One of the questions I get asked most often is ‘what do you do to stay in shape on the road?’
I’ll admit, working out can take a backseat to prepping for a game or getting a few extra winks of sleep. But I always feel better when I make time for it, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to crush calories in crunch time.
One of my favorite workouts in a pinch is running hotel stairs. It might not be pretty, but it’s effective. Per Livestrong, running stairs burns roughly 200 hundred calories in 10 minutes, depending on your weight. I mix it up with running, walking and various kinds of lunges to keep it fun and maximize the number of muscles I’m using and calories I’m burning. After 20 minutes, I’m dripping sweat and ready to attack the rest of the day.
Dating back to my Track & Field days at Princeton, I prefer long runs outside — hello body and mind clarity — but when the weather doesn’t cooperate, I hit the treadmill. The challenge here is battling the monotony of running in place. I’ll time my workout around a game I want to watch or I’ll mix it up with repeaters to keep it interesting. Here’s one of my favorites that you can knock out in 32 minutes.
Set the incline from .5 to 1.5 for the duration of the workout, warm-up and then follow this sequence;
3 minutes at 5.5 – 6.5 speed
1 minute at 7.0 – 8.0 speed
30 seconds at 10.0 – 11.0 speed
1 minute at 4.0 – 5.0 speed
Repeat 6 times
For those of you that are into strength training and toning, I turned to Bar Malik – Knicks Director of Performance – and asked him how he and the players maintain muscle on the road without packing barbells. His go-to accessory is a TRX Suspension Trainer that easily stashes in a suitcase and attaches to hotel room doors. Bar says, “I love that the TRX Suspension Trainer allows anyone who wants to maintain fitness and flexibility to do so by using exercises that focus on body weight and space.”
When it comes to training the Knicks, he adds, “The players have different body sizes from point guard to center and the straps adjust to everyone’s size with minimal equipment. It’s the sixth man of physical fitness.”
If you want a body like Bars pictured, let’s be honest – you have a ton of work ahead, but here are a couple of his favorite exercises to be completed in 3 sets of 8:
REVERSE LUNGE: Start upright with one foot in TRX Trainer. Lunge and repeat.
UPRIGHT ROW: Start with arms extended, body in plank position. Pull arms into a 90-degree angle (like a suspended push-up) and repeat.
Writing this piece, I’m reminded there are endless options for efficient exercise and because of it – no excuses for skipping workouts on the road. Get out, workout and tell me about it! Share your favorite workouts with me on Instagram or Twitter, both @rebeccahaarlow.