Last week before I left on my trip, I promised a resistance band workout that would be great to do while traveling. I did not promise I would do it, but I did promise I would deliver it. That’s all I’m saying. So here it is.
What you need:
I used this photo because I think it’s pretty, like a rainbow of exercise. Plus, it gives a clear picture of what resistance bands look like, though these aren’t the only kind of bands available. There are bands that are braided and thick, bands that have one set of interchangeable handles and bands that look like wide strips of elastic. Whatever kind you prefer will work just fine. I think I got my set at Target or Marshall’s a few years ago. You can also get little door attachments that enable you to do this:
See the little black strip shut in the door? You can also simply find something sturdy to wrap the band around, like a light pole, desk leg, tree or footboard. You can also wrap the band around your own foot, or anchor it by standing on it.
You know I’m a fan of circuit training, and when you’re traveling, exercise time may be limited, so my advice is to integrate your cardio into the band workout. Crank out some 30-60 second bouts of jumping jacks, butt-kickers, high knees and mountain climbers between sets of band moves.
Here are some examples of a total body workout using bands. Remember, when strength training you want to do at least one exercise for each major muscle group, including chest, back, legs, shoulders, biceps and triceps. You can always do multi-muscle exercises to save on time and up your heart rate, and switching back and forth between upper body and lower body exercises burns more calories too.
This squat with resistance is tougher than a body weight squat, and if you do it at a quick pace, will really get your heart rate up. You could also pair a squat or a lunge with the row demonstrated in the photo of the girl above.
Much harder than it looks, this is a fantastic move! Remember to keep your neck neutral and hips squared to the floor. Also, contract your abs, drawing the belly button in towards the spine.
Another way to do a row, this exercise works the back, abs and rear delts. It’s a nice alternative to the row in the photo with the girl and her trainer, especially if you don’t have a spot to anchor your band.
Not sure why this guy is a little lopsided; must have scanned him in crooked. This exercise works the anterior delt (front part of the shoulder) in a way that will burn, burn, burn. Keep your wrists strong and stand up straight!
Whoo. He just gets crookeder and crookeder! Must be drinking too much on his trip. Don’t drink and use resistance bands, please. I will not be responsible if you get hurt.
Anyway, this exercise is meant to work the medial delts (are you starting to catch on to the terminology?). Keep the rest of your body still as you perform this move; don’t rock your hips forward and back in an effort to lift your arms. If the resistance is too much, do one side at a time by stepping one foot off the band, and lengthening the amount of band on the side of your working arm. More band = easier.
Pretty straight forward. Again, no rocking.
The only exercises missing are chest and triceps, which are easy to do without a band. Just use the floor, a bench or the wall to do push-ups, and your bed or a chair to do triceps dips. Don’t remember how? Check this post for a visual aide.
So that’s it for your resistance band workout. Use it the next time you travel, or just to incorporate some new moves into your gym or home exercise session.
Btw, unless the caption states otherwise, all photos are from the book, “Resistance Band Workout: A Simple Way to Tone and Strengthen Your Muscles,” by James Milligan.