The Best Workout & Exercise Equipment For Travelers
Use this guide to learn about some of the best bang-for-your-buck exercise equipment that is portable and minimal for your fitness travel needs
Whether you are someone who finds themselves travelling for work or for pleasure, long-term or short-term, I'm sure you agree with me that sometimes fitness takes a backseat when on the road/plane/boat. When you travel, you don't always have the necessary equipment to have the best workout. If you stay at a hotel, the gym might also be home to subpar equipment and crowded spaces - or no gym at all!
So what's a fitness enthusiast to do? Not doing any physical activity is off the table - at least in my book. Staying on track even during vacations or work related travel is important, as it'll keep you from feeling de-conditioned when you return to your normal routine and it'll keep you mentally sane as well.
So fear not, dear traveler! There are some portable, inexpensive exercise equipment that you can take with you on your travels, and they are also great investments for a smart home gym setup as well.
Bands are a great piece of equipment to bring with you on your travels. Bands are light, portable, and are usable for a great variety of movements.
Most bands are tailored towards the lighter side of resistance, but there are band sets out there that are made with serious strength workouts in mind. One brand I like for their product's versatility is Bodylastics. Their bands have lasted me for years, and have taken a ton of abuse and are still in great condition.
Currently I believe they are sold out - we probably have quarantine to thank for that - so if they are unavailable, then a similar brand would suffice. Simply typing "resistance bands" in Amazon will give you tons of results (for example, here's a good alternative).
Other types of bands to consider:
NT Loop. Made by world famous coach Nick Tumminello, so you know they're good!
Tribe Lifting bands. They have a variety of small to large bands, hip loops, and other elastic equipment.
Core Sliders or Furniture Sliders
Sliders take up even less space than bands. They are as thin as a phone, and are great for core, lower body, and certain upper body movements.
There are dedicated exercise sliders, but they are really no different than traditional furniture sliders. Either way, they are both pretty cheap, with most sliders usually ranging from 10-20 bucks. Get you some!
Suspension Straps or Gymnastic Rings
These next pieces of equipment are some of my favorites. With these, you can really add more strength-focused exercises into your fitness routine.
Suspension Training Straps
Suspension trainers are simply heavy duty straps that have handles on them, and are used for a variety of bodyweight exercises. A name brand that you might've seen is TRX, black and yellow suspension training straps that are super popular with a price tag to match. There are much cheaper options out there that offer the same results; it's just a matter of preference. Straps can be attached to doors, monkey bars, trees, and pretty much any sturdy overhead object.
Rings are my personal favorite. While they may be limited on where you can place them, they are much better for developing advanced upper body strength. You can perform pull-ups and full dips with these, while doing the same movements with TRX straps would be much more difficult if not impossible.
The only drawback to using rings is that you can't attach them to doors (unless you have a special setup at home). So you're usually limited to trees, rafters, or another sturdy overhead object that allows you to loop the strap over it. For a great brand with amazing quality, I choose Rogue Fitness rings. Otherwise, check out some slightly cheaper options here.
And Don't Forget...Your Own Bodyweight!
Let's not forget the most portable exercise equipment: your own body. Even if you don't have any exercise equipment with you on your travels, you can definitely still get an amazing workout in with just your own bodyweight.
Movements like lunges, squats, and push-ups might seem easy when you've mastered the basics. But to take it to the next level, all it takes is some creativity. Adding plyometrics (IF you're ready), time under tension, high repetition ranges, among other methods can add a new dimension to bodywieght exercises that can give you a great workout!
Wherever You Go, Fitness Should Follow
I'm all for taking breaks now and then, and training hard while you're on vacation or a business trip isn't always possible or necessary. But if you're the type to feel demotivated and de-conditioned when coming back to a fitness routine after travelling, then you would benefit from doing some form of exercise while you're on the road.
Remember: something is always better then nothing. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be much. Just enough to get your blood pumping and to break a sweat. Once you come back to your regular fitness regimen, it'll be much easier getting back at it!
Want to read more of my top health & fitness tips and rants? Check out the rest of the blog here.