As much as I travel and I’m sure so many of you do as well, sometimes it’s just impossible to get to a gym or sometimes that hotel “gym” really is nothing but another room with an old bike or treadmill in it!
Sometimes we are forced to improvise and do what we can with what we have! So here is a quick list of a few exercises you can do no matter what your situation :)
Planks: This exercise is one of the best you can do for your abs, arms, and upper body. It makes a great hotel room workout for many reasons, including the fact that it doesn’t require any motion. This isometric exercise relies on maintaining resistance against your muscles and is one you can do for an extended period of time.
Tricep Dips: Triceps dips are a complex motion that works your upper arms and can also include your glutes, legs, and abs if done properly. You’ll need a solid base to do triceps dips on, so your bed or the cushion of a couch won’t cut it. You don’t want to slip while doing triceps dips on these soft surfaces that won’t get you the proper kind of resistance you’ll need. The best option is a chair, something most hotel rooms offer for their guests and if not you can try some alternatives. Calling the front desk and asking for a basic, even folding chair will cut it. Also, if you remove some of the cushions of a couch and use the hard front edge, that may also work.
Running Stairs: This exercise can be done both in your hotelroom or in the stairwell of the place you’re staying. Both of them are great cardio workouts and you can combine them to enhance your overall fitness while you travel around the world. Start by warming yourself up with a set of push ups and them moving on to kicking knee ups to get your heart rate up and your muscles loose. This will help you prevent injury to cold muscles and also give you a small adrenaline kick to give you more energy for the increased activity from doing these start exercises.
Doing Stairs In The Room: Obviously there aren’t a flight of stairs in your hotel room and if there are you must be staying in a very nice place! Anyway, the way to do stairs in the room is to use the couch, chair, or bathroom stool if there is one. You’ll climb up and down following the pattern – right leg up, left leg up, right leg down, left leg down; you can also do the reverse. It’s just important to alternate consistently to keep the load on both legs as evenly as you can. Similar to doing squats, you’ll feel this exercise right above you kneecaps in your quadriceps and likely very quickly at that.
To combat this fatigue and to stretch out the exercise across a period of time, use TV show commercials for an on and off schedule over 30 minutes or so. This will let you keep the stairs up for longer, and maintain an elevated heart rate burning more calories and fat in the process. It’s a nice, quiet hotel room workout that doesn’t require much additional equipment that isn’t already in your room for free.
Sit ups and Crunches: These can be done on your hotel room floor. If the surface is too hard for your back you can put a blanket or comforter down to make if softer.
Jumping Jacks: Don’t dismiss this very powerfulcardiovascular exercise which is commonly associated with children’s game or thought of as dated. Jumping jacks burn as manycalories per minute – that’s 9 if you’re counting – as the whole body workout the push up. You can do jumping jacks to tone your core by keeping your back straight during your morning routine. While you do push ups during the commercial breaks of your favorite morning show while in front of the hotel room TV, you can hop up and continue with jumping jacks during the show. Assuming you can do a mere 15 minutes of jumping jacks during a 30 minute program, you’ll chop off 135 calories, all before you’ve had breakfast.
Squats: Squats can be done in the tight spaces of most hotel rooms, don’t require a lot of motion, and are quiet enough to be done without disturbing your hotel room neighbors. The key to taking advantage of a squat, without weights, is to keep your back straight and complete the motion slowly. This will also help prevent injury while at the same time giving you that good old burning sensation in your quadriceps.
Two Kinds Of Hotel Room Squat Positions
You can go about squats in two different ways. Often, for beginners, it’s best to do with the single-knee down motion, where you form a right angle between your thigh and calf by squatting forward and using your back leg for support. Your arms will be relaxed but pointing toward the ground, although you can try a number of variations.
Once you get the single-knee squat down with your arms in the resting position, you can increase the intensity of this hotel room workout by holding weights in both hands. Since mosttravelers don’t carry dumbbells in their luggage, you can use buckets filled with free ice or use books that you may have bought or are in the room. (YOU CAN ALSO USE THESE SAME ITEMS TO DO BICEP CURLS AND ADD THESE TO YOUR HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT). You can also try extending your arms forward, in a “zombie position” creating a 90 degree angle between your arms and chest. Finally, you can make this versatile exercise work your balance even further but pointing your arms straight up while you complete the single-knee squat.
The second alternative to the basic single-knee down squat is to do a traditional double-knee squat. That position begins with your feet pointing mostly forward, set slightly wider than shoulder width. You want to squat down as far as you can, slowly, without bouncing or dropping to the ground. On the way up you’ll also need to take your time and not just shoot right up to get the most benefit from this squat.
As for your arms, they can be pointing out from your body at a 45 degree angle, going the direction of your knees. That’s the basic double-knee squat position for the arms but you can mix it up (and you should every few days so your body doesn’t get used to the exercise). Try placing your arms above your head or placing your hands behind your head, much like you would during sit ups or a crunch.
Squat Reminders And Basics
You want to maintain a straight back on the way down when performing squats. One of the most common mistakes is to hunch over or lean too far back, throwing yourself off balance. Doing so can increase your chance of injury and making the next common mistake – bouncing during the squat – is rough on your knees and should be avoided. Squats are one of the most complex exercises to give your body, they work your legs, abs, back, and chest as well as many other muscles in between. Squats are an excellent hotel room workout you can do in front of the TV without making a peep.
Pushups: Push ups work the triceps, legs, lower back, and gluteus maximums (glutes). Your forearms and shoulders as well as neck too all get involved in this complex set of motions that put the major muscle groups of your body into motion. Proper pushu ps burn calories, approximately 9 per minute, and build strength in your core while improving balance and coordination.
Push Ups In A Hotel
With all of its benefits, push ups have another advantage, particularly in the hotel room. They don’t require weights, much space, or motion; making them ideal for the tight spaces and thin walls of most hotel rooms. For those of you who might not be ready for a full push up, you can start by supporting yourself with your knees instead of feet at first. You can also do this as you fatigue from doing sets of regular push ups to continue working out even as your muscles tire and begin to give out.
The Hotel Room Push Up Routine
Many travelers, especially business travelers, have to get up early in the morning but still want to catch up on world events with their favorite morning shows. You can work in the TV with your push up schedule using this routine. Start by doing as many push ups as you can in a single minute. Remember, you don’t want to bounce or hop so take your time or switch to your knees if you have to. Cheating with your momentum won’t provide the same benefit and burns only half the calories.
Continue your one minute push up set, keeping track of how many you are able to do. Use that as your ‘fresh’ baseline and try to at least match it everyday and increase it by one or two each week. During the morning show, do as many push ups as you can during each commercial break and use the show to rest or try some of the other hotel room workouts.
Hope this helps and TRAIN HARD!!!!