Attention Gym Rats: 6 Hotel Room Workout Moves!

Quick, easy, and versatile moves for your hotel room workout plan.


Hitting the road and hitting the gym rarely intersect while traveling. While laying on white sand, sipping a piña colada in Saint Lucia, the last thing on my mind is finding a gym to work off the sugar-filled drink. When my workout conscious returns, however, I begin to crave a workout high, strength and cardio moves pop into my head.

Most resorts will have a well-equipped gym with all of the equipment you need for a productive, butt-kicking training session. But have you tried snagging a machine in a small, luxury gym? It is not an easy task. The time of day you have to spare for a workout is typically and inconveniently, the same time as everyone else.

Avoid this fiasco by keeping this list of quick, easy, and versatile moves for your hotel room workout plan. No gear necessary!

1. Plank: It’s Not Just For Silly Photos

Plank is my favorite for core strengthening and overall stability work. I suggest doing a “rotating elbow plank” for maximum results. Start with you body straight and flat, lifted off the ground so you balanced on your toes and elbows. Keep your forearms straight ahead of you, with your palms flat on the ground. Hold this position for a designated time (i.e. :30 seconds). Then rotate your body to face the right, extending your arm above you and keeping it in line with your chest, perpendicular to the floor. You are now balancing your body on your left elbow and feet. Hold this position for the same time, then rotate to the next side without putting your knees on the ground. Take a break then repeat as much as desired.

2. Lunges: Bigger the Move, Bigger the Result

I love lunges for leg definition because you do them anywhere, and because slight changes in movement works different parts of your legs. Start standing with your legs should-width apart. Take a step forward, keeping your back leg steady, and bend your front leg to a 90-degree angle. Then step back to your original standing position. Repeat with the other leg and you’ve completed one rep! To mix it up, do the same thing, but step backward instead of forward. This will work your inner thigh and top of your hamstring (ladies, I hope this caught your attention). For a lunge with and added stretch step to the side, bending the stepping leg and keeping the other one straight. 

3. Pushups: Keep Your Enemies Close

UNSPLASH Sarah Cervantes

While I thoroughly detest pushups, I cannot argue against their effectiveness and ability to customize. Keys to remember when doing this move, keep your core tight and your back straight. This will prevent your back from aching and allow you to get the most out of each repetition. Use the ground for traditional pushups, or a table/chair for inclined pushups. The incline releases some pressure from your upper body allowing for more reps. Add more movement and stability work by rotating onto one hand and extending the opposite arm above you, perpendicular to the floor like the plank movement listed above. Return to base position, then repeat with the other arm. Do as many as desired, but try to do more each day. They will get easier!

4. Squats: The Customizable Tush-Toner

Start in a standing position, with your legs separated at shoulder distance or a bit wider. Bend your knees and squat into a chair-sitting position. Keep your back straight and try not to let your knees go past your feet. Stand up and that’s one rep! While you squat, you can keep your arms down or straight out in front of you, but remember to keep your shoulders back. For a more advanced squat, add a jump as you stand. Try to control your landing and move slowly but steadily from the squat –> jump –> squat.

5. Abs: Nothing Sexier Than a Flat Stomach

workout abs
UNSPLASH Jonathan Borba

Ab routines are my favorite part of any workout. Everyone has his/her favorite move, and each new one brings its own unique challenges. My preferred six-pack starter is “The Sprinter.” Lie on your back, legs straight, head and feel lifted above the ground. Start sitting up, bending one kneed towards your chest and meeting it with the opposite elbow. Return to your starting position and repeat with other leg/elbow. I recommend doing 3 sets of as many reps as possible. You will get into a groove and be surprised at how many you can do!

6. Extra Credit Option: One Piece of Equipment Recommended

yoga mat

I know I promised that all of these moves could be done without equipment and it’s still true! However if you feel naked without a token gym-item I recommend a yoga mat. No yoga moves were mentioned above, but I like having a mat with me for various reasons. Use it for the plank moves for extra cushion you cannot get from a towel, and use it to stretch. Stretching is easy, relaxing, and healthy time spent while on vacation. It’s also sweat-free! If you do not work out at all while globetrotting, you can still stay limber and keep those muscles used to moving around. It is also great to stretch before and after a long flight!

Taylor Dodson

Originally from southern California, Taylor's favorite country to travel to is England. When she visits somewhere new, her experiences have to fill all five senses, she wants to embrace it all.

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