After multiple jet setting trips for work, or an income that prevents you from purchasing anything remotely brand name, fitness is almost surely the first thing to get cut after reassessing finances or after throwing your bag down in the hotel room. Sucks, right? Wrong.
Here are a few body weight exercises you can do in the hotel room to develop and maintain some functional fitness physique before heading down to the hotel bar to check out the talent scene.
Squats. You cannot do enough of these. Women like gentlemen with good looking legs (and tush) in well-fitted pants. Surely, you’re not wearing those baggy slacks that have pleats on them (Sorry, Jim Harbaugh).
Pants fit is a talk for another blog of mine. Not sure how to squat?
Click here for Part 1 of how to perform a squat. I talk about these all the time.
Body weight is too easy? Take that suitcase and hold it on top of your shoulders in a front rack position. Do some jump squats (jump as high as you can and make sure to land softly… don’t sound like a nutjob).
Lunges. These also chisel those thighs down and make them look good in those slimmer pants (not too slim, though).
Step forward with one foot (land softly) and then drop your weight straight down. Your front knee should not drop forward over the big toe. Make sure that chest is up… don’t lean forward, and finally, push up through that front leg and then stand yourself back up.
What else can you do? Side lunges – make sure your feet are aligned in the same line, bend the knee and sit straight back (almost like a squat). Then push back up. Split jump squats (see last article regarding plyometrics; click here).
Too easy? Put a foot up on a chair or on the bed and move the front foot out. 95% of your weight should be on the front leg and through the heel. Drop straight down, make sure your knee doesn’t go in front of the big toe and stays in line with the foot, and push straight back up through the heel and to squeeze your butt.
Planks. In a pushup position on your hands, or even on your elbows, tighten your core (but not so tight that you turn red – you should be able to breathe and talk). Hold these as long as you can.
Be careful not to let your hips sag. Your body should be one straight line. Sometimes a mirror helps to align yourself but the more you do these, the more aware of your body position you will be. Different positions include on your elbow or arm on one side, alternating extending one leg while in the first position (elbows/hands and toes).
don’t do these.
Pushups. While not the best, but certainly not the worst, these are one of the exercises that is a staple and apparent “cornerstone” of fitness. Even though it is a decent workout, if shoulder problems are frequent for you, I would stay away from these. Most of us have done pushups in one way or another, but not necessarily the best way for your shoulders.
You start in a plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and elbows straight. Make sure your thumbs are facing 12 o’clock if you had your hand in the middle of a clock.When you come down, bend your elbows, but don’t let them chicken wing out to the sides – let them come down close to your body. This and your hand position take the stress off of your shoulders. Let your chest touch the ground, and push up.
she does these better than you.
she looks great, but her shoulders are going to get JACKED UP.
she’s laughing because you can barely keep your core tight during a pushup.
Remember to keep your core tight and plank position maintained. You will look like a dummy if you don’t… because this girl will be laughing at you if you do pushups like that.
Too easy? Get to the bottom, let your chest touch the floor, pick your hands up off the floor, and then push up. Hand release pushups are the devil.
Still too easy?
Burpees. Start standing, bring your hands to the floor, shoulder width, and sprawl your legs out behind you. Do a pushup (yes, touch your chest to the floor, you cheater) and then push up. Pull your legs up and get them under you, push up to standing (with your legs), and then jump up so your feet get off the ground. If you want, you can clap your hands over your head (not in front of your face).
Running.Lastly, go pick up some running shoes and pack those gym clothes. Running around a city you’re traveling into (or even the place you live) gets you to know the area and pick some spots out for potential nightlife and places to eat (which are always great).
Not having a gym membership (or access to one at the hotel) is no excuse! Get out there!
Feel free to tweet me at @e2winnn or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions or questions on exercises and fun things to do to stay in shape or future articles!