Bathroom Workout!

unisex bathroom sign

Bathroom workout? Yes. I am going to answer two questions for you, because I have had the same two questions in the background of my mind for months, & I have answered them. Why? & How?


In my lifetime, I happen to have made the trip halfway across the world to & from the U.S.A. & South Korea several times (at least half a dozen), not to mention trips to Kyrgyzstan, Togo, New Zealand, France, England, Hong Kong, and Thailand, among others #humblebrag. (I hate it when people do that.) My point is, I have travelled on airplanes, and you probably have or will travel on airplanes, for longer than a few hours. In fact, travel is becoming nearly problematically ubiquitous. Even if you never get/have to travel abysmally long on a flight, the idea of being able to workout in the privacy of a bathroom stall might appeal to you, airplane or not. 

But as I have anxiously imagined the dreadfully long flight of approximately 14 hours plus layovers I will have to take in the near future, I have also hopefully envisioned a workout that will relieve the limits of space, time, and social propriety. 

First, space.

Airplane bathrooms are incredibly small, & a full disclaimer: this workout might not be fully accessible to those in taller or bigger bodies. If you can manage to do a 180 degree turn & stand without crouching in an airplane lavatory, you can do this. I am also using an airplane lavatory as the standard, because it is the space I will have to work with; however, if you are under the constraints of travel, yet have access to a normal stall, all the better! With the average stall measuring 24 inches by 48 inches, toilet and sink not included, space is limited. 

Second, time.

Research has shown that even just 10 minutes of exercise is beneficial. This workout can be modified to suit your desires & restrictions, fewer or more than 10 minutes; though I completed it in 10 minutes, & which satisfies my need for a workout. I would definitely choose a time when the bathroom is not in high demand, for politeness and peace of mind. 

Third, social propriety.

The main reason I have conjured up such a workout that can be done in the bathroom is to meet this demand. You may have personally experienced some deeply disturbing acts on an airplane, & wish not to be that person, no matter how dedicated you are to your health and movement. I wish there were a designated space for people to move on airplanes, in any way more vigorous than seat stretches, cramped walks down the aisle, and idle standing near the emergency exit in the back. But alas. Kudos to those trying, but your blushing cheeks may betray you not to be like this, or like this


You do you!

I am sure you can easily create your own solutions to your own perceived problems. Perhaps you don’t even care about working out on a bathroom, let alone in an airplane lavatory! But if you are a bit crazed about exercise and cannot stand the idea of being sedentary for over a few hours, you might want to borrow my ideas & tinker them to your liking –or accept them as is! 

Don’t get sick. 

Hygienically, some may be so put off by the disgusting germs on an airplane, but if you like to live on the edge, I would nevertheless recommend washing your hands thoroughly before & after this workout. If you want to be extra assured, use some anti-bacterial wet wipes to clean off the surfaces your skin will contact.

The Workout

The workout is a deconstructed burpee. I love burpees. These days, I do 100 burpees every morning, along with other exercises. A part of my motivation for this workout is to not have to break this streak of doing them every day, while also trying to be somewhat pliable to normal life situations. Burpees can be broken down into 6 basic moves: 1. bend down (as in a deadlift), 2. push your feet back into a plank position, 3. do a pushup (some forms involve allowing your pelvis to touch the ground. this form I do not do), 4. jump your feet back to your hands, 5. raise your body to a standing position, 6. jump. So many variations to this basic move are possible; but this is how I personally perform a basic burpee. Because of the limited space, the 2nd and 4th steps (jumping legs back and up again) are impossible. Also, pushups are elevated.

So, the workout! This is what it looks like:

  • 10 seated squats
  • 10 deadlift hinges
  • 10 elevated pushups
  • 10 light pull jumps
  • 10 rounds of each set, equalling 100 reps of each total.

Seated squats: stand in front of the toilet seat (preferrably closed). Squat, bringing your butt to touch the seat, and stand back up again.

Deadlift hinges: keeping your back straight, bend your upper body down towards your feet. Stand back up again (moves 1 and 5). 

Elevated pushups: Put your hands, shoulder width apart, against the wall, door, or sink. Bend your arms to bring your chest towards your hands. Push up.

Light pull jumps: Jump lightly, hands up in the air as you jump & pulling down towards your shoulders as you land. (The pull provides the workout with the four basic upper & lower body moves of squat, hinge, push, & pull). 

The workout will vary in time, depending on your speed & fitness level. The main goal is to make it work for your needs. I am excited to test it out in an actual bathroom, not just on my stool & against my countertop. Whether you prefer your travels to be completely restful or can hardly sit still, I hope you can use this workout to work out for you. 


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