Last winter, with the summer seemingly a million years away, you thought ahead and wanted to take action to get back in shape before the warmer weather arrived. You've done it and you have made huge strides in toning, weight, exercise capacity, and overall energy levels!
Now that summer is upon us, many of us are gearing up for extended summer vacations! We all definitely need that in order to rest and recharge our minds and bodies. If you are like me, you still would like to stay in somewhat of a rhythm when it comes to exercising and wouldn't mind getting in one or two workouts while on vacation. The first thing that usually comes to mind is staying active with outdoor activities like hiking or swimming, but you also have the option of the hotel’s complimentary gym.
We get to the hotel expecting big things but many times we find out that the gym is either dirty, rusty (tetanus anyone?), cramped, or we just don’t feel comfortable at all working out there so we pretty much abandon a traditional workout while on vacation.
RESISTANCE BANDS ARE THE ANSWER
One alternative is to pack along resistance bands on your trip. Resistance bands are great because they virtually take up no room in your luggage. This is a HUGE positive aspect of carrying resistance bands with you because you can stuff them anywhere with no adverse effect on premium luggage space .Not only do they not take up space, but they are also incredibly effective. You can get a quick, very effective workout right in your hotel room using resistance bands. Combine some great body weight exercises with a few resistance band exercises and you've got yourself a workout!
Here are 5 resistance band exercises you can use to stick with your exercise rhythm even on vacation:
To perform the squat, place the band on the ground and place your feet on it where they are a little over shoulder width apart. Make sure the band is securely in place so it will not slip out. Grip the handles of the bands and hold them up by your shoulders (as if you were going to do a shoulder press) and perform your normal squat by leaning back like you are sitting in a chair. Lean far enough back to where your knee is over your toe and then return to the starting position.
Place the band on the ground and step on it with your feet shoulder width apart. Grip the handles with your palms pointing out and perform a normal bicep curl. Bring the band up to you by contracting the bicep. To increase the difficulty spread your feet wider with more band between your feet.
Deltoid Front/Side Raise
Place the band on the ground and step on it with your feet shoulder width apart. For the front raise: with your palms pointing down bring the handles up to eye level while keeping your arm straight (slight bend in the elbow). For the side raise: hold the handles down by your sides, palms facing in. Raise the handles up to shoulder level with your arms straight (elbows slightly bent).
Secure the middle of the band around a bed post or chair. Kneel down on one knee far enough away so the band is already tight (use the other leg for balance). Grip a handle in each hand but bring one handle in towards your side right to under your pectoral by squeezing your lats (part of your back). Make sure to do both sides. To make it harder, start farther away from where the band is secured.
Tricep KickbackSecure the middle of the band around a bed post or chair. Like the previous exercise, kneel down on one knee far enough away so the band is already tight (use the other leg for balance). Hold both handles but kickback one handle by contracting your tricep (back of arm). Make sure to keep your elbow tucked into your side with your upper arm not moving. Your elbow will act like a fulcrum that your forearm and the resistance band handle rotate on!
Perform this routine (and include some bodyweight if you want) exercises for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (or until fatigued) in order to get a great workout in your hotel room!