1. Chair Squats
Squats may be minimal on space requirements, but they’re all about maximum returns. Factor in that desk chairs aren’t just for sitting, and hotel rooms and chair squats are a perfect fit.
Position yourself about three feet from the chair, link your hands behind your bed, and slowly lower your body down as if you’re going to sit in the chair. Rather than sitting, however, simply tap your bottom onto the chair before pushing back to a standing position.
Want to give your core, glutes, and hamstrings and even more challenging workout? Try it on one leg.
2. Seated Swim
While you might not be up to venturing into the hotel pool, an entirely different kind of “swim” offers up ample benefits. Sit on the edge of the bed, tilt your body back at the waist keeping your core muscles engaged, and dangle your legs over the side of the bed. For 30-50 reps, kick them in a fluttering motion. Not only does this strengthen the muscles in your abs and legs, but it also boosts your endurance.
For a full-body “swim” workout, extend your arms in front of your body or raise them over your head and flutter “kick” them along with your legs. (Feel like taking a real swim when you return? Sign Up for an Aquatic Session at Brick Bodies today.)
3. On-the-Bed Bicycle Crunches
You don’t even have to get out of bed to get your workout in. Well, at least when it comes to on-the-bed bicycle crunches, that is. A variation on the standard crunch with a literal and figurative twist, doing crunches on the bed actually amplifies your workout.
“The benefit of lying on the bed versus the floor is that the bed is a squishier surface so it’s less stable which means your abdominal muscles are going to work a little harder to keep you balanced during the movement.”
4. Off-the-Bed Push-Ups
Smith also recommends off-the-bed push-ups as the perfect way to make the best of your environment. Whether you’re looking to increase the challenge or scale it back, a bed offers the ideal workout tool. Place your hands on the floor and your feet on the bed to increase the intensity, or lighten things up by placing your hands on the bed and your feet on the floor. Either is an effective way to workout your chest and core muscles without stepping foot inside the gym.
5. Single-Leg Run
When you hear the word “running” a hotel room is probably the last thing you had in mind. However, you don’t need a track or treadmill when you’re on the road to get the cardiovascular benefits of running. Instead, try single-leg runs.
Starting in the lunge position with one foot behind, extend the opposite arm in front of you bent at the elbow. Quickly raise your back leg and bring it forward at hip height while swinging your arms back and forward, respectively. Alternate this for an interval of 30 seconds, rest, then repeat on the other side.
Smith recommends increasing the number of reps to more closely approximate working out with weights. “Because you’re using just your body weight,” she advises, “Do more repetitions than you might if you were holding weights.”