I was recently traveling, and was fortunate to be in a hotel with a pretty solid gym. They had dumbbells up to 50#, kettlebells up to 45#, a usable pull-up bar, and even foam rollers! Not to mention it was well lit by natural light. Not at all a dingy, basement dungeon.
We’re not always so lucky though. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations with little or no equipment. An extra rest day may be a good thing. Ultimately it’s best to maintain your fitness routine though. So what do you do? Here are a handful of body weight only travel workouts for you to use on your next adventure.
Run or Walk
I believe it’s jogging or ‘yogging’. it might be a soft j. I’m not sure, but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.– Ron Burgundy
Simple, and effective. Running, walking, or a combination is the most straightforward of cardio workouts. If you’re working on weight loss this is going to burn calories. Improving the function of your cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems (heart and lungs) is beneficial if building strength is your goal too. Cardio can help develop your foundational work capacity, facilitating better training in the future.
When traveling, rather than focusing on specific distances I like to keep it simple, and do time priority running workouts. That is, see how far I can go in a set amount of time. My favorite is a 20 minute run. Start off running in one direction. At the 10 minute mark, turn around. See if you can make it back to the start point, or past it during the second 10 minute period.
Burpees also certainly pack a cardio punch, with added muscular stamina benefits too. Yay burpees! There are lots of different burpee workouts to choose from. 50 or 100 burpees for time are excellent benchmarks, and on the minute burpee workouts are great challenges (choose a number of burpees to complete every minute for a chosen number of minutes. For example: 10 burpees every minute on the minute for 20 minutes. Yes, 200 burpees. Get some!).
Burpees are also very scalable. We can eliminate the push-up and/or jump, perform them with hands on an elevated surface, and make them harder by doing the push-up portion “strict”, or adding an extra push-up to each rep.
If you’d like a little less heavy breathing, and more of a pump, skip the jumping, and just do the push-ups. 100 push-ups for time is a good, quick workout. Try it following this pattern: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
CrossFit Benchmark Twists
Speaking of doing 100 push-ups, some of the classic CrossFit benchmark workouts can be tweaked to give you an awesome full body workout, no equipment required.
No Pull-up “Angie”
100 Air Squats
No Pull-up “Barbara”
5 Rounds For Time:
50 Air Squats
15 Air Squats
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 Alternating Pistols
That last one, “Hotel Mary” does require a wall. I recommend using a door, as it’s usually more solid than the walls, so you’re less likely to put your foot through it. Pike push-ups are also a good option that don’t require any equipment, and definitely won’t cost you your incidentals deposit.
If you’d like an AbMat substitute for the sit-ups, try rolling up a towel or sweatshirt.
If you’d like a quick, pure leg workout, give Tabata Air Squats a try. This is 8 intervals of 20 seconds of work (air squats) with 10 seconds of rest between each. Your score is the fewest number of air squats completed in any interval. The CrossFit standard is to shoot for is 18 to 20 perfect reps. That means 18 to 20 air squats with flawless technique in 20 seconds for 8 sets with 10 seconds rest between each set.
Once you’ve achieved the standard, try Bottom To Bottom Tabata Air Squats. The intervals and air squats are the same. The only difference is that during the 10 second “rest” periods you will hold at the bottom of the squat. Either option is just 4 short minutes. Be sure to make sure your hotel elevator is operational before giving these a try.
One of my favorite body weight workouts is an AMRAP of static holds. Choose 3 or 4 different holds: plank, high plank, side plank, hollow hold, handstand (against wall), headstand, squat, pistol (front heel on ground), L-sit, etc. Each hold will be performed for 30 seconds. Set the duration of your workout to 5 minutes for each selected exercise. For example, a version I really like is:
30 sec. Handstand Hold (against wall)
30 sec. Squat Hold
30 sec. L-sit
Although this type of workout is lower intensity, it’s a great way to develop skills and improve mobility.
Now that you have a room service menu of workouts to choose from, how will you warm up? Here’s a good go to:
40 Jumping Jacks
20 Alternating Reverse Lunges
10 Pausing Air Squats
5 Inchworm Push-ups
10 Alternating Spider-Man Lunges (5 each side)
5 Burpee Tuck Jumps
Although you may find yourself in a spot with no equipment, that doesn’t mean you can’t make progress towards your goals. Stick with your routine, give these a try on your next trip, and let us know how they go!