Training While Traveling Tip #6: Equipment

Congratulations! We’ve mastered gravity! Pretty cool concept eh? What goes up, must come down.  What if we want more than gravity when we travel? We’ve already talked about hotel fitness facilities being poorly maintained and typically inadequate. So what can we use for substitute equipment while traveling?

The simplest tool to pack is a collection of resistance bands. Resistance bands are a great tool because they allow us to change the vector of resistance (biomechanics mumbo-jumbo!). Essentially, gravity has one vector – straight down. That is the vector of resistance we work against while doing calisthenics or training with free weights. Resistance bands allow us to change the vector of resistance to any direction our creative minds desire. Now, rather than working only against gravity’s vertical force, we can anchor a resistance band to any solid object and work horizontally and at random angles to the anchor point. Resistance bands are light-weight, easy to pack and can safely pass through any TSA check-point.

Stability balls are another tool we can easily pack. For all you blondes, I highly recommend deflating the ball before you try to close your suitcase. Now you’re thinking, “But if I deflate it, that means I’ll need to reinflate it in my hotel room!” Ummm…Exactly! I thought you came here to learn about new exercise strategies? Consider the 10-minutes it takes to hand-pump your ball as part of your workout! That’s right – pack a hand pump. You could use your lungs to blow-up your ball.* I once inflated a 55 cm ball in 16 breaths but got outdone by a guy who did it in 12 breaths. Very impressive!
*Blowing-up stability balls with your lungs is not recommended unless you enjoy feeling dizzy!

If you don’t, can’t or won’t bring any equipment when you travel, here are some other items you can modify in your hotel room:
– 2 Water Bottles for dumbbells.  They don’t seem very heavy but try doing 100 reps or as many reps as you possibly can for one to two minutes.
– Every hotel room has extra towels and a plastic laundry bag.  Soak a towel or two and load the plastic bag.  You now have a substantially heavy weight for kettle-bell type exercises.  (Make sure you have a firm grip before you accidentally launch your soggy-sack into the television.)
– Load a couple of pillow cases with random objects – books, clothes or…damp towels. (Can you tell the hotel maids love cleaning up after me?) Two loaded pillow cases are great for lateral raises, back-flies and chest flies.
– Speaking of loads, get a load of this one – ironing boards make great incline benches.  Lean it on the dresser, a chair or against the wall. Lay it across two solid chairs for a makeshift flat bench. Use your chosen resistance to do modified bench exercises.
– Lay a rolled towel on the floor for some 1-2 minute line-hopping exercises.  This is a sure way to meet the person in the room below you.  Extend your cardio workout: Invite your new friend in for some boxing drills.  Boxing with strangers is a great workout whether your giving the beating or taking it.

There are a lot of equipment ideas to turn our hotel rooms into modified gyms. Get into shape and feel like a Rock Star while you destroy your hotel room!

This is the end of Traveling Tips for now.

Hit the road and SUCK IT UP!
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