A meaningful upper-body workout you can do anywhere in 20 minutes

I have written previously about my use of pushups for upper body workouts when on the road without access to equipment. As an upper body exercise, pushups are hard to beat. As an upper body exercise you can perform in a confined space – think hotel room – they’re unbeatable.

Here’s another hotel room pushup routine I’ve been experimenting with recently which I’ve enjoyed, especially when rushed for time.

Let’s face it, certain travel days simply don’t allow for even 30 minutes of vigorous, committed exercise. This “workout” can be done in less than that. It won’t lead you to the stage of the Arnold Classic, but it’s something to stay sharp and get the blood moving.

As a side note, here’s another fact I’ve learned in over 20 years of exercise: if you’re the person who’s willing to grind hard at your workouts while on vacation, dialing back a couple sessions each year won’t derail you from your goals, as much as it may seem like that in the moment. In fact, at 42-years-old, I found my bench press numbers went up when I began benching heavy every 10 days, not every seven. Hard as it can be to put into practice, rest, recovery – days off – can be a good thing.

When especially jammed for time and needing to hit upper body, I simply perform pushups every minute, on the minute – EMOM. I start with 10 and 20 to warm up then feel it out from there for 20 minutes. That’s it.

But that can be a lot.

Thirty pushups EMOM-style for 20 minutes is 600. That’s good volume in a short amount of time. Your chest, triceps, shoulders and biceps will feel it. So will your conditioning. So will your abs and lats depending on where your hand placement is.

Twenty minutes, that’s it. Twenty-two with your warmup. Now go out and enjoy the rest of your day.

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