How to Use Water Weights for Travel Exercise

You can continue your strength training exercises or any other exercise that involves weight lifting, even when traveling. With current weight restrictions, carrying a set of dumbbells when you travel could present problems. In this case, it's easier to use water weights for your exercise routine on the road. You can buy water weights online. Or, you can make your own water weights when you arrive at your destination.

Decide what type of weights you want to make. You can make dumbbells, barbells or wrist and ankle weights using the same materials.

Purchase resealable sandwich bags. Get the ones that guarantee no leaking. Depending on the amount of weight you need, buy quart size, one-gallon size and even two-gallon bags. Check the weight of plain water at the Fourmilab website (see Resources below).

Attach a strip of Velcro around the bag vertically to make a handle for lifting the water weight. Attach the Velcro horizontally for ankle and wrist weights. Leave enough Velcro extended to make a strap for holding or attaching the weight. Skip this step if you are making barbells.

Fill the sandwich bag with water, and close it. If you're uncomfortable about a leak, simply place the first bag inside a second larger volume bag. If a leak occurs, the second bag should hold any spillage until you replace the inner bag.

Make barbells using plastic grocery bags to attach the weights to a pole. A 2-inch dowel can be cut to fit in your luggage. An automobile travel-clothes pole makes a lightweight, portable pole for barbells.

Place the water-filled sandwich bag inside the grocery bag, and tie a knot. This makes the weight more secure, and it also makes a handle for attaching the weights to the pole.

Empty the sandwich bags when you are finished with your exercise. Leave them open in the hotel closet so they can dry. When you're ready to return home, remove the Velcro strips, or leave them in place for your next trip.


Use empty water bottles or milk jugs instead of baggies for more leakage protection. Make a cheat sheet to remember common weights; in general, a pint equals 1 lb., a liter is 2 lbs. and a gallon is 8 lbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Resealable sandwich bags
  • Self-adhesive Velcro
  • Water
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Pole
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