The hotel gym is usually best avoided. It’s crowded, cramped, and uninviting, with little more than a set of dumbbells and a few ancient treadmills. On your next trip, bring a resistance band instead and you can get a full-body workout without leaving your room. “It’s the greatest tool for travel,” says David Edwards, master trainer at New York Sports Club. “It doesn’t break, you can roll it up and put it in your suitcase and then bust it out and do as many circuits as you want.” Edwards came up with a serious resistance band circuit (below) that you can do once for a quick full-body tune-up or repeat for a sweat-drenched workout. When looking for a band, aim for medium strength: “Then, if it gets easy, you can always just do more reps, or choke up on it a bit more.” To keep the heart rate up and increase the intensity of the workout, add a set of jumping lunges, jumping squats, or burpees in between sets.
Squat: Stand on the band, trapping it in the groove in the middle of the shoe. Keep arms raised and bent by your shoulders, then squat. You should feel the resistance at the top of your squat and slack at the bottom.
Curls: Stand on the band and curl it with both arms at the same time. If the resistance is too difficult, put your feet closer together. If too easy, widen your stance.
Sideways Walk: Keep standing on the band, and criss-cross the handles. Start walking sideways, twenty seconds one way and then twenty the other.
Push-Up: Upgrade your standard push-up by choking up on the band, wrapping it under the armpits and around the back.
Continuous Lunge: Start in a lunge with the band under your front foot and pulled over the shoulder. Dip your back knee to the ground, and then straighten it again. Repeat, and then switch legs.
For upper body work, you wrap the band around a fence post, bed frame, or get a $5 door jamb attachment.
Chest Press: Turn your back to the door, put one foot in front of the other, and push forward with the same upper body motion as a bench press.
Rows: Now face the door with your feet parallel, in a crouched position. Keeping elbows close to body and arms straight, pull them in at the same time.
Ice Skaters: Hop from one foot to the other in a lateral movement while holding onto the band. When you land on a foot, push your straight arms down and back. Then jump to the next foot. Keep up the movement until you find a rhythm and then continue for 30 seconds.
Tricep Kickback: Holding onto both handles of the band in a crouched position, straighten both arms behind you, flexing the triceps.
Waist Twist: Holding onto the band with both hands and arms straight, pull from the door from right to left, parallel to the ground, while twisting your waist. Switch sides.
High Curl: Face the door with palms up and arms straight. Curl the band towards your shoulders.
Archery Pull Backs: Facing the door with your legs together, step back with right leg while pulling toward your chest with your right arm. Step forward to bring your legs together and then step back with your left leg while pulling back with your left arm. Repeat.
Punching: With your back to the door, get in a boxing stance and punch continuously for one minute.
To contact David Edwards for more info on this routine, go to continuousflowfitness.com.