On-the-Go Water Jug Workout!

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Happy Easter! He is risen! I hope you get to celebrate and relax with family today. I can’t believe that it’s already the middle of April! While Spring Break has pretty much passed, Summer Vacation is right around the corner! Many of my clients have been traveling and several of them have asked me what they should do while they’re away from the gym. It sounds weird, but I tell them to do the ‘Water Jug’ Workout! What is the water jug workout, you ask? Well, it’s pretty self explanatory. It’s handy because you can access a water jug (or 2) no matter where you are, for a very low price! Publix sells them for 85 cents! Let me Show you what you can do…

Total Body- 10 reps each/ 3 to 5 times

Squat Press- With a water jug in each hand, bend your elbows and bring the jugs up to shoulder level. You’re going to squat down until your knees are at approximately a 90 degree angle (making sure your knees are in line with your toes). As you push up through your heels, simultaneously begin driving the jugs straight above your head until your arms are fully extended. Bring the jugs back to shoulder level and repeat 9 more times. We’re going to go down the line of each exercise, completing one set of each before moving on to the next one for 3 to 5 rounds.

squat press






Bent-over single arm rows- For this one you’re going to take a staggered stance, leaning the majority of your weight into your front foot. Make sure to keep your heel planted. Lean forward slightly, keeping your shoulders back and your head up. With a jug in one hand, fully extend your arm towards the floor. Keeping your back straight, row back until your upper arm becomes parallel to the floor. Slowly lower back down, and repeat, completely 10 repetitions. Complete one set on second arm before moving to the next exercise.

Bentover single arm row






Lying Chest Press- You can lay on the floor, bed or couch for this one. You’ll have a jug in each hand as you bring your elbows up to be level with your shoulders. Your upper arms should be resting on the ground, while your forearms are perpendicular to the floor (elbows at 90 degree angles.) Slowly press your arms straight up above your chest and then slowly lower back down. Palms should be facing forward. Repeat 10 reps.






Walking Lunges- This is my ALL time favorite leg workout at the gym. I feel it more than anything else. Start with a jug in each hand, feet should be together. Keep your shoulders back and your head up as you lunge one foot forward. Sink down until your knee is at 90 degrees and then drive back up through your front heel. Both feet should be together again in the start position. Continue with second leg, alternating as you go.

walking lunges










Single Leg Deadlift- For this one you can choose to use one jug (easier) or 2 jugs to increase difficulty. If using one jug, you will start with the same side. For example, if the jug is in your right hand, your right foot should be planted. Bend the knee of your other leg and keep it just off the ground, behind you. Keeping your shoulders back and your head up, slowly start to bend down, keeping your back flat like a table top. NO SPINAL FLEXION PLEASE. You don’t want your back to resemble Quasimodo’s. Just don’t. Tap the jug to the ground and then pull back up. Lock out your legs and squeeze your glutes at the top before repeating the movement. Complete 10 reps on 1 side before going to the other. You can keep your knee bent slightly in order to maintain a straight back. Just make sure it stays a deadlift and doesn’t turn into a squat 🙂 single leg deadlift










Standing Curls- These are probably the simplest. Stand up straight with your arms down at your side and your shoulders back. Keeping your elbows in, flex your elbows until the water jugs are up to chest height. Slowly lower back down to start position and repeat 9 more times.

standing bicep curls






Tricep Overhead Extensions- You can choose to focus on one arm at a time or do both at the same time for this one. I’ll demonstrate using one arm. With your arm fully extended straight above your head, slowly bend your elbow so the jug sinks down behind you. Make sure that you’re keeping your elbow as close to your temple as you can as you extend straight back up. Repeat 10 reps on first arm before moving to the second.

Overhead Tricep Extension






Front to Lateral Raise- For this one your feet should be together, knees slightly bent and you should be leaning forward just slightly. With a jug in each hand, keep a slight bend in your elbows as you slowly raise your arms out to the side until your fists are level with your shoulders. Lower back down and immediately raise both hands straight out in front of you until they’re level with your shoulders again. Alternate between lateral and front raise for 10 reps.

Front raise anterior view front raise lateral view lateral raise anterior view lateral raise lateral view










Crunch reach- You’ll need one jug for this one. Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly. You can tuck your feet under a couch or have someone hold your feet. With a good grasp from both arms on the jug, slowly crunch up and immediately reach towards the ceiling. Repeat 10 times.






Russian Twists- For this last one, the only thing you want on the floor is your butt. If you need to let your heels rest, that’s okay, but try letting your feet hover first. Lean back so that your thighs and torso make a V shape. Holding the jug in both hands slowly twist from the left to the right. 1 rep for this one will be left and right, so 20 total twists. When you finish these, start back at squat press, 2 to 4 more times!






A few things to make note of: If the jug feels too heavy for some of the exercises you can simply pour some water out and then refill if you need it heavier again! Also, feel free to do more reps with each set. For example, instead of doing 10 lunges in a set, you can do 20.) As always, I’d love to hear what you think! Try the water jug workout at home or on your next trip and let me know how it went! Thanks for reading guys!

Until next time…


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I'm an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I worked in a gym setting back in Florida for over 2 years, training one-on-one clients and leading group fitness classes. I absolutely loved it, but once we moved across the country to Colorado, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue a slightly different career! My obsession with exercise and love for writing collided, which is how I became a fitness lifestyle writer.


  1. Lori

    April 16, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I just gotta find my will. Great post Erin. Happy Easter to you and Mike.

  2. David Pitruzzello

    April 16, 2017 at 11:18 am

    That was great! Who needs a gym at all ?
    Just kidding 🙂

  3. Linda

    April 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I love it! Great idea and leaves no excuses for not having the time or money for a gym.

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