Shorty Rogue Fitness Resistance Bands with Handles are a travel gym for legs

DIY Resistance Bands with Handles: A Travel Gym for Resistance Band Squats and Deadlifts

Shorty Rogue Fitness Resistance Bands with Handles are a travel gym for legs

My lower body travel gym that’s small enough for carryon travel: A compact suspension trainer + heavy resistance bands with handles

Resistance bands with handles make the perfect travel gym for a hotel room workout or a park session

The travel gym that I always keep with me, consisting of a compact, travel ready suspension trainer and heavy resistance bands with handles (such as the Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands I reviewed) allows me to get in a great, full body resistance & strength workout on the road, to complement a healthy running, calisthenics, HIIT, and mobility regimen.

Combining resistance bands for legs with a suspension makes the perfect travel gym for a hotel room workout

This set of high resistance mini bands and a minimalist suspension trainer is my travel gym. In any city around the world, in a park, or in a hotel room, I get in the workout I want.

These two pieces of workout equipment enable my Travel Workout Plan that keeps me strong, fast, mobile, and ready for anything that comes.

The suspension trainer lets me get in the essential upper body movements (e.g., pull up, push up, dips, overhead presses, rows, inverted rows, curls, triceps extension) while a pair of short, heavy resistance bands for legs with makeshift handles attached blet me do a resistance band squat or deadlift with up to 280lbs resistance, while still fitting in my backpack.

The Travel Gym: What’s in it and why you need it’

My compact suspension trainers, the Monkii Bars 2, which I reviewed a couple weeks ago, and the DIY suspension trainer I call “the Minimus” both allow me to do all of the essential upper body movements with the resistance I need to stay strong, maintain muscle, and reap all of the benefits above

The Monki Bars 2 Review by A Brother AbroadThe Minimus DIY TRX and Homemade Monkii Bars Suspension Trainer

DIY heavy resistance bands with handles are cheap, easy to make, and allow me to do the essential lower body strength movements, resistance band squats and deadlifts, with enough resistance that I get the same benefit as if I had done squats or deadlifts with free weights in the gym. Because I use short, heavy resistance exercise bands, such as the 12″ Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands (**KF**LINK TO ROGUE BANDS REVIEW **KF**) I can use two bands at once (one on each leg) and achieve resistance equal to 280lbs of free weights in the gym, all with a simple piece of gear that fits reasonably into a carryon backpack

Rogue Fitness Bands short lengths let you do many different mini bands exercises for legs

Resistance and strength training is important, even on the road, to burn fat, balance hormones, and build or maintain muscle

Strength and resistance training is an important part of any balanced workout program. Benefits ranging from higher (and healthier) metabolic activity and fat burning, toning and maintaining muscle, increased bone density and health, and more positive hormone balances in the body are all great benefits of a resistance training. Balance also means sufficient lower body resistance exercise just as much as upper body, and not just calisthenics

 

Resistance Bands Squats using the Rogue Monster Bands and Monkii Bars 2 Suspension Trainer

Did you know after 2 weeks without training, muscle atrophy and strength loss begins? For travelers that spend months on the road (like me) it’s not worth giving in to the demands of travel and giving up hard earned health and fitness gains. Being healthy and fit helps me take on risky adventures (like trekking to Everest Base Camp) or riding a motorcycle through Vietnam and Laos more safely and keeps my body running smoothly.

The Resistance Band Deadlift is one of the best resistance band exercises for legs

The Bottom Line: Heavy resistance bands with handles are a perfect half of a travel gym as they allow us to do resistance band squats and resistance band deadlifts while traveling, without the hassle and cost of a gym

How to make the resistance bands with handles to do resistance band exercises for Legs

1. Gather the equipment

Two – short, high resistance bands for legs at your preferred resistance level.
I suggest the Rogue Shorty Monster Bands (read the review here) at your preferred resistance level.

Rogue Bands with handles provide enough resistance (280lbs) for great mini band exercises for legs

Two carabiners: large enough to slide your hand into, such as these carabiners on Amazon. The brand doesn’t matter, as long as they’re durable, rated for climbing, and are large enough for your hands to fit in. These will be our handles.

6 to 8 pieces of cardboard approximately 4″ x 6″: These will form our tiny “platforms” to step on and support our feet when anchoring the resistance bands with our feet.

2 pieces of ~4″ wide strips of cardboard: This will be used to wrap carabiner handles and make gripping easier and more comfortable

Duct tape: This will be used for wrapping or cardboard pieces (platform, handle covers) to add durability. I recommend Gorilla Tape due to its durability. Plus, you’ll only use a few inches which means you’ll have an entire roll of Gorilla Tape afterwards to play with.

2. Attach the carabiners to create resistance bands with handles

  • Take the carabiner and clip a resistance band into it
  • Wrap the carabiner with the ~4″ piece of cardboard to your level of comfort for grip
  • Wrap the cardboard with the duct tape (hopefully gorilla tape) to keep it in place

Rogue Fitness Bands and a carabiner make the perfect resistance bands with handles

3. Assemble the cardboard platforms (to be used for supporting the feet)

  • Stack the individual pieces of cardboard 3 or 4 pieces of cardboard high
  • Wrap the stacks of cardboard heavily with duct tape to secure them in place and preserve the cardboard

Note: These cardboard platforms are used as support under your feet when squatting or deadlifting with heavy resistance


How to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs: Resistance Band Squats and the Resistance Band Deadlift

The best resistance band exercises for legs are simple, straight forward, and recreate the movements of the best free weight exercises for legs: the squat and the deadlift.

Resistance Band deadlifts

The first of the essential resistance band exercises for legs is the resistance band deadlift. This movement has a host of benefits, and is essential for anyone that is interested in gaining or maintaining full body strength and building a durable, functional body. Resistance bands with heavy ratings, such as the Rogue Monster Bands, make the deadlift movement possible even without a gym and while traveling.

  • Take one of your resistance bands for legs by the handle and place one of the platforms on the inner portion of the resistance band
  • Step on the platform so that your foot anchors the resistance band and grab the carabiner handles.
  • Setup the body for a deadlift as you would for a deadlift with free weights and commence the exercise

Resistance band deadlift with Rogue Fitness Powerlifting Resistance Bands

For detailed instructions on how to do the squat and deadlift, checkout the article “How to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs: Resistance Band Squats and the Resistance Band Deadlift

Essential Resistance Exercises for Legs: Resistance Band Squats

The second of the essential resistance band exercises for legs are resistance band squats. This is a very natural movement that encourages strength and mobility and also includes a host of benefits for more than just the lower body. Once again, the heavy resistance bands with handles mean we can get the benefits of resistance training in the squat movement, while traveling and without a gym

Combining Rogue Monster Bands with a suspension trainer for proper resistance band squats (part 1)

Combining Rogue Monster Bands with a suspension trainer for proper resistance band squats (part 2)

Combining Rogue Monster Bands with a suspension trainer for proper resistance band squats (part 4)

  • Take one of your resistance bands and place one of the platforms on the inner portion of the band
  • Step on the platform so that your foot anchors the resistance band and grab the handle of the suspension trainer.

 

Shorty Rogue Fitness Resistance Bands with Handles are a travel gym for legs

The Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands

The short length (12″) of the Shorty Monster Bands allows you to anchor the bands with a single foot. No need to hook it on anything or se two feet to anchor a single band.

 

  • Adjust the length of the suspension trainer strap such that the resistance band will be under tension when you hold the handle up at the bottom of a squat.
  • Repeat the setup process with the other suspension trainer handle and resistance band.
  • Setup the body for a proper squat, starting at the bottom of the squat with hands holding the suspension trainer handles in the racked position with the straps running over the backs of the arm.
  • Commence the squat as you would with a back squat done with free weights and a barbell
Resistance Bands Squats are the best resistance band exercises for legs

Resistance Bands Squats are the best resistance band exercises for legs

For detailed instructions on how to do the resistance band squat and the resistance band deadlift, checkout the article “How to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs: Resistance Band Squats and the Resistance Band Deadlift

Gear featured in this post

Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands

Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands Review: Making mini band exercises the best leg workout option from home gyms to hotel rooms

The Monkii Bars 2

Monkii Bars 2 Review by A Brother Abroad

The DIY TRX Suspension Trainer

 

Carabiners

Disclaimer: Throughout this article I recommend gear and potentially link to affiliate partners for the gear I recommend. Your purchases through these links helps keep me on the road, writing stories of travel, and experimenting with fitness…for that, I thank you! Any gear I recommended in this article I have purchased or would purchase with my own money due durability and reliability (from my experience), value, and functionality. If your experience with any products I recommend differs, please let me know! Thank you!

Other Great Travel Fitness Links

  1. A Review of the Monkii Bars 2 Compact Suspension Trainer
  2. How to setup a suspension trainer indoors or outdoors with the DIY minimalist suspension trainer anchor
  3. 10 Reasons to have a suspension trainer (**Coming Soon**)
  4. How to do the essential exercises with a suspension trainer, in an outdoors or hotel room workout (pull ups, dips, rows, overhead presses, curls, and extensions)
  5. The DIY TRX: How to make your own compact suspension trainer
  6. Heavy Resistance Bands for Legs with Handles: How to Make the Travel Gym for Lower Body Strength and Muscle 
  7. How to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs: Resistance Band Squats and the Resistance Band Deadlift
  8. The Travel Gym: How a minimalist suspension trainer and resistance bands for legs can replace your gym (**Coming Soon**)

Tell us your thoughts!!