We’ve all done it: use travel as an excuse to skip a workout. And it’s not totally ridiculous. After all, a new city and a jam-packed itinerary are pretty legitimate reasons to have trouble squeezing in a workout. But when you can easily pack in a quick session right in the comfort of your hotel before even stepping out for the day, all of the old excuses to skip exercising start to seem a lot less substantial. Even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, there are still ways to get in a quick, effective workout all from the comfort of your own room. Get your workout started with these eight moves that are perfect for any on-the-go fitness seeker.
This is a super easy move you can break out anywhere and everywhere, even if you have limited space. Work almost every part of your body and get in a little cardio in at the same time. Start in a plank position with your arms on the floor aligned with your shoulders and your feet slightly spread out behind you. Keeping this stance, bring each knee up to your opposite shoulder one right after the other in a quick motion.
You may not have free weights to squat with, but you have something that can work just as well: your own body weight. For a bodyweight squat, start with your feet flat on the floor, your legs spread apart, and your arms straight out in front of you or to your chest. Push to the outer edges of your feet as you sink into a squat position with your knees resting above the tops of your feet. If you want to switch it up from plain, old squats, you can also try a wall squat. Put your back flat up against the wall, and find your squat position so that your legs make a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds with each rep.
More cardio coming to the rescue with a killer move that is easy to do in any space, and without a single piece of equipment. Start standing straight up with your feet aligned with your hips, then squat down to put your hands on the floor in front of your feet. From there, jump your legs backwards into a plank position then lower down into a pushup. After completing the pushup, hop your feet back up to your hands before standing back up to your starting position. If you’re feeling extra motivated, add a jump at the end after you stand up before you repeat.
You can use a chair, a desk, a bed or even the edge of your bathtub for this one. Grip the edge of whichever piece of furniture you choose to use with your fingers facing toward your body, and put your legs straight out in front of you, resting on your heels. Slowly dip down so that your arms make a 90 degree angle, then come back up before you touch the floor. Your arms will definitely feel the burn after this one.
Incline and Decline Push Ups
Here’s another great workout that you can do with a chair, desk or bed. These push up moves are just like normal push ups, just at a different angle, so stick to the normal rules: keep your core tight and your back straight while lowering and lifting your body. For the incline push ups, start with your feet on the floor and your hands on the elevated surface of your choosing, then continue with the normal push up motion. The decline is a little more difficult, so don’t feel pressured to get to both of these moves in the same workout. Save the decline for when you’re feeling extra pumped, then start with your feet up on the furniture and your hands on the ground – the exact opposite of the incline push up.
After dragging your luggage around all day, you probably don’t even want to think about touching it again until you’re packing up to return home, but get ready to throw that mindset out the window because it can actually be a great substitute for the weights you would normally be using at the gym if you weren’t on vacation. Find a chair or bed to kneel on with one knee and put your other leg straight back behind you, foot flat on the ground. Once you’re in position with one hand resting in front of your bent knee, use your free hand to grab your suitcase and lift. Keep your back straight while rowing the luggage up toward your chest then back down.
More squats! Exciting, right? And even more so because you get to use your hotel room bed again. Sit on your bed with your hands behind your head and start with one leg raised straight out in front of you and one leg planted on the ground. Once you’ve got the position down, stand up on one leg and lower back down while keeping the other leg raised. Don’t forget to switch legs for this one, or you might be walking to breakfast the next morning with a slight limp.
Last but not least, a workout rule you should always keep in mind when entering a building with more than one floor: take the stairs. Taking the elevator is just another lame excuse to avoid a little extra physical activity, so don’t fall into that laziness trap. Even if you do happen to be on the first floor of your hotel, find the stairs and use them. Run them, walk them, squat on them, or lunge on them. It’s like using a real life StairMaster without having to leave the comfort of your hotel. Who needs the gym, anyway?