By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
May is National Sport and Fitness Month, so we’re focused on getting you moving, and keeping you moving! Summer is right around the corner, which for many of us means more travel, and also more likelihood that our usual exercise and movement routine may get thrown off in the process. I think one of the most important things to help you continue to move while on the go is to first arrive with gym clothes and sneakers in your travel bag, and second, arrive equipped with a workout that can be done anywhere. So to help you stay fit while you’re on the road, I’ve created this strength-based 14 minute “no excuses” workout you can do anywhere, including your hotel room (like I did this past weekend when I was in LA!).
What you’ll need:
Workout: This workout is different than some others because we’re going to be using time as a measure instead of repetitions. To make this workout harder increase the time for each exercise to 45-60 seconds, and to make it easier decrease time to 15 seconds. Between each exercise you should have between 0-15 seconds; the less time you have between the exercises the harder the circuit will be.
Warm up: Minutes 0-2
Exercise 1: Step ups: 30 seconds (use a sturdy chair)
This exercise works glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and even the core. Step up and down on the chair alternating legs for each repetition. Step up with the right leg, follow with the left leg, then step down using the right leg first, then alternate on the left side.
Exercise 2: Wall sits: 30 seconds
This is one of my favorite exercises, because it’s simple. Most hotel rooms have a good wall or back of door you can use to lean against. The lower you sink, the harder this will be. Ideally you want your hips in line with your knees in this exercise to engage the glutes and quads the most. To make this harder- hold your arms out in front (as shown in the picture) or to make it even harder, hold an object like a water bottle.
Exercise 3: Pushups: 30 seconds
Pushups are another simple, but extremely effective exercise that can help to strengthen glutes, shoulders, abs, and more. You can do pushups on the floor on your knees (always squeezing glutes and quads as well as abs) or on your feet for more challenge. You can also modify by using a chair or the wall.
Exercise 4: Single leg lunges: 30 seconds each side (total 1 minute)
This exercise works your quads and glutes, one at a time, which can help enhance muscle activation. Place one foot on the seat of the chair and use the front standing leg as the weight-bearer, keeping your knee tracking out over your front toes. This exercise can also be done on the ground without using the chair.
Exercise 5: Plank: 30 seconds
This exercise works your core. You can either do it on your elbows or in regular pushup position. To make this exercise harder- lift one leg up at a time, alternating for 10-15 seconds each. Be sure to tighten quadriceps, glutes, abs and entire body to help keep this position both stable and safe.
Exercise 6: Dips: 30 seconds
These will work your triceps. Use the desk chair in the hotel room as your platform for your dips; if there isn’t a desk chair available or if you prefer, you can do the dips on the ground. While doing the exercise, keep your elbows tracking directly behind you, instead of out toward the sides (see picture). To make this exercise harder, keep your legs straight and to make it easier, bend your knees.
Cardio: 2 minutes high knees, march in place, job in place, or jumping-jacks or march in place
Don’t forget to stretch well once you are finished!
If you like these no-fuss workouts, you’ll also love my 20 Minute Do-Anywhere Workout!