One of the most common excuses people have for skipping their workouts is because they’re traveling or away from home.
And yes, there’s no doubt that being away from your regular routine can mess with your motivation levels. Yet as I like to mention often, you can always get in a good workout—no matter where you are or how little equipment you have available.
True, it may not be the same type of workout you’d do if you had access to a pull up bar, sandbag, and a bunch of different kettlebells. But I will always be a firm believer that something is better than nothing—and that it is possible to get in a kickass workout, even if you’re in a hotel room.
MindBodyGreen recently published an article I wrote on exercises you can literally do anywhere, including a hotel room. If you missed it, make sure to check it out here!
And here’s my best advice on how to work out in a hotel room:
Observing the Space
Pretty much the second I step into a hotel room (or an Airbnb, which I tend to stay in a lot these days), I scan the space for workout potential. If the weather is nice (or at least tolerable) outside, I’ll opt for the patio or a local park, but if it’s raining or unbearably cold I’ll consider the following:
Is there any equipment in the room (most likely not) or pieces of furniture you can use to get creative and make your own equipment? When I see these things in a hotel room, I immediately think of their workout potential:
Chairs: Step ups, elevated push ups, squat step overs, elevated knee touches. Unless the chair is really large and sturdy, I’d avoid any exercises that require jumping on it. Also, if there are two chairs or high stools, you can make a mock dip bar for dips, knee raises, and other exercises.
Walls: Empty walls make a perfect spot for practicing handstands.
Random heavy stuff: Super heavy books, heavy bags, etc. can be a great replacement for sandbags, weights, or even medicine balls.
Size of Space
Most standard hotel rooms are pretty small, but I’ve also been in ones large enough that jump roping isn’t a problem. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing what type of workout you’ll be able to do.
It’s easy to substitute exercises that require a lot of space for ones that take no more than a closet sized amount of room—think substituting traveling tuck jumps to tuck jumps, long jumps to squat jumps, you get the idea.
This is a really important question to determine early on unless you want your neighbors mad at you—how soundproof is your room? If you can hear people walking above your head, it’s probably a safe bet that you won’t be able to do much jumping during your workout (unless you’re on the ground floor, then jump away).
You can always focus on exercises that don’t require jumping like push ups, squats, and side lunges. Of course, most people won’t get that upset if you’re jumping around for just 12 minutes, as long as it’s a reasonable hour of the day.
Choosing Your Exercises
Based on all the information above, you’ll then need to determine what style of workout you can do.
No equipment options? Focus on conditioning exercises like burpees, high knees, and jump lunges to get your heart rate up and squats, push up variations, and V ups or L-sits for strength.
No space? Choose in place exercises like Bulgarian split squats, tuck jumps, and plank get ups to get a lot done with the least amount of space.
Worried about being noisy? Work on your pistol variations, bust out some push ups, and hold some planks to minimize noise.
Hotel Room Workout
Here’s a quick equipment-free workout you can do the next time you’re traveling and find yourself in a hotel room:
Complete 3 rounds as fast as you can:
50 mountain climbers
25 air squats
10 push ups
20 split leg v ups
Feel free to scale the workout to your fitness level. No excuses!
And work hard, athletes!