Over the last couple of months, I traveled quite a bit. Well, for me, at least. I mean, most of the time, my commute involves walking from my bedroom to the kitchen and over to my home office, so, come autumn, when I suddenly have to fly to a few trade shows and conferences, well, that’s a real change of pace. But I try really, really hard not to let a business trip bring my exercise routine to a dead stop.
Sometimes, the hotel gym is a great option. Sometimes, however, your hotel doesn’t have one, or it’s really gross, or, you know, you forgot to bring your workout clothes and don’t think it would be appropriate to hit their treadmill in your pajamas. Sometimes, you just want to knock out a quick but effective workout in your room.
Between my occasional travels and coming up with workouts for my husband, who travels for work a lot, I’ve figured out which exercises pack a lot of bang for your buck and meet the main hotel room criteria: They don’t require equipment, they don’t take up a ton of space, and they’re not ridiculously loud, but they’ll still elevate your heart rate and help you work up a sweat.
1. Lunges. I’m not talking about just popping out 20 quick lunges and calling it a day. Mix them up! Go front, back and to the side. Get really low and try to hold it. Focus on pushing off your front leg to come back to standing, then focus on really grounding your straight leg into the ground. Trust me, after just a few minutes, you’ll feel the burn.
2. Squats. Just like with the lunges, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Get your butt really low to the ground and bring it back up really slowly. Get down to where it starts to burn a bit and pulse. Widen your stance. Narrow it. Point your feet to the front, then to the side. Now, try doing it all while on the balls of your feet—that hit a different spot, didn’t it?
3. Push-ups. Push-ups do so much good for so many body parts! Place your hands in different positions (parallel to your body, turned in, turned out), and do five to 10 in different arm positions (close to your body for a yoga push-up, far away from your body, one hand forward and one hand at your shoulder, etc.). You can also mix up the rhythm by letting yourself down for three counts, then pushing back up in one count (and vice versa). And don’t be shy about holding the plank position both with straight and bent arms. Make sure to keep your core nice and tight throughout for a true full-body workout.
Did I miss any of your favorite hotel room exercises? Please share! —Kristen