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If you travel frequently, it can be quite difficult to maintain a regular fitness program. The different setting makes it harder to stick to your diet or to exercise every day. A study even reported that frequent work travel may compromise your health.
Although there are various reasons why exercise can be a challenge, there are two main factors causing you to skip your workout during travel.
The first culprit is time. When you’re on a work trip, your day is usually filled up with business meetings, conferences, and events you have to attend, while when you’re on a vacation, your day is also usually jam-packed with sightseeing tours or family outings. These activities leave you little time in your schedule to head to the hotel gym.
The second reason is the place. Not all hotels have a gym with the equipment you’re used to. It can be inconvenient and even expensive to find a local gym nearby. This makes it easier for you to just skip the exercise and head to the hotel bar instead.
So how do you solve these two issues? The answer is Calisthenics. By doing simple but effective calisthenics exercises, you can get a full-body workout in just a few minutes without needing a gym or any special skill. Plus, it’s also free as you only use your body weight in doing the exercises.
The Hotel Room Workout
This is a calisthenics routine that requires no special equipment so you can do this inside your hotel room, in the airport lounge, on the beach or in the park. The entire workout only takes 15 minutes so you can do it once you wake up in the morning, at night, or whenever you have some free time in between your appointments.
You probably have been doing jumping jacks ever since you were a kid but do you know that this is one of many calisthenics exercises that delivers multiple benefits to your body?
Jumping jacks serve as a calorie-burning, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercise in one. A study even reported that jumping can provide great bone-building benefits! It is also a full body workout that makes you move all of your large muscle groups.
One of the main advantage of performing jumping jacks is that it increases your heart rate. It is great as a warm-up exercise or as a part of an interval training session to keep your heart rate elevated. This helps continue a high-level of fat burning even when you slow down.
The beauty of the jumping jack is that you can do it practically anywhere, including your hotel room. You can get your cardio fix even without a treadmill in sight.
- Stand up straight with your arms on the side and your shoulders relaxed
- Jump with your legs spreading wide apart, while simultaneously extending your arms overhead
- Land softly and repeat without pausing.
- Repeat for one minute.
Bed Incline Push-Ups
The push-up is a classic exercise that is a wonderful addition to your travel workout routine. In doing this calisthenics exercise, you engage your entire body from top to bottom, engaging different large muscle groups including the chest, arms, hips, abdomen and legs.
According to Dr. Edward Phillips of Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the number of push-ups you can do at one time offers a measurement of your strength and is an easy tool to help you improve.
Inside the hotel room, one great way to do a push-up is by using the bed so your body is on an incline position. You can also use other stable furniture when outdoors like park benches.
The incline push-up uses the exact same form required in the standard push up except that the hands are elevated. This makes it easier to do than the floor push-ups as it requires less strength from your shoulders and triceps. The higher your hands are, the easier the push up is. You can increase the intensity of the push up by choosing a lower height such as a low bench or table.
- Place your arms on the edge of the hotel bed and extend your body in the push up position.
- Make sure that your body is in a straight line with your weight on your toes, shoulders above your wrists and your core engaged.
- Inhale, and as you exhale lower your chest towards the bed, with your body still on a straight line
- Make sure you’re not sticking your elbows out. Keep them pretty close to your body.
- Inhale and straighten your arms again to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for one minute.
This is another exercise that does not need any special equipment to perform. You can do this by using the chair in your hotel room.
Chair dips target the triceps which are the muscles on the back of your upper arms. It is even considered one of the most effective triceps exercises. Performing chair dips also engages your forearms, shoulders, chest and lower back.
- Start by sitting on the edge of a stable chair, placing your palms on the either side of your hips, fingers pointing forward
- Next, shift your weight onto your palms and lift your butt forward and off the seat of the chair
- Bend your elbows and lower your upper body creating a 90-degree angle with your arms. Keep your knees bent while doing this.
- Straighten your arms again and repeat the dip.
- Repeat for 1 minute
To increase the intensity of the exercise you can extend your legs straight while doing the dips.
The squat is one of the best body weight exercises that can improve your flexibility and strengthen your core. It also decreases the risk of injury when jumping, running or performing other sports because squatting helps you boost the muscles surrounding your hips and knees, as well as build your glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles.
- Stand with your back straight, head facing forward, your feet shoulder width apart, and your arms extended straight out in front of you for balance.
- Sit back down as if your sitting on a chair. Your upper body should lean forward a little but as you do so, make sure you don’t allow your back to round up, instead, let your lower back arch slightly as you bend
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor as possible with your knees over your ankles and your weight back on your heels.
- Push through your heels t bring yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
- Repeat for one minute
The plank is a calisthenics-based exercise that also engages every major muscle group in your body and helps you develop core strength. Other benefits include helping increase your flexibility, posture and stability.
The plank has gained popularity in recent years with “plankers” participating in plank-offs with the goal of holding the longest plank possible. However, you do not need to hold your plank for too long in order to reap its benefits. According to experts, shorter planks are more effective. Although there are debates on how short is short, most fitness trainers agree that holding for about 30 seconds should do the trick.
Most hotel rooms are carpeted so you can comfortably do the plank by the side of your bed or in any available floor space.
- Lower yourself to the floor in the push up position, with your forearms supporting your upper body.
- Keep your body in a straight line and hold the position for 30 seconds.
All it takes is 15 minutes!
Perform these exercises back to back without rest for one minute each, except for the 30 second plank at the end. Rest for 30 seconds then repeat the entire circuit again. Each circuit lasts 5 minutes. You can repeat the circuit 3 times for a 15-minute workout.
- Jumping Jack – 1 minute
- Incline Push-ups – 1 minute
- Chair Dips – 1 minute
- Squat – 1 minute
- Plank – 30 seconds
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Repeat the circuit 3 times
If you’ve tried these hotel exercises, why not tell us how they worked for you!
But what if the exercise is too hard or too easy for you?
This hotel room exercise is a basic calisthenics workout that most people will be able to perform, however, it may also be possible that you will not be able to get the results you need. This is because some routines are based on a certain standardized level and may not address your specific progress goals.
It’s also possible that categorizing yourself into these standardized levels of being a beginner, intermediate or advanced may even affect you negatively. This is because you may fall in the many levels in between these levels and the lack of personalization is what’s hurting your training.
This is why we created The Movement Athlete Academy: to offer a fully personalized training program reflecting exactly where your level is for optimal performance.
Take the assessment to see how do you stack up on the 8 Fundamental Calisthenics moves!