Whether you regularly travel for work or you go away occasionally, traveling can put a damper on your regular training schedule. It’s especially frustrating when you’ve just gotten back on track with consistently working out, only to have to stop while traveling!

There are a few obstacles that make it more difficult to continue your fitness regimen on the road:

  • Lack of time
  • No gym facilities or different equipment than you usually use
  • Low energy and fatigue (from travel and change in routine)

All this can make you just want to lie down on the hotel bed, eat the expensive snacks from the mini-bar, and say you’ll just start exercising again when you go back home. And if it is just for a couple of days, then maybe that’s what you should do. But if it’s for longer and if you want to feel better and mitigate some of the stresses of travel, it’s best to find alternatives to your regular workouts. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

No equipment, no space—no problem

Body-weight-style training is an excellent solution to not having access to the equipment or space that you are used to. A few square feet of empty space is all you need to get your training in, and you can work your whole body in a variety of ways. It may not be exactly the same as how you are training at home, but it doesn’t need to be. You’ll be able to stimulate your muscles, heart and lungs just as well. Also, the variety will likely be a nice change and perk you up from the lethargy of traveling.

The workouts

Because training and working out doesn’t mean just doing one thing and because we all can have different goals and intentions for our exercise, we’ll share three workouts that focus on different attributes: strength, conditioning and flexibility.

You can choose to do one or all three, depending on your time, energy and needs. Maybe you just want to undo some of those kinks from sitting in a car or on a plane, so the flexibility session sounds good to you. Or you’ve been doing a strength focus in your current regular training and want to keep your momentum. Or it’s been an especially stressful work trip and a conditioning workout that leaves you in a good sweat is just what you need.

Pick one that suits your mood!


This is a total-body strength-training session that will stimulate all your major muscle groups. With focused exercises and good recovery between sets, you’ll be working primarily on strength rather than conditioning.

Negative Pistol Into Squat
Perform five reps and do three to five sets, resting two to three minutes between sets.

  • Stand beside a table, chair or counter to aid with balance, if needed. Bring one leg up in front of you and slowly lower your hips down as far as you can, bending your standing knee as you lower.
  • Once you are at the lowest depth, bring your extended leg back down so you’re in a low-squat position, and stand back up as in a regular squatting motion.
  • Now bring the other leg up and repeat the movement—that’s one repetition.

Side-to-Side Push-Up
Perform three reps on each side and do two sets, resting two to three minutes between sets.

  • Start up in the top of a push-up and shift your weight over to one side. Drop down and up. Repeat this three times, then shift over to the other side and do three more push-ups on that side.
  • You’ll have to adjust how much weight you shift over to complete all the repetitions, especially as you fatigue.

One-Arm Kneeling Lat Exercise (with chair)
Perform 10 reps on each side and do three to five sets, resting two to three minutes between sets.

This is a unique exercise that allows you to work on your back muscles without needing a pull-up bar or other equipment.

  • Kneel in front of a chair or low table, placing your palm on the seat or tabletop.
  • Push down as you lower your face to the ground, keeping your elbow straight.
  • Think of pulling your hand toward your hip as you sit upward in the kneeling position.
  • You can adjust the resistance by how you shift your weight. Work on making this a smooth motion.

Hollow Body Hold
Hold for 30 seconds and do three to five sets, resting two to three minutes between sets.

This gymnastic-style exercise is great for your core.

  • Lie on your back with your arms reaching up to the ceiling.
  • Keeping your legs straight, lift them so they’re at a 45-degree angle from the floor, and lift your shoulders off the ground. Think of rounding your lower back and curling your shoulders toward your hips with straight arms and straight legs. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • You can adjust this as you need to by bending your knees to make it easier to do the full 30 seconds. If you would like to make it harder, put your arms above your head so your biceps are parallel to your ears.

Fire Hydrant to Superman
Perform five reps on each leg, then hold your Superman for 15 seconds. Do three to five sets, resting two to three minutes between sets.

We’ll end this routine with a combination glute and lower-back exercise.

  • Begin on all fours and lift one knee up and out to the side.
  • Keeping your leg suspended, rotate your leg from your hip to bring your knee back behind you, and push your foot toward the ceiling.
  • Bring your knee back to the ground. Repeat five times, then switch and perform on the other side.
  • Then drop down to your stomach with your hands out in front of you and legs extended. Lift your arms and legs, balancing on your stomach and hips, and hold for 15 seconds.


Perform these movements one after the other in a circuit style, with no rest between the exercises for a “round.” Then rest as little or as long as you need before the next round. Repeat for five to 10 rounds. You may need to increase the rest periods in the later rounds, and that’s just fine. A good starting point is resting one minute between rounds. Some people can do without any rest, and some people need to rest more than a minute. Do what’s best for you!

Do five reps.

  • Bring your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly.
  • Keep your chest up tall and your weight centered in the middle of your foot as you drop down as low as you can and come back up again.
  • Perform five reps.

Inverted Press
Do five reps.

  • Start on your hands and the balls of your feet with your hips up in the air like an “A.”
  • Bend your elbows to bring your head down to the ground between your hands.
  • Adjust how much weight and the space between your hands and feet as needed to do five repetitions.

Hop Forward, Side and Back Lunge
Do two reps each leg.

Here, you’ll hop onto one leg, bending as you land into a lunge position.

  • Start with hopping forward, then come back to the middle and repeat to the side and behind you.
  • Repeat twice, then perform on the other leg.

Alligator Roll
Do one rep each side.

This is a nice active core exercise that combines the hollow body hold and Superman (described above).

  • Lie on your back with your hands above your head, biceps framing your shoulders. Roll once to one side and then to the other side.
  • Bend your knees and bring your arms down as needed to complete the exercise.

Hop Forward, Side and Back Squat
Do one rep.

We’ll finish the round with hopping into squats.

  • Start hopping forward, return to the middle, then repeat to the side and behind you.


Flexibility work can provide a nice respite from a long stressful day, and a good cool-down after one of the other workouts above. In this session, we’ll combine dynamic and static stretching to loosen you up and help you relax into more ranges of motion throughout your body.

For each movement, you will move slowly with control into and out of the stretch for five repetitions, then go to the stretched position and relax into a hold of 15 seconds. Only go as far as a slightly uncomfortable stretch; there should not be any pain.

Kneeling Lunge With Chair Support

  • Sit on a chair with one leg bent and the other outstretched behind you.
  • Round your lower back and pelvis, and you’ll feel more of a stretch in your hip and leg.
  • Shift your weight forward and back in and out of the stretch five times by bending and straightening your back leg.
  • Then settle into a stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • If you feel good, you can just use the chair for support at your side rather than sitting on it.

Side-to-Side Squat (with chair)

  • Stand in front of the seat of a chair to use it as support.
  • Spread your legs about twice the width of your shoulders, and rock to the side as you bend that knee and straighten the other.
  • Shift your weight back and forth in and out of the stretch five times.
  • Then settle into a stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Lat Stretch With Chair on Table

  • Sit in front of a table, with your seat back far enough so that you can comfortably place the back of one elbow on the table as you bring your chest down toward the floor. Keep your arm next to your head.
  • Move into and out of the stretch five times.
  • Then settle into a stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other arm.

Bent-Arm Chest Stretch With Chair and Table

  • Sit in front of a table, and place your palm on it with your fingers pointing toward the middle of your body and your elbow up high and bent at about 90 degrees.
  • Move into and out of the chest stretch by rotating your body away from your hand and dropping your chest toward the ground. Do this five times.
  • Then settle into a stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Traveling for work or other commitments disrupts your normal routine and is stressful enough on its own without the added stress of trying to keep up with your fitness routine. The best thing to do here is to acknowledge that you likely won’t be able to replicate exactly (nor should you) what you do when you are at home. Thinking this way will free up some of your anxiety and allow you to explore different options.

We’ve provided three different plans above to help maintain your strength, conditioning and flexibility when you are away from your usual schedule. It’s also a great opportunity to try something a little different!

Photo and video credit: Courtesy of GMB Fitness