The Perfect and Fast 5-Move Hotel Room Workout for Small Spaces

The Small Space Workout, Explained

Man training at home
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Not everyone's blessed with Real Housewives'-sized living accommodations. Dorm rooms, tiny houses, shoebox apartments, and hotel rooms are more likely to be the rule than the exception. But just because your living space feels a bit like a jail cell, doesn't mean you can't blast your way through a tough workout routine.

Adam Rosante, a Fitness Coach and Celebrity Trainer for CosmoBody, designed a five-exercise "Do It In Your Dorm Room" workout for the brand's free YouTube fitness service, but really, it's perfect for anyone who's short on space. Whether you're traveling for business or you're traveling the country in an RV, all you need for this routine is a sturdy chair and about 15 minutes. 

The Workout

  • Perform 10 reps of each exercise without rest between exercises
  • Rest for 60 seconds after completing a full circuit
  • Repeat the circuit three total times

Exercise #1: Air Squats

  • Stand with your heels shoulders-width apart and your toes turned out slightly. Roll your shoulders back, open up your chest, and pull your shoulder blades down your back.
  • Put your thumbs together and push your hips back as you bend your knees (keeping your weight in your heels), until your thighs are parallel to the ground. As you move downward, extend your arms straight out and bring your hands together at shoulder-height as you near the ground. Go as far down as you can without losing the curve in your lower spine.
  • Drive up through your heels to standing as you release your hands along your sides Squeeze your butt at the top.
  • Do 10 reps. 

This will strengthen your legs and your butt, and it's a great move for your core, too.  Remember to keep your chest lifted throughout. In other words, don't hunch your shoulders forward or lean your torso forward toward the floor. 

Exercise #2: Pushup Jacks

Jack Pushup
  • Start at the top of a push-up position, with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your feet together.
  • Hop both feet apart, then hop them back together.
  • Keeping your body in one straight line from your head to your heels, brace your core and bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor. If you have trouble with a full pushup, you can always modify by lowering your knees to the floor before performing a knee pushup.
  • Press back to the starting position. That's one rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

To make the exercise harder, combine the split jack with the pushup, performing a pushup every time you jump your legs out, and another pushup every time you jump your legs back to center. 

Exercise #3: Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Position your sturdy chair against the wall and stand far enough in front of the chair so you can place the top of your left foot on the chair's seat.
  • Keeping your front knee behind your toes, bend both knees and sink straight down with your weight in your front heel until your standing thigh is parallel to the floor. That's one rep.
  • Do 10 reps, shake your left leg out, then switch to your right leg, and do 10 more reps

Keep your chest lifted and look forward throughout this exercise—don't allow your shoulders or torso to hunch forward or lean toward the floor. 

Exercise #4: Biceps Chair Curls

Biceps Curl
  • Stand behind your chair with your feet hip-distance apart. Grab both sides of the chair so your palms face each other. Make sure your thumbs are inside of the chair.
  • Lock your elbows at your sides, roll your shoulders back and bend your elbows as you lift the chair, bringing your hands toward your shoulders.
  • With control and without dropping the chair, lower it back to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 10 reps. 

If for some reason you have an abnormally heavy chair, fill a backpack or overnight bag with a couple of books for resistance and lift and lower it, instead. 

Exercise #5: Forearm Plank

Plank Hold
  • Situate yourself on the floor in a low plank position, with your forearms on the ground. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders with your hands locked together.
  • Keeping your gaze down, push out through your heels and engage your core to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • With your neck and spine in alignment, pull your belly button toward your spine, and hold for 30 seconds.
  • After 30 seconds, lower your knees to the floor and sit back onto your heels.

This works your deep inner core, which helps to improve posture. Once you've completed this exercise, rest for 60 seconds before cycling through the circuit two more times.