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March 26, 2021 10 min read

Travel is one of the most exciting things a person can do. There’s something about seeing a new place that reinvigorates us. Getting up out of a rut and taking in the sights of a new city or seeing what the great outdoors has to offer is about as good for the brain as a good workout.

Getting outside of your bubble comes with a few downsides though. Uprooting yourself for a week or a weekend means that you’re going to be uprooting your routine as well. If you’re used to working out in your local gym or maybe you have the perfect setup in your own home.

Whatever the case may be, you’re probably not taking your weights with you, and not every place is going to come outfitted with a state-of-the-art gym. If you’re crashing in a bed and breakfast but you still want to keep yourself active or you’re a novice looking to pick up a workout routine you can slip into your regular routine without having to pour a bunch of money and time into turning your life upside down.

No matter who you are or where you’re staying, you can make use of these 15-minute hotel room workouts.

Hotel room workout

Whatever it Takes

We’re going to suggest a quick workout, but we’re also going to give you the tools to figure out a routine of your own. That’s going to give you room to grow and change over time. A quick workout like this is a great way to start a day and get your blood pumping, but it’s not going to build the most massive amounts of muscle. These exercises are going to be good for getting your heart rate up, working on your cardiovascular system, and burning fat. They’re all excellent exercises for keeping you lean and in shape, but if you’re looking for huge resistances and explosive gains, you’re going to be better off finding a hotel with a gym. 

Keeping all of that in mind, what does it take to build a good hotel room workout? There are three key aspects that will elevate a hotel workout from good to great:

Calisthenic Exercises: It’s hard to overstate the usefulness of calisthenic exercises. They’ve been around formally since the time of the ancient Greeks, and arguably even earlier. The word “calisthenic” comes from the Greek words for “beautiful” and “strength.” These are exercises that are all about harnessing the natural strength of your body by using your body to train itself. They’re all exercises where your primary source of resistance is coming from the weight of your own body. They’re exercises that focus on using your muscles in ways that are natural, and they typically work out more than one group of muscles at the same time as a result.

Push-ups are the poster child for calisthenic exercise. They take the natural pushing motion of your upper body and place your body in opposition to your chest and arms. These are a great way to work out your upper body without any additional equipment, they’re variable, and they’re always going to provide some kind of challenge no matter what your level of strength or skill is. All of this together makes calisthenics perfect for hotel room workouts and generally maintaining your levels of fitness.

Easily Variable: Unless you’re traveling to the same places, you’re probably not going to be running into the exact same room layout or furniture accommodations. This means that your hotel room workouts need to be flexible enough to fit into any room you find yourself inside of. Exercises that are easily variable will allow you to slip into narrow rooms and get your workout in without having to find a secondary location, they allow you to take full advantage of a bigger hotel room when you’re lucky enough to find one, and no matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to work them into your morning, afternoon, or night. 

Ingenuity: The hardest part of making a hotel room workout that will hit all of your major muscle groups is the lack of equipment. You can’t just load your bags with weights and pull-up bars, and you certainly can’t always expect to run into a gym wherever you go. If you keep your head on, then you’ll start seeing opportunities for a good workout anywhere you go. Your bags are probably packed tight and you don’t have room for weights, but your bags can be your weights. If all you have is a heavy backpack, then you can slip it over your shoulders to weigh down your squats. A rolling suitcase can be used for bent-over rows, or if it’s sturdy enough, you can use it to elevate yourself for planks that challenge your core. A hotel room, to the untrained eye, looks too bare to get a good exercise in, but after a couple of rounds of hotel workouts, you’ll become more critical and your options will cascade out in front of you.

The Steel Supplements Hotel Workout

This workout is a great place to start. If you have no idea what you’d like to do during your 15-minute hotel workout, then this is the best place to begin. Nothing here is set in stone, you can modulate the times you spend on each part of the workout to fit your needs. If you want it to be a full-body workout that you stick to throughout your week, you can focus more on one part of your body over the other to allow your muscles a brief recovery period while continuing to encourage growth. 

5 Minute Warm-up

Your warm-up is going to ease you into this workout. Warming up is essential in any exercise because your muscles work best when they’re limbered up. Your warm-up can consist of anything you want it to, this part of the routine is going to be the most free form. The most important thing is that your muscles have the opportunity to stretch and your heart rate has gotten going. A good warm-up is going to marry the two, getting your body ready for the real work. Active stretches and light versions of the exercises you’re going to be doing are going to be the most effective ways to warm your body up. 


1 Minute of Planks

If you’re working out in a hotel room, you might not always have the room to comfortably work on sit-ups. They’re also going to be hard on your back if you do them often. Planking is an excellent way to engage your core, and the results of this exercise will make your other exercises more effective. Planking works out your entire core by isometrically contracting all of the muscles required to keep your core stiff, this is going to impart endurance into your midsection while also giving you more muscle to support your lower back and improve your posture. 

Planks are going to be essential to building core strength, and your core strength is essential to every workout. No matter what part of your body you’re working out, your core stability is going to make or break it. If you can’t keep your body steady enough to execute your movements reliably and effectively then you’re going to be at a disadvantage. Planking ensures that you’re going to be able to keep up with any exercise you take on down the line.

How to Plank 

Planking is incredibly simple. The key is going to be remembering to engage your core. If you don’t, your form is going to sag, and you’re not going to be getting anything out of this exercise, especially since your core is the focus of this exercise.

  • Find an open area on the floor that will accommodate the length of your body
  • With your arms shoulder-width apart, rest on your elbows and get up on your toes
  • Keep your back flat and engage your core
  • Hold this position for a set amount of time


Planks are also great because you can elevate or invert yourself to achieve better results. If you feel like you’re over-emphasizing the center of your core, then you can elevate your planks, moving the work up to your upper abs, or you can elevate your feet to engage the lower half of your core. 

Push ups

4 Minutes of Push-ups

Push-ups are going to build the most muscle and show the most visible results out of any of these exercises. These are going to be the bread and butter of your workout. A couple of sets of push-ups are going to go a long way towards building your overall strength and carving out a set of confident muscles without having to take weights with you. They’re going to be incredibly versatile, as there’s a wide range of push-ups that target different groups of muscles in your upper body. You don’t even really have to get down on the floor to get your push-ups in if your space doesn’t allow it (or maybe the spot you booked has nasty floors).

When you’re starting out, you may need to take a small break in between sets of push-ups. As you build muscle in your chest and arms, you’ll be able to get longer sessions in without a break.

The Perfect Push-ups 

We all know what a push-up looks like, but what does it take to make them perfect? It’s always good to review an exercise before you take it on, no matter how simple you think it might be, you might have forgotten a key aspect of it.

  • Find an open space on the floor and start with your hands slightly further than shoulder-width apart and about in line with your pecs
  • Get up on your toes, this is going to be the pivot point of your body
  • Lower yourself all the way to the floor and engage your back, legs, and glutes
  • Press down through the floor and use your chest to lift your body up off of the floor until your arms are fully extended
  • Keep your back straight and lower yourself back down to the floor


The easiest way to vary your push-ups is to adjust the width of your hands are from your body. The closer you bring your hands in, the more you’re going to be relying on your triceps and upper arms to stabilize your body on the way down and to provide the force to lift your body back up. You can also start using one arm at a time, or you can work in plyometrics by pressing yourself upwards with enough force to launch your hands off of the floor.


2 Minute Squats

Your push-ups are going to cover your upper body pretty well, so squats are going to be in your hotel room workout to cover your lower body. Squats are one of the best exercises for working out your glutes and your upper legs. Your thighs are going to thank you for the workout, and you’re never really going to be in a place you can’t get them done. Squats are an exercise that only require that you have enough room to stand up and sit down. They’re low-maintenance, the payoff is amazing, and it’s easy to see your results over time. Squats seem incredibly difficult to keep up with your first few sets, but after they’ve been under your belt for a while, you’ll be blasting past your initial sessions in no time.

How to do Squats 

Squats are going to do a great job working out your upper legs, you’ll be spending most of your time on squats and push-ups, so get familiar with them.

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lower yourself as if you were sitting down in a chair, keep your back straight and push your hands out in front of yourself to provide additional balance
  • Press down through the floor and drive your body back up into your starting position
  • Keep your core engaged and repeat

2 Minutes of Dips

While push-ups are great for the front half of your upper body, you don’t want to neglect the posterior muscles. Dips are here to create balance. Your triceps and traps are going to be taking on the majority of the work here, and this is the best way to get those muscles working without any external equipment like a pull-up bar or some weights. These may be the hardest to fit into your routine, but don’t despair, this is where your creativity may have the chance to shine. If your room doesn’t have a chair to dip yourself on, your bed, the nightstand, or a dresser could all be likely candidates for a dip station. Don’t limit yourself to the letter of the law when it comes to a hotel room workout, you’re going to have to think on your feet sometimes.

How to Do Dips 

  • Find a surface to brace your arms with, like a chair, a bench, or anything else stable and lower to the ground
  • Place your palms on the chair, brace your back, and engage your core, and extend your legs out in front of yourself
  • Lower yourself in a controlled fashion towards the floor until your arms make a 90-degree angle at your elbows
  • Press through your palms until your arms are extended and repeat

1 Minute of Heel Raises

Heel raises are going to serve the same purpose the dips did. They’re an exercise that targets the posterior muscles left behind by your squats. They’re also a good way to cool down after your workout. This exercise is going to target your calves and glutes. You’re going to be working on a narrow group of muscles and lifting your entire body weight with them. It doesn’t take long to tire them out, so you’ll be able to reap the rewards without breaking much of a sweat or pushing your heart rate much further. 

How to heel raises 

  • Start with your feet close together, but no so close that you lose your balance when you raise your heels
  • Press up onto your toes, keeping your core and glutes engaged
  • Stop for a second at the top and lower yourself down towards the ground in a controlled fashion
  • Repeat

Pack It Up

You don’t need much to start working out. A hotel room workout can be the starting point for an at-home workout or it can be the inspiration for a much longer and more intense full gym workout. These are exercises that can be done by any person of any skill level in any place they end up, so you’re going to be able to take this workout with you no matter where you end up.

As long as you have the focus and dedication to your workout, then you’re never really in a situation where you can’t get your blood pumping. The real beauty, however, is the ability to take this workout and morph it into something more tailored to yourself. Once you have these basic exercises you’ll start realizing what your real goals are.

With new goals comes new exercises, and you now have the tools to build a workout that’s just as versatile, but catered to your body and your needs. So pack up your bags with confidence, knowing that now you’re ready to take on the world.