If you spend a lot of time traveling for work, or you just happen to find yourself in hotels more often than the average person, then you know it can be difficult to get a good workout when you’re on the road.
Sure, most hotels have gyms, but they can often be smaller than your hotel room with other guests sharing the space or maybe you don’t feel like working out with others around. So you might need to consider ways to exercise in your room with the limited tools available. With a little creativity and knowledge of proper exercise form, you can get a great workout in the comfort and privacy of your hotel room. The following are just a few tools you can use during your next hotel visit.
Get on the Floor
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that the floor beneath your feet is all you need to do a number of exercises that work many of your major muscle groups. So don’t be afraid to make the most of just your bodyweight and the open floor space.
Squats, planks, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the great exercises that can be done with nothing more than your hotel room floor. If you don’t have a yoga mat to place beneath you, grab a couple of towels from the bathroom so you have something to lie down on.
There are also stretches that can be done on the floor to help improve your joint range of motion and function.
Chairs are some of the best workout tools you’ll find in a hotel room. A chair can be used for a variety of exercises including step-ups, tricep dips, planks, and single-leg squats.
You can use two chairs for even more variations. Placing your feet on one can make exercises like planks, push-ups, and tricep dips even harder. Just make sure that the chairs are sturdy and placed securely on a flat surface.
You might be thinking that a towel is only good for lying on or wiping the sweat off after your workout. But a towel can be a great workout tool in itself if you know how to use it.
The following are just a few exercises you can do using a towel:
- Tower bridge
- Sliding lunges
- Abdominal crunches
You’re probably thinking, “Pillows are for sleeping, not working out.” In actual fact, you can use your pillow for many different exercises.
If you’re familiar with wobble boards, then you know how important it is to train one's balance and proprioception. These are skills that aren’t typically associated with working out, but they’re important for a number of sports and functional performance.
Pillows can be placed under one or both of your feet to reduce stability and stimulate the proprioceptors of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. This also activates the stabilizers of the body including the deep hip, pelvis, and spinal stabilizer muscles.
Pillows can be used to increase the level of difficulty for squats and lunges. Anytime your stability is reduced, the demand on the neuromuscular system is increased. This is critical to improving function and performance on many levels.
If you need a little more weight to work with, your luggage can be used as a makeshift dumbbell. Most suitcases have a handle attached, making it easy to turn them into great pieces of exercise equipment.
Also, since you can load and unload your suitcase, it’s easy to change its weight so that you can perform a number of exercises. This is especially useful for more advanced exercisers who need additional weight for strength training.
But it’s also useful for the beginner who wants to add a little more variety to their hotel room workouts. The important thing is to know how to perform these exercises correctly. Any time you use an external weight, you must ensure that you are using proper form to reduce the risk of injury.
Another way to add an external load to your exercises is to use the bottles that are typically placed in hotel rooms for guests. A simple mineral water bottle can be used to perform exercises for the biceps and triceps.
Bottles can be held in the hands just as you would with dumbbells. They can be used to perform shoulder presses, tricep kickbacks, and bicep curls. They can also be held overhead while doing lower body exercises such as lunges or squats.
Travel can make it difficult to keep a consistent workout schedule. If you spend a lot of time in hotels, then it’s important to know what workout tools are available to you. Some of the best tools are often overlooked.
Chairs, towels, pillows, and bottles give you practically everything you need to perform a variety of exercises that target all of the major muscle groups. This keeps you consistent with your workouts while you travel and help you stay in shape in the long run.