Dec 10th, 2016
Author: Cocoon Web Design
We are creatures of habit, and if we already have a routine (wake up, eat all meals, work out, and go to sleep at the same time), then we are pretty well set on a daily basis. However, when we start traveling, oftentimes nothing is familiar and the slightest speed bump can be enough to screw up our sleeping, eating, and work-out routines.
- If you work out in a gym you might not have access to any equipment.
- If you run around your neighborhood you no longer have a familiar path to follow.
- If you usually prepare your own meals you may not have a kitchen or refrigerator.
- If you’re used to a good night’s sleep on your comfy bed, you could be sleeping at odd hours in different time zones on an uncomfortable bed.
As soon as you enter your room, size it up and see what you’ve got to work with.
What can you use for resistance? Is there a chair for dips? How about towels? What hotel gear can you transform or adopt for your workout? There may be more than meets the eye, so take a few minutes and open your mind.
As with all exercise, use controlled, attentive reps with a full range of motion. Lock out your hips on squats. Lock your elbows on push-ups, and bring your chest to the ground. Whichever your environment, give your best effort. No matter the setting, five good, controlled reps are better than ten sub-par ones.
Push-ups are pretty standard and can be done anywhere. Your bed or window sill can be used for decline push-ups, while a desk can be used for incline push-ups if you cannot do push-ups on the floor. This change in leverage can also be implemented to intensify other exercises, such as lunges, by elevating the rear foot. Additionally, you can use the desk or a chair for dips.
*Squatting is one of the best exercises in your arsenal, for the simple reason that if you have room to stand, then you have room to squat. Squats work pretty much the entire body, with emphasis on the legs, back, and glutes. Because it’s hard to commit to a schedule when traveling, isolating individual muscles is probably unrealistic. Full-body movements are your best bet. Large exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups promote greater overall expenditure of energy.
Squats can be performed with no external weight at all, but like the push-up, squats can be adapted to suit your needs in numerous ways. For instance, place your suitcase on your back, out front to emphasize your quads and abs, or high overhead to target your spinal erectors and shoulders.
*In the hotel room and gym alike, you’d be hard pressed to find a better overall exercise than the dead-lift. It’s one of the premier builders of sheer strength and overall functionality. Using your bed for weight here is a no-brainer. The Romanian dead-lift is the dead-lift variation that adapts best to hotel room use. For this exercise, you simply pick a heavy object off the ground and then do reps from the top down, using your posterior chain of pulling muscles: the hamstrings, glutes, and low back.
Hotel towels, like bands, can help you stretch out after a hard bout of improvised lifting. For maximum mobility in minimum time, look no further than the towel-assisted overhead shoulder stretch and the lying hamstring stretch.
To perform the shoulder stretch, simply hold the towel overhead with your arms fully extended, tugging slightly at the edges. Roll the towel out in front, over your head, and behind your back.
This will open up the chest and shoulders.
To perform the lying hamstring stretch, just get down on your back with one leg fully extended. Place the towel over the foot of your extended leg and pull it slowly toward your torso. *This one is really helpful after all those Romanian bed-lifts.
(*Direct quotes from Personal Trainer Danny Kavadlo. Reference: Bodybuilding.com for images of exercises and descriptions.)
An additional approach is to use this chart to give you ideas for exercises and how much to do at one time. I have a nice long name….Billi-Jean….gives me quite a few exercises for cardio and my muscles! (image pulled off Pinterest)
Let us know at moreFIT when you have some travel in your future, and we can assist you with a training sheet in preparation. Also, let us know if you have ideas to add for those who travel!