Help this town has no gym (Part 2): Resistance Bands 1



If you are someone who is passionate about both travel and fitness, then no doubt you will have found yourself in a town, city or island with no gym at some stage in your travels.

So far in the “Help this town has no gym” series, we have had workouts from personal trainer Kelly Hodges and @gymlessfitness.

As you may remember from the 5 Fitness Items to Pack article, I am a keen proponent of resistance bands as a travel fitness tool. Since i am currently on the gymless island of Gili Meno, I decided to use some of my time so share with you some of my favorite resistance band exercises!

If you choose to do the following as a workout, you should aim for two to three sets of 20 to 30 reps each. 20 to 30 rep sets work your muscle fibers to the point of fatigue, The idea is to switch muscles once the first muscle group is overloaded. It’s best to time each exercise one right after the other, with a minimum break to yield the most effective results.


1) Bicep curl / hammer curl 

Standing with legs in a parallel position, hip distance apart, stand on the centre of the resistance band and double up the other ends of the band around the wrists, keeping the arms close to the body begin to lift and lower the band slowly up and down. As you curl the arms up, squeeze the biceps. Repeat this for 20 to 30 reps.


2) Triceps kick-back

Grab the ends of the resistance band with your right and left hand and step on the middle of the band. Next, bend over at the waist so that your chest is parallel with the floor. Finally, extend your arms backwards and lock your elbows out. Hold for a second and then return back to start.



3) Modified Push-Up 

Take this classic move to a new level. Get in plank position, draping the resistance band across your upper back. Loop the ends of the band through each thumb, and place your hands on the ground in starting position—body facedown on the ground. Contract your glutes and abs, and push straight up until your arms fully extend. Lower back down, chest to the floor, and aim for 20 to 30 reps (depending on your strength).

The resisted pushup strengthens the upper body while focusing on the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Using the resistance bands bumps up the intensity to your traditional pushup.

4) Incline Chest Press

Get into a right forward lunge position, place the middle of your band beneath your back foot. Grabbing a handle in each hand, bring the band to shoulder level. Press the bands upward straight over your chest like a rainbow until the arms fully extend. Lower back down and repeat for 20 to 30 reps.


5) Front Squat

Stand on your resistance band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder. (If it’s too long, secure band in place by crossing your arms at your chest.) Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 20 to 30 reps.

6) Lateral Band Walk

Step into a loop band or tie a therapy band around the lower legs, just above both ankles. Place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band. From a half-squat position, shift your weight to the left side, stepping sideways with the right leg. Move the standing leg slightly in, but keep the band taut. Take 8 to 10 steps before heading back the other way


7) Bent-Over Row

Bentover rows strengthen the back and your rear deltoids. Start by standing over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 20 to 30 reps.

8) Lying Pullover

Lying pullovers are an effective pec and lat exercise. Start by anchoring the tube band in a low position. Next, lie on your back, grabbing the free end of the band with both hands, stretching arms straight out overhead. With elbows slightly bent, pull the band overhead, crossing your torso until the handle reaches your knees. Slowly return to starting position and keep it up for 20 to 30 reps.


9) Lateral raise 

To begin, stand on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm’s length. Grasp the handles using a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The handles should be resting on the sides of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.

Use your side shoulders to lift the handles to the sides as you exhale. Continue to lift the handles until they are slightly above parallel. Lower the handles back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.

Tip: As you lift the handles, slightly tilt the hand as if you were pouring water and keep your arms extended. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.

10) Upright Row

Stand proud as you target your traps. With feet positioned over the centre of the band, shoulder-width apart, grip each handle and position them with palms facing each other just in front of your thighs. Pull the band straight up the front of your body to shoulder-level, keeping your elbows bent and positioned in a high “V.” Slowly lower back down to starting position and keep rowing for 20 to 30 reps.