Few things throw people off of their training plan faster than having to travel for work, or choosing to travel for a much-needed vacation.
If you’ve been consistently training for several weeks, a week off from training while you’re out of town may be beneficial to help your central nervous system recover from the stresses of weight training and to also allow you time to mentally recover.
On the other hand, when you have no desire to take a break from training, a sudden business trip can be real drag. Sure, most hotels have some form of “fitness center”, but most are nothing more than a treadmill and a rack of dumbbells.
This is certainly better than nothing, but it will take some creativity to get in a full body workout with this kind of minimalist setup. Plus, it can be a little socially awkward to be cramped in a little room working out with strangers.
The truth is that you don’t need to have a full gym setup to get in a good workout. In fact, with a little innovative thinking you can get in a great workout from the comfort of your hotel room.
If you’re going to be traveling and want a way to get in a quick 30 minute training session, here is a quick exercise circuit you can use in your hotel room to make sure you don’t miss a workout while on the road:
Hotel Room Exercise Circuit
- Jumping Jacks x 50 reps
- Push Ups – To Failure
- Jump Squats x 10 reps
- Sit Ups – To Failure
- Burpees x 10 reps
- Tricep Dips – To Failure
- Bodyweight Lunges x 10 reps (each leg)
The circuit above will get you started, but you’ll want to make adjustments, based on your current level of fitness to make it easier or more difficult.
For instance, if you want a harder workout you can do several rounds of this circuit to increase the intensity and length of your workout.
The exercises listed above are fairly common, but to avoid any confusion, let’s quickly look at how each of them should be performed.
Not much to this one. And I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that didn’t know how to do a jumping jack.
But just in case…
Start by standing straight up with your feet together and arms at your sides. You will then jump while simultaneously spreading your feet a little wider than shoulder width and bringing your hands over your head in a circular motion.
You will then jump again, bringing your feet and hands back to their starting positions using a reverse movement of the first motion.
One jumping jack repetition requires two jumps. One jump to bring your feet apart and your hands above your head and the second jump to return your hands and feet to their starting position.
This one is also a popular exercise, but many people fail to do them properly.
A proper pushup is performed by having your hands placed flat on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders, your arms fully extended out in front of you, your body held firm with abs and glutes tightened, and your feet together with toes on the ground.
Your head should be upward and forward facing through the entire range of motion when doing a pushup.
Maintaining a firm and tightened posture, you’ll lower yourself to the ground until your chest lightly touches the ground, at which point you’ll press downward on the ground with your palms to bring your body upwards to the starting position.
Jump squats are performed by bending at the knees and bringing your arms out in front of your body as you lower your posterior towards the ground. You’ll continue lowering your posterior until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Once your thighs are parallel with the ground, you will swing your arms up and explode upwards with your legs as fast and hard as you can. You will bring your knees toward your chest in what looks like a “tuck” position.
When landing, your toes should hit the ground first as softly as possible before repeating the motion for the next repetition.
If your hotel room has low ceilings, you’ll want to be careful not to jump too high and concuss yourself.
These are pretty simple.
A sit up is performed by securing your feet under a bed or other piece of furniture and laying flat on your back with your knees bent at approximately a 45-degree angle.
With your arms crossed in front of your chest you will squeeze your abs and bring your torso upwards until your elbows touch your thighs before lowering yourself back to the ground so your shoulder blades come in contact with the ground.
To perform a burpee you will start by standing up straight with your arms at your side. You will then bend down, while leaning slightly forward, and place your hands flat on the ground in front of you.
Using your hands for leverage you will then push backwards and slightly jump with your feet to bring them all the way behind your body. At the end of this motion you will be in the starting pushup position.
You will then jump forward with your feet while keeping your hands planted to the floor bringing your feet underneath your glutes before standing up and repeating the movement.
Tricep dips can be performed using a chair or other sturdy piece of furniture.
While facing forward, and your hands in a pronated position, you will place the palms of your hands on the edge of the piece of furniture and extend your legs out in front of you. At this point your arms should be fully extended upwards.
Using mostly your arms you will allow your body to lower towards the ground by bending at the elbows as far as comfortably possible before pressing down on your palms to bring your body back to the starting position.
You want to keep your body as stiff and erect as possible to eliminate any movements other than those in the elbows. This will keep the focus of the movement on your triceps.
Bodyweight lunges are done by standing straight up with both feet together before stepping forward with one foot, while leaving the other foot in its starting position.
The front leg should be brought forward about the distance of a standard step for you. With your weight mostly resting on your front heal you’ll continue to bend your front knee and bring your back knee downward until it slightly touches the ground.
Then you will push downwards with the heal of the front foot to raise your body upward before bringing your front foot back to the starting position next to your other foot.
You will alternate back and forth between legs until completing the full number of reps on each leg.
You Can Stay Fit on the Road
Thanks for bearing with me as I explained the proper way to perform these various exercises. I wanted to make sure you know exactly what you need to do the next time you’re on the road in order to get in a quick and intense workout.
It can be easy to use travel as an excuse to stray from exercise, but a good workout can be had just about anywhere with the right innovation.
Don’t allow being away from home to keep you from regular training and compromise the fit and active lifestyle you’ve developed.
Even if your hotel doesn’t have an elaborate weight room, you can do a simple circuit-training workout like the one I provided above to stimulate your muscles, burn off some calories and stay fit.
- Jason Boyd
Jason writes a number of helpful health & fitness related articles which can be seen at My Health and Fitness.