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The 20-Minute Hotel-Room Workout

author image Collette Stohler
Collette Stohler is the author of Passport to Fitness. She is also the creative director and co-founder of the travel blog, Roamaroo. She was an All-American Track and Field athlete & Olympic trials qualifier in Olympic Weightlifting. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree from the University of Miami.

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The 20-Minute Hotel-Room Workout
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

After sitting for hours in a plane, train or automobile, the first thing you might want to do is collapse on your bed. But the best way to get travel agitation out of your system is to work out! Plus, exercise helps you adjust to a new time zone. Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, when you’re traveling, fitness seems to fall last in the lineup. You’re out of your normal environment and routine, so it’s easy to make excuses. 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!

1. Mountain Climbers
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

1 Mountain Climbers

This full-body burner works almost every muscle while also taxing your cardiovascular system. Start in a push-up position 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. While keeping your hands in place, drive one knee up to the opposite elbow and bring it back down to the ground. Then bring the other knee up to its opposite elbow and back down. This should be repeated in quick succession so that one knee is always driving forward. REP SCHEME: Do it Tabata-style: eight rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

Related: Mountain Climb Away the Calories

2. Triceps Dips
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

2 Triceps Dips

You can perform these triceps killers on the edge of a chair, the bathtub or even the bed. 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. Place your hands at the edge of the bed, palms facing down and fingers toward your glutes. Scoot your glutes off the bed so that you can dip yourself down toward the floor. Slowly dip down, keeping your glutes and back very close to the bed. Then push the bed away as you raise yourself back up to the starting position. REP SCHEME: Do three sets of six to eight reps.

Related: 15 Exercises Every Woman Should Do to Improve Her Sex Life

3. Incline Push-Ups
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

3 Incline Push-Ups

This move is more like beginner version of the standard push-up. Place your hands on the bed or a chair with your feet on the floor behind you in a push-up position. Slowly lower yourself down to the bed while keeping your core tight and your glutes squeezed. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. REP SCHEME: Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps (depending on your fitness level).

Related: 10 Push-Up Variations for a Stronger Body

4. Decline Push-Ups
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

4 Decline Push-Ups

As the exact opposite of the incline push-up, this is the more advanced version of the push-up. 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. Slowly lower your chest down to the ground while keeping your elbows in close to your body. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. REP SCHEME: Five sets of five.

Related: 20 Best Body-Weight Exercises

5. Luggage Rows
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

5 Luggage Rows

Who knew that luggage would come in handy for your workout? For this traveler’s take on the bent-over row, kneel on a chair or bed with one leg on the bed and one leg off. Hold your suitcase in one hand like a weight. With a strong, flat back, row the luggage up to your chest and slowly lower it back down. REP SCHEME: Three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Related: 9 Sandbag Moves That Will Get You Shredded

6. One-Legged Prisoner Squats
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

6 One-Legged Prisoner Squats

For this exercise, a bed or chair can serve as your “box.” Start by sitting on the bed or chair with your arms behind your head. Raise one leg in front of you and plant one leg on the ground. Engage your core and strongly stand up on the leg that’s planted. Slowly lower back down and repeat. REP SCHEME: Three sets of six on each leg.

Related: 13 Exercises Every Man Should Do to Improve His Sex Life

7. Plank Saws
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

7 Plank Saws

Start in a plank position with your elbows and forearms on the ground. Your core should be tight and engaged. Rock forward and backward with both feet on the ground. Then, lift one leg off of the ground and rock forward and backward. Repeat and switch legs. REP SCHEME: Two sets of five with both feet down, then five with the left foot lifted and five with the right foot lifted.

Related: The 41 Hardest Core Exercises

8. Burpees
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

8 Burpees

Start by standing with your feet underneath your hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Step or jump your feet backward to a plank position. Lower yourself so that your chest touches the ground. Press up into an upward dog position. Then pop your feet up to your hands and stand up. To make this more difficult, at the top of the burpee jump up into the air and bring your knees to your elbows. REP SCHEME: Tabata this! Eight rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

Related: Top 15 CrossFit Body-Weight Exercises You Can Do at Home

9. Plank to Push-Up
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

9 Plank to Push-Up

Start in a plank position with elbows and forearms on the ground. While keeping your hips as stable as possible, push one arm up at a time to the push-up position. Perform a push-up, then lower back down to the forearm plank position while keeping your hips steady and your abs engaged. REP SCHEME: Three sets of 10.

Related: Moves for a Stronger Core and Better Posture

10. Wall Squats
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

10 Wall Squats

A true booty burner! Find a wall that you can squat against. With your back to the wall, lower down into a squat position so that your legs are creating a 90-degree angle and hold the position. For a more advanced move, try this on one leg! REP SCHEME: Three sets of 30 to 60 seconds. If you can hold longer, go for it!

Related: 10 Medicine-Ball Moves to Whittle Your Waistline

11. BONUS: Stairs
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

11 BONUS: Stairs

Every hotel has 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! Do five sets of at least 30 steps.

Related: 12 Workouts to Improve Your Mood

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/

What Do YOU Think?

These dynamic, efficient movements will help you keep in shape wherever your travels may take you. By utilizing this effective workout, you will create healthy habits that you can go with you anywhere in the world. What are your favorite on-the-go workouts? What are other ways you stay in shape while traveling? Do you travel with workout equipment or seek out gyms in or near your hotel? Share your fit tips for travel in the comments section below!

Related: The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

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