Does the Texas heat have you planning an escape to cooler climates? Us too! I’m sitting in a hotel room in Boston typing this article. It’s a balmy 61° and I just finished the workout detailed below! You can have your cake and eat it too when you choose to exercise during your travels. OK, maybe not so much cake but, you get the idea. Be sure to get some extra calorie-burning aerobic activity in your day by attending popular walking tours or creating your own. Many cities have walking tour apps available to smartphone users that come complete with interesting facts and historical depictions. It’s a great way to offset any extra calories taken in from an indulgent meal and a fun way to learn more about your destination.
If you’ll recall, last issue we detailed a workout dedicated to toning your lower half. This time, we’re focusing on your upper body: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms and Abs. These workouts can be done in the comfort of your hotel room or a hotel fitness room, if you prefer. If you do get out of town this month…Safe travels to you and yours!
Upper Body Day:
This workout can be done 1-2 times per week. Always consult with your physician before attempting a new exercise program.
Pushups (10-15 repetitions)
- Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 36 inches apart while holding your torso up at arms length.
- Next, lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
- Now breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest.
- After a brief pause at the top contracted position, you can begin to lower yourself downward again for as many repetitions as needed.
If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, you can either bend your legs at the knees to take off resistance or perform the exercise against the wall instead of the floor.
Overhead Press with Resistance Tubing (10-15 repetitions)
- To begin, stand on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm’s length. Grasp the handles and lift them so that the hands are at shoulder height at each side.
- Rotate the wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward. Your elbows should be bent, with the upper arms and forearms in line to the torso. This is your starting position.
- As you exhale, lift the handles up until your arms are fully extended overhead.
- Return to beginning position and repeat
Bent-Over Row with Resistance Tubing (10-15 repetitions)
- Center tube under feet and bend forward at the waist, back flat and abs in.
- Grab tube close to the feet and bend the elbows to pull the arms up to the torso, squeezing the back.
- Return to starting position with a smooth and controlled pace and repeat
Crunch with Neck Support (15-20 repetitions)
- Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Using a towel, engage your abdominals to draw your head, neck and upper torso off the ground. Take care not to pull on the towel with too much pressure. Neck should remain in a neutral position.
- Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum.
- After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Bicep Curl with Resistance Band (10-15 repetitions)
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, slight bend in the knees, abs tight, arms down by your sides, and shoulders back.
- Hold the ends of a resistance band in your hands with your palms facing forward, and hold the middle of the band under one foot so there is some resistance in the band.
- Exhale as you bend at the elbow to bring your hands up towards your shoulders.
- Inhale as you straighten your arms back out. Be sure to keep the rest of your body stable (to not lean towards either side, or back).
Tricep Extension with Resistance Band (10-15 repetitions)
- Start by standing on the tubing with one foot.
- Bring the band up above your head with your arms extended.
- Keeping your elbows stationary bend your arms so that your hands come down and back behind your head.
- Extend your arms and return to the starting position and repeat.
Rest: 1-3 minutes
Repeat Series: 2-5 times