You’re working hard, getting results, and have a great workout routine going. But now, you’ve got some travel coming up.
“Crap! I don’t want to lose my fitness!”
Well, you don’t have to!
Here are my top 3 portable fitness items to help you stay on track:
Power Bands/Resistance Bands
Let’s start with my favorite: Power Bands. These strong bands are the perfect replacement for heavy dumbbells while you’re traveling. They are easy to pack because they hardly take up any space, nor do they weigh anything. They are basically giant rubber bands!
They’re very strong because they were designed to help with pull-ups, so they don’t break as easily as regular resistance bands (I’ve witnessed clients snap these right out of their handles!) Because of this, they will also give you more resistance than the regular bands so you can get a better workout.
Another great thing about Power Bands is that you can work every muscle group. Plus, they come in a variety of strength levels. So once you outgrow one band, you can move up to the next. You can get them with or without handles.
Power Bands are great for people of any fitness level, from beginner to advanced. They are used for strength training, toning up, and burning calories.
Try these exercises to hit all the muscle groups:
Legs = Squats
Back = Seated Row
Chest = Chest Press
Shoulders = Overhead Press
Let’s move on to resistance bands. These are your regular workout bands. They are like the power bands, just not as strong. Also, they usually come with handles so they’re easier to grip (although you can now get power bands with handles,too).
Like the power bands, you can use them to hit every muscle group and perform many different exercises. They also come in a variety of levels. Once you’ve outgrown one band, you can upgrade to the next.
These bands are great for beginner to intermediate strength levels: for people who want strength training, toning up, and burning calories.
This is a creative, portable exercise tool that will challenge you in a different way. It uses suspension and instability to make you work harder. Therefore, it can be core intensive. Plus, it gives you the option of working your pulling muscles (back and biceps) using your bodyweight. It can be difficult to challenge those muscles without equipment, and I have found the suspension trainer to be the easiest/most versatile tool to do so.
The suspension trainer is great for people who like bodyweight workouts or more core-strengthening exercises. You control the intensity by the positioning of your body (the closer you are to the floor, the more challenging it is).
Higher = Easier
It’s easy to use, doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase, and weighs hardly anything. You can attach it to a tree if you want to get outdoors.
It also comes with a door anchor attachment that makes it very easy to attach to your door and get moving.
Another great thing about this tool is that it will allow you to do some advanced or creative exercises to enhance your workouts and reduce boredom. (see below)
The suspension trainer is great for people who enjoy bodyweight training to increase strength (especially core strength) and burn more calories. I’d recommend a fair amount of core strength before using this - you should be able to plank for at least 30 seconds:
Here are some exercises for a total body suspension trainer workout:
Abs = Plank
Glutes = Bridge
Legs = Split Squats
Back = Rows
Chest = Push-Ups
Here are some fun advanced moves:
Push-up Knee-Ins - WATCH VIDEO
Single Leg Rows
Of course, we must include the jump rope as a favorite travel fitness tool! You can really get your heart rate up and get those calories burning with this! It’s easy to pack because it doesn’t take much space, it weighs almost nothing, and WOW it can get your heart pumpin’!
Try using jump rope intervals for 20 to 60 seconds between exercises for an awesome, fat-burning circuit. You can use different ways of jumping rope for more variety:
Slow Jump and Speed Jump
Single Leg Jump - WATCH VIDEO
(caution- very high impact!)
Skip Jump - WATCH VIDEO
The jump rope is great for people who want to add some cardio to their travel workouts. However, it is high impact so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with joint issues (knees, hips, or lower back).
So there you have it! These are my top 3 choices for portable fitness. You don’t have to let your fitness drop when you travel. Pack the bands OR the suspension trainer in your stuff, and add the jump rope for a little cardio boost. Boom! Fitness saved!