The question: I always lose fitness when I go on vacation, I can never seem to fit it in. What are some quick, easy workouts I can do in my hotel room that don't require equipment (or much space)?
The answer: Try the 20-minute interval workout outlined below. It’s a personal favourite. It’s fast, effective and all you need is a towel. If you don't like getting up close and personal with a hotel floor (some of them can be kind of gross), modify the push-ups and scapula planks by putting your hands on the edge of the bed or chair.
The workout consists of two 10-minute sets. Each set is broken down into 10 one-minute intervals. Within each minute, you must complete two exercises back-to-back. Done early? Relax for the remainder of the minute. Take the full minute? Immediately start your next interval.
Set No. 1
- Push-ups: On your knees or toes, bend your elbows to lower your chest down towards the ground. Exhale as you push yourself back up. Repeat eight times. For an extra challenge, after each push-up, try jumping your feet toward your hands and stand up. Lower yourself down again, place your hands back on the ground and jump your feet back to the starting position.
- Squats: Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bend at your hips, knees and ankles and sit your bum backward like you are sitting in a chair. Repeat eight times.
Set No. 2
- Plank scapula retractions: In a plank position, balancing on your hands and toes, bring your shoulders blades together and then apart. Keep your arms straight and your lower back neutral. Try and activate the muscles between your shoulder blades. Repeat eight times.
- Lunges: Step backwards with one leg. Bend both knees so your body moves towards the floor. Use the bum muscle of the front leg to stand back up. Alternate legs for eight reps.
Trainer's Tip: To ward of boredom, try a different combination of exercises each time you travel. For example, try jumping jacks, bicep curls or lateral raises using a resistance band. The band fits easily into your suitcase.