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7 On-the-Go Routines to Improve Your Fitness Outside the Box

By boxlife

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January 4, 2016

Training for functional fitness extends beyond the confines of your gym. Sure, you have all the toys with which to train, and the attention of a coach and the encouragement of your buddies is invaluable when it comes to producing an effective workout. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of certain routines at home (or the office) to get in that extra 1% that’ll help you break through a plateau and improve your athletic performance in the long run. Try implementing these movements and drills during everyday tasks to create a powerful fitness routine that will become second nature.

Getting out of bed: 5-10 minutes of mobility work
We all could do with some added mobility in our lives, so what better way to get 10 minutes of extra mobility work outside of the gym then by doing it first thing in the morning? In fact, the morning is the ideal time to stretch & mobilize, since your joints and muscles are likely stiff and tight from lying in the same position for hours. Considering that many of us will then head off to jobs which involve remaining in the same position for an extended period of time (desk jobs), it’s imperative that we get 5-10 minutes of stretching done in the morning. Doing so will help to increase circulation, relieve stress, tension and improve your range of motion.

While showering/brushing your teeth: Wall sits/bottom position of a squat
Be honest—have you ever been daydreaming while having a shower, and suddenly thought to yourself, “I wonder if I could hit an air squat right now.” Ok, maybe not, but taking a shower affords you the opportunity to do more than just clean yourself. Space is going to be limited, but why not seek to improve your muscular endurance by holding a below-parallel air squat for time? You’ll already be nice and limber from the 10 minutes of mobility you did when you first got up (and the warm shower), so you really don’t have any excuse. If you want to multi-task, brush your teeth in the shower while you hold the position—now you’re really talking about efficiency.

At work: Always take the stairs.
I was debating on whether to advise cranking out burpees and push-ups every time you get up to grab coffee, but your boss might frown upon you if you have visible sweat stains seeping through your shirt on a daily basis. The best alternative (outside of working out during your lunch break) is to take advantage of the stairs whenever possible. Yes, the elevator is convenient, but the stairs are for gains. Whenever entering/exiting your offices, fly up or down those suckers (performing some air squats at the top of each step for true beast-mode status).

Watching TV: Burpees, push-ups, handstand holds during commercials
Watching TV has become a human pastime, and for those of us who aren’t able to ‘Netflix and chill’, commercials are an inevitability. But instead of getting up to make yourself a sandwich or gorge on some chocolate, why not do something more productive and work on your bodyweight strength? You have walls in your living space, right? Good—now kick up into a handstand and hold that position until your show returns (practice shoulder taps if a handstand hold is too easy). If a hold is too hard, practice a pike position with your feet on the couch—or coffee table (depending on how much you love your furniture)). Alternatively, get a max set of push-ups in. By shows end, your triceps and pecs should be on fire. And if you really just want to be an absolute CrossFitter, do those bloody burpees.

Leaving/entering a certain room: Strict Pull-Ups
Pull-ups are a great way to increase your pulling strength, and truth be told, you can never get enough of them. Even if you can bang out 20 strict pull-ups unbroken, you should always be shooting for that extra rep. You can buy a pull-up bar that attaches to most door frames at a sports store or online for a minimal fee. Now, whenever you enter or exit a room (bedroom, kitchen, etc.), you’ll have a visual reminder to do some pull-ups. Smashing.

While showering/brushing your teeth: Wall sits/bottom position of a squat
What, you thought once a day was enough? You brush your teeth twice per day I hope? Yeah, I thought so. Now get your ass to the grass and build some beautiful quads.

Before bed: 5-10 minutes of mobility
One of the best things you can do to ease all the tension and knots in your body that have developed from the stress of your job or the WOD is to get some mobility in before you hit the hay. Not only will it help you sleep better, but you’ll feel less stiff when you get up the next morning, and your range of motion will steadily increase over time. 10 minutes of potential annoyance for all of those benefits? I think that’s a good trade-off.

Photo courtesy of Georgie Pauwels/CC BY 2.0

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