How to Get in a Simple Hotel Room Workout

When traveling, it can be difficult to stay in shape. Try some of these tips to stay in shape the next time you book a trip.

When you're on the road traveling, exercise can seem like it gets left behind.

Figuring out food isn't very hard when you do a bit of planning. Here, we talked about how you can have good nutrition when you're on the go. Fitness is a different puzzle.

You can plan to workout at a local gym or hotel gym when you get to your destination. The equipment might be a little different. Figure out how to workout at a local hotel gym.

What if there aren't any gyms around?

Well you can plan to bring a few things with you. Let's look at what exercise might look like when you don't have access to a gym at your hotel.

What to do When You Can't Find a Gym

There are a lot of creative options at your disposal when you're trying to get and stay in shape.

When you're traveling, you might try to pack a few things:

  • Weights? Some people bring adjustable dumbbells with them.
  • Resistance Bands
  • Bodyweight

Some out-of-the box thinking has lead to great ideas. Try filling gallon jugs with water, sand or rocks. Pack an inflatable rafts that can be filled with water. Try using furniture for resistance.

Some of those things pack lighter than others. Let's say you opt to bring bands for a workout.

What does a hotel room workout look like with bands for resistance?

You Need To Do This Hotel Room Workout

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General Warm-up:

Walk or Jog in place for 5-10 minutes

Or any activity of your choice

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Dynamic Warm Up:

Ankle Wall Mobility Drill

Reverse Lunge

Lateral Squat

Cat-Camel Stretch

Quadruped Thoracic Spine Rotations

6 Exercise Circuit: Perform one set of each exercise back to back

  • Single-Arm Band Row: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds per arm
  • Band Resisted Squat: 8-12 reps or 25-45 seconds
  • Band Chest Press: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds per arm
  • Band Good Morning: 8-12 reps or 25-45 seconds
  • Band X-Walk: 8-15 reps or 30-45 seconds
  • Plank: 30-90 seconds

Allow yourself to catch your breath between rounds. You can repeat this circuit for 3-5 rounds or for time.


Stretch all your major muscle groups.

  • Hamstrings
  • Lower Back
  • Calves
  • Quads
  • Hip flexors
  • Glutes
  • Chest
  • Etc. with exercises of your choice.

Every exercise has advantages and disadvantages. Bands may only provide resistance at the end range or top of a movement. The above workout is an example of circuit training. Strength based circuits ironically aren't very good for strength.

They're more suited for endurance.

The above circuit allows for rest between the upper and lower body exercise. This benefits you in a couple ways:

  • You won't need to take as long between exercises because your muscles are tired
  • You can workout a little bit harder and burn more calories

You can make the workout harder or easier by performing more or less sets and reps of each exercise. The amount of rest you take between rounds can also be shortened.

Bands can be a adjusted for difficulty by shortening and lengthening your band. You might also opt to use a different band altogether.

I want to point out that this workout is another example of a template. The skeleton behind the moves looks a little like this:

Your Hotel Room Workout Circuit Template

An Upper Body Pull: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds

A Lower Body Squat or Lunge: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds

An Upper Body Push: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds

A Lower Body Hinge: 6-12 reps or 25-45 seconds

Glute Accessory Exercise: 8-15 reps or 30-45 seconds

Core Exercise: 30-90 seconds

This is followed by a cool-down.

You can adjust this circuit to your level of difficulty by adding or subtracting an exercise.

Again bands aren't perfect but, they're better than nothing. Well, what if you have nothing with you?

You can adapt your routine to use your bodyweight alone.

How to Exercise with Just Your Bodyweight

There are countless ways to perform exercise. Bodyweight training might seem more intimidating if you're not able to lift yourself. Your main option for getting stronger is limited to lifting more of your bodyweight.

Another downfall, there aren't many back exercises you can do without added weight.

If possible again, I recommend the options I mentioned in How To Workout When Traveling For Work.

Here's a bodyweight workout I wrote for an experienced client who wanted to add an extra day on her own:

You Can Do This Simple Bodyweight Workout For Free

Perform All Sets of Each Exercise Before Moving On

  • Single-Leg Hip Thrust: 2 sets of 15-25 reps, 20-30 seconds rest
  • Split Squat: 2 sets of 15-25 reps, 20-30 seconds rest
  • Side Lying Clam: 2 sets of 20-30 reps, 20-30 seconds rest
  • Side Lying Hip Abduction: 2 sets of 20-30 reps, 20-30 seconds rest
  • Double-Quadruped Hip Abduction: 2 sets of 20-30 reps, 20-30 seconds rest
  • Push Up from Knee: 2 sets of 1-10 reps, 30-90 seconds rest
  • YTA Raise: 2 sets of 10-15 reps, 30-90 seconds rest

She would then follow this routine with her normal stretching.

That bodyweight workout was pretty focused on the glutes and lower body. If she had a more upper body focused goal, I could add or subtract exercises to meet that.

Another difficulty of bodyweight exercise is one you might not be thinking of right now. What happens if you lose weight?

In this case, you'll be faced with good and bad problems. Your exercise will be easier because you're lifting less weight. (Great job losing weight)

You will also face more difficulty getting into better shape. You will have to work harder to figure out how you can continue to challenge your current level of fitness.

Go The Extra Mile With These Additional Travel Tips

Your best best is always to plan to be in a place that has options. When this isn't the case you can always bring your workout with you. As long as you have creativity, you can stay in shape.

While you're away, these things might help you:

Make sure you pack some non-refrigerated protein to help keep your muscle.

Buy some Elitefts bands that I really like to use myself and with my clients. These bands are strong. They won't break down quickly and they're often on sale.

If you're interested in buying adjustable dumbbells, PowerBlock makes some pretty good ones.

Bowflex makes a pair of adjustable dumbbells. I tried them. They are shaped well but, seem to have issues with mechanical breakdowns.

I have used PowerBlocks traveling to clients home's and still own that same pair.

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Steven Mack is founder and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at the private training studio, Simple Solutions Fitness. He consults for Stronger by Science, a leader in fitness research dissemination, and is a former Mizzou football walk-on. Steven dedicates his professional life to helping people through his writing, speaking, and role as a personal trainer.