It's all-too-easy to let ourselves off the workout hook when traveling. My suggestion? Pack a gym (i.e., the band) in your suitcase, and work out in your hotel room.
The band is light and inexpensive — roughly $10 — and you can do everything with it, from squats and biceps curls, to lunges and lateral raises, to overhead triceps extensions.
If you go wild, invest in a door frame attachment (also under $10,) that lets you hook the band into any door to create a make-shift cable machine. Then you can replicate any exercise traditionally performed on a cable machine, including wood chops, triceps press-downs, etc.
For some additional "fun," combine band training with cardio intervals, such as jumping jacks. Trust me, you will be sweating in no time!
Here's a few example of workouts you can do with the simple band.
Warm up. Dance around, or do five cardio moves — high knees, bum kicks, etc. — for one minute each.
Then, do the following, repeating it two to three times.
- Push-ups, 10 to 20 reps. On knees or toes, bend your elbows and lower your chest down toward the ground. Exhale as you push yourself back up. For an extra challenge, after each push-up, try jumping your feet toward your hands and stand up. Lower down again. Repeat.
- Rows without door frame attachment: seated V hold and rows, 12 to 15 reps. Sit on your bum with the band hooked around your feet. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Lean back 10 degrees, and hold the lean throughout the motion. Engage your core to stay stable. Use your upper back to row your elbows backward. Crack a walnut between your shoulder blades. Slowly release.
Rows with doorframe attachment. 12 to 15 reps. Loop the band through the attachment at roughly chest height. With one end of the band in each hand, use your upper back to pull your elbows backward. Slowly release.
- Lunge and lateral raises, lunge and front raises, 12 to15 reps per leg. Start standing. With your right leg forward and the band under your foot, hold either end of the band in each hand. Start with your arms straight at your sides. As you lunge, raise your arms to shoulder height — keep them straight (lateral raise.) Lower your arms as you stand up. Use the bum muscle of the front leg to power you up. When you do the exercise with your left leg forward, straighten your arms forward to chest height (front raise.)
- Plank scapula retractions, 10 to 20 reps. In a plank position, balancing on your hands and toes, bring your shoulders blades together, then apart. Keep your arms straight, and your lower back neutral. Activate the muscles between your shoulder blades.
- Squat and biceps curls, 12 to 15 reps. Stand on the band with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Bend at your hips, knees and ankles, and sit backward like you're sitting in a chair. Do a biceps curl as you squat. As you stand up, straighten your arms.
- Overhead triceps extension, 12 to 15 reps per arm. Stand holding one end of the band in your right hand. Reach your left hand behind your body and anchor the band. The closer your hands are together, the harder the exercise will be. Keep your right upper arm into your right ear as you straighten the arm. Slowly release.
- Band Balance, 20 reps. Tie band around thighs. Balance on right leg. Left leg bent. Engage core and bum of right leg to stay stable. Use left bum to pulse leg to the side. Repeat twenty reps before switching sides.
Do one to three minutes of any cardio (burpees, high knees, jumping jacks, etc.)
Rest for a minute. Have water. Repeat.
The workout consists of two, 10-minute sets. Each set is broken down into 10, one-minute intervals. Within each minute, complete the two exercises back-to-back. Done early? Relax for the remainder of the minute. Take the full minute? Immediately start your next interval.
- Push-ups, 10 to 20 reps. As above.
- Squat and reverse flyes, 15 reps. Start standing. Hold the band in front of your chest, arms straight, and feet hip-distance apart. Bend at your hips, knees and ankles, and sit backward like you're sitting in a chair. Engage your bum and core to stand up. Use your upper back to pull your hands backward so your body forms a T. Keep the angle at your elbows stable — initiate motion from your upper back not through momentum of arms.
- Plank scapula retractions, 10 to 20 reps. As above.
- Lunges, eight reps per leg. Step backward with one leg. Bend both knees so you move toward the floor. Use the bum muscle of the front leg to stand up.
Try a different combination of exercises each time you travel. For example, try jumping jacks, bicep curls, or lateral raises using a resistance band.
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These tips will help keep you in shape on your voyages. Safe travels!
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