Want some easy exercises you can do while you are on a business trip?
We know how tough it can be to keep up any type of fitness routine when you’ve got flights to catch and meetings to attend. Then there’s the issue of gym gear. If you’re travelling light, chances are you will have to choose to pack the suit over the sneakers.
So here’s the solution, five (and a few extra) easy exercises that you can do in your hotel room and they don’t need any special equipment.
The old push-up is still a winner for improving muscle strength. The ‘hand release push-up’ is an updated technique that helps you keep the right position. Start on your knees, then lie forward in position on the floor. Place your hands in line with your shoulders, so that your chest is the primary mover. Tighten your abs, raise your hands off the floor and squeeze your back. Release and return your hands to the floor. Then start your push-up and press up through the floor. This video is a great one to view to make sure you do it correctly.
2. Wall squat
If you’ve tried these before, we can hear you groaning about this one already. But squats are perfect for thighs, hips and buttocks and you don’t need much space. Stand against a wall. Press your lower back into the wall. Slide down until your knees are at right angles, with ankles under your knees. Squeeze! Hold that squat for at least 30 seconds. Go longer if you really want to feel the burn!
3. The plank
The basic plank is simple, but one of the most effective core strengthening exercises. Get into a modified push-up position. Instead of hands on the floor, rest both forearms on the floor with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Position your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and look down at the floor. Raise your torso without letting your butt sag or stick up high. Your body should form a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. Keep your feet together with only the toes touching the floor.
Hold this position as long as you can. Make sure abdominal and lower back muscles are kept tight, and don’t slacken off by bending at the hips.
Once a 30-second hold becomes easy, you can make the plank more challenging. Lift one foot at a time off the floor, and hold the position. It will be tough at first to do this without bending your waist or twisting. As you get stronger it will improve and then you can increase the hold time and number of lifts per foot.
4. Heart pumpers
Time to get the blood pumping with some serious cardio. First, the Mountain Climber. Start in the plank position with hands on the floor (see #3). Bring one knee into your chest, then swap knees. Speed up the pace, as if you were running. See if you can keep this going for 30 or 45 seconds.
Next up, squat jumps. Position your feet wide and keep your chest high. Bend your knees to squat down, bend forward and stick out your butt. Then push up off the floor as high as you can. Bring in an arm swing for momentum. Make sure you land softly with bent knees. Then do it all again. If you want to tone it down, you can leave out the big jump and increase the repetitions.
Repeat these two exercises together for a few rounds for maximum benefit.
5. Stretch it out
To help reduce lower back tension from sitting at your desk or being cramped on a flight, try the back arch. Kneel on all fours. Places your hands under your shoulders and keep your knees hip-width apart. Lift your back in a cat-like motion, roll your hips under and lower your head. Then do the opposite, by pushing your hips and head upwards.
The standing lunge is a great warm-up or cool-down exercise. Some call it the reverse lunge or backward lunge. It targets all the major lower-body muscles and when done properly, is an effective stretch for the hip flexors.
Stand with a good posture, head up and relaxed shoulders. Bend your right knee, step back with your left leg, onto the ball of your left foot. Step back as far as is comfortable, but don’t let your bent right leg exceed 90 degrees. Keep your hips pointing forward. Your chest should be open and look straight ahead. Place your hands on your right leg for stability without pressing down.
Gently straighten your back leg without locking your knee. Keep your hip position and pull up through the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Open the hip joint. Don’t bend the back at this point, it should be a small and strong move. Use your abs to keep your tailbone tight and protect your lower back.
Hold it. Breathe deeply. Then after about 30 seconds you can put some weight on the right knee to release the stretch and step the left foot forward. Then swap sides and do it again!
It’s worth checking with your health professional before undertaking any exercise activities. But hopefully these easy exercises will help make it possible to keep fit in the comfort of your hotel room!