How to Keep Fit in Tight Spaces

Three easy routines to stay healthy when you're pressed for space
November 7, 2017Words by Marvin LamPhotos by Adam Raymaker

Sometimes it feels like the holiday season was purposefully designed to knock us out of our fitness routine. The days are shorter, there’s great food everywhere you look, and it can be a challenge to squeeze in a workout when traveling or on vacation. That’s why we asked our fit friends at Myles Apparel and Co-Founder of San Francisco's Crossfit Alinea, Marvin Lam, to help us out. They came up with three 10-15 minute routines designed to be done in small spaces like a hotel room or your in-laws’ guest bedroom, and utilize objects you’ll likely have with you while away from home. Each workout is set to a timer to make it easier to get started. Just set the clock, get to work, and enjoy that second helping of pie guilt-free.


Workout 1: Cardio

For this workout we're doing a burpee and then jumping over a suitcase, pillow or whatever object you have on hand. This is a ladder routine that will start out easy and continually get harder.


1. Set a timer for 15 minutes

2. In the first minute do 4 burpees

3. In the second minute do 5 burpees

4. In the third minute do 6 burpees

5. Continue adding one burpee per minute until you cannot complete all the of reps within the minute, or time runs out.

Tips and Safety
In the bottom position, have your hands placed so that your forearms are perpendicular to the ground and elbows tucked. As you push to get up, try to land with your feet flat on the ground and then take off and land on two feet for the jump. In the first minute, you will have time to spare after doing the 4 burpees. Rest for the remaining time and then start your next set of burpees when the new minute starts.


Workout 2: Strength

This is an AMRAP workout, which means you do As Many Rounds As Possible in the allotted amount of time.


1. Set a timer for 10 minutes

2. Complete 10 Push-Ups and 10 Split Squats on each leg

3. Repeat the circuit unit time expires, resting as needed

Tips & Safety
Split Squats are a great squat variation when you're traveling and don't have any equipment. For this movement, you'll have one foot on a couch, bed, or chair,  and the other out in front. As you descend into your squat, try to keep your knee tracking over your toes, your torso upright, and your weight balanced on your planted food. As you ascend, press down on your planted foot. For the Push-Ups, try to maintain a solid plank position throughout the movement. Keep your elbows tucked near your ribs and drive through your palms to come up. Do this with your feet raised to make the movement more difficult.

Workout 3: Core


Set a timer for 12 minutes

Every odd minute, do 10 V-ups

Every even minute, do 12 leg lifts


Tips & Safety 
For the V-up, start by lying flat on the ground with your arms overhead. Keep your arms and legs straight as you hinge up from the waist and try to touch your toes. You can bend your knees if necessary to make this a little easier. Leg lifts are another challenging movement. Sit with your legs fully extended and hands outside your thighs. Flex your abs as you lift your heels off the ground and over an object - a water bottle, pillow, or similarly sized object will do the trick.


Shop Gifts for the Athlete


Trending Gear