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Stay in Shape on the Road with These Resistance Band Workouts

Stay in Shape on the Road with These Resistance Band Workouts

Do you worry about how to stay in shape when you travel? Going out of town can be a great way to relax, break up your routine, and give you a fresh perspective. When it comes to fitness and weight maintenance, however, the list of benefits stops. Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle, traveling can halt or even hurt your progress because your daily routine is thrown off, you’re constantly busy, you may not have access to a gym, and you eat out more.

There’s good news, though!  With a little planning and creativity, you can stay in shape while you travel, or even improve your fitness level. Use these travel hacks to stay healthy and return even better than you left!

1. Carry Your Gym With You

If you’re staying with family, friends, or at an Airbnb, you may not have a gym nearby. Even if your hotel has a gym, there’s a good chance it’s nothing more than three old treadmills, a bike, and a rickety multipurpose machine that appears to be from the 80s.

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Rather than get stuck with whatever you can find, pack a portable resistance-training workout in your suitcase. Three of the best items to include for both men and women are a set of resistance bands with door anchor and ankle strap attachments, loop bands, and a jump rope. It’s also a good idea to take a flat band, which is ideal for warm-ups and post-workout stretching. All of these are compact and lightweight so they’ll easily fit in your luggage, and will equip you to do both strength-training and cardio in your hotel room or outdoors.

    2. Rely on Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights because they create tension throughout the entire movement, requiring more control during an exercise. By forcing the muscles to constantly work, this form of resistance will increase the muscle fiber recruitment for better results. They also allow you to work from more angles, which gives you greater variety with less equipment, and aids in increased mobility and flexibility.

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    Using a door anchor with resistance bands adds multiple exercise options to hit your full body, and an ankle strap will make leg and glute workouts much simpler. Loops bands will allow you to do a greater variation of lower body exercises with more effectiveness than bodyweight alone. These are great for activating the glute (butt) muscles as well. And by activating them before heavier leg exercises like squats and lunges, you’ll see better results because you’ll be using the correct muscles to perform the exercise, not relying on stronger muscles like quads and hamstrings to take over.

    Even if you’re an experienced gym rat, when you switch to bands during vacation, you’ll stimulate your muscles in new ways, which is a helpful trick for busting plateaus!

    Make sure to take a set of 2-4 bands, because you’ll need different levels of resistance for different muscle groups. See below for sample workouts you can use on your trip!

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    3. Do High Intensity Cardio

    Whether your travel is for work or vacation, you’ll have time constraints and higher priorities than working out (Mai Tais on the beach, anyone?!). So keep your cardio short but effective. A great way to do this is high intensity interval training (HIIT) or Tabata. The method behind both types of exercise is to perform the moves with all-out effort for a short period of time, followed by a short period of rest. For Tabata, this looks like 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. For HIIT, there is more flexibility, but may be something like 30 seconds on, 1 minute off. The key to both methods is to work as hard as you can during the work period (we’re talking sprint, not jog), then rest completely to let your heart rate drop back down.

    The benefit of both is that all you really need is your bodyweight. You can also do this on any cardio equipment. You’ll likely burn as many calories as you would during  longer duration, steady-state cardio, plus you’ll use more muscle, which torches additional calories post-workout.

    Example HIIT:

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    • Jump rope, sprint, or run stairs – 30 seconds
    • Rest – 1 minute
    • Repeat for a total of 15-20 minutes

    Example Tabata:

    • Mountain climbers – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Jump rope – 20 seconds (rest  10 seconds)
    • Squat jumps – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Burpees – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)

    (Repeat 8 times)

    Sample Workouts

    Start with the following warm up, then complete 3-4 sets of each exercise, either in a circuit or one at time (if one at a time, rest 30 seconds between each set).

    Warm-Up (using a flat therapy band, perform 15-20 reps of each)

    • Pass throughs
    • Bent over rows
    • Pull-aparts
    • Squats (standing on band, holding ends in each hand by shoulders)
    • Jumping jacks

    Upper Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Plank – 1 minute (no band needed)
    • Back row (anchor in door) –15-20 reps
    • Resisted push-ups (with flat band)– 10-15 reps
    • Mountain climbers (no band needed)
    • Bicep curl – 15-20 reps
    • Shoulder press – 12-15 reps
    • Triceps Extensions – 15-20 reps

    Lower Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Lateral walks (place loop band around lower thighs) – 15 each direction
    • Glute bridge (place loop band around lower thighs) – 20 reps
    • Squats (holding band in hands at shoulders )– 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Stationary lunges (holding band in hands at shoulders) – 10-12 each leg
    • Glute kickback (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Leg extensions (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Jump rope – 1 minute

    Full-Body

    • Plank – 1 minute
    • Core rotations (anchor in door) – 12 reps each side
    • Fire hydrants (with loop band around lower thighs) – 12 each leg
    • Squat with bicep curl – 15 reps
    • Bent-over row – 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Lunge with shoulder press – 10 reps each side
    • Burpees – 10 reps

    Be sure to stretch at the end using a flat band, including hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, chest, back and shoulders.

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    Published on June 7, 2019

    10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

    10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

    Having a hard time going to the gym? Fear no more!

    In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 in home lower body workouts anyone can try at home and their exercises. No gear needed for these workouts, just some space and a cup water waiting for your disposal.

    There’re 3 main parts in this article:

    If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just get into the first section 10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere right away.

    If you want more guidance on the basics, check out the second section Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

    And the last section is about what you should do before and after working out.

    10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere

    If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just read on this section.

    If you’d like to have more guidance on each exercise listed in these 10 workouts, take a look at the following part Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

    1. The Starter Workout

    3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 2 min rest in between each set)

    2. The 7 Minute Workout

    3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

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    • Walking Lunges
    • Quarter Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (1 min rest in between each round)

    3. The Unilateral Workout

    4 sets of 16 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunges
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Skater Squat
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 1 min rest in between each set)

    4. The Endurance Workout

    2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (1-2 min rest in between each set)

    5. The Back To Back Lower Body Workout

    5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

    • Skater Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (30 min rest in between each round)

    6. Strength Lower Body Workout

    5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Squat

    (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time in between set)

    7. Glute Burner Workout

    4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (1 min of rest time in between set)

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    8. The Advance Lower Body Workout

    3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Skater Squat
    • Reverse Lunge
    • Glute Bridge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (2 mins of rest time in between set)

    9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

    2 sets of 10 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunge
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

    2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (4 mins of rest time in between set)

    Lower Body Exercises Breakdown

    Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[1] that you found in the workouts listed in the first section of this article.

    1. Squat

      A squat is a compound movement which entails the recruitment of a majority of your lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).

      How to squat:

      Feet shoulder width apart or a little wider. Toes pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels till you hit parallel with your butt and knee, drive through the heels, return to starting position and repeat.

      2. Walking Lunges

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        A lunge is a complex movement which recruits mainly the lower body.

        The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat which is stationary and then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance which engages the gluteus medius as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

        3. Reverse Lunge

          A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

          By reverse stepping, you are allowing for a better emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

          4. Quarter Squat

            A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps muscles.

            5. Skater Squat

              A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion which fires both the hamstrings and glutes.

              6. Step Up

                The Step Up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing Step Ups will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

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                7. Glute Bridge

                  Glute Bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                  8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                    Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt. The step up can be done in a chair or a step in the stairs

                    9. Single Leg Deadlift

                      Single Leg RDL’s engage that entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts.

                      Before & After Working Out

                      Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up. Even though it’s home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[2] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                      Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                      Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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