Portable gym?
January 19, 2006 9:17 AM   Subscribe

My job requires me to travel roughly 1 week out of 4. While I enjoy this, it seriously interferes with my workout schedule. What exercises can I do with equipment that will fit in a large suitcase and won't disturb the neighbors?
posted by ttrendel to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Resistance bands. You can do a whole slew of stuff with a set of those, or even just one. I have a whole regimen just for my shoulders, but I've also seen exercises for lower body and such. Google something like "resistance bands" exercise.

If you really had the time and energy, or if you were staying in one place for several days, bring a yoga ball. It'll require pumping it up, but a deflated ball and a small pump will take up hardly any room.

Jump rope for cardio - you can also find entire programs focused on that.

Also, a lot of hotels these days have fitness rooms and/or gear you can check out. Call the hotel before you get there and find out.
posted by bibbit at 9:27 AM on January 19, 2006

A popular option is elastic bands, which are quite versatile and portable. Also consider running, hotel gyms.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:27 AM on January 19, 2006

Stretch bands and light hand weights can be transported easlily and don't take up a lot of room in your luggage.

Otherwise, don't most mid-range and above hotels offer some sort of gym these days?
posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 9:28 AM on January 19, 2006

Running (weather permitting), pushups, situps, crunches, as well as many yoga and pilates exercises, can be done with no equipment at all. And yes, definitely look into hotel gyms.

Also, if you belong to a chain gym (e.g. Bally's), you might be able to use their facilities in other cities. I know my YMCA membership offers use of other Y's, although that's not always a good option, depending on the city.
posted by boomchicka at 9:34 AM on January 19, 2006

Don't forget the stairs. I've gotten decent workouts at the cheapest hotels imaginable just by trotting up and down the fire exits.
posted by selfmedicating at 9:38 AM on January 19, 2006

You can get hand weights that can be filled up with water and then emptied for easy transportation.
posted by Jeanne at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2006

When I was one the road I made a point of staying in hotels with fitness centers. Are you staying in a Korman Suite or some similar place that doesn't have a gym?
posted by fixedgear at 9:44 AM on January 19, 2006

Why not the weights you carry on you? Learn 10 good yoga poses and use your own weight to keep the muscles toned. Some sun salutations to warm up, plank and downward dog poses for your upper body, tree and warrior poses for your legs. Yoga journal has a very extensive encyclopedia of poses here.
posted by phearlez at 9:49 AM on January 19, 2006

The exercise regimen in "The Hacker's Diet" is entirely based on things you can do without equipment. (I think the author in turn adapted it from some special-forces fitness regimen.)

The book (free online) also goes into a lot of depth on progress tracking and maintaining personal discipline, usually through Excel.

posted by jwadhams at 9:53 AM on January 19, 2006

If you have a mat, Portable Pilates by Alycea Ungero (isbn 0970583109) is a good book/cd set that I use. It works best if you've taken a few sessions in person to get down the basics. Similiar to the yoga suggestion.
posted by ejaned8 at 9:55 AM on January 19, 2006

Following up up on what phearlez said: try Burpees (more here and here) and the Plank.
posted by ambrosia at 10:10 AM on January 19, 2006

Push-ups, Squats, and core muscle work should do you.

There is also high intesity train sets of these exercises that will keep you puking in your hotel room.
posted by ewkpates at 10:25 AM on January 19, 2006

What Bibbit said. I've used hotel treadmills while vacationing, and never had any trouble jogging in parks during clear weather. Calisthenics and bicycle rentals are other options to consider.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:27 AM on January 19, 2006

If you choose to do Burpees rather than some flavor of yoga I would ask you to please not stay in the room above me. Seriously - don't be the dude the rest of us have to call the front desk to bitch about.
posted by phearlez at 10:36 AM on January 19, 2006

bodyweight conditioning exercises can be a lot of fun, and they don't take long since you'll hold each one for only about a minute. if you can do a handstand against a wall, hold it for a minute or work on handstand pushups. or work up to a planche (see a progression if you scroll down here). L seats can be done with your hands flat on the floor, anywhere. depending on how coordinated you are, press handstands are quite a feat of strength.
posted by nevers at 10:43 AM on January 19, 2006

Nike makes a super-lightweight running shoe called the Free. They take up a tiny amount of space in your luggage, and add almost no weight. If you need a lot of support when you're running, they might not be a great choice. They're worth giving a try, through.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:02 AM on January 19, 2006

Jump rope is a great way to get cardio while on the road.
posted by jasondigitized at 12:14 PM on January 19, 2006

Most hotels i've stayed in for work have decent workout rooms. Some gyms like the YMCA have deals for nationwide visiting if it only costs a little in out of town locations.
posted by joshgray at 1:17 PM on January 19, 2006

after i checked out some improvement in nike's worker rights record... i popped for some trail free's ... damn nice running shoe.

pushups, abs, lunges - and another skiing excercise: side to side jumps over a small cone - all great non-weight related exercise - good to mix it up and cross train anyway.

im always blasted after doing 45min of yoga - a good mat is nice.
posted by specialk420 at 5:48 PM on January 19, 2006

I've taken to using the Royal Canadian Air Force's 5BX program (what the Hacker's Diet exercises are based on), and they require no equipment at all.
posted by Mozai at 12:01 PM on January 21, 2006

« Older "Beijing Soccer Heroes"   |   Powerbook or MacBook? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.