The No-Excuses Vacation Workout
A whole-body routine in your hotel room, in just five moves. By Ellen Nordberg on Mar 26, 2014
With a just few months until summer, spring break is no time to slack on a fitness routine. (Especially if your family is heading to a beach destination anytime soon.) Sure, it’s ridiculously easy to find excuses not to exercise when you’re on a family getaway. The hotel doesn’t have a gym. You’ve got kids in tow. You didn’t pack your exercise gear. And you’re on vacation, for Pete’s sake.
Instead of chucking your routine until you get back home, you can get a whole-body workout in your hotel room with five basic moves that do not require any additional equipment. Even better, you can get the kids involved and make a game out of assisting you. For optimal benefit, complete all five exercises as a circuit with no resting.
Level One: Place your hands on the edge of the bed or desk shoulder-width apart, with your feet on the floor. Assume a plank position by aligning your head, back and legs into a straight line, then lift and lower your body using your arms with elbows out. Do three sets of ten repetitions.
Level Two: Lift your right leg a few inches off the floor as you do a push-up, then lift your left leg with the next one. Continue, alternating legs as you go.
Kid Challenge: Have your child crawl under you with each lift. Count to ten together.
Level One: Stand with your legs hip width apart. Push your hips back and lower down as if you’re sitting in a chair, raising your arms straight above your head as you go. Be sure to use the muscles in your butt and backs of your legs, not your thighs. Do two sets of ten.
Level Two: Balance on one leg for squats while lifting the other knee up to hip height. Make sure your squatting knee tracks over the ankle and doesn’t extend forward out over your foot.
Kid Challenge: Have your child stand in front of you with her back to you, holding a pillow or a rolled up towel over her head. While in your standing position, have her hand you the pillow. Complete your squat while your child runs around to crouch behind you. Hand the pillow back to her through your legs, and then you both return to your starting positions.
Level One: Lie on your back under the desk, extending your arms up to grip the lip of the desk with your palms facing in. Pull with your arms to raise just your upper body off the floor. Do three sets of ten, or until fatigue.
Level Two: As you pull up, raise both your torso and butt off the floor, balancing on your heels as you lift.
Kid Challenge: Have your child sit at your feet and tap one foot at their discretion. When your child taps your foot, raise that leg to increase the level of effort.
Level One: Lie on your back with knees bent and hands back by your ears with elbows bent. Lift your chest straight toward your knees ten times. Then, as you lift, twist at the waist and reach an elbow to the opposite knee, and repeat for ten on each side. Finish with one more set of ten straight crunches toward knees.
Level Two: As you do the forward crunches, keep your legs raised in the air. For twists, keep feet flat on the floor with and knees bent and raise the opposite knee to elbow. Increase the number of repetitions to twenty for each set.
Kid Challenge: Have your child sit or stand at your feet. With either bent or straight legs, hold a pillow in your hands and raise it over your head. As you rise up in your crunch, bring the pillow over your head to hand off to your child. Roll back down without the pillow, then retrieve it the next time up.
Level One: Stand with feet hip-width apart, then alternate stepping forward with one leg and dropping the other knee straight down. Make sure the front knee remains in alignment over the ankle. Three sets of ten alternating both legs.
Level Two: As you step forward in your lunge, try to tap your opposite hand to the ground while maintaining your balance.
Kid Challenge: Have your child stand to your left side. As you lunge with your left leg, twist across with your right hand to high five him. Do ten lunges, then have him switch sides. If you have two children, station one on each side and alternate high fives.