As an actor, every once in a while, I get booked to play a character on a show that films at some amazing location, such as Tulum, Mexico, where I just returned from. Production put me in a resort that was first class, but the hotel gym — like many such institutions — left much to be desired. I don’t blame the resorts; it’s a question of square footage versus how many guests will actually exercise while staying there (I was in the hotel gym twice a day for eight days and I saw a total of two people). So, for the fitness enthusiasts out there, how do we find a way to push ourselves when our hotel gym is so much less impressive than our home gym?
First, we must remember two rules of travel fitness: First, don’t compare your travel workouts to your regular workouts — there is no reason to! And second, any workout is exponentially better than no workout.
That said, sometimes we must get creative and find ways to accomplish our goals. Here are five ways to get a good workout in when your hotel gym is lacking:
1 of 5
Treadmill Horizontal Pull-Ups:
No bar, no problem. This is a great movement to tax your upper body pulling muscles (lats, rhomboids, biceps, etc.) while your core activates to keep you “head to heel, straight as steel.” Bonus points if you’re able to do single-arm/single-leg!
2 of 5
Dumbbell Core/Chest Combo
No heavy dumbbells, no ab wheel, no cable machines… This compound movement was very challenging — the core and upper-body pushing muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps) will be feeling this immediately. Sometimes people forget that one of the main tasks of our chest/pectoral muscle fibers is to bring our hands together or “squeeze,” and it’s not easy to train that strength without tools. The “pec flye” motion in this movement is a good solution!
3 of 5
Running and Treadmill Dips Circuit
Travel workouts don’t have to take a long time! This is a 10-minute circuit that had me sweating and feeling a great pump. Using the treadmill arms as dip handles was a new challenge: They are wider than normal dips, so it was a good way to open up the chest and get a big range of motion.
4 of 5
Slow-Motion Dumbbell Clean and Press
Want a new challenge? This is tough – moving through this movement at a slower than normal pace almost makes this an isometric exercise, but it forces you to control the weight moving through space. The exercise involves almost every muscle group, and if you only have a light dumbbell, experiment with different tempos and rep counts can be a new demand that your “machine” will have to adapt to!
5 of 5
One-Arm Stability Ball Triceps Kickback
Okay, you have to be open-minded, But after eight days in this little gym, not only was my body in need of a new challenge, but so was my mind. Be creative and ask your body to accomplish something different! Rather than crunches and triceps dips on a chair, why not combine core training and triceps work into something more interesting?
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