The 15-Minute Body-Weight Workout You Can Take on the Road

July 1, 2013 6:20 pm Last Updated: July 2, 2013 9:45 am

Maintaining your workout when you are traveling or don’t have time to make it to the gym can be very challenging. As an avid proponent of high intensity training (HIT), I created a short but intense body-weight routine that can be done anywhere. 

It only takes 15 minutes to complete, so despite the challenging nature of this routine, having limited time shouldn’t dissuade you. Everyone should be able to find 15 minutes to spare. 

If you are injured, severely deconditioned, or prone to injury, I suggest that you find a qualified fitness professional to help you design a more personalized program.


A: Six Inchworms 

This first move is a dynamic hamstring stretch.

Walk out on your hands to a plank position. Slowly walk your feet toward your hands. With each step forward, stretch your calf and hamstrings for a few seconds. Repeat this six to eight times.

Note: This is a dynamic stretch warmup. You want to move through each stretch as opposed to holding each stretch. If you hold the stretch for 30 seconds or more, the stretch becomes a static stretch, which will temporarily weaken the muscle. 

B: Long Lunge and Reach 

This is a dynamic quad, hip flexor, and spine stretch.

Step with your right foot forward between your hands. Keep your left leg straight. 

Press all four corners of your right foot into the floor, with your right knee in alignment with your ankle. Pressing your right foot down, gently engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your navel to your spine, and reach your arms up to the sky. 

Repeat four to six times on each leg. 

Note: To modify this warm-up movement, you may reach your right arm up to the sky (when your right foot is forward) and rotate your torso toward your right (front) leg. 

C: Jogging in Place

Get out a timer and jog in place for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on your cardiovascular strength. When jogging, lift your knees toward your chest.


A: Monkey Sits 
Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms stretched over your head. 
Sit up into a V-sit position, balancing on your seat. Keep your spine straight, navel in, and knees bent, but feet lifted. 

You may reach your arms straightforward or grab the backs of your thighs. 
Perform as many as you can (in good form) in 30 seconds.

Take a 10-second break.

B: Shoulder Push-Ups 
These are a preparation for handstand push-ups. They are great for shoulder strength and stability. 

Go into a plank position. Reach your hips up to create a V shape with your body. Lower the crown of your head toward your hands while keeping your ribs drawn toward each other (as though wearing a tight vest) and your spine straight. 

Repeat 10 to 15 times.

To make this more challenging, practice the shoulder press push-ups with one leg in the air. IMAGE 1915 Progress to placing your feet on a bench.

Take a 10-second break.

C: Side Shuffle With Side Leg Lift 
Shuffle to the side two times and then lift your outside leg up twice, alternating sides.

Repeat as many as you can in 30 seconds.

Take a 10-second break.

D: One-Leg Push-Ups 

Go into a plank position. Align your ears with shoulders and shoulders with hips. Press your hands into the ground and push so that your shoulder blades lie flat on your back (as opposed to letting your shoulder blades stick out). Engage your core and lift your leg. Perform four to eight push-ups on each side.

Take a 10-second break.

E: Squats 
Cross your arms in front of your chest. Shift your weight into your heels. Slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause there for one to three seconds. Press your heels down as you stand up. Repeat 10 to 15 times. 

Take a one- to two-minute break.

Repeat two to four times, depending on your level of fitness.

Try this routine in your living room, the park, on the beach, or in a hotel room. 

Tysan Lerner is a certified health coach and personal trainer. She helps women attain their body and beauty goals without starving themselves or spending hours at the gym. Her website is