By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS
In the gym, you have almost everything you could ever need to get a quality, tough workout in and leave knowing you put in the work. Eventually, however, you will need to perform workouts even when you can’t make it to the gym. Maybe you had a busy day at work and got home late, or maybe you’re traveling for vacation. Here’s some travel workout equipment that will keep you on track.
Bringing a few tools with you will allow you to perform more intense workouts in less time, and that’s the name of the game right? Quick and effective workouts anywhere at any time leave you with no excuse.
Below are three tools you can throw into any bag and use anywhere to ensure you get the highest level of activity in, burn more calories, and stay on track.
A little fun fact for you: Jump roping is scientifically proven again and again to be one of the most effective cardio exercises out there. It’s incredible for cardiovascular health, burning calories—and for all my runners out there, it’s better for your knees than pounding the pavement.
It engages more muscles than swimming, and you don’t need to rely on a pool to get a good workout in. You just need an open space to perform a calorie-torching workout in 10 minutes.
Our favorite jump rope on the market is the King Athletic Speed Rope. It is adjustable according to your height, and designed to help build endurance and improve muscle tone throughout the entire body. It even comes with a video tutorial so you can learn how to use this convenient tool as effectively as possible during your cardio exercises.
Fitness bands are one of the most underrated, affordable fitness tools on the market. They are awesome for travel and easy to throw in your gym bag or suitcase—which is why they land on our list.
Fitness bands are surprisingly effective, and their benefits can supplement any workout regimen. The muscles you exercise with the band are constantly under tension, and if you can use them in conjunction with your free weights, I guarantee you’ll feel the burn a little sooner than you expected. It just adds more resistance to the movement, which challenges your body even further.
You’d think not using any weights would make things easier, but that’s not necessarily the case. With fitness bands, you’re feeling resistance through your entire movement, not just at the point where you’re fighting against gravity to lift a weight.
Just to give you a bit of insight on what this looks like during your workouts: if you were to squat with a glute resistance band above your knees, you’d notice an immense amount of tension when you spread your feet apart to perform the squat properly. You’d have to fight the collapsing of your knees, which creates constant tension during the entire movement. This forces your muscles to stay under tension—even when you come up to the top of your squat and finish your entire set.
Gliders are another underutilized piece of travel workout equipment. If you have ever performed lunges, glute bridges, or planks; you’ll understand how much harder they can get just by adding gliders.
They’ll help you target your core on every movement you perform. For example, performing plank exercises with gliders under your toes will increase the intensity. You can add an “open and close” movement, tuck in both knees at once, or perform mountain climbers to increase your core and cardiovascular workout intensity.
For those sweat junkies who need low-impact workouts, these are ideal. Your feet and hands never leave the gliders, so you won’t bear the impact of jumping. But remember: low impact doesn’t mean the exercises won’t give you a great workout.
The best part about gliders, aside from the fact that they are light, thin, and portable: the affordable pricing. They usually run between $10-$20, which is nowhere near that of in-home fancy gym equipment. All you need is a slick floor or carpet, and you can create a very challenging and effective workout that will burn calories faster than your traditional movements.