5 Killer Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Heading out of town is one of the best ways to escape the stresses of day-to-day life. It’s also one of the best ways to escape from your regular workout routine. Though many hotels are doing better as far as fitness options go, some are still struggling to provide much more than some mismatched dumbbells and an ancient stationary bike. Even if the equipment is stellar, you probably don’t want to spend three hours cooped up inside when there are so many things to do and see. While you may not be able to stick to your usual exercise regimen, you can get a pretty solid workout right in your hotel room. Turn to these killer workouts to stay in shape without having to compromise any of your plans.

1. Stairs and squats

running stairs

Use the stairs for a workout. | iStock.com

Aside from those unlucky folks who’ve had to evacuate a hotel during an emergency, most people probably haven’t used, or even seen, the hotel staircase. That’s actually a good thing, because it means you can use it for a workout without worrying about crashing into other people. End of Three Fitness’ routine is as simple as combining stair sprints with squats. The basic idea is to get up the stairs as quickly as possible and perform 10 perfect squats for each flight. The article suggested beginners start with 10 flights. If you’re an endurance athlete, go for the toughest version by doing as many flights as you can in 20 minutes.

While plenty of runners are happy to hit the pavement for a workout while traveling, it isn’t always an option. Weather or limited routes can derail plans for a regular run, but the staircase will always be ready for you. Besides, running stairs is a seriously tough workout for all levels. Runner’s World explained steps are steeper than most hills so your heart rate will accelerate more rapidly while you build power and strength. Adding squats makes it even more intense, because both exercises target your upper legs and glutes.

Form really does matter for this workout. If you aren’t keeping yourself in alignment while you squat, you won’t get the maximum benefit. Check out BuiltLean’s tips on how to get the most out of this move.

2. Calesthenic exercises and cardio

Man doing some challenging push-ups

You can replicate your own home gym with just a few simple items. | iStock.com

Hotel rooms might not come equipped with dumbbells and benches, but you can assemble a makeshift gym with some of the items you have. AskMen said a few chairs and some 2-liter water bottles will help you replicate the gym when you’re away from home. The article suggested going for a run, hitting the stairs, or doing some bench steps to get some cardio before moving on to the strength routine.

Though you can pick and choose different exercises, you’ll want to combine all of these moves for the maximum effect. Start by performing squats with the water bottles raised above your head to provide more resistance. To target your chest and arms, do a combination of elevated push-ups and diamond push-ups, and throw in some side planks. You’ll use the chairs for dips, and single-leg deadlifts. AskMen recommended lifting a chair for the deadlifts, but you can use any other heavy object. The move works your hamstrings and glutes and will force you to work on balance.

This workout is all about using what’s available to you. No chairs? Try finding a sturdy ledge or bench for the dips. And don’t be afraid to ask the front desk about any available equipment.

3. Hotel bodyweight workout

man doing sit-ups

Try using your own weight for resistance. | iStock.com

While many guys’ workouts typically include dumbbells, it’s possible to get by without using anything more than your own body weight. With the right moves and proper form, you’ll get a workout that’s every bit as challenging as your normal routine. Trainer Justin Klein shared a great circuit with Men’s Fitness, which you can do in any location. His routine combines, squats, lunges, sit-ups, diamond push-ups, and walk outs to target all of your major muscle groups. The article said to aim for a minimum of three rounds with one minute of rest between each.

This routine incorporates sit-ups, which you don’t tend to see much these days. The classic ab exercise has developed a nasty reputation for being ineffective and bad for your back. They can be a great move, as long as you use proper form. The Arizona Republic said it’s best to cross your arms in front of your chest or keep your hands close to your ears. Most people clasp behind their head, which is bad for your neck. You also need to move slowly, contracting your stomach muscles as you go.

If you want to make this workout a bit more intense, you can add some cardio moves between the strength exercises. Burpees, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers are all good choices to get your heart pumping.

4. 12-minute workout

hotel room

Try this 12-minute circuit. | iStock.com

A big, squishy bed might not seem like an ideal piece of equipment when you’re trying to do a mini-workout in your hotel room, but it’s one of the best tools available. Men’s Health explained the unstable surface makes even simple moves much more difficult to perform compared to using a sturdy box at the gym. Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist BJ Gaddour showed how to do it with this 12-minute workout. You start with step-ups, move to cross-body push-ups, then bed jumps, rolling planks, and finish with bed runners. You won’t have to guess about whether or not you’re doing the moves correctly, because you can follow along with the accompanying video.

5. Traveler’s workout

close-up of a man's legs as he lunges

You don’t need anything to do this workout. | iStock.com

One of the best ways to speed through the workout process is by combining moves into supersets. Men’s Journal said these combination exercises use more muscle while helping to burn more calories than performing moves separately. Though most people think of this type of routine as something that only applies to barbells and other heavy weights, you can reap the benefits of supersets even when you don’t have access to a gym.

Bodybuilding.com shared a challenging workout that doesn’t require anything more than your body and one stable piece of furniture. It starts with a combination of walking lunges and push-ups repeated three times. Next you’ll superset 30 seconds of duck walks and diamond push-ups. The last combination is leap frogs and body weight triceps extensions. The site provides videos to help you check your form.

If you’re looking for a good way to work some more cardio into your travel routine without having to leave the comfort of your room, you might want to think about purchasing a decent jump rope. It folds into nearly nothing, so you can bring it just about anywhere.