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Working Away: Bringing the gym to your hotel room

It’s not uncommon for us to be asked by members how they can keep up some fitness whilst away with work, especially if their hotel doesn’t have a gym.

We understand that it can be frustrating when you’re finally settling into a great routine with the gym, making regular class times, seeing progress with your goals… to then have a pesky work trip tear you away from it all!

So, if this sounds familiar, we’ve put together a short guide just for you on how to keep moving – even if your workouts are confined to your hotel room! It’s all about turning the existing class programming you have access to into hotel-room friendly workouts, so you can have a plan – just like you would if you were attending a class in the gym.

Of course, this will need a little creativity! But it’s about figuring out what we can do, instead of what we can’t! “How can I do this?” we hear you ask?

1. If you can, find or create some load!

First things first – see if you can find yourself an object to create some load! We recommend taking a small drawstring bag of some sort with you, because it takes up next to no space in your luggage, and can then be filled with a few pairs of shoes, or maybe some books, and – hey presto – we’re got ourselves a make shift kettlebell!

This can be deadlifted, squatted, pressed, dragged (think plank drags!), held overhead, bent-over-rowed and swung… to just name a few moves!

Suddenly now if you check out the SC MOVE or SC GO programme for the day, you can start to imagine how that bag can become your dumbbell or kettlebell. You could also consider what objects you have knocking around in the room…. A chair or bed ledge can easily become a ‘box’ to perform press ups or dips on, and an ironing board could become a barbell to deadlift… so let’s try to think outside the box (literally!).

2. Consider honing in on a skill for the week

So you’ve nailed the warm up, and now you’re onto the strength / skill piece of the session. This might be a little more limiting if it’s very specific, so if you’re struggling to adapt this to your make-shift hotel-object equipment, perhaps you could instead use your week away as an opportunity to choose a bodyweight skill you could hone in on! It’s no secret that focussing in on a particular movement or skill for a while will show the most progress in that area, so seize the day! Here are some ideas for kit-less skills / movements you could work on from your hotel room:

  • Press Ups
    Negatives, elevated press ups (on the base of the bed or bathroom counter), bodyweight press ups or pike press ups are all doable!
  • Turkish Get Ups
    There’s a lot to be said when it comes to co-ordination and balance with the Turkish Get Up – even more so if you use an odd object! It doesn’t even need to be heavy – perhaps try balancing a filled water bottle on the palm of your hand to perform your reps.
  • Dips
    Once again that bed ledge is your best friend! Set your hands up on the bed’s solid base and dip away.
  • Crow Pose
    Ideal for working on the awareness and balance required for handstands. Just pop a pillow in front of you on the floor incase you lose balance and go head first for the carpet!
  • Mobility
    What better opportunity to work on that often-neglected mobility routine than when you have time to kill in a hotel room! Check out the SCFIT Instagram ‘Mobility’ Highlights for some ideas, or refer to the Mobility Bites guide in the SCFIT Members’ Facebook page files, or get in touch with a coach to ask what movements might be most beneficial to you to work on!

3. Check your cardio choices

Flashback to lockdown… don’t forget all of those awesome cardio options we become Pros at! So if you see rowing, biking or skiing in a workout, here are some options you could do from your room:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Up Downs
  • High Knees
  • Spotted Dogs
  • Jump-Taps, or Double Taps (to practice timings for Double Unders!)
  • Burpees
  • Bum Kicks
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat Jumps

And / or if space allows, and you have somewhere outside you can work out..

  • Skipping (don’t forget your rope!)
  • Running
  • Ascending / descending steps
  • Jumping on a low wall (hello outdoor box jumps!)

4. Plan your timings

Finally: the workout. It may well be that equipped with your filled-bag and cardio options you can simply do the workout as written, but if you’re a little stuck with timings, simply turn the guideline working time into an EMOM or AMRAP (or multiple AMRAPs, as Intervals). It may be that your kit-free or shoe-bag version means you’ll fly through the workout much quicker than intended, so putting a more specific timer to suit the intention for the workout will ensure you don’t lose out. There are lots of great (and many free) apps out there where you can programme intervals timers to help you keep track – so you might consider downloading one of those, plugging in the timings, and using that in place of the beloved wall timers in the gym!

Our coaches recommend checking out ‘SmartWOD’ or ‘Seconds’.

5. And finally….reach out!

If you’re still struggling or have specific goals we can help with, get in touch. The coaching team offer a whole range of bespoke programming options that can be arranged for your trip(s) away. It can be tailored to you, your goals, and the equipment you might have access to.

So there you have it – some great ways to keep you motivated and moving while working away from home. Be sure to share your workouts on Instagram and tag @secondcityfitness – we love to hear about what you’re up to when you’re not inside the gym!

Adele Wayt

Fancy getting involved in the SCFIT community? Get in touch today to book your free No Sweat Intro! We’d love to meet you.

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