In my travel anxiety tips post I talked a little about how I do what I can to stay fit while traveling to help me combat travel-related anxiety. Like I mentioned, I always try to stay at a hotel that has a fitness center inside, or at least a gym nearby.
When I visited Austin, I was fortunate enough to stay at a TownePlace Suites location with a terrific fitness center. Thanks again for hosting me, TownePlace Suites!
Usually I’m unable to get a decent leg workout in while traveling because most hotel fitness centers only have cardio equipment and maybe a cable machine. This TownePlace Suites happened to have the works: cardio equipment, a full rack of dumbbells, a bench, exercise balls, and mats. I was in heaven!
Because I had everything I needed, I put together a simple leg day workout using dumbbells, the bench, and an exercises. (And it was a winner because I was sore for the next couple of days!)
Hotel Leg Workout
Warm up (5 minute walk, run, jumprope, etc.)
4 sets of 10-15 goblet squats
4 sets each leg of 10-15 one-legged deadlifts
4 sets each leg of 10 Bulgarian split squats
4 sets of 15-20 exercise ball hamstring curls
That’s an overview of the workout (and how you should write it down if you’re taking it to the gym to try) — now let’s break down how to do each of the exercises. Please note that these gifs are sped up and you should be performing the exercises about 2x slower.
Goblet squats (hamstrings, glutes, quads)
- Hold one end of a dumbbell with the heels of your hands
- Squat with feet wide and toes pointed slightly outward. Keep back straight.
One legged deadlift (hamstrings, glutes)
- Hold a dumbbell between both hands
- Keeping both legs slightly bent, hinge forward at the waist feeling the stretch in the back of the thigh
- With weight in the heel, hinge back up
Bulgarian split squat (quads, hamstrings, glutes)
- If you’re new to this exercise, start with something lower like an exercise step instead of a bench
- Stand about 2 feet away and place back foot on bench/step. The whole top of your foot should be in contact with the bench instead of just your toes if possible.
- Standing with your front foot closer to the bench emphasizes quads; farther away emphasizes glutes/hams more. Never let your front knee pass over your toe.
- Keeping upper body vertical, lower your body until your front thigh is parallel with the ground. The lower you go, the more you’ll work your glutes/hams rather than quads.
Exercise ball hamstring curls (hamstrings)
- Grab the biggest exercise ball you can find, lie down, and place your heels on it
- Using your core and glute strength, elevate your body into starting position: legs outstretched (but not locked) and weight on your shoulders
- Keeping core and glutes engaged, use your heels to roll the ball toward you
That was such a good workout! Love that I had a good selection of equipment to choose from in the TownePlace Suites fitness center. Let me know if you try it out!
After my workout, I took some more of my own advice and whipped up a protein shake with the protein powder and shaker I’d brought with me.
That’s one of my other tips to help stay fit while traveling: I always bring one scoop of protein powder per day I’m traveling, individually Ziploc bagged. I stuff them all into a shaker cup and pack it in my carryon bag.
Fun fact: in the past I’ve traveled with vanilla protein powder and I didn’t want TSA to think it was drugs so I wrote “IT’S VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER” on the bag. In retrospect, this is more suspicious than not labeling it. Lol.
It was nice to be able to easily fill my shaker at the generous kitchen sink in my room and then thoroughly clean it with (provided!) dish soap afterward. I usually have to struggle to rinse my shaker cup in a tiny hotel bathroom sink and then deal with stinky protein aftermath when I realize I didn’t get all the residue out of it! Rock on, TownePlace Suites.
Being able to stay fit while traveling is at the top of my list when I consider a destination, and I’m glad it was so easy to manage on this trip. Let me know if you try out this hotel leg workout! And let me know if you also feel like a drug smuggler when you bring miscellaneous powders through TSA.