The 20-Minute Hotel-Room Workout

After sitting for hours in a plane, train or automobile, the first thing you probably want to do is collapse onto your hotel bed. Whether it's for business or pleasure, when you're traveling, fitness often falls last on the itinerary. You're out of your normal environment and routine, so it's easy to make excuses.

You workout doesn't have to take a vacation just because you do! (Image: shironosov/iStock/GettyImages)

But the best way to shake the stresses of travel is to work out! Plus, exercise helps you adjust to a new time zone. Make fitness just as important as your business meeting and set aside 20 minutes for a workout. That's all you need! Even if you don't have time to find a gym in or around the hotel, here are 10 moves you can do in your hotel room. No equipment, no excuses!

Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Torch calories with mountain climbers. (Image: Travis McCoy/

This full-body, calorie-burning cardio drill works almost every muscle in your body. And adding the twist specifically targets your obliques.

  1. Start in a high plank with your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders and your feet behind you and spread apart just a little. Your body should be in a perfectly straight plank.
  2. While keeping your hands in place, drive one knee up to the opposite elbow and bring it back down to the ground.
  3. Then bring the other knee up to its opposite elbow and back down.
  4. Repeat in quick succession so that one knee is always driving forward.

Reps: 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Triceps Dip

Tone your triceps from the comfort of your hotel room. (Image: Travis McCoy/

You can perform these triceps killers on the edge of a chair, the bathtub or even the bed. And if you have two beds in your room, you can rest your feet on one while your hands are on the other for an extra challenge.

  1. Place your hands at the edge of the bed, palms facing down and fingers toward your glutes.
  2. Scoot your glutes off the bed so that you can dip yourself down toward the floor.
  3. Slowly dip down, keeping your glutes and back very close to the bed.
  4. Push the bed away as you raise yourself back up to the starting position.

Reps: 3 sets of six to eight reps

Incline Push-Up

Perfect your push-up form with incline push-ups. (Image: Travis McCoy/

This move is more like beginner version of the standard push-up, but it also allows you to perfect your form and strengthen your core.

  1. Place your hands on the bed or a chair with your feet on the floor behind you in a push-up position.
  2. Slowly lower yourself down to the bed while keeping your core tight and your glutes squeezed.
  3. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Reps: 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps (depending on your fitness level)

Decline Push-Up

Regular push-ups too easy? Do decline push-ups. (Image: Travis McCoy/

As the exact opposite of the incline push-up, this is the more advanced version of the push-up. Make sure you can do a regular push-up from a standard plank first before attempting these.

  1. Start with your feet on the bed and your hands on the ground. Your core should be tight, and your body should be in a straight line.
  2. Slowly lower your chest down to the ground while keeping your elbows in close to your body.
  3. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Reps: 5 sets of 10

Luggage Row

Grab your suitcase and get rowing. (Image: Travis McCoy/

Who knew that luggage would come in handy for your workout? Grab your suitcase or duffle for for this traveler's take on the bent-over row.

  1. Kneel on a chair or bed with one leg on the bed and one leg off.
  2. Hold your suitcase in one hand like a weight.
  3. With a strong, flat back, row the luggage up to your chest and slowly lower it back down.

Reps: 3 sets of 15 reps on each side

Single-Leg Prisoner Squat

Use a chair or the bed for these single-leg prisoner squats. (Image: Travis McCoy/

For this exercise, a bed or chair can serve as your "box."

  1. Sit on the bed or chair with your arms behind your head.
  2. Raise one leg in front of you and plant one leg on the ground.
  3. Engage your core and strongly stand up on the leg that's planted.
  4. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Reps: 3 sets of six on each leg

Plank Saw

With the plank saw, your abs will be burning in no time! (Image: Travis McCoy/
  1. Start in a forearm plank. Your core should be tight and engaged.
  2. Rock forward and backward with both feet on the ground.
  3. Then, lift one leg off of the ground and rock forward and backward.
  4. Repeat and switch legs.

Reps: 2 sets of five with both feet down, with the left foot lifted and with the right foot lifted


Burpees are the ultimate do-anywhere exercise, including in your hotel room. (Image: Travis McCoy/
  1. Stand with your feet underneath your hips.
  2. Place your hands on the ground in front of your feet.
  3. Step or jump your feet backward to a plank position.
  4. Lower your chest so that it touches the ground (or gets as close as you can).
  5. Press up into an upward dog position.
  6. Then pop your feet up to your hands and stand up.

Reps: 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Optional: To make this more difficult, at the top of the burpee, jump up into the air and bring your knees to your elbows (tuck jump).

Plank to Push-Up

This exercises combines commandos and adds a push-up for an even more intense upper-body exercise. (Image: Travis McCoy/
  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. While keeping your hips as stable as possible, push one arm up at a time to the push-up position.
  3. Perform a push-up, then lower back down to the forearm plank position while keeping your hips steady and your abs engaged.

Reps: 3 sets of 10

Wall Squat

Find a wall and get to sitting. (Image: Travis McCoy/

A true booty burner! All you'll need to do is find a wall that you can squat against and take an (imaginary) seat.

  1. With your back to the wall, lower down so that your legs create a 90-degree angle.
  2. Hold this position.
  3. For a more advanced move, try this on one leg!

Reps: 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds

Running Stairs

Stairs are an often overlooked part of at-home or hotel room cardio workouts. (Image: Travis McCoy/

Stairs: Most hotels have them, you just don't always like to use them. Find the stairwell in your hotel and get to work. Walk them, run them, squat them, sprint them!

Reps: 5 sets of at least 30 steps

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