Traveling may be good for the soul, but it's not always good for our training. Most hotel gyms aren't exactly motivating and, whether you're on a family vacay or a business trip, it's hard to find the time.
Jay Cardiello, the former strength and conditioning coach for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and baseball's Cincinnati Reds, is here with solutions. He now works with celebrities, so Cardiello is more than a little familiar with the challenges of staying on top of your fitness game while on the road. We asked him for a few moves that can be done when you're holed up in a hotel.
Your only props: hotel pillows. According to Cardiello, they provide an unstable surface, which is perfect for core-stability work and lower-body strengthening. "The pillows will also target smaller stability muscles, which might be overlooked with conventional gym equipment," he said. Fringe benefit: The postworkout nap is super-convenient.
1. Squats: Place two pillows on the ground about hip-width apart. Stand on them while performing squats using only your body weight. Do 10 to 12 reps. Rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat.
2. Around the World: Stand with your left foot on a pillow. Extend both of your arms out (like you're a scarecrow) and hold the free leg off the ground. Twist to the left as your bring your right hand down to touch your left foot, then return to scarecrow position. Do 10 to 12 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Scarecrow: Stand with your left foot on a pillow. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height (again, like you're a scarecrow). Bend your right knee 90 degrees and raise it in front of you until your thigh is parallel to the floor (you should look like the Karate Kid!). Now, straighten and extend the right leg toward the floor until your toes almost touch the ground in front of you. Return to Karate Kid position and repeat as many times as you can, never letting your toes hit the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.
4. Push-ups: Finish with some push-ups (optional: perch feet on pillows or the bed), aiming for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.