The Ultimate Travel Workout With No Equipment

Travelling or holidaying often means forgetting the boundaries you set for yourself in your everyday life and letting yourself go – in every which way. Although no one can tell you that you can’t go to that chocolate factory, winery or beer festival, you can tell yourself that you need to make up for the damage you are potentially doing to your expanding waistline. While time is of the essence when you’re on the go, why not make the jump back into reality easier by maintaining your fitness?

If you’re travelling for business, it is not too likely you are going to be doing much walking when you’re stuck listening to presentations or in business meetings. On the other hand, if you’re travelling for pleasure then there is a great chance you will be doing at least a mile of walking a day. Either way, there is a small chance you will have time to cook for yourself and will indulge in eating out which ultimately means that your portion control will go out the window.

Whatever the reasons for your travels, this workout will get your heart pumping through incorporating cardio and some body weight movements that will have your breaking a sweat to work off those extra calories. All you need is yourself, your phone or a clock, a little space (maybe some music) and half an hour out of your schedule 3 times a week to complete this ultimate travel workout routine.

Warm up
Your warm up should always slowly alert your muscles and increase your heart rate. The following exercises are great simple warm ups for your muscles but feel free to add more shoulder or wrist warm up exercises if you feel the need.

  1. Arm spin (1 minute)
    Place one arm on your belly and raise your hand above your head in the air leaning to one side for 15 seconds and do the same with the other for another 15 seconds stretching it out as much as you can. Repeat once.
  2. Arm and leg stretch (30 seconds)
    Start with your arms above your head and bring them down elongating them to make a full circle to your toes keeping your legs straight. If you can’t reach your toes then go as far as you can and repeat. Stretch up for 15 seconds and down for 15 seconds.
  3. Arm and knee pull-up (30 seconds)
    Standing up straight, raise your arms to your chest and at the same time raise your knee up to your hips, alternating between legs and repeat. No dumbbells required for this one, you should feel it in your triceps and thighs all the same.
  4. Side-leg stretch (30 seconds)
    Standing up straight, swing one leg out to the side keeping it straight and bringing it as high as you can to stretch out your thigh before bringing it back and doing the same with the other leg. Continue to alternate between legs.
  5. Reach-for-the-sky lunge (30 seconds)
    Start in a standing position with your hands over your head and as you step backwards, line your foot up behind your other leg bringing your arms down. Raise your arms up again as you step back into the original position before doing the same with the other leg. Repeat as many times as you can.

Rest for 30 seconds or enough time to set your timer to 20 minutes or watch your clock before starting the workout.

The workout

Complete the following circuit as many times as you can within the 20 minutes. Take 10 seconds between exercises to give yourself a little break or to change positions but remember, you want to keep your heart rate up. After one circuit, give yourself a 1 minute rest before starting a new circuit.

  1. Squat – 1 minute
    Squat yourself down holding the position for the entire minute. Ensure your back is kept straight and your feet are flat on the ground. If you want to challenge yourself, lift and hold your arms up horizontally with the ground. If you really want to push yourself, try little jumps while in the squatting position keeping your arms out.
  2. Crunches – 30 seconds
    Give your legs a break and wake up your abs by laying on the floor with your legs bent in a 45 degree angle. Place your hands across your chest and lift your body up keeping your back straight just so your wrists meet your knees. Remember to keep your feet firmly on the ground and concentrate on working your upper abdominal muscles.
  3. Around-the-world plank x 5
    Now that you’re on the floor, turn your body around so your chest is facing the floor and into a plank position where your elbows and toes are holding your body weight up. To begin, raise one hand and stretch it out as if you’re reaching for something then place it back into position. Then raise one leg off the ground stretching it out before placing it back. Continue with your opposite leg and arm to complete one set.
  4. Incline push up – 30 seconds
    Continue to face the floor holding your body up with your toes and hands leaning on the edge of a bed or table. Push yourself up as much as you can and then go as close as you can to your hands. Step it up by holding one hand behind your back to use only one hand to lean your bodyweight on before swapping.
  5. Running man – 30 seconds
    Facing the floor, place your hands on the ground so your head is positioned in between them. Hold yourself up with your legs extended and toes on the ground and begin by bending one knee at a time and bringing it close to your chest as if running.

Cool down

After the workout, give yourself a few minutes to complete some stretches to help your heart rate slow down. Start by stretching each muscle in your body from head to toe. Hold the position to elongate your spine and stretch out. Try to touch your toes keeping your legs straight. Do some side stretches by placing one arm straight next you your head and the other on your hip stretching out one side of your stomach before doing the same with the other. Stretch out your thigh by standing on one foot and taking the other in your hand and holding it for ten seconds before stretching the other. Now you are ready to conquer whatever your travel days may bring.


Bio: Jason Debel is co-founder of Australian gymnastics equipment store Urban Strength where you can get bodyweight training equipment and guides to train anywhere.

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