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Therese Iknoian

Traveler | Photographer at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business (www.ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
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Can’t get to a real workout room to strengthen and tone? No worries. You can do a pretty good job maintaining fitness with a hotel room workout that uses what you have in the room and in your luggage.

A room workout just takes a little imagination. Think about each exercise you may normally do and then get creative with your own hotel room exercise routine mimicking its motions, using everything from your luggage to water bottles filled with water to chairs to even toilets!

Certainly you can always perform basic exercise basics that require no equipment: Your hotel workout can be rounded out, for example, with pushups, crunches, yoga warrior poses, cobra back extensions or any number of non-equipment-based exercises. Perhaps just lay a towel on the floor – and do keep your face out of the carpet!

We suggest you make a list to follow when you are in your hotel room so you don’t stand there brain-dead in a strange surrounding — yes, we have done that ourselves.

HI Travel Tales has put together a few ideas for you to try out or incorporate into your hotel room workout. Refer to your normal workout routine for numbers of repetitions.

One piece of equipment we mentioned in a January 2014 story, “Travel fitness advice: packing, clothes and gear” was a simple rubber resistance band. No, it may not offer body-builders their workout equivalent but it offers great basic resistance. The key is that the shorter you make the band – i.e. the closer together (or farther from the ends) your hands are – the more the resistance you get. Remember, for safety, to check the band for any tears or snags before every use, try not to leave it in a hot place, and do not stare at it during exercise — if there is a snap because it breaks or you did not hold onto it securely enough you don’t want an end smacking you in the face.

All the normal safety precautions apply during your hotel room workout, including ensuring you’re healthy enough to perform the exercises – please check with your doctor or medical professional before trying any workout or exercise described in this article or website. Like with any workout regimen, remember to support your back by tightening your abdominals during exercises, keep your chest lifted and open, breathe, and relax your shoulders … and don’t overdo it!

Assuming your doctor has given the go-ahead, let’s start your hotel room workout!

Hotel Room Workout – Upper body

Pushup

You can do them on the floor or try a slightly easier version by putting your hands on a bed or other stable platform.

Hotel Room Workout Pushup

Make pushups harder but putting your head lower by resting feet on the higher platform.

Hotel Room Workout Harder Pushup

Back #1

For rows, wrap that resistance band around a table leg or other firm object. Sit on the floor (or on a chair if the wrap point is higher). Keep your back straight and pull back either with elbows tucked in.

Hotel Room Workout With Resistance Band

Back #2

You think your duffle or suitcase is heavy? Then use it for a weight — as long as it is not too heavy or bulky! Lean over slightly, keeping your back flat and abdominals tightened while supporting yourself with a hand on the wall, a chair or other stable object. Lift your bag up off the floor, keeping elbow tucked in. Pull the elbow back enough so you feel your mid-back muscles engage.

Hotel Room Workout Back Strengthen With Luggage

Chest

Do a press by basically facing the opposite direction as in the back row with the resistance band, above. With your back toward the band’s anchor point (instead of facing it), push out with your hands away from your chest.

Triceps

Reverse dips just need two stable objects. Try both double beds in a room – or even the bathroom if the objects are spaced correctly! A bathtub or toilet isn’t going anywhere!

Hotel Room Workout Triceps

Biceps

Use that suitcase for a weight again — but don’t overdo it! Bicep curls are a great way to do that! Keep your elbow tucked in as you raise your hand toward your chest, moving only your forearm. Elbow and upper arm should stay locked in place.

Hotel Room Workout Biceps Curls

Hotel Room Workout – Lower body

Squat #1

With your back to a wall a foot or so away, lean back against the wall and then slide down until your upper legs are as close to parallel as you can comfortably get. Tighten abs to support your back and keep chest and head lifted. You can place a firm plastic bottle or a folded towel behind your back to facilitate the slide up and down.

Hotel Room Workout Squats

Squat #2

Need more resistance? Hug your suitcase against your chest. Standing in front of a chair, bed or other stable object, lower your buttocks toward the chair as if you were going to sit down – but don’t! Go as low as you comfortably can while keeping your knees behind an imaginary line that goes straight up from your toes to the ceiling. Glutes and abs tight, and avoid slouching or sagging your chest downward.

Hotel room workout squats with luggage

That’s just the beginning! But even these will give you a good workout.

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