The Best Resistance Bands For Travel and How to Use Them
Resistance bands are a great workout tool for travelers. Get started by learning which ones are best and how to use them.
Resistance bands almost feel like a secret weapon that only experienced travelers know about.
They're not spoken about much and they get little attention from the fitness community, often dismissed as inferior to barbells and something only beginners use.
The reality is that they can be a traveler's best friend for staying fit. They're small and light, making them the perfect workout tool to pack in your carry-on (along with a jump rope).
The Best Resistance Bands For Travelers
Resistance bands are a great addition to bodyweight exercises, making the movements more difficult and therefore increasing your strength.
So where to get started?
First, let's dive into the different types of resistance bands that you can bring with you while you travel. Then we'll get into how to use them.
Black Mountain Resistance Band Set ($28)
The Black Mountain Resistance Band Set, which is light enough to fit in your bag or suitcase, is the top-selling resistance band set on Amazon and supports many workout routines, including P90X and Crossfit.
It includes bands with interchangeable handles, a door anchor, an ankle strap and five bands with a range of resistance.
Rogue Fitness Monster Bands ($68)
Rogue makes some of the highest quality fitness equipment you'll find. You can order their resistance bands individually, in pairs, or as a full set. There are eight color-coded versions of their natural latex rubber stretch bands to choose from, each measuring 41” in length, but varying in width, thickness, and overall resistance.
Resistance bands are a great place to start for anyone new to strength training.
First, you need to choose the right bands. Resistance increases at the end of a movement, so band choice will depend equally on two things: your fitness level and the type of movement you are doing.
Be sure to choose bands that will provide enough resistance while training but are still light enough to allow you to maintain proper form throughout. Go for a light, medium, and a heavy band because you'll find yourself using each one with different muscle groups.
If you choose to go with the Black Mountain Resistance Band Set or a complete set of the Rogue Fitness Monster Bands, you will have a wide enough range of resistance to cover any fitness level.
The Full Body Resistance Band Workout
Below are five moves you can do with resistance bands anywhere, including your hotel room.
Perform the workout as a circuit, meaning do one set of each exercise, then another round of the same, and so on until you have completed three rounds (or three sets of each exercise).
Hit each exercise name for a video demonstration.
Stand with your feet together on the resistance band to keep it anchored. Grip the other end of the band with both hands, palms up.
Simultaneously bend both elbows and pull the band up towards your upper chest. Lower the band back down to the starting position slowly, straightening both your arms.
Perform three sets of 15 reps.
Grasp the band on both ends and keep it anchored down by standing on it. Knees should be slightly bent and your head and chest should be up. Stand straight up and keep your back straight. The bands will be at waist level when you complete the movement.
Do three sets of 10 reps.
Place your feet on the band and hold the other end (or handles) with an overhand grip, keeping your hands around shoulder height.
Lower yourself down as if you are placing your butt onto a chair. Get your quads below parallel to the floor. Explode up and return to the standing position, pressing through your heels.
Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Resistance bands make push-ups more challenging.
Wrap the resistance band around your upper back and hold each end down with your hands as you get into the push-up position. Perform the push-up movement as you normally would but expect increased resistance at the top.
Perform three sets of 10-20 reps.
Pull the bands apart while keeping chest and shoulders stable and without arching your back.
Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Stretching With Bands
You can also use resistance bands to deepen your stretches and improve your flexibility.
The best time to stretch is after a workout, when your muscles are already warmed up. Stretch to your level of comfort and hold each stretch for ten to twenty seconds.
Here are three stretches you can do.
Lie on the floor and loop band around the right foot, grabbing onto the bands closer to your foot to create tension. Straighten the right leg as much as you comfortably can while keeping the left leg bent on the floor. Gently pull the right leg towards you, stretching the back of the leg. Switch sides.
Lie on the floor and loop the band around the right foot, grabbing onto the bands with the opposite hand. Straighten the left leg out on the floor and gently lower the right leg across the body and to the left as low as you can go feeling a stretch in the right hip and glute. Switch sides.
Grip the band with hands a few inches apart. Pull your arms out and down as low as you can to stretch the chest.
Resistance bands are perfect for staying fit while traveling. Add them to bodyweight exercises to increase resistance and give yourself an added challenge or use them for pulling movements that are often difficult to do without weights or a pull-up bar.
Cover Photo Credit: Adidas