The frequent traveler still has the ability to tone up fast, with the proper planning and resourcefulness. You won't want to carry a set of hand weights with you every time you jet set, so look to items and elements around you to serve as resistance while strength training in your hotel room. Re ad below for ways to tone and strengthen from chest to calves, even while outside of your home base.
1. Use Your Body as Resistance
You're already carrying around one of the best strength-training accessories out there: yourself! Many fitness trainers tout exercises that use the body as a form of resistance as one of the best ways to tone. Called planks, the act of balancing your body against itself causes all your muscle groups to tighten and work together to maintain its form. To do:
- Lie face down, with your forearms and elbows flat on the ground and your upper arms perpendicular to them.
- Keep feet together, with your toes touching the floor, and lift your legs and core off the ground, keeping your abs tight and in a straight line with your thighs and chest. Think of the straight, elongated form you'd want in a push-up.
- Hold this for 45 seconds. Be careful to keep your middle from drooping and in a U-shape that gravitates toward the ground. Rest and then repeat two more times.
2. Books Can Be Weighty
Most hotel rooms come equipped with heavy books in the form of a Bible or phone books, so use these in place of hand weights. Use the book in a chest press, lying flat on the floor, with both hands holding the book. Bring the book down to your chest, with your elbows bending out to the sides of you. You can also rest this book on your chest for additional resistance during ab exercises such as crunches, which will strengthen and tone your core.
3. Strength in Stretching
Look to equipment that is light and portable to bring with you on trips, such as a large elastic band or bungee cord. The pull this offers against your arms is one of the best, but most convenient ways to tone and tighten biceps and triceps. Find the type of cord with handles, or create your own by tying loops that your digits can fit through. Step on the cord, and hold an end in each hand, palms facing upward. Raise your arms in a bicep curl motion and slowly lower, feeling the cord tighten and then slack under you. You can also do a triceps version of this exercise, by holding your arms behind you, with your palms facing inward.
4. Squat for Muscle
Some of the exercises that are best for toning require little or no equipment. Think squats and lunges. You can do squats against the wall of a hotel room and add intensity by raising and lowering the heavy book mentioned in No. 2 on this list. A good lunge, with one leg stretched in front as you dip the knee of your other leg down behind you, will enhance balance and flexibility while toning calves and quads.