When you’re a busy actor and travel a lot for work, no equipment workouts are a necessity. There’s rarely room for fitness equipment and bulky sneakers in a carry-on bag.
But the good news is that we live in an age of technology, which offers lots of alternatives to staying in shape on-the-go. In this week’s fitness overview, we’re going to cover three ways you can start workin’ on your fitness without having to break a sweat lugging around your home gym.
Before we dive in, you don’t have to be a jet-setting actor to try these exercises out. In fact, these are low to no cost ways to get a speedy, successful workout on the books.
As Austin Powers once said, “Wherever we go, there we are.” 😉 Even if you have brought zero exercise clothing or equipment in your suitcase, you still have the most important fitness tool with you at all times: your body. And in addition to reaping the benefits of your workout, it can also help you facilitate it.
Bodyweight exercises often engage your joints and muscles in each move and have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements. It doesn’t take a lot of time to run through a circuit, which is great when you’re on set late or have early call times but still need to fit in a mini-session.
These exercises can also be easily modified to accommodate different fitness levels or injuries. Other benefits include better posture, a strong core and a healthier heart.
Oh, did I mention it’s also free?
To recap: Your own body weight + gravity = no need for fancy equipment (or even a smelly hotel gym!). In fact, why not find a local park and enjoy the fresh air while you exercise?
Below are a few of my favorite bodyweight exercises, plus tons of resources to mix and match your own routine. Start with five exercises for 10-15 reps each for 3 full circuits. To get the full benefit of bodyweight training, do this at least three times a week.
P.S. If you want a mat for extra stability or cushion, check out travel yoga mats. They still provide resistance and are thin and light enough to fold easily into your luggage easy-peasy.
- Squats: The classic move for that bootie pop!
- Lunges (Here are 32 variations!)
- Wall Sits
- Jumping Jacks
- Superman Pose
SELF magazine has a great online tutorial of over fifty bodyweight moves with visuals. Here is a fun selection to try from the list.
#5) Spider-Man Mountain Climbers:
Channel your inner neighborhood hero!
Start in a high plank.
Drive your right knee out and up toward your right tricep. As you do, turn your head to watch your knee meet your arm.
Alternate sides as fast as you can while still maintaining a sturdy plank and keeping your torso in place.
#11) Curtsy Lunges With Side Kick:
This move feels part “meeting the Queen”, part square dancing.
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
Step your left leg diagonally behind your right leg and bend your knees to lower into a lunge.
Push through your right heel to stand, and sweep your left leg out to the side.
Repeat on the other side.
#28) Hip Bridges:
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, this move will be familiar.
Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your heels a few inches away from your butt. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart.
Lift your hips up, then lower them back to the ground.
#18) Lateral Plank Walks:
I know, I know, everyone hates planks, but this exercise is much more fun than holding still and suffering in silence. 😉
Start in a high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and abs tight.
Step your right foot and right hand to the right, immediately following with your left foot and left hand. Take a few “steps” in one direction, then walk in the opposite direction.
Exercise On Demand
If you need a class or trainer to motivate you outta bed, then look no further than streaming platforms dedicated exclusively to fitness. You can find everything from yoga, pilates and stretching classes to cardio workouts and weightlifting, all on your phone or computer, from the comfort of your hotel room – or your bedroom or living room at home!
Here are a few to check out, but just know that these will cost you a monthly fee to use. Still, what a great excuse to grab a few actor friends and have a healthy hangout!
Daily Burn: dailyburn.com
You can’t beat this powerhouse in fitness programming. You can join in a live 30-minute, full-body workout every morning, plus access to over 2,500 video and audio workouts, including Cardio, Yoga, Dance, and Pilates. They have 40 plans available, so you can mix-and-match a program to fit your style. And you can connect to the platform through Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and iOS and Android devices, in addition to traditional computers. This service offers a free 30 day trial, plus, you can try a free group class on their website.
Obé Fitness: obefitness.com
The name stands for “Our Body Electric”, and this funky, candy-colored studio will have you nostalgic for the 80s. They broadcast 20 live classes a day plus offer a library of 8000+ replay workouts that include: Sculpt, Strength, Power, Dance, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Stretch.
All the classes are a short 28 minutes, and no equipment required. In fact, you can even filter by “no equipment” in the library to make it super easy. Obé Fitness also hosts themed classes based on your fave HBOMax, Disney, Paramount+ and Peacock properties, so it’s perfect for the on-the-go actor.
This service is $24.99 / month or $169.99 / year with a free trial.
Booya Fitness: booyafitness.com
What I love about Booya (aside from the fun name) is that you can browse the workouts and see exactly what type of class you’re getting, what equipment you’ll need (if any), and the calories you can burn. There’s a wide variety of options too like barre, bootcamp, bodyweight sculpting, dance and even cardio kickboxing!
This service is $10 / month with a free 30 day trial, plus, you’ll get a discount if you pay in 3 or 12 month increments, which is a pretty good deal.
Our survey of digital fitness would not be complete without gadgets galore. Now, I know that I normally tell you to put away the devices, but with these babies, you can track your heart rate, steps, exercise length, intensity, location, sleep patterns and even your water intake.
All without having to carry your bulking cellphone around.
You’ve probably already heard of Garmin and Fitbit, who make the most popular fitness trackers to wear on your wrist, so here are a few out of the box inventions to keep on your radar, if your budget allows.
Remember Marty McFly’s power laces in Back To The Future II? Well, welcome to the age of the power soles. There are a few companies now that are bringing insoles online to send data on your sports performance to your smartphone in real-time, so you can build a stronger, safer workout. Check out Nurvv, Digitsole and Arion.
Sensoria Fitness Socks can help you keep track of your pulse and how well your body is responding to your workout. The running friendly fabric and flexible sensors sync directly with your smartphone app, Apple Watch or Android Wear.
Nadi X wants to be your personal digital yoga instructor. Their Smart Yoga Pants are designed with woven-in technology that vibrates to help you know where to focus while using their online app. It’s a whole system built to help you achieve your full yoga potential.
UA RUSH™ by UnderAmour uses infrared technology in their clothing to reflect your energy back into your body, in order to help you recover from your workout faster. It’s similar to the bioceramic bandages professional athletes rely on to perform in arenas week after week. Thankfully, this affordable option doesn’t require a on-staff trainer or a sponsorship deal. 😉
And for when you need some zen at the gym, you can find noise canceling earbuds by Jabra that also keep a count of your steps and reps and track your pace. Check out the Elite Sport and the Sport Coach models.
So, now that your travel gym bag is packed with goodies, which no equipment workout for actors are you most excited to try out? Let me know in the comments below, or better yet, take a pic of your on-the-go workout and tag me on Instagram @theplantelife.
LOVE + healthy travels (or stay at home simplicity!)