10 Full-Body Exercises You Can Literally Do Anywhere
There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to keep up with your workout schedule when you’re traveling or away from your usual routine.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, there are tons of calorie-scorching, strength-building exercises you can do no matter where you are. So get rid of your excuses, and get fit!
I teamed up with EVEN Hotels to bring you 10 exercises you can literally do anywhere — including in a hotel room.
As much as you might not want to do them, burpees are an amazing full-body exercise you can do anywhere since they require neither equipment nor very much space.
To do them, stand up straight and then lower into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push-up position and immediately drop your chest to the floor. Return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible, and jump up into the air as high as you can. Add a tuck jump for pizzazz (and an extra challenge), and do it all over again!
Tip: You can also do burpees with a full push-up or end in a plank rather than lowering all the way to the floor.
2. Elevated Push-Ups
It’s easy to find a bench or an elevated surface to use, and elevated push-ups are an awesome way to work your upper body no matter where you are.
Start in a push-up position with your feet on a bench and hands on the floor in front of you. Tighten your core and squeeze your butt, then lower your chest down toward the floor as far as you can. Push back up, and repeat.
Tip: Elevated push-ups are a fairly advanced exercise, so if you’re a beginner, you can do push-ups on the floor or with your hands on a bench to help build up strength.
3. Air Squats
They might sound easy, but do enough air squats in a row and trust me, your legs will feel the burn.
To do them, stand with your feet hip-width apart, pull your shoulders back and engage your abs. Lower down as though you were sitting in a chair, keeping your weight on your heels as you do so. Squeeze your butt as you stand back up and return to the starting position.
Equipment option: Make air squats even more challenging with a resistance band. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand, resting your hands about shoulder-height. Step on the middle of the band with both feet, then squat down and up, keeping your hands in the same position the whole time. To increase the resistance, simply grab onto the band closer to the middle.
Working your legs unilaterally (one at a time) is a great way to build up strength, even if you don’t have access to weights. The higher the bench, the harder this exercise will feel!
Stand in front of a bench, then step up with one leg and bring the other knee up to waist-level, engaging your core. Step back down and repeat, leading with the opposite leg this time.
Beginner option: Instead of bringing the other leg up to a bent knee, step onto the bench with a straight leg.
5. Snowboarder Jumps
Snowboarder jumps are an awesome plyometric exercise to work your lower body and get your heart rate up quickly, even if you have very little space.
Start in a squat position with one hand touching the ground, then jump up as high as you can, rotating 180 degrees midair. Land back in a squat position, touching the ground with the opposite hand. Repeat, going as fast as you can!
6. Bulgarian Split Squats
Despite its odd name, this exercise is very effective!
Stand in a split stance with one leg elevated on a bench, keeping your front foot flat on the ground. Bend your front leg and lower your body down as far as you can, trying not to let your knee go beyond your toes as you do so. Squeeze your butt as you rise back up to the starting position and repeat. Make sure to work both sides!
Equipment option: Increase the burn by adding a resistance band. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand at about shoulder-height. Step on the middle of the band with your front foot, then lower down and back up, keeping your hands in the same position the entire time.
7. Push-Up Plank Jumps
Push-up plank jumps make regular push-ups more dynamic by targeting your upper body, working your core, and increasing your heart rate at the same time.
Start in a push-up position with your shoulders directly over your hands. Tighten your abs, glutes, and thighs, then lower your chest toward the floor as far as you can. Push back up, then immediately jump your feet toward your hands. Jump back to the starting push-up position. That’s one rep!
8. Jump-Lunge-Squat Combo
It doesn’t take many repetitions of this super-effective exercise combination to make your legs feel like they’re on fire.
Start in a lunge position with your knees touching or almost touching the floor. Jump up explosively and switch legs so that your rear leg is in the front and front leg is in the rear, then repeat with the other leg. Jump back up, but this time land in a squat position. Finally, jump back to the starting position and repeat the sequence.
There’s a reason gymnasts and other elite athletes add V-ups to their conditioning routines on a regular basis — this body-weight exercise will make your core strong, and fast.
Lie on your back with your arms stretched overhead and your legs straight. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs up and toward each other, keeping your legs as straight as possible. Lower down and repeat.
Beginner option: You can make V-ups easier by tucking your knees toward your chest instead of keeping your legs straight.
Equipment option: If you want to make this exercise even harder, hold a stability ball or weight with both hands as you do your V-ups.
10. Pike Jumps
Pike jumps are a surprisingly tough yet effective exercise for working your upper back and shoulders while requiring very little space. Don’t be surprised if you’re out of breath after doing them!
Start in a downward-dog position with your weight over your shoulders. Jump your feet up as far as possible and land on one side. Try not to pause as you immediately jump back up, landing on the opposite side. Once you get comfortable with the coordination, try to do these as fast as you can!
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on high intensity interval training (HIIT) and bodyweight fitness. She currently lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
From trying her first push up in college, to teaching herself to do pull ups and handstands, Krista is living proof of her philosophy that everybody is an athlete. She has helped tens of thousands of people to unlock their full athletic potential through her 12 Minute Athlete HIIT Workouts app and 12 Minute Athlete blog. You can find her @12minuteathlete on all social platforms.