Keeping up your exercise routine while traveling is hard enough, but when your go-to sweat sesh is Pilates, that can complicate things further. A reformer won’t exactly fit inside your carry-on. And even a more travel-friendly resistance circle takes up precious space you could otherwise use for healthy snacks.
“You literally don’t need anything but a mat and your own body resistance to get a killer workout.”
But thanks to some genius intel from Karen Lord (who’s minimalist Pilates studio is a New York City mainstay), we’ve got some of the most challenging moves you can do anywhere that may look small, but will give you big results—like the posture push-up plank she demos in the video above. “You literally don’t need anything but a mat or your own body resistance to get a killer workout,” says Lord. “We have all these gorgeous machines and equipment, but the foundation starts here.”
Scroll down for a step-by-step guide to the posture push-up plank. Then, check out the rest of Karen Lord’s 7-minute core curriculum here.
Posture push-up plank
Though these push-ups might look toned down, they pack a serious muscle-sculpting punch by working your core, arms, and quads for a max, full-body effect. Special tip: Don’t forget to breathe!
Step 1: Stand at the bottom of your mat with your feet about a fist’s width apart. Reach your hands over your head toward the ceiling.
Step 2: Exhale and round your body forward, hinging at the hips, to plant your hands on the mat in front of your feet. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
Step 3: Walk yourself out into a plank, keeping your wrists under your shoulders, pelvis slightly tucked, and energy extending out of both your heels and the crown of your head. Your ribs should be knit together, belly button squeezed toward your spine, and shoulder blades broad across your back.
Step 5: Raise your hips and push back so that your weight is over your legs, then walk your hands back toward your feet. Roll up to stand, and return to your starting position.
For more on-the-go workouts, here’s the 4-move circuit Janet Jackson used to get ready for her global tour—plus, this 10-minute toning sequence you can do anywhere.