POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 14, 2010
A 5-foot-long resistance band can provide a versatile yet lightweight piece of equipment to take along on your travels to maintain muscle mass and a workout routine.
Bands come in various thickness, which determines their tension. A medium-weight tube is the most versatile because you can adjust the "weight" of the band by changing the width of your legs or the distance between you and the anchor point, depending on the exercise.
Try this circuit routine designed to keep muscles taut and your heart rate elevated:
» Full-body bicep curl: With your feet hip-width apart (wider if you want more tension), perform a standard bicep curl for 1 minute at a constant fast pace. To ensure the full body is working, maintain a neutral spine with a slight tension in your stomach wall. Knees should be bent slightly. Engage the musculature around your armpits and keep your shoulders low.
» Full-body push-up: Go into a push-up either on your knees or the balls of your feet. Essentially, you should keep the same form described above, except now you're parallel rather than perpendicular to the floor. Try to keep the same pace you set during the first exercise, and again perform it for 1 minute.
» Full-body squat: Again mimicking the same form for the first two exercises, stand up and sit down from a chair or the edge of the bed. Be sure to keep the weight more toward the heels and do not let your knees bend past your toes. Keeping the same pace as before for 1 minute will round out the routine. Try adding the bicep curl as you rise from the squat to turn this into a compound exercise and increase caloric expenditure.
Repeat this circuit at least three to five times with minimal rest in between sets. Have fun on your trip, and come back strong.