The hotel room workout

July 19, 2017

A simple workout you can do in your hotel

By Darrell Gough

Just because you are away from home does not mean you need to leave your workouts behind. Darrell Gough, a certified personal trainer at Columbia Athletic Club, shares some fun and easy ways to workout while you are traveling.

Below are some simple exercises you can do with simple equipment — or just your luggage! Do 10-15 reps per each move. Repeat all moves in a row for a maximum of three times total. Begin with a warm up including step touches, jumping jacks and jogging in place (30-60 seconds of each).

It is recommended that you stretch for 5-15 minutes upon the completion of your workout.

If you prefer to work out with equipment, many hotels offer fitness areas that may have equipment that you recognize, including treadmills and ellipticals. As an inexpensive way to take your workouts on the road, consider bands. Bands come in different colors and thicknesses to modify the challenge of the exercise. They start as low as $5 per band. You can use them to do everything from bicep curls and tricep kickbacks (while standing on the end or in the middle), to chest presses and back rows (while secured over a column or other stationery item). Many stores sell these bands, and they take up little to no room in your suitcase! If you would like to know more about designing a quick, easy and effective workout to go on the road this summer, ask one of our trainers and we would be happy to help!

Squats (Do one or all of these!)

  • Start standing in a wide parallel squat
  • Squat with your knees in the same position as your feet.  
  • To increase intensity, add a jump!

Option 2 – With a suitcase

To increase intensity, simply add clothes. You control the amount of weight you lift depending on how many items you put in it.

Option 3 – Single leg squat (Bulgarian lunges)

Make sure your ankle, knees, and toes are in alignment.



Option 1:

Engage your core and pull your belly-button up toward your back. Look out on the diagonal in front of you so your neck, back, and legs are all in alignment. Hold anywhere from 15-60 seconds.

Modification: Keep your knees down.

Option 2 – Plank with a suitcase

Maintain a strong plank and push the suitcase.  

Option 3 – Side Plank

Hold for 15-45 seconds per side.

To increase intensity, lift one leg up and down

Modification: Do it on your knees


Rows at the door

Wrap a towel around a door frame and knob. Sit in a chair position and maintain your core/center. Use the towel and row your arms in and out (both at the same time), elbows going directly behind you.

Modification: Wall sits

Place your back against a flat wall and pretend you’re sitting in a chair.  Hold for 10-30 seconds.


Move 4: Mountain Climbers/Pushups

Start in a strong plank position. Pull your knee toward your chest and then switch legs, alternating right and left. Keep it at a steady and slow pace.

To increase intensity, increase your speed or bring your feet to the outside of your body like you are climbing Mt. Everest in the plank position.

Option 2 – Pushups on the counter

Do various pushups on the floor from a full extended arm plank position. To lower resistance, drop to your knees. Or, try standing pushups on a countertop or dresser.


Bonus: Advanced move – pullups on a door!


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