How to Work Out in Any Hotel Room

Tips & Tricks

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Nothing puts a damper on a perfect holiday than coming home and feeling out of shape. Or gaining a few pounds at that week-long work conference with daily catered breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your disposal. Or just feeling tired and unenergized during a long week of adventuring. Combat post-trip exhaustion by taking proactive steps to maintain your health even while you’re away from home.

Check out our tips for using the furniture in your hotel room as well as our favorite exercises that have been perfectly adapted for a small space — but promise big results.

First, make good use of your surroundings.

Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

Hotel rooms have a few key pieces of furniture that can aid you in your quest to break a sweat.

Chair: This is perfect for doing leg lifts, elevated lunges, plank jacks, a variety of push-ups and dips, and crunch variations! The best part is you don’t even have to touch the floor. Because, well, you never know what’s been on a hotel room floor, right?

Desk: The hotel room desk can also be used for many of the above exercises mentioned with the chair while also providing a steeper incline. You can also use it to complete bodyweight rows as long as the desk is sturdy and won’t buckle under your weight!

Bed: The hotel room bed can be used to advance your moves (listed below) if you feel like tossing a balance challenge into the mix. Just think of your cushy bed as an exercise ball! The bed can serve as a platform for many of the above exercises – like elevated lunges, dips, and push-ups – but the soft surface will further work your core as you fight to keep your balance.

Now, check out our favorite hotel room exercises.

Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

You can do these exercises individually just to get the blood circulating after a long flight OR combine them to make one cardio crushing workout that will torch those road-snack calories in roughly 12-15 minutes!

High Knee Run

Get the blood pumping right off the bat with an in-place high knee run. Pump your arms and lift your knees as high as you can to fire up your first cardio move. Do this move in increments of 30 seconds.

Single Leg Split Squats

Position yourself so the bed or chair is a few feet behind you. Bend your right leg and prop the right foot up behind you on the chair. Position your left leg in a lunged position and dip with your left knee. Make sure your left knee is tracking over your left foot without overshooting your toes. Do 15 reps on each side.

Bunny Hops

Keep your feet together as you hop forward and backward over an imaginary line. Keep your knees slightly bent and use your ankles to absorb the shock of the bounce. Switch it up and take the same move but move side to side, bouncing left to right.

Do each move for 40 seconds.

One-legged Lateral Bounds

Begin standing on your right leg with the left one slightly lifted behind you. Spring off your right leg and jump laterally, landing on your slightly bent left leg. Spring off the left leg, moving back to the original position and land on your slightly bent right leg. Go back and forth for 40 seconds.

Dips and Push-Ups with Desk Chair

Use the chair (or challenge yourself with the bed) to work in some upper body strengthening moves. Keep your arms straight and grasp the chair behind you. Keep your hips square and over your shoulders and straighten your legs in front of you. Dip and bend both arms to 90-degree angles, then push yourself back up. Repeat for 12 reps.

Flip over and get into the push-up position over the chair. Keep your elbows in while you lower your nose to the chair. Push off and return to the starting position. Repeat for 12 reps.


Place your legs wide with toes pointing slightly outward. Lower into a squat. Push up through your heels and twist to the left while punching with the right arm. Make sure to flex the abs and pull them in as you twist. Come back to center, squat, rise up to the center, and twist to the right while punching with the left arm. Repeat for 40 seconds.

Plank Jacks

Place your forearms shoulder-width apart on the edge of the chair or bed and get into a push-up position. Engaging your core, move your legs out and in like you’re doing a jumping jack with only your legs (arms are stationary). Continue this movement for 40 seconds.

Knee crunch extension

Keep the same body position as you used for the plank jacks and work your abs in this extension move. Engage your core and hold the plank position first. Then, tuck your right leg into your chest, hold for a count, then drive the leg back, pushing the heel to the sky. Do 15 reps then switch legs and repeat on the left side.

Gate Swing Squats

This move is a cardio-crusher and strengthening move in one. Start with your leg out wide, toes slightly outward. Use your hands to push your inner thighs out, then spring up by pushing off your heels and cross the right foot over the left foot at the top. Spring back into a squat, pushing your knees out wide with your hands. Spring up again and cross the left foot over the right at the top. Continue for 40 seconds.

Mountain Climbers

Finish off strong with a final shot of cardio. Get into a push-up position (if you don’t want to touch the floor, use the chair and do this as an elevated move). Engage the core and tuck the right knee into the chest. Switch legs simultaneously, shooting the right leg back and tucking the left knee into the chest. Pick up the pace and go for 40 seconds if you can!

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