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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 7th, 2023

Business travel is nearly essential as an executive and let’s face it, business trips aren’t necessarily conducive to staying healthy. During business trips is it essential for executives to stay on track for personal health and mental clarity for the task at hand. An easy but effective travel workout can allow executives to stay focused and well energized for anything that comes their way.

Even when we’ve established a good routine of exercise and eating at home, a change of venue can throw things out of balance pretty quickly.

However, just because your gym and equipment are at home doesn’t mean you have to give up on getting in a good workout while traveling for business. This is where a travel workout can help immensely and can be done in 30 minutes or less!

Offset the stress of business trips with easy travel workouts you can do anywhere. Click to Tweet 

In this article, we’ll take a look at some easy exercises executives can do almost anywhere that only use your body weight. Keep reading to find out how to stay active on your next business trip.

Before You Get Started

Most likely, you are not a professional trainer. Most executives’ main focus in life is not going to be fitness.

It is important to recognize that you will need to gradually work up resistance and stamina while maintaining good form.

If something is hurting, take a break. If an exercise is too intense, try and different exercise or take a break. Working out shouldn’t necessarily be easy, but it also shouldn’t be painful.

With time, you will be able to master these moves and replace them with even more intense ones.

The feeling of accomplishment in fitness definitely spills over to other areas of our lives, giving us increased self-confidence in other matters as well.

Flexibility Exercises

The flexibility portion of this workout can be used as a warm-up for a total 30-minute workout or, use it to unwind and release stress after a long day. This travel workout uses some standard stretch and yoga poses to get your muscles warmed up and ready for the day.

1. Child’s pose

This pose is a great starting point for your workout.

The child’s pose allows you to relax, reduce stress and focus on your breathing. This is important for executives during travel because it allows you to take a break from work and shift your focus from the business at hand.

In a kneeling position, bring your big toes to touch, if comfortable. Keep your knees as wide as needed while hinging at the hips and bringing your forehead to rest on the ground. Arms outstretched in front for a deeper stretch or hands back by your hips for a more restorative position. Start to breathe deeply.

Take 10-15 breaths in this position before moving on.

2. Cat-cow

For a tight upper body from sitting in meetings all day, cat-cow will help loosen your back and shoulders. It is an instant tension reliever.

Start on all fours and as you exhale, pull in your abdomen toward the spine while rounding your shoulders downward, like a cat. Then reverse the pose by inhaling and bringing your neck and shoulders up as you look skyward while pushing your belly back toward the ground.

Continue with the movement for 8-10 breaths, or until you feel ready to move on.

3. Wide-leg forward fold

This pose is a great lower back and hamstring stretch, which can help release tension after hours of air travel and sitting.

In a standing position, bring feet apart to wider than shoulder distance with both feet facing the same direction. Stand tall with shoulders back and slowly start to hinge at the hips to fold forwards. Knees can bend slightly if hamstrings are tights. Bring hands down to the floor in front of you. Keep the majority of your weight in the toes. If that is too intense, bring them to a chair or side of your bed. Keep spine extended and long and breath.

Hold the stretch for 8-10 breaths.

4. Wide-leg standing twist

This one stretches out shoulders and neck muscles for extra flexibility.

Adding wide-leg standing twist to your travel workout can help release tension in the upper back that executives sometimes get from working repeatedly at a computer.

Again, starting with a wide-leg stance make an X shape with your arms. Hinge from the hips and reach down with the right hand to touch the floor or chair or side of the bed. Keep left hand reaching to the ceiling, creating a forward fold with a twist. Look up toward the ceiling for a more complete twist or look down toward the ground to be gentler on your neck.

Hold the stretch for 8-10 breaths and return to starting position. Then, repeat on the left side.

5. Crescent Lunge

Lunge stretches are great for executives because it allows the hips to open up and relax. Since this part of the body suffers from sitting in meetings all day, it is a great addition to your travel workout.

Bend into right knee and step left foot back far enough so that the leg is long and you’re on the ball of your back foot. Keep right knee bent at a 90-degree angle, or less, with the knee directly over the ankle. Make sure that knee doesn’t go past ankle at any point to protect joints. Reach arms up overhead while engaging the core. Hips should be square toward the front. Continue engaging the back leg and keeping torso tall to get the full stretch in the left hip.

Hold for 8-10 breaths and return to starting position. Then, repeat on the opposite side.

6. Downward facing dog

Perhaps, the most popular yoga pose. The downward facing dog is a great stretch for your whole body.

This stretch can open up your hamstrings, lower back, chest and shoulders. All necessitates for busy executives who sit a lot!

From cat-cow post curl your toes under and send your hips up toward the sky to make an inverted V position. Press firmly into both palms and bend knees as much as needed, eventually working toward straight legs.

Try taking 8-10 breaths here and come back down to child’s pose whenever you need a break.

This is a more advanced yoga posture so be careful and listen to your body!

For Advanced Executives:

For an added challenge, the more advanced executive can try increasing the number of breaths of each stretch when possible! Start with 8-10 breaths for each.

As you get more comfortable with the positions the body is in try 15-20 breaths. The longer you can breathe and relax in the stretch the more flexible your muscles will become.

Cardio Exercises

Cardio is an essential part of any travel workout. After sitting on airplanes or in meetings all day long it is important to get your heart pumping and boost your metabolism.

Cardio can also help reduce stress, which is especially important for busy executives during business travel.

You can do these exercises in your hotel room with no equipment. Therefore, it’s perfect for when you’re pressed for time or want to skip the treadmill in the hotel gym.

Perform these cardio exercises not for repetitions, but for time. 20 seconds of exercise with 10 seconds of rest continuously for two minutes.

1. Jumping Squats

Jumping squats are one of the most effective exercises to build strength so, kick things up a notch with this cardioversion.

Start with feet hip distance apart and torso tall, bend knees to a 90-degree angle. Note that you don’t have to go as low if this causes knee issues. As you come back to standing add a jump so that feet come off the ground. Land softly and go immediately back into the squat position.

For a modification try nixing the jump and instead come up to the tip toes before returning to the squat.

2. Burpees

Burpees are one of the most strenuous cardio moves for travel workouts. However, they are one of the most effective cardio and strength moves out there!

Start in a plank position and quickly hop feet forward to meet the hands, or as close as you can get to the hands. Then, burst upward into a jump. Now reverse it back into the plank position.

For an easier, but still effective modification, take out the jump forward and backward and replace with a simple step forward and backward. This will still get your heart rate pumping but will be easier on your joints and allow you to get used to the movements.

Try doing this like the circuit mentioned above, 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for two minutes!

3.Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a great way to boost metabolism and break a sweat.

Softly jump and land with your legs apart, jump again and bring them back together. As you continue the jumping rhythm, claps your hands above your head at the apex of the jump.

To modify this and make it easier on the knees take out the jump and alternate stepping feet out to one side while continuing to clap hands above head.

Continue for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for two minutes!

4.Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are great for core strengthening and calorie burning.

Staring in a plank position, bring one knee toward your chest and then back. Alternate quickly for a “running in place” type motion while remaining in a plank position.

You can modify this exercise by just slowing down. Instead of a “running in place” motion alternate bringing each knee up in a more slow and controlled way. You’ll still get the same great benefits but this difficult exercise will be made slightly easier.

Continue for 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for two minutes.


For Advanced Executives:

To challenge yourself (if you have more time) and get a more intense workout, try for 30 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest continuously for 4 minutes!

Strength Exercises

Strength training is the final puzzle piece of a total body workout. It can supercharge your metabolism for almost 48 hours. Add this element into your travel workout! It will allow you to stretch, raise your heart rate, and build muscle- all in 30 minutes. You don’t need a set of weights or a gym, just your own body weight using this plan travel workout.

You can find more strength workout here.

1. Squats

Squats are one of the best strengthening exercises and an essential addition to your travel workout. It’s a simple and effective move the involves almost all muscle groups and joints in a safe way.

This is great for busy executives because it can help build muscle and increase your heart rate all in one!

Start with feet hip-width apart and firmly planted on the ground, while keeping your torso tall bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Your hips will lower but the back stays straight. Lower hips until knees come to a 90-degree angle, less if you have any knee or hip issues.

Once you’re in the squat press firmly into both feet and return back to standing and repeat.

Try doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions, with 30 seconds of rest between sets for a great leg burn!

2. Push-up

This is a classic upper body exercise that works the chest, arms and core muscles.

Upper body and core strength will help executives with better posture.

Start out in a plank position with wrists directly under shoulders and belly pulled in. Bend elbows to 90-degree angle to lower torso towards the floor. Once lowered press into palms and return to plank position.

Repeat for 3 sets of 12 repetitions with 30 seconds of rest between sets.

For a modification, try doing lowering knees to the floor, which can take some pressure off the wrists and lower the intensity.

3. Bird Dog

Bird dog is a great core exercise that also helps with focus and balance. Balance and focus are essential for executives, especially during business travel.

Starting on all fours bring wrists directly under shoulders and knees under hips, pull the belly in towards the spine. Ground into the left hand and extend right arm as if you were shaking someone in front of your hand. If you feel balanced enough, next extend the left leg. Keep core engaged and reach arm and leg to opposite ends of the room.

You will feel your core muscles support the balancing act.

Hold for 2-3 breaths and then switch legs and arms. Continue like this until you’ve completed five repetitions on each side.

4. Ab Crunch

Ab crunches are a simple core exercise that can tone and tighten your abs.

Start by laying on your back with knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Bring hands behind ears and keep elbows wide away from the face. As you exhale bring your shoulders off the mat toward your knees. Do not sit up all the way!

This exercise is most effective if you engage your core and pull your abs in as you crunch. Just bringing your shoulders an inch or two off the ground. As you inhale slowly lower shoulders back down to the ground.

Complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions with 30 seconds rest between sets for maximum benefits.


For advanced executives:

For an added challenge try increasing the number of sets!

Once you become familiar with the exercises try completing 4 sets of 12 repetitions. This will burn even more fat and really push you during your travel workout.


Don’t give in to the stress and exhausting schedule of business travel. As you can see, you can do a 30-minute workout anywhere and anytime. There is a good reason why industry leaders are often fit and devote lots of time to exercise and travel workout plans.

Travel workouts are the ultimate stress reliever. They also help your mind work clearly and quickly. An advantage that no executive can afford to be without.

Have you found a fitness routine that serves you well regardless of your location and available equipment?

Share your routine in the comments below. As always, there is inspiration to be found in exchanging information with other successful people.

The feeling of accomplishment in fitness definitely spills over to other areas of our lives, giving us increased self-confidence in other matters as well.



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