Travel Fitness Tips by Cliff Cotton

Jul 13, 2015

The 20-minute hotel workout

By Cliff Cotton

Traveling is stressful and time-consuming, so finding excuses for not exercising while on the road often comes easy. The days are long, which makes it difficult to find the energy to work out. It’s also common to skip the hotel gym if it’s crowded or costs money. And even when those factors aren’t at play, just knowing which exercises to perform is a challenge.

During my 15 years of training all levels of fitness, from professional athletes to patients learning to walk again, I have created many different programs not only tailored for the individual but also designed to benefit anyone. Trust me when I say that it’s not only possible to exercise while on the road, but essential. Think about the tasks you have to perform daily that require some level of physical fitness.

  • Being able to sit down on a chair or toilet and eventually stand back up.
  • Being able to pick yourself up off the floor, if you unexpectedly fall.
  • Being able to pick up an item dropped on the floor, whether it is keys or a small child.
  • Being able to support the weight of your own upper body pain free.
  • Being able to climb a small flight of stairs with confidence and enough oxygen to speak, when you reach the top.

Below, you will find a 20-minute exercise plan that can help improve your ability to accomplish all of the functional movements above, without requiring you to leave your hotel room. For those already capable of doing the above, I challenge you to still try this workout.

The workout involves four body weight movements that can be modified based on individual capabilities. The four movements are:

  • Body weight squats
  • Pushups
  • Single leg reach
  • Sit ups
  • These exercises should be performed and completed one movement at a time. They are done in what is known as “Tabata” style sets, which means 20 seconds of effort with 10 seconds rest for eight rounds. This means you will have to do all eight rounds of squats before you move on to the pushups and so on.


Lastly, the amount of effort exerted is up to you. This workout can be exhausting, if you commit to making yourself better and beating your previous performance, every time.