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Stay Fit on the Fly: 12-Minute, Do-Anywhere Workout

Never Miss Your Workout Again!

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You swore you'd work out while you were traveling, but then (oops!) you forgot your sneakers or (uh-oh) your hotel doesn't have a gym. Well, you're not getting off the hook that easily. Jay Cardiello, SHAPE's fitness editor-at-large, designed six toners that require nothing more than the items found in most hotel or living rooms. "Standing on a pillow and kneeling on a couch create instability, which forces your muscles to work harder to keep you steady—and your body weight provides resistance, eliminating the need for weights," he says. "Plus, because you're doing powerful moves, your heart rate stays up, torching calories." Stash this total-body plan in your suitcase and never miss another workout again.

How it works: Do each move for 1 minute, then repeat the circuit. Change the order every time you do the plan.

You'll need: A pillow, a couch or a bed, and a towel.

Pillow Slam

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Works core, butt, and legs

Stand with feet wide and hold a pillow overhead, arms extended. Squat as you forcefully lower arms, slamming the pillow down onto the floor in front of you. Pick up the pillow and return to starting position. That's one rep. Do as many reps as you can for 1 minute.

Pushup Drop

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Works chest, shoulders, arms, and core

Get in plank position on a couch or bed and lower onto your knees. Bend elbows, lowering chest toward the couch, then powerfully push up. Return to starting position. Repeat, doing as many reps as you can in 1 minute.

Wobbly Touchdown

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Works legs, butt, and core

Stand with right foot on a pillow and left knee raised to hip height in front of you. Extend arms at shoulder height out to sides, palms facing floor. Bend right knee, hinge forward from hips, and reach left hand toward floor as you extend left leg at hip height behind you. Rise up to starting position. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

Tabletop Reach

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Works arms, core, butt, and legs

Get in tabletop position on a couch or bed, knees over ankles and fingers pointing forward. Extend right leg up at a diagonal as you reach left hand toward it. Return to starting position, and repeat on opposite side. That's one rep. Continue for 1 minute.

Towel Hop

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Works legs, butt, and core

Place a rolled towel lengthwise on the floor and stand with your right side next to it, feet together, and elbows bent at sides. Bend knees and jump over the towel to the right [shown], landing on the opposite side. Immediately jump back to starting position. Continue for 1 minute, jumping from side to side.

Sliding Lunge

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Works legs, butt, and core

Stand with right foot on a towel and hands on hips. Slide right foot back as you bend knees, lowering into a lunge [shown]. Return to starting position. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

Photography by: Ian Spanier


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