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The Best Hotel Room Workouts Ahead Are Convenient, Flexible, And Your Next Fitness Adventure!

Checking into a hotel doesn’t have to mean checking out of your fitness routine. In fact, you can hit a workout without even leaving your hotel room!

To bring you some of the best hotel room workouts, Eleana, Head Coach of Orangetheory Fitness Concord and certified personal trainer, helps to bring creative fitness travel tips and exercises to the table. Also considering travelers have different needs, preferences, and schedules, we made sure to offer variety. 

So, make sure to bookmark or print this out for the next time you travel—and want to stay checked into your fitness routine and wellness goals!

How to Keep Up Your Workout Routine While Traveling

Keeping up with a workout routine while traveling may seem out of the question, although many travelers can and do exercise when not in their regular routine. Some even look forward to exercising while traveling, especially when on vacation when time is a bit more flexible. 

While you can still exercise during your travels, it’s equally (if not more) important to mention missing workouts is still A-OK! The thing about fitness is it should truly fit your lifestyle and not stress you out!

Traveling should be an enjoyable time to explore new areas while your regular workout routine patiently awaits your return. Rest assured, though, there are tips you can pack and bring along with you so you can keep up with your workout routine.

Pack for Fitness Success

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” may sound cliché, but there’s much truth to the infamous quote. If you don’t pack your gym clothes, running shoes, fitness tracker, and other handy exercise essentials, the likelihood of working out on vacation is next to none.

Feel free to pack compact exercise equipment as well. “Mini [resistance] bands are a GREAT go-to for travel workouts,” Eleana says. “They’re small, easy to carry/travel with, and can intensify the workout like crazy! They add resistance and work your stabilizer muscles, which are often muscles that get forgotten about when training.”

However, as you’ll see with some of the best hotel workouts below, equipment isn’t absolutely necessary. Pure bodyweight exercises can still be very challenging and effective!

Find a Gym or Fitness Classes In the Area

If camaraderie is what keeps you motivated, try finding a gym or fitness class in the area. Planet Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and other big box gyms offer access to multiple locations depending on the membership.

If you don’t hold a gym membership, some box gyms, boutique studios, and Crossfit boxes offer drop-in passes while others open their fitness arms to out-of-towners hoping to take a fitness class. Visiting unfamiliar gyms might require you to step out of your comfort zone, though new experiences tend to be more than worth the initial gym anxiety!

Take Advantage of Active Possibilities

You don’t have or need to force exercise into your traveling schedule. But because the body appreciates various forms of movement, especially if spending the day sitting in a conference room or business meetings, simply try to be active whenever possibilities present themselves.

Increase your step count whenever you can, even if that means taking a longer route to the bathroom or parking in the furthest parking lot. If sightseeing in a new city, rent a bike instead of ordering an Uber. As health and fitness enthusiasts often motto, “Any movement is better than going without!”

Be Flexible In Your Approach

Loosen up the “all-or-nothing” mindset and approach your workout plans with flexibility. Although you might not be able to follow your gym plan to a T, exercise is much more than repping out a heavier weight on the chest press compared to last week. 

Being flexible in your approach, especially while traveling, means making use of the space available to you—even if it’s lacking equipment. The hotel room workouts provided below are great examples of a flexible approach and can fit just about any schedule. 

Turn to HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are great if crunched for time, as HIIT workouts range from a very quick four minutes to upwards of 30 minutes. 

When performed correctly and with intent, HIIT is also only recommended a few times per week. So with just 10 minutes to dedicate to structured exercise, you can still reap some mega benefits even if completing HIIT one time during a few-day travel stint.

And if you’re wondering if these quick minutes are worth your while, you bet! A 2016 study published in PLOS ONE1 suggests brief yet intense interval exercise can improve heart health to the same extent as traditional endurance training—despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment!

A recent 2023 JAMA Internal Medicine2 study reports about 110,000 deaths per year could be prevented if U.S. adults increased their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity intensity by a small amount. Even adding 10 minutes per day of physical activity is estimated to prevent over 111,000 deaths per year! 

While traveling, you can tackle a HIIT workout in the hotel gym or even by running up the hotel stairs—only if you’re being cognizant of your surroundings and noise, of course!  You can also squeeze in an effective workout without leaving your hotel room. 

Try a Hotel Room Workout

A hotel room may not be equipped to accommodate your day-to-day workout routine, but boy can these hotel room workouts be effective. The workouts detailed below range between 10-30 minutes-yes, 10-30 minutes from absolute start to absolute finish. 

To get the most out of your hotel workout, especially without equipment and crunched for time, tempo is the name of the game. “Slowing down exercises or ‘adding tempo’ can actually make exercises a lot harder!” Eleana advises.

Eleana also expresses that while equipment is not mandatory, it can help increase the difficulty of the workouts and even be performed with items in the hotel room. “You can add weight or resistance with a backpack, suitcase, purse, and water or shampoo bottles,” she offers.

Oh, and don’t worry… We made sure to include exercises that wouldn’t upset others beyond those four walls. (Just be courteous of any travelers in the room with you—or have them join in on the fitness fun!)

Quick 10-Minute Hotel Room Workout

10 min hotel room workout

Want a full-body workout but strapped for time? Confined to a small space with no gym equipment? Look no further than this 10-minute bodyweight workout you can complete quickly in your hotel room. 

All you need is a timer, just a little bit of room to breathe and move, and your motivated self. The workout is minimalist in nature yet can lead to maximal benefits—just make sure to give these 10 minutes your full attention.

The Warmup: 2 Minutes

Before hopping into the meat of the workout, don’t make this common home gym mistake: not warming up. Even if you feel crunched for time, warming up before a workout is key for priming the body for movement and lowers the risk of injury.

Warm up with some gentle jogging in place, jumping jacks, or any other movements that get the heart to start pumping. Again, just make sure the warmup of choice won’t upset your hotel neighbors! Also do some dynamic stretching, especially targeting any areas that feel tight.

The Workout: 6 Minutes

Complete two rounds of each exercise for a total of six minutes. To get the most from your workout, make sure to focus on proper form and fully contract the intended muscles with each movement. 

  • 30 seconds of bodyweight air squats, 30 seconds of rest
    • Increase the difficulty with alternating single-leg squats or jump squats (landing softly of course)
    • You can also add weight with an ice bucket, your luggage, etc.
  • 30 seconds of push-ups, 30 seconds of rest
    • Reduce the difficulty by completing the push-ups against the wall or on your knees
    • Increase the difficulty with pike push-ups or elevated push-ups with your feet elevated on a sturdy chair or bed
  • 30 seconds of crunches, 30 seconds of rest
    • Ease the exercise with alternating seated leg lifts
    • Increase the difficulty by swapping traditional crunches with reverse or bicycle crunches
    • Challenge the exercise by slowing the pace on the downward phase (lowering back to the ground)

In addition to modifying the difficulty by varying the exercise movement, you can also modify the tempo of the exercises and/or the exercise and rest times. For instance, increase the difficulty of the workout by completing 40 seconds of each exercise and resting for 20 seconds.

If you are REALLY feeling up for a challenge, try holding a plank during your rest periods. You can also hold side planks, making sure to switch sides with each rest period to target both sides of your obliques.

Only do so if you feel confident in holding the plank position in a straight line, as dipping the pelvis can place tremendous strain on the lower back. “Something else to note with planks, normal or side, is to properly align your wrist or elbows directly below your shoulders,” encourages Eleana. 

The Cooldown: 2 Minutes

A cooldown is an important part of any workout, especially after intense training. This two-minute cooldown lowers the intensity and your elevated heart rate while relaxing the muscles and aiding in recovery. 

Just like the warmup, you can choose what works best for you and your environment. Great ways to cool down include some light jogging in place or static stretching.

20-Minute Hotel Room Workout

bodyweight hotel room workout

This 20-minute hotel room workout is an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout. You will complete the number of indicated repetitions for each minute/exercise. If you complete the exercise reps before the minute is up, you’ll use the remaining time to rest before the next minute/exercise starts. 

Just like the 10-minute workout, all you need is a little space to move comfortably and a timer. Also make sure to warm up and cool down for about two to three minutes each, which will leave you with 15 minutes for the EMOM workout. 

Try completing 3 rounds:

Minute 1: 10 push-ups

Minute 2: 20 air squats

Minute 3: 15 sit-ups

Minute 4: 10 plank-ups

Minute 5: 30 alternating reverse lunges (15 lunges per left and right leg)

30-Minute Hotel Room Workout 

intense hotel room workout

Instead of sitting down to that 30-minute episode of your favorite Netflix show, complete this circuit-style, 30-minute hotel room workout. 

The workout consists of 3 different circuits to target the upper and lower body. After taking a few minutes to warm up and cool down, the circuit workout itself should take about 20-25 minutes depending on how quickly you complete each exercise and round.

4 rounds of:

  • 20 air squats
  • 10 push-ups
  • Rest for 1 minute

4 rounds of:

  • 20 alternating step-ups (step onto a sturdy chair or swap with alternating split squats)
  • 20 alternating heel touches
  • Rest for 1 minute

4 rounds of:

  • 20 hip bridges
  • 20 plank shoulder taps
  • Rest for 1 minute

Upper-Body Hotel Room Workout 

upper body hotel room workout

Have a scheduled upper-body day but no gym access? Don’t fret! You might not be able to set a chest press PR or rep out on the lat pull-down machine, but rest assured you can still work out your upper body in full.

Sandwiched between a warmup and cooldown (still don’t skimp on those!), you’ll find various push, pull, and dynamic movements. We encourage you to truly push yourself but maintain good form so you won’t pull a muscle. (See what we did there?)

For the upper body hotel room workout, try to complete at least two rounds. Feel free to adjust the number of rounds to accommodate how much time you have and/or your fitness level.

You can modify the tempo of the exercises and add resistance to what’s available to you as well. “Having a mini band would be perfect to add resistance and open up your upper-body exercises,” hints Eleana. “Using a purse, water bottle, etc. would also be great for bicep curls and shoulder presses.”

Also, modify the reps to accommodate any available weight/resistance you have. For instance, if 10 shoulder presses feel effortless with a water bottle, and that’s all you have around you, complete more reps. You can also swap with another exercise such as pike push-ups.

Complete at least 2 rounds:

  • 10 push-ups (add weight by wearing a backpack)
  • 10 shoulder presses (with any available resistance/weight)
  • 10 tricep dips (elevate on a sturdy chair or bed)
  • 10 walkouts to high planks
  • 10 low rows per arm (with a backpack, suitcase, etc.)
  • 10 bicep curls (with any available resistance/weight)
  • Rest 1 minute

Cardio Hotel Room Workout

cardio hotel room workout

If you have a scheduled cardio session but no access to your usual space or equipment, give this cardio hotel room workout a go! It can be customized to best suit your time available and preferred intensity. 

So if you only have 10 or so minutes, complete a two-minute warmup, the workout for two rounds, and a two-minute cooldown. If time is more on your side and you’re up for the challenge, complete for 3+ rounds—but remember, more is not exactly better if your form starts to break down! 

And for all the exercises, perform in a way they don’t disturb your traveling neighbors. This may mean slowing down the movement or avoiding explosive jumps during squat jumps and burpees. This is a good time to practice soft landings and shock absorption.

Complete 2 (or more) rounds:

  • 20 high knees
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 20 squat jumps
  • 20 burpees 
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • Rest 1 minute

Final Thoughts: Hotel Room Workouts

A hotel room might not seem like much more than a place to bunk while traveling. But we believe you can get a full-body workout in at home, a hotel room, or really just about anywhere—even outside of a garage gym!

You can still use the hotel gym and pack any of your exercise equipment if you wish, although all you truly need is your body, some motivation, and a bit of space. We also encourage you to be courteous to those beside, above, or below your hotel room. 

FAQs: Hotel Room Workouts

What kind of exercises can you do in a hotel room?

Hotel rooms might not seem like the ideal space for a workout but countless exercises can be completed within those four walls. The most convenient exercises are ones strictly using your body weight, including air squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, burpees, mountain climbers, planks… (You likely get the point.)

You can also make use of any study chairs and beds for exercises like step-ups and dips. Any packed resistance bands or compact equipment can be used, or even the handles and weight of your packed luggage and/or backpack! 

Is it possible to keep up your workout routine while traveling? 

Keeping up with your workout routine while traveling is absolutely possible, though not always necessary. In fact, allowing yourself time off helps the body recover optimally. 

Ultimately, a workout routine should complement your lifestyle and not elevate any stress. But if you’re traveling for multiple days at a time, tackling a workout can help you get back on track more seamlessly.

How can you do cardio in a hotel room?

People often associate cardio with running, cycling, and other exercises requiring a bounty of space or equipment that simulate the movement like a treadmill or stationary bike. However, you can do cardio in many ways in a confined space without the need for equipment.

Cardio fitness is simply exercise that elevates your heart rate for a prolonged period of time—running, swimming, and cycling included but not the only exercises in the cardio bucket. Think of exercises like burpees, jumping in place, and high knees for a hotel cardio workout.

“Even speeding up the movements, increasing the tempo, and making it more power-focused will make it more cardio-based,” suggests Eleana. Also, enhance the cardio impact by modifying the tempo and including pulse exercises. For instance, if doing air squats, pulse at the bottom position before standing back up. 

How can I exercise in my room without equipment?

“Literally just [by] moving your body,”  encourages Eleana. “Exercise is any activity requiring physical effort. It’s actually so easy to exercise… Anywhere!” Being flexible and creative in your approach will help you achieve exercise without equipment wherever you are and go. Anything goes—even dancing! Anything goes—even dancing!

What are the benefits of exercising in a hotel room?

Exercising in a hotel room is a convenient option, especially when crunched for time while traveling. Being active can also keep you motivated, which helps jumping back into your workout routine a more seamless process after traveling. 

Plus, getting in a workout—no matter how intense, long, or short— can spur wiser nutrition choices, productivity, and a better mood throughout the day. 

References

  1. Gillen JB, Martin BJ, MacInnis MJ, Skelly LE, Tarnopolsky MA, et al. Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. PLOS ONE. 2016;11(4): e0154075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154075
  2. Saint-Maurice PF, Graubard BI, Troiano RP, et al. Estimated Number of Deaths Prevented Through Increased Physical Activity Among US Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2023;182(3):349–352. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.7755

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