A Hotel Gym Workout To Maintain Your Strength And Fitness

Woman using rowing machine in hotel gym
(Image credit: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images)

If, like me, you’re used to training with weights, you might forget just how challenging bodyweight exercises can be. Plus, they’re a convenient way to work out when you don’t have access to a fully appointed commercial gym or your regular equipment.

I’m currently traveling and can’t make it to the gym as often as usual, so I’m looking for different ways to maintain my strength and fitness.

Hotel gyms help, but they don’t always have what I need. However, they usually have some cardio machines and enough room to do bodyweight work.

NASM-certified personal trainer Pippa Sealey has put together a workout that doesn’t take long and only requires a few pieces of kit. “This workout is suited to someone with minimal equipment, potentially in a small gym like in a hotel,” says Sealey.

It includes some intervals on a bike and a rower, but Sealey says that you can swap this for a bodyweight exercise such as burpees or running on the spot if you need to. 

“Between the cardio exercises I’ve added some strength work,” says Sealey. “There’s a mixture of core, upper body and lower body for a full-body workout, improving both strength and endurance.”

It’s an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout, which is a great format to use if you don’t have a lot of time. “It adds a bit more structure to your work and rest ratio and makes sure there’s no procrastinating,” says Sealey.

If you’re traveling and you don’t have access to a hotel gym, pack a resistance band and use this travel workout instead.

Hotel Gym Workout Part One

The first section of the workout is an eight-minute EMOM. In the first minute, do 8 calories on a stationary bike then rest for the remainder of the minute. In the next minute, complete the reps of the first strength exercise below. In the third minute jump back onto the bike for another 8 calories, followed by the reps for the next exercise. Repeat this format alternating the bike and a strength exercise until the eight minutes is up. Here’s an overview of the workout, followed by form guides for each exercise. 

  1. Stationary bike x 8cal
  2. Lunge x 8 each side
  3. Stationary bike x 8cal
  4. Push-up x 12
  5. Stationary bike x 8cal
  6. Single-leg glute bridge x 8 each side
  7. Stationary bike x 8cal
  8. Plank ankle tap x 16


Woman performs lunge

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 8 each side

From standing, engage your core and take a big step forward and bend both knees to lower until both knees are bent to 90°. Keep your front knee above your ankle, don’t let it go forward past your toes. Keep your torso upright, back straight, shoulders relaxed and chin up. Make sure your core is engaged throughout the movement. Push through your front foot to return to the start.


Woman performs push-up on knees

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 12

Get on your hands and toes, with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, arms extended and your body straight from head to heels. Bend your elbows to lower, keeping your elbows close to your body. When your chest is just above the floor, extend your arms to return to the start. If that is too challenging for all 12 reps, drop to your knees.

Single-leg glute bridge

Woman performs single-leg glute bridge

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 8 each side

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor by your sides with palms down and extend one leg to lift the foot. Push through your foot to lift your hips until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and keep your core braced so you don’t overextend your back. Pause then lower under control.

Plank ankle tap

Woman performs plank ankle tap

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 16

Start in a high plank position on your hands and toes, with your hands directly under your shoulders, arms extended and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Push your hips up and back and reach one hand back to touch the opposite ankle, keeping your hips square to the floor. Return to the start then repeat on the other side. Continue, alternating sides with each rep.

Hotel Gym Workout Part Two

The second part of the workout is another eight-minute EMOM, but this time it focuses on core strength. You will need a rowing machine and gym ball. Here’s an overview of the workout, followed by form guides for each exercise.

  1. Rowing machine x 10cal
  2. Gym ball knee tuck x 8
  3. Rowing machine x 10cal
  4. Gym ball crunch x 12
  5. Rowing machine x 10cal
  6. V-up x 12
  7. Rowing machine x 10cal
  8. Side plank dip x 8 each side

Gym ball knee tuck

Woman performs gym ball knee tuck

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 8

Rest your shins on the gym ball, place your hands on the floor in front of you with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bend your knees and bring them into your body to roll the gym ball towards you, keeping your hips level. Return to the start under control.

Gym ball crunch

Woman performs gym ball crunch

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 12

Position your lower back on a gym ball with your knees bent and feet planted firmly on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest or hold your hands by your temples if you need extra help with your balance. Lie back until you feel a stretch in your abs, then contract your abs to lift your shoulders and upper back off the ball. At the top of the move, squeeze your abs then lower under control.


Woman performs single-leg v-sit

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 6 each side

Lie on the floor with your arms by your sides. Keeping your legs extended, raise one as high as you can and lift your torso so your body forms a V shape, the lower under control to the start. Repeat with the other leg. Keep your back straight and your movements smooth and controlled. You can keep your hands on the floor for support or bring them up to meet your feet.

Side plank dip

Woman holds side plank position

(Image credit: Alice Porter / Future)

Reps 8 each side

Lie on your side with your feet together, supporting your upper body on one forearm with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Lower your hips to touch the floor, then return to the side plank position.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.