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Friday
Apr202018

5 Workouts for Travelers

A common question that I (and other personal trainers) get from clients is, “What workouts can I do during a vacation or while traveling for work?” If that’s something you’ve been looking for, too, I’ve shared workout ideas below. You can use them the next time you go away for a few days or a week based on the equipment you have access to. 

The workouts will progress from exercises where you won’t need equipment (body weight only), to light equipment that you can easily bring with you on a trip (e.g., resistance bands), to workouts that you can do with equipment that can be found at most hotel gyms (dumbbells, adjustable bench, etc.). Let’s get started!

 

1.  O U T D O O R  R E C O V E R Y  W O R K 

Believe it or not, this is usually my number one suggestion for most clients and fitness enthusiasts when they go on vacation (assuming they have been training reasonably hard for 3 to 4 days per week for 8 to 12 weeks).

Vacations are usually a great time to get some much-needed active recovery time during the year. I generally suggest 2–4 weeks per year spread out in one-week increments during each quarter. It’s a good time to get outside and focus on increasing steps with a Movement Tracker like a Vivosmart (my personal favorite) and getting some fresh air.

 

2.  Z O N E - S P E C I F I C  C A R D I O

If you need to do a little more than walking outside (as discussed in the first workout option), doing Zone-Specific Cardio outside (or inside if your hotel has cardio equipment) is another idea that works great for work-related trips or vacations. 

In addition to using one of the movement trackers suggested, using a workout app, like the one on the Life Time website, can be your “trainer on the road” telling you to speed up or slow down. This can be even more effective if you’ve completed an ActiveMetabolicAssessment℠ and Virtual Metabolic Coaching, as these workouts are specifically designed to your metabolism and the time you have available to do cardio.

 

3.  B O D Y W E I G H T  E X E R C I S E S

Exercises using bodyweight, like squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches and burpees, can allow for a fun and effective workout. If you are new to working out, you can do the following exercises as straight sets (do the required amount of sets, reps, rest and repeat).

I suggest doing 15–20 reps and 2–3 sets of each exercise and resting for 30–45 seconds. Advanced exercise enthusiasts can do the exercises as a circuit (a set of each exercise done with minimal rest until all 6 exercises are finished). Repeat for 2 to 3 circuits or try to do as many “rounds” as possible in a given time period, such as 20 minutes. 

 

SQUAT

  • Stand with your feet positioned at shoulder width
  • Bend your knees and hips simultaneously, and sit down and back (pretend there is a chair behind you)
  • Once your hips are in line with your knees, extend your knees and hips simultaneously back to the starting position

 

PUSH-UP

  • Lie on the floor in a prone position with your hands in line with your shoulders
  • With either your knees (beginner) or toes (advanced) on the floor and keeping your core tight, push yourself away from the floor by simultaneously extending your elbows and shoulders
  • Keeping your core tight, lower yourself to the floor by simultaneously bending your elbows and shoulders

 

LUNGE

  • Place your feet next to one another in a standing position
  • Step forward with one foot and lower your hips by bending your hip and knee simultaneously
  • Push your body back to the starting position by extending your hip and knee joint simultaneously
  • Repeat steps with the opposite foot

 

CRUNCH

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, and place your hands by your ears with your elbows out to the side
  • Inhale through your nose and, while exhaling through the mouth, bring your ribs and hips together by lifting your shoulders off the mat by contracting your abdominal muscles
  • Inhale through your nose and lower your shoulders back to the mat by relaxing your abdominal muscles

 

BRIDGE

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and arms off to the side
  • While keeping your core engaged, lift your hips off the floor until your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line
  • Lower your hips back down in a controlled manner

 

BURPEE

  • Simultaneously squat down and place your hands on the floor
  • Kick your feet back and bring your body into a plank position
  • Jump your feet back between your hands and stand up to the starting positon

 

4.  B O D Y W E I G H T  +  R E S I S T A N C E  B A N D

As great as the bodyweight exercises featured in option 3 are, unfortunately there are muscle groups that don’t get targeted (e.g., back, biceps, etc.). A good way to take the bodyweight exercise workout up a notch is to add a Resistance Band. This piece of equipment is very light and easily fits in any suitcase or travel bag. You can do the same exercises as above, but add the two additional exercises below with a Resistance Band.

You can continue with the same sets, reps and rest suggested in the last workout (15–20 reps and 2–3 sets of each exercise and resting for 30–45 seconds). And follow the same suggestions as above for an advanced worked. 

 

TRICEPS KICKBACK

 

 

  • With a resistance band firmly anchored to a door, piece of equipment, etc., grab the handles and step back until there is tension on the band
  • Lean forward to a 45-degree angle with your palms facing back, and pull your elbows up and back
  • Contract your triceps and extend your arms until they are straight
  • Relax your triceps and bend your elbows until they are back in the starting position

 

ROW

  • With a resistance band firmly anchored to a door, piece of equipment, etc., grab the handles and step back until there is tension on the band
  • With your palms down and elbows out, simultaneously bend your shoulders and elbows, pull your elbows back focusing on squeezing the back muscles
  • Simultaneously extend your shoulders and elbows back to the starting position

 

5.  H O T E L  G Y M  W O R K O U T 

Finally, some people will want to workout indoors. If you are staying in a decent hotel, there is a good chance it has a small gym of some kind. Most hotel gyms usually have a couple pieces of cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc.), dumbbells (that go in 5-lb. increments up to 50 lb.), exercise mats and an adjustable bench. This last workout will mainly use dumbbells as equipment and is listed below, along with exercise descriptions.

Dumbbell Goblet Squat 

  • Hold dumbbell against your chest in a “goblet” position and place your feet so they are shoulder width
  • Bend your knees and hips simultaneously, and sit down and back (pretend there is a chair behind you)
  • Once your hips are in line with your knees, extend your knees and hips simultaneously back to the starting position

Dumbbell Flat Bench Chest Press 

  • Grab 2 dumbbells, lie on your back on a bench and bring the dumbbells to your armpit crease
  • Contract your chest muscles and extend your shoulders and elbows simultaneously, bringing the dumbbells close together
  • Let the dumbbells come back to the starting position by bending your shoulders and elbows simultaneously

Dumbbell Forward Lunge 

  • Same steps as the bodyweight forward lunge except you are holding dumbbells

Dumbbell 1-Arm Row 

  • Grab a dumbbell and place the opposite knee and hand on the bench so your hips, shoulders and ears are in a straight line
  • Contract your back muscles and pull the dumbbell to your stomach by bending your shoulder and elbow simultaneously
  • Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position in a controlled manner by extending your shoulder and elbow simultaneously

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 

  • Grab 2 dumbbells and stand with your feet close together with your knees in a soft position
  • Hinge at your hips by pushing them back and letting the dumbbells glide down in a straight line while keeping your back straight
  • Bring your hips forward and extend your body until you are in the starting position

Dumbbell Biceps Curl 

  • Grab 2 dumbbells and let them hang off to your side with your palms facing forward while in a narrow stance
  • Squeeze your biceps, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells towards your shoulders
  • Relax your biceps, extend your arms and lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner

Dumbbell Flat Bench Triceps Extension 

  • Grab 2 dumbbells, lie on your back on a bench and extend your arms with your palms facing
  • Slowly bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells towards the side of your head
  • Contract your triceps and extend your arms bringing the dumbbells back to the starting position

I hope this article gave you plenty of ideas based on your goals and the equipment you have access to.  Remember there are options for everyone, so happy travels! 

In health, Corey Grenz — Program Specialist and Master Trainer — Life Time, Chanhassen 


A B O U T  C O R E Y

 

Corey has been working in the fitness industry for over 20 years and has been with Life Time since 2006. His fitness journey began with trying to improve his sports performance. But not feeling happy with the way he looked at 240 pounds, Corey decided to lose weight. And he ended up losing 70 pounds that he has kept off for more than 20 years.

Bruce Lee has been one of his inspirations because "he lived what he did" and planted the seeds for MMA. In addition to training clients and writing, Corey currently competes in physique shows to be a good example for Life Time members. 

"I train people because in my personal fitness journey I have made many mistakes and I try to teach members how to avoid those mistakes."

His ideal client has a minimal degree of vanity, is humble and has a growth mindset. You can find out more about Corey here.  

 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 

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