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Revealed! 5 Of The Best Standing Exercises That Are Perfect For A Hotel Workout

You won’t have to kneel, get on the floor or touch a weight.

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Photographs by Bee Trofort-Wilson (Wardrobe Stylist: Bailey Harrs; Hair Stylist: Rachel Reid; Makeup Artist: Danielle Mitchell; Set Design: Everly Design Company)
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Picture this: You want to exercise, but you’re in a hotel room with a gross carpet and you don’t have any equipment. Have no fear. Standing exercises can work just as well as those you would typically do in your gym — but you won’t have to kneel, get on the floor or touch a weight. We spoke with fitness instructors who recommended their favorite standing exercises for hotel room workouts.

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Second position plié

Targets

Glutes and legs

Repetitions

10 to 16 for three to five sets

Recommended by Carla O’Connor, a group fitness programming consultant and manager of NovaPulse, a virtual studio.

Do this

Open your feet slightly wider than your hips and rotate your toes 45 degrees away from your body. Stack your shoulders over your hips and engage your core to create a neutral spine. Bending at the knees, lower your torso like a piece of toast going into the toaster. Avoid leaning forward and burning your chest on the toaster, and limit arching your lower back to eliminate the chance of doing the same to your booty. The lowest point of the plié is when your hips are just above knee height. Engage your glutes as if you are trying to hold a penny between your butt cheeks. To modify, reduce your range of motion, move slowly and reduce your repetitions. To advance, hold at the bottom of the plié, add pulses and lift your heels up and down at the bottom.

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Curtsy lunge to passe

Targets

Glutes and balance

Repetitions

10 to 16 for three to five sets on both sides of the body

Recommended by O’Connor

Do this

Start with your heels touching below your hips, and toes pointing externally 45 degrees away from your midline. Move your right foot about 16 inches behind your right shoulder, with your weight between your first and second toe, back heel lifted and both knees bent equally to perform a curtsy lunge as if you were curtsying to the king. Your weight should be even in both feet, and your arms should be placed as if they are holding a beach ball in front of your chest. Pressing off the back leg, lift your right big toe to touch the inside of your left knee and lengthen your standing leg. Engage your core to support your balance. To modify, support your balance by pressing your finger into a wall or chair. To advance, hold the curtsy and lift and lower your front heel, pulse with both heels lifted and increase the number of repetitions.

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Standing push-up

Targets

Shoulders

Repetitions

10 for three sets

Recommended by Jeremy Kring, a certified personal trainer and the former head trainer at New York Fitness

Do this

Find a wall or a dresser or anything sturdy enough to hold the weight of your body. Stand an arm’s length away from the wall (or sturdy object), keeping your hands at the same level and width as your shoulders. Keep your core tight, using your toes as a pivot point as you lower yourself toward the wall. Your hips should lower with your upper body as if you were a board. When you reach a 90-degree bend in your elbow, push yourself back up, maintaining the same board form.

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Bodyweight squat

Targets

Legs and glutes

Repetitions

10 to 25

Recommended by Esther Avant, sport nutritionist and personal trainer

Do this

Start with your hands lifted straight in front of you, or to advance, put your hands behind your head. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out slightly. Inhaling, bend at the hips and knees, lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep an upright body throughout the movement, imagining you are trying to maintain eye contact with a mirror image of yourself. Exhale as you stand up. To advance, slow the tempo to lower for 3-5 seconds, pause at the bottom for 1-3 seconds and stand up for 3-5 seconds. The increased time under tension will tax your lower body muscles more, even without additional resistance.

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Standing cross-body rotation

Targets

Core and obliques

Repetitions

15 per side, two sets

Recommended by Janet Omstead, an author, speaker and personal trainer

Do this

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands lightly behind your head, elbows wide. Lift your left knee to your right elbow. Then return to standing position and switch sides, lifting your right knee and your left elbow toward each other. When your knee is close to your elbow, remember to engage your core rotational muscles, and try to pause and breathe. Modify by doing this from a seated position in a chair.

Photo Credits: Set Designer: Everly Design Company; Wardrobe Stylist: Bailey Harrs; Makeup Artist: Danielle Mitchell; Hair Stylist: Rachel Reid


Do you typically work out at the hotel gym when on vacation? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Health