As the weather starts to cool down many people retreat to the warmth of the northern hemisphere. So to help you keep fit during your travels here are 6 really simple exercises that you can do on the hotel room floor and will take you 10 minutes to complete. Perhaps the best time to run through this set is before breakfast because there is no time to come up with excuses. These are all exercises that we regularly do in the studio because they are so good and have a myriad of benefits.
1. Knee Floats – Why: Hip mobility and core strength, needed for long days meandering through cobbled stones and art galleries.
How: Lie on your back, keep spine relaxed and lengthened on the floor. Inhale and draw in your lower belly and lift your pelvic floor as you float one leg to tabletop position. On the exhale release your foot back to the floor. Repeat on the other leg and do 6-10 repetitions each side.
2. Toe Taps – Why: Core strength, back strength, hip mobility, for support whilst climbing the hundreds of steps of the Cinque Terre.
How: Bring both legs into table top, ensure lower back remains flat on the floor (put a towel or small pillow under your back if this is difficult to achieve). As you exhale engage lower abdominals and pelvic floor and tap one foot towards the floor. On the inhale return leg to tabletop. Repeat on the other side and do 6-10 reps each side.
3. Diamond press – Why: thoracic mobility and strength and shoulder strength for carrying backpacks.
How: lie on your belly, make a diamond shape with your arms above your head. Keeping arms and body on the floor, as you exhale lift abdominals to your spine and lift your head and chest off the floor into a small thoracic back extension. Inhale to come down, repeat 6 times.
4. Side lying long legs – Why: maintaining glute and leg strength for hiking through the mountains.
How: Lie on your side, keep the bottom leg bent for stability and extend top leg straight in line with the top hip.
10 x lift the leg a little higher then hips and lower back to hip height
10 x extend the leg forward and then swing it back behind you
10 x small hip circles in both directions
Repeat the whole sequence on the other side.
5. Modified push ups – Why: For carrying all the shopping and souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way.
How: Come to your hands and knees and as you exhale bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor. On the inhale press back to all fours. If kneeling is not great on the knees do this standing up by placing hands onto the wall, bending the elbows and moving chest towards the wall. Press away and straighten arms. Repeat 6-10 times.
6. Stretches – Why: to relax and mobilise your joints after all the sightseeing so you can get to the bar in time for happy hour.
How: If you’ve brought your theraband along then use this to stretch out your hamstrings, outer thighs, inner thighs and calves. You can also use a belt or a towel. lie on your back and extend one leg towards the ceiling with the theraband/belt/towel around the foot. Gently draw the leg towards your nose for a hamstring stretch. To stretch the inner thighs open the leg to the side, to stretch the outer thighs bring the leg across the body and to stretch the calves take the leg back to 90 degrees and draw the foot towards your nose. For a glute stretch place one foot over the other thigh and loop your hands around that thigh as you draw the leg towards your chest. In all these stretches take care to keep hips stable on the floor and hold for around 3-5 breaths.
If you happen to remember to take your spikey ball with you don’t neglect your feet. Treat them to a good rolling.
Disclaimer: Sorry about the stick figures – our specialty is Pilates – we leave the art to the professionals.