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Exercise and travel don’t always go together, no matter how badly you want to work out.  One main reason is that the gym, at your destination, may not have the equipment you are used to, so workout routines become as obsolete as a landline.

However some of the most challenging workouts I’ve done were executed with little to no equipment and a suitcase full of creativity! One of these creative workouts happened at a recent Clean Living Experience® retreat I hosted in Costa Rica. My retreats can be held anywhere in North, Central or South America (so far).  I love the consistent beauty and warmth of these destinations.  What is sometimes more challenging to manage though, is how to run a demanding workout when there is no equipment and no gym.  Also, in most cases, I have not been able to visit the gym in advance so I have to rely on staff at the other end to tell me what they have.  Believe me, often what I am told they have on hand and what is on hand, are two vastly different things.

See also: Workout With Everyday Objects

Once the villa owner told me she had dumbbells, enough to go around.  When I got there the dumbbells were plastic and not for workouts at all!

Necessity being the mother of invention, I created the below workout for that Costa Rica retreat.  With one goal in mind – to deliver a killer workout as creatively as possible with a few things I could fit into my suitcase – I got to work creating the plan.

I adore Bender balls for their incredible kinesiologic cues when training abdominals. They help me and my clients focus on lower abdominals particularly.  These pilates originating balls, come flat so I can stuff 12 in my large checked bag along with resistance bands of all tensions, a few skipping ropes and my Bowes sound unit.  You never know if you will have music or power and music is essential for a proper workout!

So here it is!  My No Equipment Exercise Routine, to get you through your next workout, wherever you are! Download PDF here.

If you want to experience this kind of fun with me, join me on one of my upcoming Clean Living Experience® retreats:


I can’t wait to meet you.

Love and hugs,


PS. Let me know what you love about working out. Any particular exercise you just love (or hate)?

Clean Living Experience® Workout

5 Minute Warm-up – get the body moving and pumping with stretches, jumping jacks, and skipping on the spot.

Burpees – 10 reps

Begin in standing position.

Drop down into a squat position with hands on the ground under your shoulders.

Kick feet back into a plank.

Now jump forward and up explosively, back to start position.

That is one rep.

Plank Hops

Get into plank position.

Maintaining a tight core and with no bend at the waist, hop left and plank, hop right and plank, hop forward (underneath you) and plank.

That is one rep.

Perform 10 reps.


Sit on the floor with knees bent.

Lean back into V-sit position with arms overhead for balance.

Perform 10 V-ups, keeping core tight and engaged.

Open Knees ball Squeeze

Sit on the floor.

Place bender ball between thighs.

Squeeze your thighs together tightly.

That’s one rep.

Perform 12 contractions.

Bender Ball Oblique Twists

Sit on the floor with knees bent.

Place bender ball on the floor against your lower back.

Knees are bent and hip width apart.

Lean back to a 45 degree angle, maintaining a tight core, and slowly twist right, touching the floor on the right with your right hand.

Repeat to the left.

Perform 12 reps per side.

NB. Make it harder by holding a weight.

Full Body Extensions – 10 reps

Stand in athletic squat.

Jump up explosively with arms pumping up over your head.

Land with soft knees and jump up again.

Resistance Band Side Lunges

Place a small resistance band over your knees, on your thighs.

Stand in an athletic squat.

Lunge sideways for two steps to the right.

Lunge sideways for two steps to the left.

That is one rep.

Repeat for 8 reps.

Resistance Band Leg Raises

With resistance band still around your thighs, lay down on the floor on your back.

Place your hands under the small of your back.

Engage core.

Raise legs, with feet flexed toward the ceiling.

Resist against the band and slowly raise and lower your legs, keeping core tight.

Perform 10 reps.

Resistance Band Hip Raises

With resistance band still around your thighs, lay down on the floor on your back.

Place your hands under the small of your back.

Engage core.

Now raise your hips towards the ceiling, resisting against the band by pushing your knees out.

Perform 10 hip raises, then 10 pulses then 10 more hip raises.

Jumping Jacks – 10 reps