By Sarah Gleim
If you travel for a living or are constantly on the road, consistent workouts are hard to come by, especially if you’re forced to stay in hotels without proper gyms. But if you get resourceful, there are plenty of effective exercises that require little space, making them ideal for a workout in your hotel room.
By utilizing your own body weight and a high number of reps, you can get the same results you would get from a typical workout in the gym. And when you perform all of the exercises back to back -- think circuit training -- you’ll get your heart pumping and complete a full-body workout that burns calories and works all of your muscles, with the bonus of a shower a few steps away.
It's important to begin with a warm-up. Start by loosening your neck muscles by slowly rotating your head in clockwise circles. Repeat the same movement with your arms, legs, wrists and hips, and perform the circles again counterclockwise. After your muscles are loose, get your heart rate up with 15 to 20 jumping jacks. Now you're good to go.
Try to complete each set (15 repetitions per each exercise) and move onto the next without stopping for 15 to 20 minutes for a solid workout. However, if you need to rest, that’s OK, too. Just listen to your body!
Mountain climber. The mountain climber will continue to increase your heart rate and is a simple exercise for working your core. Start in the plank position (like you’re about to do a push-up). Bring your right knee to your chest and quickly alternate between legs (like you’re climbing a mountain). You can switch this up and complete the same exercise against the wall as well.
Chair squats. Using your hotel room’s chair, simply lower your body like you’re going to sit down. Once your bum hits the chair, immediately stand back up using only your core, glutes and hamstrings muscles.
Push-ups. Push-ups are awesome for working the chest muscles, but they can be difficult without enough upper body strength. If you can’t complete more than a few standard push-ups, position your hands on the edge of the bed or desk with your feet on the floor to perform a higher-incline push-up. You’ll still work your muscles and raise your heart rate.
Crunches. Nobody likes crunches, but there’s a reason we continue to suffer through them. And if you do your crunches on the bed rather than the floor, your core muscles have to work even harder to keep you balanced, as the bed doesn’t provide a stable surface.
After you’ve finished as many sets of theses four exercises as you can in about 20 minutes, it’s critical to stretch and cool down. Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles you’ve just worked, and ultimately helps reduce your risk of injury. Be sure to stretch your triceps, glutes, calves, hamstring and quads. Once you’ve taken these final few minutes to conclude your workout, you’ll feel good knowing you got in a full-body exercise routine without ever leaving your hotel room.