How to Do the No Equipment Travel Workout

This workout targets the entire body and is great for travelers or those who don't have a lot of space or equipment. All you need is something with a little weight to it — a thick phone book, a backpack or even a suitcase, and a stool or chair.  Some exercises are advanced, so use caution and modify the workout to fit your fitness level.

How to

  1. Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio or walking up and down some stairs.
  2. Do each exercise for the suggested time or reps, repeating each exercise 1-3 times or doing the exercise in a circuit format


See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions. Modify the exercises as needed to fit your fitness level and goals. Take care when holding something other than dumbbells when doing these exercises.

Equipment Needed

A weighted object, a chair

Recommended Workout

Circuit Style - Perform each exercise for 30-60 seconds, one after the other with very little rest in between exercises. Repeat the circuit up to 3 times, depending on your time, fitness level, and goals.

Staggered Pushups

Staggered pushups
Paige Waehner

Try a different version of your usual pushup by putting one hand on a phone book (or any other object) and the other on the floor. On your knees or toes (and with body straight), lower down into a pushup and push back up. Do as many as you can in the time suggested, switching hands halfway through.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Do the pushups on your knees

Good Mornings

Good mornings
Paige Waehner

Stand with feet about hip-width apart holding a lightly weighted object behind the neck. If you're in a hotel room, you can use a phone book or other weighted object or, if you don't have any equipment, simply hold your arms straight up overhead for more intensity. 

Keeping abs braced and knees slightly bent, tip from the hips and lower the torso until it is parallel to the floor, keeping the arms in line with ears. Lift up and repeat. Keep the abs braced throughout the move. If you have any back problems, skip this move.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Don't hold any weights at all

Pike Shoulder Pushups

Pike shoulder pushups
Paige Waehner

This is an advanced exercise, so use caution. Place your toes on a step or stool and hands on the floor. Lift your body up into a pike position with your hands directly under your shoulders and the top of your head facing the floor. Bend the elbows and lower body into a pushup. Push back up and repeat. The move is shown on an exercise ball, which is even more advanced, but if you don't have a ball, a chair or even a bed will do.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Keep your feet on the floor and the knees bent

Rear Delt Flies

Rear delt flies
Paige Waehner

With feet hip-width apart, tip from the hips until back is flat and parallel to the floor, abs braced. Lift the arms straight out to the sides to shoulder level with thumbs pointing up to the ceiling. Lower and repeat. Add light weights for intensity, for example, water bottles. If this hurts your shoulders, skip it.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Hold light weights for more intensity

Triceps Dips

Tricep dips
Ben Goldstein

Sit on a bench or chair with hands resting next to thighs. Push up and bring the hips out, butt just brushing the bench, knees bent. Bend the elbows and lower body down (staying close to bench) until elbows are 90 degrees. Push up and repeat. Straighten the legs for more intensity. 

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Prop the feet on a chair for more intensity

Triceps One Armed Pushups

One arm tricep pushup

Ben Goldstein

Lie down on left side, hips and knees stacked. Wrap the left arm around torso so that left hand is resting on the right waist. Place the right hand on the floor in front of you, palm parallel to the body. Squeeze the triceps and push your body up. Lower and repeat for all reps before switching sides.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Keep the bottom arm on the floor to help give you more leverage

Tiptoe Squats

Tiptoe squats
Paige Waehner

With feet wider than hips, squat down and place hands on phone book in front of you. Raise up on the tips of your toes. Staying on tiptoes and fingertips, lift hips up towards the ceiling and straighten the knees as much as you can. Squat back down and repeat, staying in tiptoes the entire time. Modify by placing hands higher (on a chair or bed).

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Do regular squats holding weight

Overhead Lunges

Overhead lunges
Paige Waehner

Stand in split stance with feet about 3 feet apart. Hold something with weight (dumbbells are pictured, but if you don't have equipment available, try a phone book or even your briefcase or backpack) overhead. Bend the knees and lower into a lunge, bringing both knees to 90 degree angles, front knee behind toe. Keeping weight overhead, push back up and repeat for all reps before switching legs.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds on each side

Change Intensity: Ditch the weights for less intensity, add more for more intensity

Bent Over Squats With Leg Lifts

travel one leg squat lift 2
Paige Waehner

Bend over with hands behind the back, abs engaged. Take the left leg out to the side, toe on the floor and bend the right knee into a squat.  Straighten the right leg as you lift the left leg a few inches off the floor.  Keep the hip, knee, and foot in alignment and facing the front of the room.

Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds on each side

Change Intensity: Squat as low as you can, keep the leg lifted the entire time.

Oblique Ab Sweeps

Oblique arm sweeps
Paige Waehner

Sit with legs bent, back straight, arms extended straight out in front of you. Contract the abs and sweep right arm down and behind you in a half-circle motion, leaning the torso back a few inches. Sit back up and repeat on other side.

 Reps/Sets/Duration: 30-60 seconds

Change Intensity: Sit up higher to reduce intensity, keep the arms bent.

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