Summer is a busy time of year for travel (beach vacations, honeymoons, trips abroad), which can mean losing access to your usual fitness studio, gym, or home workout space.  And while taking a break from your workouts is certainly a good idea from time to time, taking long breaks while on vacation might mean backtracking on that progress you’ve made.  Even if there isn’t a studio or gym where you’re going, there are a LOT of different exercises you can do right in your hotel room, on the beach, or wherever you find yourself.  The goal, after all, is to keep your body moving and muscles working!  I’m not talking your regular pushups or squats, either.  These 5 dynamic bodyweight exercises all target multiple muscle groups for maximum benefit in minimum time.  Keep reading for the details of the moves, and how to turn them into a quick Tabata workout you can do anywhere!

 Squat Jacks


Start in a low squat position, feet and legs together, chest up and gaze forward.  From here, quickly jump your feet out wide and back in, similar to a jumping jack, but maintaining that low squat position throughout.  Keep your upper body at the same height, focusing on moving only your legs.  Keep going for the desired amount of reps or time.

 Push Up Knee Tucks


Start in a push up position, abs engaged, shoulders directly over wrists, neck neutral.  From here, do 1 push up.  At the top of the press back up, bring one knee up toward your chest, rounding your shoulders and tucking your chin in.  Think about engaging your abs and keeping your body tight.  Return to push up position, do another push up, and repeat the knee tuck on the other side.

 Squat Handstand Jumps


Start out crouched down, chest to knees, butt sitting close to heels, hands planted firmly on the floor in front of you.  From here, push off the floor with your legs so your feet leave the floor, transferring the weight to your hands, keeping your legs straight as you go up.  Come back down into the same position you started in, bringing your butt back down toward your heels.  Keep jumping as high as you’re comfortable for the desired amount of reps or time.  Note: your hands never leave the floor here, only your feet.

 Plyo Push Ups


Start in a modified push up position with your knees on the ground, spine in a straight line so your butt is not up in the air.  From here, lower your chest to the floor in a push up (shown) and then immediately push off so your upper body leaves the floor temporarily.  Clap as you’re in the air, and then quickly place your hands back down on the floor.  Immediately go into the next push up as you land, then push back up off the floor.  Keep going for the desired number of reps or time.  Note: for an increase in intensity, do these from a regular push up position on your hands and feet.



Start in a regular plank position, shoulders in line with your wrists, abs engaged, neck neutral.  From here, draw your left arm up and bring your right leg through to touch your toes, transferring your weight into a side plank on your right arm/left leg.  Immediately twist back into a regular plank position and rotate over to the other side, touching your right arm to your left foot.  Keep alternating quickly for the desired number or reps or time.

 Make it a Workout: 15-Minute Do-Anywhere Tabata

You can do these exercises each by themselves or combine them in any way you choose for a full body workout.  I’m a huge fan of Tabata workouts while away from home because they’re high intensity, and quick!  The high intensity style of Tabata makes it a quick calorie torcher and muscle burner!   

Tabata workouts are typically structured in rounds of 20 seconds of all out work, and 10 seconds of rest.  Therefore, each round = 30 seconds.  Typically you stay on one exercise for 8 rounds, which equals 4 minutes per exercise.  With this workout you’ll stay on each exercise for 6 rounds, equaling 3 minutes per exercise for a total of 15 minutes.  Try to only take breaks during the 10-second rest intervals, and keep things moving from one exercise to the next.  Feel free to modify the number of 20-sec. on/10-sec. off rounds you do to fit your schedule.

 Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Squat Jacks: [20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest] x 6 rounds
  • Push Up Knee Tucks: [20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest] x 6 rounds
  • Squat Handstand Jumps: [20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest] x 6 rounds
  • Plyo Push Ups: [20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest] x 6 rounds
  • Breakdancers: [20 sec. work / 10 sec. rest] x 6 rounds

I hope these exercises give you some creative ideas to keep your body moving while you’re on vacation.  If you try any of them, or give the full workout a go, I’d love to hear how it goes for you!  Have fun, and remember, keep your body moving!


 Ellyn is an ACE-certified group fitness instructor, health educator, and fitness blogger living in upstate NY.  She teaches high-energy strength & resistance training classes and circuit training classes in addition to hosting health education seminars around the New York Capitol Region.  Ellyn is passionate about empowering others to live healthier, more confident lives by making fitness fun and enjoyable.  To connect with Ellyn and learn more about her, visit her blog, In Fitness and In Health (, and follow her on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.


July 20, 2016 by Angela Murray


Ellyn Ferriter

Ellyn Ferriter said:

The post looks great! Huge thank you for allowing me to create this workout for you and your readers! I hope everyone enjoys it, whether on vacation or not. :)

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