Exercises you can do in your hotel room

Lately, it’s been a struggle for me to stick to a fitness routine at home, so try to imagine how hard it is to be disciplined about eating healthy meals and working out when I’m traveling. I don’t know about you but being on the road turns my personal routine upside down in so many ways. For example, I never know what my breakfast, lunch or dinner will be like and my mid-morning and afternoon snacks may or may not materialize depending on my schedule. And truthfully, whether I am traveling for work or vacation, the idea of pounding hard in a gym is not very appealing when I could be out exploring.

Basic workout material but you can use whatever is available
Basic workout material but you can use whatever is available

But at the end of the day, it’s about making adjustments and not excuses because it’s very easy to do nothing at all then watch your fitness level fade or the extra pounds creep on. Even after an exhausting or exhilarating day, you can exercise from the comfort of your hotel room to burn a few calories.

First, I always start my exercise routine with cardio. I am not a fan of running but I don’t mind skipping. Thankfully, I’ve discovered that it’s the fastest and most convenient way to get my heart rate up – anywhere.  Even if I forget my jump rope, I can always simulate the action. So do that first, then move on to some toning exercises.

I’ve shared a few options below.


To achieve toned arms, you need to target the biceps (front of the arm) and triceps (back of the arm) from every angle. According to Franklin Antoian, ACE Certified Personal and founder of iBodyFit.com, “generally six to eight reps is good for strength, and 10 to 12 reps is suggested for muscle maintenance to keep the tendons strong and healthy.”

Push ups: I used to do 3 sets of 15 but until my shoulder is fully healed, I do 3 reps of instead
Push ups: Work at your own pace. I used to do 3 sets of 15 but now I’m working my way up from 3 sets of 8.
Bench dips but in this case , I've made them bed dips. Again, I do 3 reps of 15.
Bench dips but in this case, I’ve made them bed dips. With this one, I do 3 reps of 15.
Shoulder exercise: external rotation. Keep the elbow tucked into the waist.
Shoulder exercise that helps with your external rotation. Keep the elbow tucked into the waist for as many reps as you do.


Squats are some of the simplest exercises to include in your workout as you can use your own body weight to execute. Not only do they help you gain definition in your thighs and buttocks but when done correctly, they also can improve your posture, digestion and circulation..

Wall Squats: 3 sets of 10
Wall Squats: I do 3 sets of 10. (They get harder as you increase the reps) You can do it with a pillow or ball or back support.

Lunges – Lunges are a great way to strengthen, sculpt and build several muscles/muscle groups including your butt, hamstrings (back of the legs) and quads (four main muscles at the front of the thigh).  You can do them in a stationary position or walking across a room.

Walking lunges: I do 3 sets of 10 on each leg
Walking squats: 3 sets of 10 on each leg

Leg, Hip and Butt Extensions – Extension exercises strengthen the buttocks, outer thighs and lower-back muscles. There are variations that you can do while standing or bending.

Side and back extensions.
Butt lifts
Butt lifts – whatever the number, I need double. LOL.


There are like a gazillion exercises that you can do to burn belly fat, flatten your tummy,and strengthen your core without access to any equipment. Success depends on your fitness level and the strength of your core (which is a set of interconnected muscles that run up the back and stretch down to the butt and the front and inner thighs).  The most common ab workout is the basic crunch but you can up your game with reverse crunches, oblique twists, planks and more.

Top image – basic crunch. Lower image – oblique crunch. (Your oblique muscles are at the side of your waist).
Reverse crunch
Reverse crunch
OBliques twist
Oblique twist – go 90 degrees to the side, then back to center
An oblique stretch
An oblique stretch
The dreaded plank

And of course, you have to stretch at the end!

Do you have any neat exercise tips you’d like to share?

Editor’s notes:

I usually work out in sneakers but although I’d packed them for this trip, I forgot the bag in my rush to get out of the house for my little weekend getaway. Since I’d planned to use the opportunity to demonstrate these workouts I had to make do with bare feet.  Of course, germaphobe that I am, I had to wash my feet thoroughly afterwards.

For longer trips, I’ve been known to pack my jump rope and resistance bands just in case I can’t make it to the gym or don’t have one where I am staying. But that was when I was on top of my game. True confession? I don’t do that nearly enough nowadays..




  1. Rochess

    Absolutely on point! Other than extreme laziness, we can always use our own body weight as a resistant tool, if a gym is not available.

  2. Karyn

    Indeed!! I’ve worked out in my hotel room for years, but not just ‘on my own’; I have a folder full of workouts stored on my Tab: T25, Jillian Michaels, Yoga etc. – most don’t require anything more than a mat. And of course, most hotels now offer free wifi, so you have unlimited YouTube workouts at your finger tips. It’s all up to YOU! THAT is the hard part! 🙂

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