When deciding which exercise gadgets you want to bring on the road, there are several considerations to keep in mind: weight, versatility and what your goals are for your fitness program.
Without a gym and weights, it’s difficult to add sufficient resistance to lower body muscles, since they are relatively stronger than upper body muscles. These choices here are great to enhance core and upper body/body weight exercises. If you want more for your lower body, check out previous articles on Basic Fitness for Travelers on the Road and Working Out: Band on the Run.
Developed by celebrity trainer Valerie Waters, this product is a pair of discs that are oblong in shape, and when you put either your hands and/or feet on one side, with the smooth surface on the floor, you turn the carpeted floor in your hotel room into an unstable surface. If you have ever seen a slide board, then you’ve got the idea!
You can put on foot on the slide, and do lunges in various directions. Instead of lifting up your foot into the lunge position, you would slide it into the direction you want. The harder you push into the floor, the more you will feel the resistance.
You can get into a push up position, either on your toes or knees, and slide your arms out and pull them back in–very difficult exercise. You can do one arm at a time, or do the exercise on an elevated surface to make it easier. You can even use them for stretching!
A standard Valslide is $29.99 and a travel Val Kit is $36.99. http://www.valeriewaters.com
TRX Suspension Training System
Great for body weight training in your hotel room, this equipment is made of nylon, into long straps that you can hook onto the door of any room. Suspension training means that instead of doing a traditional push up for example, you would suspend yourself, by leaning forward and holding the straps in front of you.
Then, instead of pushing the straps, you would lower your body towards the floor while keeping the strap handles still.
Sound difficult? It is, but you can make it as easy as you need by changing your position relative to the straps. A professional TRX Suspension Trainer runs about $149.95. http://www.fitnessanywhere.com
This product, is basically a weighted vest that slips over your head. Depending on how heavy you make it, it can add 20-plus pounds to your suitcase so it is a good idea for the light traveler who is checking a bag. By wearing this, you basically add extra resistance to your body, making exercises like push ups or core exercises more difficult.
I like this product because it adds the weight to your core, close to your spine which is good for enhancing bone density at your spine. It also makes it easier on your extremity joints if you have issues such as arthritis, making it difficult to hold weights.
An added benefit of a weighted vest is that you can wear it walking around during the day and increase your caloric output as you do your sightseeing! Prices range from $99.95 to $169.95 for 10 and 20-pound vests. http://ironwearfitness.com
OK, this is not “exercise” stuff, but extremely important in staying pain free so that you can continue your exercise program on the road. The Stick is exactly that–a stick made of plastic pieces that are a little flexible, allowing you to “massage” your muscles to get rid of knots and painful tender spots.
You can use the stick along the front of your thighs, or along your outer hips, and even on your upper back to alleviate the knots that develop from too much sitting, and imbalanced training programs. Simply roll the stick along your muscles, and if you feel tender spots, keep rolling for 20-30 seconds.
If you feel very specific knots or tender spots, you can hold the stick at that spot for 20 seconds or until you feel it releasing. Do this before your workout, or anytime you feel that tension after a long trip! http://www.thestick.com
By Annette Lang for PeterGreenberg.com
Annette Lang is the author of Morning Strength Workouts. For more information about Annette, visit her Web site at http://www.AnnetteLang.com.
Previously by Annette Lang on PeterGreenberg.com: