The Backpackers Workout

The Backpackers Workout

Is it difficult for you to find a good place to workout when you’re traveling? Are you on a budget and want to learn to exercise without losing money at expensive gyms? Would you like to be able to workout absolutely anywhere?

When we travel our health should be priority numero uno. The only thing worse than sickness in a foreign land is losing your passport, having your flight canceled, or being dumped by your most recent girlfriend. That really stings, ouch! Anyways, exercising regularly is one of the best ways to maintain our health. It improves our strength, our energy, endorphin levels, and gives an overall sense of well-being. 

In this post we´re going to go over some simple exercises, that can be done anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re in your hostel dorm room, at a public park, or on a cattle ranch. We´ll try new exercises that will shock and challenge our bodies, which will make for fast results.

We´ll use our own body weight, our backpack, and other random objects to add weight resistance. Using the ground, overhanging beams and steps to do exercises in different positions. Strengthening our bodies throughout the whole routine and at the same time enjoying the outdoors with lots of fresh air and sunshine.

Let’s get into it!



Pushups are one of the most popular strength training exercises in the world. All you need to do them is your body and the ground beneath you. They’re good for building chest, arm, shoulder and back muscles. They strengthen the spine and provide a nice upper body stretch.

Here we are using the backpack and a piece of chain to add weight resistance, and get an intense pump! A step or ledge can be used to change the angle of the exercise and work different parts of the muscle.

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Chin-ups help to develop the lateral muscles, which are located under your arms on your sides and back. This exercise will make your back wider, improve your grip strength and overall endurance. It’s an excellent exercise for mountain climbers and provides a great stretch for the back muscles. Just grab onto something firmly overhead and do some chin-ups, pulling your entire body up and down.

Again, a fully packed backpack can be used to increase resistance and help to develop your muscles, even while you’re on the road.

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     Farmers Walk

The farmers walk is an awesome and very manly exercise, which builds grip strength, overall body strength/muscle mass, and endurance. The heavier you lift and the further you walk the more benefit there is. Put on the backpack and add a chain for lots of resistance. Walk as far as you can, your muscles will thank you later. Most big heavy objects can be used for this exercise, including a large rock, a sack full of potatoes or your girlfriend. Try carrying in different positions, on your shoulders or held in front of your body. Walking uphill will increase difficulty.

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Shrugs are for the trapezius muscles, which will give any man a very tough and muscular look, thickening the muscles that support the neck. By simply raising our traps up and down, while holding onto weights we work these muscles. Do shrugs as often as you can, grow these muscles to the max!

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Shrugs, simply the best



Bricks, stones, or water bottles can be used for a variety of exercises. Including shoulder raises, bent over rows, bicep curls, lunges, and many others. Our muscles don’t care where the weight comes from as long as it’s challenging and heavy.

These big water jugs can be used for many different exercises like farmers walk, shrugs, and the famous deadlift.

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Yoga stretching can be done anywhere. Yoga is another awesome form of exercise that will improve flexibility, breathing, mental calmness, and awareness. It will increase your consciousness and allow you to think more clearly. If you can, do it in the outdoors, so you get the full benefit of nature to give you an added energy boost.

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     Other Exercises

Another exercise you can do with the backpack on are calf raises. They can be done on any step, by simply raising your entire body up and down, with the loaded backpack for resistance.

Dips, which work out the chest muscles. Do dips in a public park on some metal bars, or between two cement walls. They will increase the strength and mass of your chest and arms.

A variety of abdominal exercises can be done on your hotel bed or on top of a yoga mat on the floor. Abdominal exercises aren’t very fun, but everybody loves the look of a well-defined six-pack!

Jogging and running, which can be done in any park or on the side of a quiet road.

Hiking, hike in the outdoors and see the beauty of nature as you workout. This can be very motivating and invigorating.

Swimming, swim in the pool of your hotel, in a lake, or in the ocean. Swimming is one of the best exercises for overall health. It will improve your muscle tone, breathing, and endurance. Many exercises can be done in the water, just be careful with dangerous unknown animals.

Stretching should always accompany your workouts. It will help your muscle development, prevent injury, and benefit the joints and spine.



     Final Thoughts

Travel shouldn’t be an excuse for not staying healthy and exercising. Lots of random objects like your backpack or your friend’s bodies can be used to increase weight resistance. Your exercise routine will help to clear your mind, giving you a better sense of direction and productivity.

We don’t need to visit a fancy gym to stay in shape. With a little bit of thought and imagination, we can safely and effectively exercise almost anywhere! Some basic workout knowledge will go a long way in helping us to accomplish our fitness goals, while we’re on the road.

Happy workout everybody!


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Don´t make fun of my shoes, I´m a Backpacker


Does anybody have any good workout tips to share, or need personal advice on exercising?

Where is the most amazing place you ever had a workout while traveling?

Charles DuFont

Creator of Tripoart, the best art promotion site!

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