So many of us travel weekly for work or have vacations planned for the summer, which means it is often difficult to keep a fitness regimen going. Some hotel “gyms” consist of nothing but an old treadmill and some have limited hours of operation. I’m going to show you some of my favorite body-weight exercises and an exercise that just requires a simple band that fits easily in your suitcase.
My favorite body-weight exercise is SQUATS! Squats are one of the most foundational functional movements that we can perform, using both our hip and knee joints to complete the movement. Since we were babies, we have been squatting. As we get older and become adults, we squat less and less. Our jobs require us to sit for 8 plus hours in a chair, driving requires us to sit and even going to the bathroom, we simply just have to sit. Unless this is a movement you make part of your fitness regimen, our world doesn’t require us to squat. So why does this matter? Performing squats 2-3 times per week will help strengthen your entire body, increase your flexibility, and help you lose body fat and gain muscle. As a result of strengthening your muscles and bones, you will decrease your chance of injury and osteoporosis. Sounds like a win-win right?! You can simply perform squats in your hotel room without even having to walk down to the gym! Start with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed straight ahead. Below I am demonstrating the starting position and then the bottom of the squat. Notice on the second picture, my spine is straight, head is looking straight in front (not up or down), shoulders are relaxed, and my thighs are parallel to the ground. Be sure to watch your knees. Do not let your knees cave inward, keep them in line your toes. Start with 3 sets of 15 reps! **As these get easier you can try adding weight to give a little more resistance. Or if you wanted to speed things up a little bit you can try squat jumps.
My next fav body weight exercise is the PUSH-UP! Push-ups again require zero gym equipment and are a great exercise to tone your upper body and engage your core. Push-ups can be performed on your knees, varying grips, using a bench, or you can even make them explosive (pushing yourself off the ground entirely). The different variations make this simple exercise constantly challenging. It is important to keep your elbows tucked in towards your body when performing this movement. Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders. If your elbows wing out to the side when you perform the movement, try putting your hands on a bench instead. Push-ups are intended to engage your pectoral muscles so if you’re not feeling it in your chest modifications need to be made. Perform 10-15 pushups in between your sets of squats and you now have a nice little super set on the go!
The last exercise that I love just requires a small resistance band. You can order one off amazon or buy one at a sporting goods store for about $5. I brought this band to Thailand with me and used it at one of the hostels I stayed at. There are SO many exercises you can do but I am just going to focus on “lateral band walks”. You will step into the band so it is just above your ankles. Next you want to assume an athletic standing position. Bend your knees and hips, sit you butt back, feet shoulder width apart, with your toes pointed straight ahead. Once in this position take a lateral step and stay low. You can alternate right and left keeping tension in the band or you can step to the right about 15 steps and then to the left. Your legs will be burnin! Repeat 3 rounds as well. You can add this to your squat and pushup routine and have yourself a nice little hotel workout sesh.
There are definitely many more body weight exercises and band exercises that can be performed, but I wanted to keep it simple and just talk about my top 3. If you have any questions or want to learn more please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy hotel workouts!