaining a 90-degree, bent-knee position and using fingertips for balance if necessary. Do 15 to 30 reps each side.

Side lunge with foot drag—right and left: This time, take the traditional lunge sideways and add a foot drag for increased resistance. Head one direction then repeat going the other direction. Do 15 to 20 reps each side.

Caterpillars: Extend arms above head, bend over to touch toes, walk hands forward to a plank position, with shoulders over wrists and ankles over heels. Do one to five pushups or hold the plank position. Walk toes towards hands, extend arms above head, and jump tall. Do 15 to 30 reps.

Burpees: Jump, land in a squat, drop to a lower squat with hands on the ground. Jump feet behind to a plank position then jump-tuck legs under core and return to standing position. Do 15 to 30 reps.

Dips with jacks: Sit on the bench facing away, roll shoulders back, and place hands beside hips. Lower body with knees bent and a 90-degree position between hips and ankles. Lower into a dip, jump feet wide (similar to the “jack” of a jumping jack), and return to start. Do 15 to 20 reps.

Push-ups—incline or decline: Facing the bench, place hands greater than shoulder-width apart on bench. Wrists are below shoulders, with body upright, maintaining a perfect plank posture. Bend elbows, lower body weight toward bench, engaging core. Return to starting position, raising body weight and extending arms. For advanced decline push-ups, place hands on the ground and feet on the bench. Do 15 to 30 reps.

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