Get in a Sweaty At-Home Workout With Just a Suitcase

Sticking to a routine while at home or on vacation for the holidays isn’t always the most appetizing way to spend your time (especially when there are literally so many other appetizing things all around this time of year). Switch things up and turn your suitcase into your workout equipment of the day to take on this 30 minute sweaty workout before going back to your regularly scheduled lazing on the couch in front of Thanksgiving day football.

In all of these movements, your suitcase can be used as your weight. If this isn’t possible, you can also use a jug of water or detergent – or you can do this workout simply using your body weight.

When a flat surface is mentioned in the description, you can use your suitcase in almost all of the movements. You can also use a couch or a coffee table.

What does this 30-minute workout look like?

You’ll work through seven total exercises in 30 minutes. Perform 10 reps of each exercise, then rest for 60 seconds. Repeat exercises 1-7, 10 reps of each, followed by that 60-second rest, until your 30-minute timer runs out.

Let’s get sweaty!

These are your seven exercises:

  1. Split lunge (10 reps each leg)
  2. Decline push-up
  3. Squat thrusters
  4. Triceps dips
  5. Step-ups (10 reps each leg)
  6. Bent-over row (10 reps each arm)
  7. Suitcase deadlift

Here are the exercises broken down:

Split lunge: Find a split stance that is comfortable with you, with one foot forward and one foot behind you on top of a flat surface. Slowly bend your front leg while lowering your back knee towards the floor. With control, drive through your front heel and return to your starting position. Repeat 10 times per leg.

at-home workout


Decline pushup: Assume a plank position with your feet together on a flat surface. Place your hands directly under your shoulders your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Slowly lower your chest down to the floor while maintaining that straight line form, looking a few inches in front of you. Proceed to slowly push yourself back up to your plank.


Thrusters: Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Hold your weight (or in this case, your suitcase) at chest level. Squat down as low as you can while keeping your chest and head up. Drive from your heels to return to stand and press the weight overhead. Return to your starting position and repeat.


Triceps dips: Lightly sit at the edge of your coffee table/couch with your feet together, hands on either side of you. Extend your legs out as straight as you can – the straighter they are, the more challenging the movement will be. Move your hips slightly forward and lower yourself as low as you can go, with little distance between your back and the coffee table or couch. With control, raise yourself back up to the starting position.


Step-ups: If you’re a good houseguest, you might want to remove your shoes for this one.Begin with your feet hip-width apart in front of the couch. Place one foot firmly on the couch, press into that heel and with momentum, step up, driving your opposite leg up, knee towards your chest. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times per leg.


Bent-over row: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a weight (or suitcase) in one hand and hinge forward. Ensure that your back is flat you’re your neck is neutral. Extend your arm that’s holding the weight as you inhale and as you exhale, draw the weight up alongside you, your elbow pointing back towards the ceiling. Slowly lower all the way down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times on both sides.

at-home workout


Suitcase deadlift: If you are using a suitcase for your weight, this is the most direct interpretation of suitcase deadlift as you can get. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your weight to the side of one foot. Squat down to pick up your weight while keeping your chest and head up. Push from your heels to return to stand. Pause, and then slowly squat back down to lower the weight back to the floor. Repeat 10 times on each side.


(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

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About Ashley McCullough

Ashley McCullough has been an active advocate of weight lifting, taco eating, city living and not running for as long as she can remember. A lifelong Notre Dame fan, she graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2012 with a degree in Elementary Education. By day, you can find her organizing objects by color, singing, chanting, dancing around, and reading with her kindergarten class. After the school bell rings, well, not much changes. She continues to do all that. But she also thoroughly enjoys conversing and interacting with adults at group fitness classes and #Sweatworking events. Ashley was born and raised in the suburbs and moved to the city 4 years ago. She never plans to leave… unless she is able to find a beach house on a mountain in a major industrial city on a private island. Then she just might.