Working out while you travel can make your adventure so much more enjoyable by giving you energy, improving your circulation from prolonged sitting, and ups your metabolism so you can indulge a little without gaining weight.
Keep in mind, balance is everything and if you are only going on a one week vacation, it might be better to either skip your workouts altogether and just chill out, especially if you normally train with a lot of intensity, or just do the first workout below because it is great for offsetting too much sitting in a lounge chair drinking piña coladas.
We’ve put together this travel workout guide with 5 different styles of workouts to meet your fitness needs while traveling. Most of these travel workouts require little to no equipment, however, I did include two workouts with equipment for those athletes that are looking to maximize strength while road tripping or want some inspiration on workout routines they can do at gyms while traveling.
Fitness Equipment for Travel
You might need to invest in a little bit of equipment, however, if you really don’t have the space for it while you travel, you can do without and skip the exercises at the end or make slight adjustments to some of the Swiss Ball movements and do them off an elevated surface or skip them altogether. For us, we travel in our RV with just 20# dumbbells, a 65 cm swiss ball, a yoga mat, and a monster mini jump stretch band. Although, for a few years Victor traveled with his barbell and 205 lbs of plate weights so that he could workout in the campgrounds. Can you imagine how bad our fuel efficiency must’ve been 😂. You could easily travel with just the jump stretch band and the travel yoga mat if you’re going abroad.
Functional Training Workout For The Glutes + Core: No Equipment Needed
This workout focuses on establishing strength in the glutes and core, which tend to get weaker as your hip flexors shorten from prolonged sitting. I also included push ups to give you a total body workout. Prehab type workouts like this are the secret to the fountain of youth because they help you maintain balance among the muscles and joints so that you can play harder, longer, and better.
Here are 3 ways I’d integrate this type of workout:
1 | The no-sweat-feel-good workout. This workout can be one complete workout in and of itself, especially if you are looking for just a “feel good” workout that wakes up some dormant muscles from prolonged siting (think road trips and long haul flights) and energizes you without having to sweat.
2 | The goal driven athlete. This is actually the workout I do the most because it trains the smaller muscles that don’t get used as much in my adventure sports. If you actively play sports, this is a good warm up routine to your more intense workouts below or a great warm up before your hike or MTB (that’s why the VMO exercise is included with this workout routine).
This is a great workout for long road trips, long haul flights, or if you have a job where you sit a lot– yes, I’m looking at you 👉 fellow bloggers 🙋🏽♀️.
1 | Side Lying Leg Lift
Leg completely straight, foot flexed, make sure you are completely on your side. You should feel the movement in the outer hip. If your feel it in the front of your hip your are probably using your hip flexor instead of your hip/gluteal muscles.
2 | Bent Leg Bridge
Drive through the heels. Aim for your knees, hips and shoulders to be in one line at the top of the movement.
3 | Alternating Single Leg Bridge
Keep the hips high and in one plane, don’t let your hips shift side to side. Press through the heels and contract your gluteals to help stabilize. Alternate extending one leg so that it is in line with knee and hip.
4 | Reverse Crunch
Feel free to bend the legs to keep your back on the floor. Press the belly into your spine and the lower back into the floor, try to have no space between the floor and your lower back. Lift hips off floor trying to not use momentum to execute the crunch. The movement can be very small.
5 | Partial Leg Lift
Lower your feet as low as you can while keeping your lower back touching the ground.
6 | Arch Up
Keep toes on mat, place hands behind the head, squeeze shoulder bladed together while you life chest and hands of the floor a few inches.
7 | Dolphin
Keep upper body on the floor, with straight legs lift the heels up as high as your can, trying to get the thighs to come off the ground.
8 | Push Ups
Keep your abs tight so that you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Tuck your pelvis under slightly to avoid sinking in your lower back. If you cannot maintain this position then do a modified push up with your knees on the floor. Bend your elbows to ninety degrees, making sure your hands are wide enough that the elbows stay in line with the wrists, but your elbows should be lower than shoulder height. If there was a line between your thumbs and your chest you would touch it if you went all the way down. Keep you head in neutral.
9 | VMO Leg Lift
Sit on the ground with one leg bent and the other leg extended all the way out. Lean onto the hip of the extended leg and with the toes turned slightly outward and the floor flexed, pulse the leg up and down while focusing on squeezing the muscles right above the knee cap. This exercise is very important in keeping the knees injury free.
Sweat It Out Travel Workout
Now it’s time to get the heart rate elevated! This is the perfect HIIT workout to do if you just spent a night indulging too much 😉. The goal is to move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible without sacrificing form. After you complete one round, allow your heart rate to come down significantly before repeating the sequence.
This is also a great workout routine to do at home if you have limited equipment.
1 | Jumping Jacks (1 minute)
I hope you know what these are 🙂
2 | Rock and Roll with a Jump (15 reps)
Place your hands lightly on your knees while rounding the spine and rolling back. Keep the spine rounded and the abs engaged while rolling back up. Draw the heels close to the glutes and drive through the feet to jump as explosively as possible.
3 | Swim Kicks (30 reps total)
Start lying on the floor with the legs up and perpendicular to the floor. While keeping the low back on the floor, alternate lowering one leg until it almost touches the floor, then switch.
4 | Walking Lunges (10 per leg)
Make sure your feet are hips width apart before stepping out to do your lunge. When you step out and make sure your stride length is far enough apart that your front knee stays over your front ankle. Descend with control, your back knee should come close to the ground without touching it. Squeeze your front thigh and gluteal while ascending.
5 | Squat Jump (15 jumps)
Start with feet shoulder width apart, maintain a natural arch in your low back while descending. Descend just as you would a squat, then jump as high as you can, driving through the heels, trying not to let your knees go over the the balls of the feet.
6 | Bicycle Crunch (30 reps total)
Keep the lower back pressed into the ground. Lightly place your hands behind your head and alternate touching opposite elbow to knee. Try to round and twist through the upper back so the shoulder blades alternate coming off the ground.
7 | Frog Jumps (15 reps)
Start with your knees apart and hands on the floor between your feet. Jump as far as you can and land, with control, in the same starting position.
8 | Hollow Hold (20 seconds)
Start by laying flat on your back, place the hands on the top of the thighs and round your upper back as if doing a crunch. At the top of the crunch position, start to bring the legs off the floor a few inches. If it’s too difficult to keep the lower back down, then bend the knees until the low back lies flat on the ground or keep the feet on the ground until your abs get stronger.
9 | Animal Walks
If our campground doesn’t have grass, which it usually doesn’t in the States, we skip the animal walks. I’ve found that most of my female clients don’t like to do animal walks, which is fine, but as awkward as they may seem, they are great for developing coordination, mobility, and power.
Rx: Do each of these animal walks for 30 steps in each direction.
- Bear Crawl Forward, Backward, and Sideways
- Crab Walks Forward, Backward, and Sideways
- Bonus: Add in High Knees, Fanny Kickers, and High Skips
Total Body Workout With Just a Swiss Ball + a Band
This is a great total body workout that can be applied to improve strength, size, or leanness depending on the rep range you choose, except for the triple threat which we recommend doing 15 reps of in each direction and the jackknife you should do for max reps.
1 | Bulgarian Squat
Elevate one foot behind you on a bench, block or ball being careful to select a height that doesn’t force you to arch the low back excessively. Bend the front leg to 90 degrees using a long enough stance that the knee of the front leg doesn’t pass the ball of the foot. The torso sh