The Work Out Anywhere No Equipment Travel Workout

The Work-Out-Anywhere Workout by Maria Faires, RD, ACE-PT, ACE-MES

Even if you don’t have access to a full hotel gym, this list of travel exercises provides you with some body weight exercises you can do in your room so that you don’t lose your fitness gains while you’re traveling. There are lots of exercise options here. Feel free to pick and choose. For best results warm up with cardio, do the first 4 exercises as a dynamic warm up. If time allows, stretch after your are done.

I have linked some of the exercises to my YouTube channel. Click on any blue font text and it will take you to a video demo.

Warm up cardio: It is always important to warm up before working out. Options are running in place, dancing, step ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, run around the block a couple of times or walk up and down a stairwell.

Ankle Touches: Run in place, turning your knees slightly outward, bringing the inside of the leg up toward the chest and reaching your hands to touch the inside of your ankles.

Crab To Toe Walk: Sit on the floor with your knees bent, your palms behind your glutes, and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your glutes a couple inches off the floor. Lift and straighten your left leg while reaching for your left toes with your right hand. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg and left arm.

Shoulder circle: Stand with your arms straight out from your sides, parallel to the floor. Slowly rotate both arms forward in big circles. Continue for 30 seconds, then draw big backward circles for 30 seconds.

Fire Hydrant Circles: Get in hands and knees position, hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. Keep the arms straight throughout. Pull belly button to spine. Lift one leg off the ground with knee bent and perform circles from the hip; getting as large a range of motion as possible without moving your spine. Do big circles then reverse the circle then switch sides. Make sure your spine is staying stable and all the movement is coming from the hips.

Forward Leaning Lunges: get in lunge position, bend forward, place palms on floor.

Glute Bridges: Lying face up on ground with arms to side, knees bent, and heels on ground (or chair). Lift hips off the ground until knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line, hold 3 seconds, return to start position and repeat.

Push-ups: If these are too difficult, do standing pushups. This exercise works your chest, shoulders and arms. Kneel on the floor with about 75 percent of your weight balanced on your palms. Pull your abdominals in so your back doesn’t sag and your spine is in alignment. Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor. Once your upper arms are parallel with the floor, press back up to the start.

To do a more intense pushup, pack 2 paperplates for this sliding pushup!

Diagonal One Arm Sliding Pushup  

Forward to Back Lunge

Ski Jumps: side to side plyos with feet together.  

Wall-Sits: From a standing position, lean back against a wall or a solid stationary object and bend your knees sliding down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can. If this position is uncomfortable to you just go to a depth that you feel comfortable with and then work at being able to get into the thighs parallel position as you progress through the weeks of your program. Your feet should be 18 to 24 inches away from the wall to minimize knee stress. Continue to breathe throughout the entire time.

Wall Slides for Posture

Reach, Roll and Lift for shoulder stabilization.

Squat Thrust/burpees: Stand with feet together. Squat down and place your hands on the floor next to your feet. In an explosive movement, jump feet backwards into a push-up position (keep core braced), jump feet back between hands and stand up. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.

Side lunge windmills. Lunge to right side and touch left hand to right foot, bring right hand up and behind you. Stay low I a lunge and move to other side. Keep back straight.

Jumping Jack: Stand upright with feet together and hands at your sides. Raise hands up above your head, while jumping up just enough to spread your feet about twice shoulder width apart. Immediately reverse movement back to start position without stopping. Repeat as many times as necessary as quickly as possible.

Squats: Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips. Bend your knees and lower your body. How low you go will depend on your strength and flexibility, but never go so low that your rear is lower than your knees or your knees shoot out over your toes.  Stand slowly back up.

Forward Lunge with Overhead Reach: Hold onto a 5 to 15 pound object. Get into a lunge position. Descend into a lunge and on the way up press the object straight up.

Bench Walkouts to forearm plank: Toes on bench and palms on floor, walk hands back towards bench, walk back out, one arm down to forearm, other arm down to forearm, back up to palms, walk back towards bench.

Single Leg Balance. Standing on one leg, maintain your balance Try to hold for 1 minute. Once this exercise is too easy progress to eyes closed.

High Knee Jog 30 seconds

Hamstring Plate Slides. Lie on back knees bent with heels on paper plates. Tighten butt, slide plates away.

Bench Burpees: toes on bench or sturdy stable chair, hands on floor. Hop toes to floor then back on bench.

Calf Raises: Standing, lift heels off the floor and repeat.

Rear Blasters: Get down on your hands and knees. Slowly extend your right leg behind you until its straight and in line with your back. To get additional effect, squeeze at the top for a couple of seconds. Now slowly lower your leg back into the starting position.

Skipping: forward and back.

Target Touch: Place a “target” (any small object 10-12 inches high) on the floor. Stand on your right leg approximately 12″-18″ away from the target. Slowly, perform a single leg squat and reach across with your left hand and touch the target and return to upright maintaining single-leg balance the entire time. Keep your back straight the entire time.

Low Ab March: Bend knees and keep bent. Brace abdominals, lift one leg at a time, marching slowly.

Plank: Get into a pushup position and lower your forearms to the floor. Look down at the floor, pull in your belly button and brace your abs. If this is too hard put your knees on the floor. Keep your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Side Plank: Lie on side, knees straight, upper body propped on your elbow and forearm. Hold.

Clam Shell. Lie on your side. Stack your legs one on top of the other, and tuck your knees forward about 45 degrees. Lean your hips forward. Lift the top knee up, keeping your feet stacked. Your legs should look like an open clamshell. Then close your legs. Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, keeping your pelvis steady throughout the movement.

Bird Dogs: Kneel on hands and knees with legs and hands slightly apart. Raise arm out straight beside head while raising and extending leg on opposite side up out behind body. Hold 8 seconds. Lower arm and leg to floor to original position and repeat. Perform movement with opposite arm and leg.

Cool-down stretch: Take two minutes to walk until your heart rate slows and your breathing returns to normal. Then proceed with stretching.

Stretching Do a stretch for all major body parts: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves.


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Best Glute Exercise for Pain and Injury Prevention

The glute muscles are the most important muscles in sports and every day life.The stronger the glutes become, the more strongly they contract and safeguard against pain and injuries.

Most people have weak glutes. Even people who think they have strong glutes almost always have very weak glutes in comparison to how strong they can get through proper training.

Some of the injuries that may result from inactive, weak glutes are pulled hamstrings, patello-femoral syndrome (knee pain), piriformis syndrome, ACL tears, low back injuries, hamstring, groin, and even shoulder injuries.

I have my clients do multiple glute exercises in a workout so that the three gluteal muscles are strengthened. I like the Front Plank with Hip Extension because it was ranked as one of the top exercises for muscle activation of both gluteus medius and gluteus maximus in a study that compared top exercises as well as several other commonly performed clinical exercises to determine which exercises recruit the gluteal muscles, specifically the gluteus medius and maximus, most effectively.   front plank hip extension starting position 1hip2

Front Plank with Hip Extension

Lie on your stomach on the floor in a plank position with arms bent, palms and forearms on the ground, fingers pointed forward, legs straight, and on toes.  Engage your abdominal/trunk muscles. It should feel like you are tightening a corset around your ribs, waist and lower torso. Contract your thigh muscles to straighten your legs and lift your body off the floor.

Next, while in this plank position, lift one leg off of the ground, bend the knee, and bring the heel toward the ceiling for one beat, hold for one or two seconds and then return to parallel for one beat. Repeat 12 times each leg. Contract the glutes and keep them contracted the entire 12 reps.

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Weight Loss Success Story: Jennifer size 14 to size 6

From Jennifer:

Before I started working with Maria, I was a stay at home mother of two boys (both under 3 years old!) who felt like I had no time to exercise and no desire to eat healthy. As a stress eater, I felt like it was totally impossible to leave behind my junk food! How would I cope with my stress?! And exercise? No way, I had a toddler and a baby, and I could barely keep up as it is.

As a young mom who is a former athlete and dancer, I hated the way I looked as a 5'9" 167 pound woman, but felt powerless to do anything about it. My husband was always sweet and said he loved my post-baby body, but I hated every last jiggle and pound! I wanted it gone, but felt helpless about where to start.

When I met Maria, she said the one incredibly motivating phrase I would repeat to myself for the entirety of my weight loss journey, "Jennifer, in 12 weeks, you could have a brand new body!" Maria was completely correct. With her help, I went from not being able to run or lift anything heavier than my kids, to now! I now run a 9 minute mile, can bench press 50lbs, squat press 145, and I'm slimmer and healthier than before I had my kids! I'm a slender, healthy and energetic 145 pounds, and back in my size 6 jeans!

I'm not saying it was always easy. I over-ate things that were bad for me when I got stressed, until Maria gave me alternate suggestions on how to cope. The best part of having Maria as my trainer was when I needed help, she was there. I never had to wait to get to see her, she was always quick with the responses and it was such a relief to know she had a solid education and a ton of research backing up her suggestions. I wanted my weight loss to last, and fad diets never work. Likewise, I wanted a trainer who knew what she was doing, because as a mom I couldn't risk sloppy training that would leave me injured. Maria was my peace of mind that what I was doing would be safe, AND effective.

I realized on my weight loss journey that with the right help, motivation and training, you can achieve any goal you set for yourself. Maria was a constant source of encouragement and assistance, and you know the interesting part? I never set foot in a gym with her! Can you believe it? She helped me over the phone and through email because I live in Missouri! Now, if I can get all this done with Maria's help just over my computer, imagine what you can get accomplished! I know I sound over the moon about her, but I mean every word. My body is proof that she knows what she's doing! From a size 14 to a size 6? In just over 3 months? Amazing, right?!

Only you can make the decision to change your life, but if you're really lucky, you'll have Maria by your side cheering you on and helping you strategize your nutrition and training. After all, 12 weeks to a brand new body? That's no time at all!

~ Jennifer James

Before, Week 1:Weight: 167 pounds


Bust: 39?

Waist: 33?

Hips: 42?

Thighs: 24?

Dress Size: 12

Pant size: 14

Jennifer 167 pounds

After, Week 17:Weight: 145 pounds


Bust: 31?

Waist: 26?

Hips: 34?

Thighs: 21?

Dress size: 6

Pants size: 6

145 lbs
Total Loss:– 21.8 pounds


– 8? off bust

– 7? off waist

– 8? off hips

– Down 4 pants sizes

– Down 3 dress sizes

From Maria: Jennifer started my program in January 2011, weighing 167 pounds. She came to me frustrated about her previous lack of success in losing weight.

Jennifer has followed my recommendations and when things got tough communicated with me so that I could help her. She has had many challenges as a busy stay at home mom of a 2 year old and an infant: an strong desire to “reward” herself at night with food after the kids went to bed, little time to exercise as often as she would like, fatigue, weight loss plateaus, minor injuries, and a transition from stay at home mom to full time working mom. Then to make it worse, her new work environment was full of tempting junk food. Despite challenges and temporary setbacks, she has been successful and has learned an "easy to live with" strategies that will help her keep the weight off and live a healthy lifestyle…forever!

My hope is that everyone reading this will be encouraged by Jennifer's success story.

Jennifer wrote regularly in a blog that chronicled her journey, posted pictures of herself and detailed her progress:

For even more inspiration and entertaining reading, visit her blog and select weight loss under "categories".

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