Amber Long by Amber Long

Warm weather has finally arrived and with it the opportunity to get outdoors and explore. When traveling, it can be hard to maintain your regular fitness routine, but it’s a good idea to try to maintain at least some strength-based movement so you don’t lose all the hard work you have put in at the gym. Sometimes that means using what you have available, such as a backpack. Use this quick backpack circuit to keep your fitness goals on track on your next adventure.

Load your backpack with clothing, food, water and other necessities. Simply walking around with a backpack can be a great workout, but using your backpack as load for a workout is even more intense. Perform a five-minute dynamic warm up of choice before starting the circuit. Complete each exercise for 12 repetitions and one to three rounds of the circuit. Be sure to pack only as much weight into your backpack as you can comfortably lift 12 times.

1. Backpack squats: Wear the backpack for back-loaded squats or hold it at your chest for front-loaded squats. Keep your core braced and your chest lifted. 

ACE Backpack Squat

2. Backpack row: Hold the backpack laterally. Hinge at the hips while bracing the core. Start with the backpack on the ground, drawing the elbows into the sides. Engage the lats and rhomboids as you lift, and control the descent of the pack toward the ground. Stop at the shins and repeat.

ACE Backpack Row 1 ACE Backpack Row 2

3. Backpack lunge: Wear the backpack on your back for rear load or hold in front of your body for front load. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back into a lunge stance, step back to center and then switch sides. Options include performing walking lunges, lateral lunges or curtsy lunges.

ACE Backpack Lunge

4. Backpack wood chop: Stand with feet hip-width apart. With the arms straight (but not locked), lift the pack diagonally over your shoulder. Chop back toward the knee, bracing your core to stop the path of motion at the top and bottom of the movement.

ACE Backpack Wood Chop 1 ACE Backpack Wood Chop 2

5.Backpack jumping plank: Set the backpack on the ground. Position your hands on the ground on either side of the pack. Start with feet on one side of the pack. Brace your core and set shoulder blades slightly back and down keeping the spine strong and straight. Step, hop or jump to the other side of the pack. For additional challenge, kick your feet higher in the air.

ACE Backpack Jumping Plank 1 ACE Backpack Jumping Plank 2

6. Cardio interval option: Perform 60 seconds of high knees or run a sprint in an open field.

On your next adventure, keep your fitness journey moving forward. Use your loaded backpack as your training resistance. Adventure awaits! 

Want to take your passion for health and exercise to the next level? Become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer