Categories: Training
Tags: fitness

Sweat it out with this quick and easy hotel room workout

May 16, 2017

Out of town? Try this full-body hotel room workout from writer Tehrene Firman and personal trainer Lana Herzig.

Working out while traveling can be tough. Some hotels have gyms, but more often than not those gyms are either crowded, broken down, or way too small. And if you don’t have a gym nearby, you’re really left wondering how to get your workout in. Luckily, with a handful of moves, it’s easy to get your blood pumping right in the comfort of your hotel room.

“Using these bodyweight exercises, you can work every major muscle group when you’re limited on time, space, and equipment,” says Lana Herzig, a New York City-based personal trainer and fitness instructor. “They’re also great forms of cardio and will have you breaking a sweat in no time. You don’t need to run miles to get in an effective workout while traveling.”

The next time you’re in need of a no-fuss, small-space workout, try Herzig’s easy-to-follow moves.

Hotel Room Workout move #1: Bulgarian split squat

All you need is a chair, table, or ottoman to perform this exercise that will help you up your leg strength, lift and tone your butt, and improve your hip mobility.

  1. Stand tall with your front foot flat on the ground and your rear foot on a chair, table, or ottoman. Your rear foot can be flat or on its toes depending on comfort and stability. Note: Make sure your stance is tight enough so your front knee and ankle are in alignment.
  2. Keeping your shoulders stacked on top of your hips, chest raised, and weight in your front heel, lower down under control until your back knee lightly grazes the floor. Note: Make sure your back knee travels straight down and your front knee and ankle remain in alignment throughout the movement.
  3. Engage your core and explode back up to the starting position, driving through your front heel.
  4. Perform 10–12 reps on each side or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #2: Chair squat

Have a chair handy? Switch up your regular squat routine with the easy-to-find prop. This move isn’t just great for perfecting your technique – it’s also a killer workout.

  1. Stand tall in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed, chest up, chin up (pick a point directly in front of you to stare at), and core engaged.
  2. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance.
  3. Keeping your chest up, sit back and down as if you’re going to sit on the edge of the chair, pressing your weight back onto your heels. Lower down under control until your butt lightly taps the edge of the chair. Note: Make sure your knees are over your ankles and in line with your first and second toes.
  4. Engage your core and explode back up to the starting position, driving through your heels.
  5. Perform 10–20 reps or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #3: Mountain climbers

If you’re thinking these are boring ol’ mountain climbers, think again. You can easily take your workout up a notch – and make it more fun – by elevating the move.

  1. Plant your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor or a stable and sturdy chair, bed, desk, or coffee table. Note: Make sure your wrists are positioned directly under your shoulders.
  2. Extend your legs out behind you, balancing on the balls of your feet. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your core and glutes to stabilize your body, as if you’re doing a plank.
  3. Keeping your core engaged and head, shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line (eyes should be focused about a foot or two in front of your hands), lift one foot and draw your knee in toward your chest in one smooth, controlled motion. Note: Try to get your thigh as close to your chest as possible.
  4. Once you’ve raised your knee as far as you can, straighten your leg and return to the starting position with both feet on the ground behind you.
    Repeat with your other leg. Alternate back and forth, keeping the movement fluid and your core engaged.
  5. Once you start getting the hang of the movement, increase your speed until your legs are bounding rather than moving one at a time.
    Perform 10–20 reps on each side or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #4: Tricep dips

Your triceps are about to feel very sore thanks to this move, but we promise you’ll thank us later.

  1. Plant your hands behind you (fingertips facing forward and arms extended) on a sturdy object such as a chair, table, or bed.
  2. Bring your legs out in front of you at a 90-degree angle, keeping your knees and feet together and core engaged.
  3. Slowly lower your body down as low as possible by bending your arms and keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle. Note: Keep your weight in your wrists and heels.
  4. Extend your arms to raise your body back up to the starting position.
  5. Perform 10–20 reps or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #5: Push-up

This isn’t your typical push-up. By adding a plank element, you’ll work your entire body with one powerful move.

  1. Plant your hands directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) on a stable and sturdy surface such as a chair, table, or floor as if you’re doing a plank.
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your core and glutes to stabilize your body.
  3. Keeping your head, shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line (eyes should be focused on the floor about a foot or two in front of your hands), lower your body under control until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you lower, keep your elbows closer to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position of the move.
  4. Pause, then exhale as you push back up to the starting position as powerfully as possible without compromising form.
  5. Perform 10–20 reps or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #6: Side plank reach-around

This move can be done in small spaces, but don’t let that fool you – it has maximum results.

  1. Place one elbow on a chair or the floor, stacking your shoulder directly on top of it.
  2. Extend your legs out to the side to form a side plank, keeping your core engaged and body in a straight diagonal line from your shoulders to your heels.
  3. Extend your free arm up to the ceiling.
  4. Keeping your hips raised and core engaged, reach your arm under yourself and then return your arm up to the ceiling. Note: Don’t let your body shift or rotate as you move your arm. Your body should stay facing the side.
  5. Perform 10–20 reps on each side or as many as can be performed with proper form.

HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT MOVE #7: Toe touches

Get ready for a 3-for-1 bonus, because this single move works your quads, hamstrings, and your glutes.

  1. Stand up straight a few feet away from a chair or table.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, back straight, and chest lifted, raise one foot up and tap your toe on the chair or table.
  3. Quickly return that foot to the starting position and repeat with the other foot.
  4. As you get the hang of it, increase your speed.
  5. Perform 10–20 reps on each side or as many as can be performed with proper form.


Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals or physicians. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.