Gym in a Bag Travel Workout with Bands

As a dietitian and personal trainer, I am committed to my personal fitness goals and showing others how they can be too, in any situation. Even on a sailboat in a remote bay!

One of my strategies is to take a “gym in a  bag” workout band set with me when I travel on our sailboat. It allows me to get a great workout, and maintain my fitness and weight even if I am away from my gym. And it is a bargain price!

I like to use a mat but prefer a smaller kids mat or a folding travel mat to save space in the boat. I’ve linked to the ones I suggest below.

Doing a chest press on our boat in Echo Bay, Sucia Island, Washington.

For more about my travel workouts when I sail go to this post.

For more “travel no equipment workouts” go to this post.

For simple tips to keep in shape when you travel go to this post.

Here is a workout you can do with your bands. Select a color of band that you can perform the exercise with good, safe technique with the amount of repetitions according to your goals. Please wear glasses to protect your eyes when using your bands in the event one breaks.

The American College of Sports Medicine gives guidelines for the amount of repetitions depending on your goal. For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, and 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.

I suggest trying this at one first before your trip so that you are familiar with how to do the exercises. Then you can more easily adapt your setup to the boat. I have an eye hook and a carabiner like the one shown below that can take a 400 pound load safely.

Type Exercise Anchor Point Band Color
Warm Up Walk for 10 minutes
Quad Squat Under Feet
Ham Lying Hamstring Curl Bottom Side Of Door
Back Standing Back Row Middle Side Of Door
Chest Standing Chest Press Middle Side Of Door
Hips/Glutes Standing Lateral Walk Under Feet
Biceps Standing Biceps Curl Under Feet
Triceps Triceps Overhead Extension Top Side Of Door
Shoulders Standing Lateral Raise Under Feet
Rear Shoulder Seated High Row Bottom Side Of Door
Rotator Cuff External Rotation, sit Bottom Side Of Door
Calves Anchored Calf Raise Bottom Side Of Door
Core Stability Drawing-In Maneuver Progressions Floor
Core Standing Core Rotation Middle Side Of Door
Core Anti-Rotation Band Press Out Middle Side Of Door
Low Back Bird Dog Floor
Shin Toe Raises Sitting on chair

 

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Simple Tips for Staying In Shape When You Travel

Simple Tips for Staying In Shape When You Travel

Many travelers believe the obstacles, pressures and limitations of frequent travel are the real culprits behind their unhealthy habits. The experts know better: People who make exercise and healthful eating a priority in their daily lives don’t abandon those habits when they’re on the road.

Here are some strategies for choosing and committing to a healthier lifestyle:

* Build in incentives. Give yourself something to look forward to. Pick a scenic route for a walk or run. Exercise at your favorite time of day.  Swim in a great pool. Try out new equipment. Take an exercise class you haven’t done before. Schedule a massage after a workout.

* Be flexible. You’ll short-circuit your regimen if you limit yourself to an equipment-dependent routine. Throw in a walk or a run, a hike in the mountains or around town. And use what’s available. In your hotel room, I suggest doing some body weight exercises. Use a towel and a chair as props for a stretch-and-tone routine for the entire body. A cardiovascular workout is as close as a hotel’s or an office building’s stairs: Run up and down as many flights as you can in whatever time is available. Take a brisk walk outside during lunch or a break.

* Pack your equipment. Lightweight exercise bands, TRX or a jump rope don’t take up much room. Some hotels also provide everything from mats and a foam roller to a stationary bicycle or treadmill to free weights for in-room use.

* Exercise in little bits. It’s okay if you don’t have an hour to spare; you don’t need a lot of time to work out effectively. Use small chunks of time, as little as five minutes, to exercise wherever you can in the early morning, during a break in the day, between meetings. No one ever said you had to do them all at the same time. A couple of stretches here, some push-ups and planks there, a few yoga postures, a quick run on the stairs, a brisk walk around the block, some deep breathing, all help. And it all adds up.

* Plan ahead. Search online or call ahead for local facilities and resources such as health clubs, YMCAs or YWCAs, or community centers.

* Healthy eating on the road is important too. Here are some tips for eating and exercising on the road.

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Maria’s Sailboat Travel Workout

We have a sailboat in the San Juan Islands in Washington and when we are on it I like to keep up with my workout. The workout below is a simple workout that I can do on the sailboat, at the dock or on shore with minimal equipment. I keep a set of exercise bands on the boat and pull out two paper plates. I’ve recently added a foot and leg stretching strap to my equipment collection. It has a heel cradle that allows for a comfortable fit into the strap and is ideal for stretching my foot, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and inner and outer thighs.

Even if you are not boating, this makes a nice workout for travel!

My workout travel bag ready to be packed for a weeklong sailing trip.

 

I also take my TRX with me for an even more intense body sculpting session. At our sailing destination I look for a spot to anchor it, on a tree, playground equipment or post and enjoy the change of scenery for my workout. See my blog post here for a complete demonstrated TRX workout. And see this post for a workout with links to video demonstrations.

I use all the items above when I travel. The Intey Pullup Loop Bands are great resistance for a variety of exercises to work arms, legs, back and glutes.

And the Black Mountain is a gym in a bag! It has bands of various tensions, a door anchor, handles, an ankle strap and an instruction booklet. For a complete workout using these bands go to this post. 

Using the foot stretch strap to stretch my hamstrings.

Body Weight, Loop Band and Paper Plate Sailboat Travel Workout

Instructions: Initially, try each exercise and see if it works on your boat and see if the exercise seems appropriate for you. If one exercise just doesn’t work, omit it. There are plenty others to challenge you!

I do not have instructions for every exercise but I think most you will be able to find on the internet. For subsequent workouts,  go through each of the exercises at least once. If you’d like more, do it again!

The first workout can be done in the boat using a large or the small yoga knee pad. I typically will do this when our boat is motoring to our next destination. The second workout is one that I do on shore using a picnic table. I have found I do not like to take a yoga mat to shore but you certainly could and do the Boat Workout.

In Boat or on Yoga Mat

Arm Circles

Leg Swings

Standing Opposite Elbow to Knee

1 Leg Step Squat on Step

½ Jacks

Front Arm Running Jacks

Pushups with or without paper plates

Bridge with Reach

Crab with Reach

Split Stance Kneeling Adductor

Frog Squat

Dirty Dogs

Single-leg Cross-body Punches

High Knees

Forward Leaning Lunge

Pillar Bridge with rotational reach

Side Plank Leg Lifts

Pillar Plank to forearm plank

Glute Lifts on bench or step

Justin Tucks

Bulgarian Lunge

Crab Toe Touch

½ Kneeling Twist

Y, T, I, W. 4 reps each with 8 second hold

Prone Shoulder extension (palms up, arms by side & lift)

Prisoner Squats

Seated Shoulder W

Diagonal Arm Lift from knees

Fire Hydrant

Thoracic Rotations

Seated Bench Windmills

Side Plank

Plank

Serratus Press

Paper plate hamstring curls

Lunge with paper plate

Open Books

Low Ab March

Bird Dog

Cat Camel

Foot Prints, aka, glute heel presses

Mt. Climbers

Reach, roll, lift and hold

Scap Retractions prone

Stretch: Chest, IT, Calf, Hip Flexor, Piriformis, Quad, Ham, Child’s Pose, Pigeon, Child’s Pose with hands on bench

 Picnic Table Workout (No Mat Required)

Justin Tucks

Cook Squats

Arm Circles

Leg Swings

Squat and Reach

Jumping Jacks

Single-leg Cross-body Punches

Skater Jumps

8 high knees to Jump tuck

Seated Shoulder W

1 Leg Squat Touchdown

Windmills, Standing or sitting

Romanian Deadlift with hop

Scap Retractions Standing

Monster Walks with Loop Band around thighs or ankles

Split Squat or Bulgarian

Balance Triplanar Foot Taps w band around lower thighs

Pushup on Bench

Forward Leaning Lunge

Triceps Dips

Prisoner Squats

Serratus Press on bench

Stretch:

Quad, Ham, Chest, IT, Calf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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