By Holly Van Heemst

Traveling for a living, I am forced to be creative with my workouts. Often hotel gyms are non existent or very sparse. I am known to borrow pieces of furniture from around a hotel and sneak it into the gym or my hotel room. Modern furniture may be uncomfortable to sit on, but it definitely comes in handy for box jumps, sit-ups, and dips, etc.

Although it may not look like your typical gym equipment, a creative vision can turn almost anything into effective workout equipment.


Let's take everyday items and transform our way of using them.


1. The Club Chair

Yes, you can sit on it, but that won’t burn calories.

Instead: Use the back as a ballet bar and do plie squats or turn it around and use the seat to do single leg hip thrusts.

2. The Sturdy Coffee Table

No longer a magazine holder, but a low body buster.

New use: A step up box, or you can swing your body around and do some squats just touching the top of the table.

3. The night stand

This is not just a piece of furniture to hold your lamp, it’s an upper body builder.

Flipside: This is now used to strengthen your upper body.  Do triceps push ups from the front; turn your body around and do dips.

4. The Bed 

Sleep in it later, but for now let’s work your glutes.

Alternative use: A nice comfy place to rest your back to do weighted or single leg hip thrusts.


5. The Stairs

Whether at home or a hotel, who needs a Stair Master?

Mechanical substitute: Do stair intervals by running up to the top then walking back to the bottom, repeat. ; This is a great cardio routine along with lower body conditioning.

Not all workouts need to look the same, to get results. By thinking outside the box, you are freeing yourself from the confines of the stereotypical gym.  This new way of thinking will allow you to get a workout just about anywhere, with just about anything.  Get Creative! I guarantee you’ll no longer look at furniture the same way again.


Hotel Workout: 

Directions: Complete each group of workouts as a tri-set or superset. 2-4 times through before moving on to the next group of exercises.

  1. Bench Steps Ups (find something around the hotel to step up on)  15 each leg

  2. Stair Sprints up and down 1-3 flights

  3. Air squats  25-40

  4. Walking lunges  20-40 total

  5. Single leg glute bridge (find something around the hotel to place foot on)  15 each leg

  6. Push ups to failure

  7. Bench dips (find something around the hotel to use as a bench)  15-20

  8. Curls (find something around the hotel to curl)  12-20


AUTHOR: Holly van Heemst

Flying Fit in the cockpit. Professional fitness model, GIV Pilot and global travel junkie.
Staying fit while traveling the world.