Don’t know how to keep fit during vacation? These bag workouts are the answer!

Maintaining fitness levels during a vacation is not so hard as it sounds, especially with this amazing workout routine that makes use of bags.
staying fit while on vacation
Working out can happen, anytime and anywhere. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 22 Oct 2021, 08:00 am IST
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Revenge vacations are on in full mode. After all, staying cooped up at home has been particularly hard. Our bags are packed and we are raring to go. Being on vacation is great, but how does one keep up with their fitness routine? Of course, carrying a whole lot of equipment seems quite impractical. Well, here’s a bag-to-the-basics routine you can do with no dumbbells, bands, or gym equipment. 

Just grab your duffel bag or backpack; stuff it with cushions, blankets, a couple of water bottles, and voila! You have a weighted bag (5-7kgs) ready for a full-body workout. 

Celebrity fitness expert Bhavna Harchandrai shares an alternating upper and lower body routine with HealthShots that will help you find your happy place. 

1. Hug-a-bag

This is a squat exercise holding your weighted bag. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly outwards. Hugging and holding your bag, squat down to a level where your hamstrings are about parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back straight, with chest thrust outward the entire duration. Breathe in as you squat and breathe out as you come back to the standing position.

staying fit while on vacation
Image courtesy: Bhavna Harchandrai

Do three sets of 12-15 reps each.

2. Single-arm rows

Stand with the left leg forward, and right leg back. Hold the bag handles with your right hand. Extend the right arm forward and pull back to perform a rowing motion. Do three sets of 12-15 reps for both arms, alternating your legs’ position.

3. Transfer the bag

Holding the bag handles with the right hand, perform a back lunge taking the right leg back. Next, transfer the bag from the front, legs together, and perform the same on the left side. Do three sets of 12-15 reps for both legs.

4. Push-up with tap-ups

Place the bag on the floor. Perform a push-up and as you come up tap the edge of the bag with the opposite hand. Do three sets of 12-15 reps.

staying fit while on vacation
It’s time to nail push-ups. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Overhead transfers

Hold the bag securely over the right shoulder. Draw a semi-circle with your arms as you transfer it to the left shoulder, and squat down simultaneously. Repeat on the other side. Do three sets of 10 reps each.

6. Tap-it and bag-it

Place the bag down in a horizontal position. Do 2-3 walking planks to reach the other side and tap the bag. Perform three sets of 12 reps.


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7. Bag swings

This exercise is similar to kettlebell swings. Stand in a wide squat position, holding the bag handles with both hands. Bend your knees into a squat, arms down, bag off the ground. Come up to full extension as you swing your arms/ bag forward up to shoulder level. Do three sets of 12 reps.

staying fit while on vacation
Image courtesy: Bhavna Harchandrai
8. Bag curls

Holding the bag securely, sit back in a squat position, arms extended. Let the weight of the bag pull you down towards gravity. Flex the arms to perform a bicep curl. Come back up to a standing position and extend the arms. Perform two sets of 12-15 reps.

9. Obstacle – shuffles

Place the bag on the ground vertically. Imagine it is an obstacle as you hop over to the other side. Perform 4-6 scissor jumps or 1 burpee. Hop over to the other side and repeat. Complete three sets of 12 reps.

10. Suitcase/ bag lifts

Imagine you are at the airport and have to carry your heavy luggage.  Similarly, bend your knees to lower down and grab the bag handles with your right hand. Stand up holding the bag to complete a squat and place the bag down on your right side.

staying fit while on vacation
Image courtesy: Bhavna Harchandrai

Now, pretend someone is calling out to you and you turn to see who it is whilst keeping an eye on your luggage. So, you perform an explosive squat as you turn over your left shoulder, to face the back (turn 180 degrees). Now, pick up the bag with your left hand and perform two sets of repetitions.

11. Mountain climbers

Place the bag on the ground, just below chest level. Drive your knees in to perform mountain climbers. Here the bag serves as a target, try to tap knees to the bag. Do three sets of 12-15 reps.

12. Deadlifts

Stand with legs shoulder-distance apart. Holding the bag firmly, bend your knees into a hip hinge position. Lower down, chin up, back arched until the bag reaches your shins. Come back up to starting as you squeeze your glutes and tighten the hamstring muscles. Do three sets of 12-15 reps.

staying fit while on vacation
Deadlifts can help you tone up the hamstring muscles very effectively. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
13. Weighted tricep dips / overhead triceps extensions

Perform tricep dips keeping the bag on your thighs. Alternatively, you could do tricep presses if you have a duffel bag — Hold the bag firmly with both hands, elbows over shoulders, palms facing forward, and do triceps. Do two sets of 12-15 reps for each arm.

14. Burpees with goblet press

Keep the bag in front of you. Bend your knees, and grab the bag firmly. Lift it up over your head (goblet press). Now, place the bag down and do a burpee. Pick up the bag and repeat. Perform two sets of 12-15 reps.

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