Fitness on the Go: How to Get the Best Hotel Gym Workout

Fitness on the Go: How to Get the Best Hotel Gym Workout

Written by Colleen Travers on

Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, and women’s lifestyle for various publications.

Fitness on the Go: How to Get the Best Hotel Gym Workout


There’s no reason to ditch a workout just because you’re on the road. Whether your hotel gym has the latest high-tech equipment or is limited to a stability ball and a few mats, you can take advantage of it and burn some calories while you’re on the go. Check out these seven travel-friendly fitness tips for the next time you check into a hotel.

Don’t side-eye the little things.

Your hotel’s gym might not be equipped to train the next Olympic weightlifting team, but chances are it’s stocked with at least one of these basics you can use for a good sweat session:

  • Stability balls
  • Resistance bands
  • Dumbbells
  • Medicine balls

Take a break from the heavy-duty weightlifting machines you love and work your muscles in a different way using these more portable options. You’ll be able to do the same moves that you normally would (think: tricep dips, bicep curls, and lateral raises.) without dealing with bulky equipment.

Change up your cardio.

If you find that, no matter how early you wake up and get to the gym, the two treadmills are eternally taken, consider getting your heart pumping in a different way. Swim a few laps in the hotel pool, run the stairs, or do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the corner of your room (Try one minute of jumping jacks, one minute of squat jumps, and one minute of burpees, and repeat as many times as you can). You might find you enjoy it more than the mindless treadmill miles.

Use your bodyweight.

Just because you’re off of your normal routine or don’t have access to your usual equipment, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice strength training. Use your own body weight to challenge areas you’d typically miss on a machine. Spend time doing push-ups, planks, and wall sits for a full body burn you’ll definitely feel the next day.

Don’t be afraid of machines.

On the flip side of the equipment battle, if you’re usually the type to melt fat on a mat, but your hotel gym is more of machine-heavy space, improvise with the equipment around you for a similar burn. Don’t be shy about trying different machines that you haven’t worked on before. Just make sure to read the instructions (there are usually even helpful images on the machines), start the weight off nice and light, and build up as you become more comfortable, to prevent injury.

Hit the gym at off hours.

If the hotel gym is mobbed during the usual peak hours, consider switching up what time you sweat. Many hotel gyms give guests access 24/7, and a late-night workout session might be just what you need for a good night’s sleep the day before that big presentation.

Check in with the concierge.

Make sure to ask about your hotel’s fitness and wellness offerings when you check in. Many hotels offer free run clubs, personal training sessions, group classes, and even free gym clothes during your stay, to make working out both simple and social.

Make your own fitness class.

If all you have to work with is a mat and minimal time, be your own instructor with the help of your smartphone. Download an app like Yoga Studio or Nike+ Training Club and find the perfect class for your fitness level, equipment resources, and time. Warning: You might attract a following after everyone in the gym gets a peek at the awesome routine you’re able to crank out on-demand!