The exercise: decline push-ups, three sets of 10
You’ll need: a bed, small table, or chair
Push-ups, a classic upper body exercise, require basically next to no space and even less equipment. You can take the original chest exercise to the next level by elevating your legs and placing more emphasis on the shoulders. The declined position not only saves you time, it also forces you to keep your core tight and form on point, which results in more gains for your sweat.
The exercise: door pull-ups, three sets of 10
You’ll need: a door, a shoe and a towel hanger (optional)
Door pull-ups may actually give you a better workout than those done hanging off a traditional pull-up bar. Prop a bathroom door open with a shoe so that it doesn’t move, and hang off the top of it with your palms facing away from you. Alternately, you can hang off a towel hook if it supports your weight—remember, you’ll be liable for any damages to your room. Brace your forearms against the door to keep your body clear of it, and pull yourself up until your chin’s in line with your hands. With your forearms immobile, this one small move isolates your biceps and increases the exercise’s effectiveness.
The exercise: ‘kettlebell’ swings, three sets of 15
You’ll need: a clothes iron
You’ll want to use a heavy clothes iron for this exercise. For a traditional swing, grab hold of the handle with both hands, set your feet shoulder width apart and bend slightly at the knees—not too much. Plant your feet firmly and start by holding the iron between your thighs with your arms straight. Flexing your glutes and thrusting with your hips, propel the iron to around eye height with minimal effort from your arms while rising to a straight back position. As the iron returns, engaging your shoulders, bend at the hips and allow it to pass between your thighs—any lower and it’ll put too much strain on your lower back. Pop your hips forward again to head into the next repetition.
The exercise: ‘bench’ dips, three sets of 15
You’ll need: two bedframes or two chairs pulled together
This arm exercise can be done with any two solid objects, but we recommend doing it in between two sturdy chairs, or a pair of beds if you’re not traveling solo. Whatever furniture you employ, set them up a few feet apart. Support your feet on one, while using your arms to support your upper half. From this position, lower your upper body, engaging your triceps, until your upper arms form a parallel line with the floor. Raise yourself once again to complete a repetition.
The exercise: weighted squats, three sets of 10
You’ll need: two pieces of luggage that are roughly the same size
Was that luggage a pain to carry? Good. Remove the contents of two pieces of luggage with handles until they are of equal weight. Grabbing hold of them in either hand with your feet set shoulder width apart, lower your body into a squat while maintaining a straight back. Just before your knees hit 90 degrees, press off the ground to return to an upright position, engaging your glutes and quads through the motion.
The exercise: bent-over rows, three sets of 10 using each arm
You’ll need: one piece of luggage and a trunk or bed frame
Kneeling over the side of a trunk, low table, or bed frame, support half of your body using one arm and a knee. Place the opposite leg on the floor to balance your body. Next, grab hold of one of your aforementioned impromptu dumbbells with your free hand. Starting with your arm straight, pull the weight up until it makes contact with your ribs, squeeze, and return to your starting position to complete a rep.