Your best workouts are always the ones at the gym. Whether it’s the desire to keep up with your BodyPump classmates or the gentle nudges from your personal trainer, you always work harder when you’re at the gym. You manage okay at home but it’s not the same with so many distractions and less accountability and equipment. Strength training while traveling is the big roadblock to your consistency. You’re less motivated after a long day of meetings and sometimes the hotel gym only offers cardio options. There’s no way you’re packing your dumbbells for a weekend at the lake!
Strength training while traveling takes a little planning but it is certainly not impossible! It also doesn’t require buying a second set of weights for the cabin. A small investment in a set of mini-bands can give you a host of options for strength training while traveling as well as add new challenges to your existing home workouts. Mini-bands are also inexpensive and extremely portable.
I’ve put together a quick but surprisingly challenging strength workout you can do pretty much anywhere. If you do this workout as a circuit, you can keep your heart rate up while working your muscles. Perform each of these moves for 12 repetitions before moving on to the next move. Check out this video where I explain it all.
Banded footballs squat. Place a mini-band around your legs above your knees. Squat down and tap your right hand on the ground. Jump up into a standing position with feet together. Then jump feet back out and into a squat position as you touch your left hand on the ground. Repeat 12 per side.
Banded Jumping Jacks. Lower the mini-band so it is now around your ankles. Perform jumping jacks against the resistance of the band. Repeat for 12 repetitions.
High Row. Take the mini-band from around your ankles. Hold one end of the band with your left hand and the other with your right hand in front of you at shoulder height. Straighten your left arm out and hold it there as you pull back with your right hand. Keep your left arm straight and steady as you relax the band to the starting positions. Repeat for 12 repetitions and switch sides.
Low Row. Stagger your feet slightly so the left foot is in front of the right. Anchor one end of the mini-band under your left foot, hold the other end in your right hand and hinge forward from the hips. Pull the band with your right hand, letting your right elbow slide past your rib cage. Let the band return to the starting position while keeping it under control. Repeat for 12 repetitions and switch sides.
Standing Oblique Crunches. Place the mini-band around the arches of your feet. Stand tall with your hands raised to your head and finger tips behind your ears. Lift your left leg to knee height while rotating at the waist and aiming your right elbow for the left knee. (Your knee and elbow probably won’t touch.) Lower your left leg and left foot back to the ground and return to the starting position with your upper body. Repeat for 12 repetitions and switch sides.
Push Ups: No mini-band required! Just do your best for 12 repetitions.
Rest for a minute or two before repeating the entire circuit again. Beginners can perform this circuit 1 to 2 times, while more advanced exercisers can perform this circuit for up to 4 rounds.
With your trusty set of mini-bands you’ll always be able to do strength training while traveling. I also recommend seeking them out at your gym or pack when of your own to add an extra to challenge to exercises like barbell hip thrusts and goblet squats. I’ll apologize now for the extra little soreness you feel the next day.