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Fitness Friday #2: Working out at the hotel

Pierre Allard serves up the perfect training regimen for the frequent traveler

by Pierre Allard @canadiensMTL / canadiens.com

Many of us would like to be in better shape. Making small tweaks to daily habits or workouts can make all the difference. With new fitness and diet fads popping up on the regular, deciding which regimen is right for you can be confusing. Habs strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard is here to help, offering up tips to help you reach your fitness goals. In his second blog post, the man responsible for Canadiens players' fitness explains which accessories you should get your hands on if you decide that working out from home is the way to go.

Hotel gyms can be vastly different from one place to another, going from very small to very large. Often, they don't offer a complete array of equipment.

When we're traveling, whether for business or pleasure, we may intend on keeping up our routine, but once we arrive, it's harder to actually get to it and work out. In this week's blog, I offer my recommendations for some accessories you can bring along with you that can help with your workouts - both in your room and in the hotel gym. The idea is that it's possible to have an effective workout even without lugging around a lot of equipment. Don't forget that when on vacation, some nights can be more difficult than others. The goal isn't to get in shape, but rather to stay that way and to be active.

Foam roller / softball

Depending on how much space you have in your bag, you could bring a roller - about 12 inches long - or a softball. Either would allow you to relax your muscles by rolling on your body before and after your workout. The goal is to roll on your muscles after traveling to loosen up after long periods of inactivity.

Mini resistance band

The mini resistance band creates a bit of tension which allows you to get your muscles going. When traveling, we can be seated for long periods of time without moving, and the band is a good way to warm up. Do about 10 repetitions of each of the exercises demonstrated in the photo and that should do it. I did knee raises, but it could also be used for lateral movements.

A longer resistance band

This band will have the same effect as the band with handles I spoke about in the first blog. You can do pulls, push presses, rotations. You can use it to work your stabilizer muscles by doing front and side planks.

TRX

In my opinion, if you travel a lot and stay in a lot of hotels, this one is a must-have. The big advantage of the TRX - or any other similar kind of thing made by someone else; I don't have any stocks in TRX! - is that you can attach it to doors, like in a hotel room. When you buy, make sure to ask for one that includes a door anchor. In addition to working your upper body, the TRX can also work your legs without the need for sophisticated machines or equipment. You can also do squats, which is what I'm doing in the photo: a one-legged squat. In the other demonstration, I'm showing an exercise that works the pectoral muscles while doing push-ups. Being tilted increases the level of difficulty and adds an element of instability. You can also do flyes, like I do in the photo. Doing them with a TRX means you don't need to do them with free weights, which aren't practical for travel . I recommend doing 10-12 repetitions with each of these exercises.

The goal of this workout is to start with a massage to loosen the muscles, then work the stabilizer muscles, and then finish up with some resistance training. All this will help you keep in shape without worrying about being sore when you get back to your regimen at home.

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