Any balanced and healthy fitness regimen should include upper body and lower body resistance training. For frequent travelers and “onebaggers”, the hassle and cost of finding a gym in every locale can be a pain and costly, and most exercise equipment is too bulky for travel or too inadequate for strength training on the road. For fitness conscious travelers in need of a compact set of equipment that allows a great upper body and lower body workout the travel gym and travel fitness plan is a perfect option.
For a balanced fitness plan when traveling, use heavy resistance bands with handles to do resistance band exercises for legs and keep your overall fitness plan balanced
Combining a pair of heavy resistance bands with handles with a minimalist suspension trainer, such as the Monkii Bars 2 or our own homemade DIY TRX makes resistance band exercises for legs, like the resistance band squats and resistance band deadlift, possible with a small pouch of gear that fits easily into a carryon.
- Why are resistance band exercises for legs so important for fitness conscious travelers?
- How to do Resistance Band Squats
- How to do Resistance Band Deadlifts
Why are resistance band exercises for legs so important for fitness conscious travelers?
Because resistance band exercises for legs, with the right equipment and high enough resistance, fill the essential need of a lower body resistance workout by recreating a weighted squat and deadlift with gear that fits unnoticeably into carryon luggage? Throughout the hassle of moving and bouncing between cities, finding and registering for a gym just to get access to weights for a proper resistance training session can seem like more trouble than its worth. But lower body resistance training (such as a weighted squat or deadlift) boosts metabolism, encourages bone health, tones and maintains muscle, and boosts the immune system in ways that calisthenics and cardio can’t. Resistance training is an essential part of a balanced fitness program including cardio, stretching and mobility drills, and proper nutrition – so don’t skip leg day, just find the right gear.
Resistance Bands with handles, made attaching a carbiner, are the perfect travel gym for leg workouts
Short, heavy resistance bands, like Rogue Fitness’ Shorty Monster Bands or Fringe Fitness’ Mini Bands, offer heavy resistance (up to 140lbs and 200lbs respectively) in a tiny package that fits perfectly into a carryon. For travelers, this means that resistance band exercises for legs can replace their normal weighted squats and deadlifts, all in tiny package that fits unnoticeably into a carryon. Also, by adding a carabiner as a handle, and adding a minimalist suspension trainer, we create resistance with handles that are extendable have a travel gym for the lower body.
So, enough of the resistance band exercise sales pitch…lets get into the details of how to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs (squats and deadlifts) for a great leg workout while traveling
How to do the Resistance Band Deadlift
- Get a pair of heavy tension resistance bands with handles. I recommend the DIY ones I make (DIY TUTORIAL HERE) from the 12″ Rogue Shorty Monster Bands (you can read my review on them here) as they’re durable and offer up to 140lbs resistance and setting them up with carabiners as handles as I explain in the tutorial
- Take one of your resistance bands with handles 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 carabiner handles.
- Setup the body for a resistance band deadlift as you would for a deadlift with free weights and commence your deadlifts
Resistance Band Squats
Resistance band squats are a simple way to get in a great leg resistance exercise that carries immense strength benefits. By combining a minimalist suspension trainer, such as the Monkii Bars 2 (read our review of the Monkii Bars 2 here) or the “Minimus” our DIY compact TRX, with strong resistance bands for legs designed for heavy resistance workouts, like the Rogue Shorty Monster Bands (read our review on those Monster Bands to learn more), we create extendable handles that simulate a heavy back squat while only using gear that fits reasonably into carryon luggage.
How to do Resistance Band Squats – Setting Up
- Just in case you didn’t read the “How to do a Resistance Band Deadlift” get a pair of heavy tension resistance bands with handles. I recommend the DIY ones I make that I pt together in this “Resistance Bands with Handles Tutorial” from the 12″ Rogue Shorty Monster Bands . I chose the Rogue Bands because they’re extremely durable and offer up to 140lbs resistance in a single band. It’s also extremely easy to set them up with carabiners as makeshift handles as I explain in the tutorial
- Get a minimalist, gymnastics rings style suspension trainer, such as the DIY TRX I call “the Minimus” (read here for a tutorial on how to make it yourself) or the Monkii Bars 2. I recommend both options highly as they are both very good, durable, highly functional minimalist suspension trainers. We will use the straps and handles to create extended handles allowing us to fully recreate a back squat with the or cores loaded with tension
- Take one of the straps and handles from a minimalist suspension trainer, either the Monkii Bars 2 or our homemade Minimus Suspension Trainer, and wrap the strap of the suspension trainer around the carabiner handle using a “pipe hitch” knot
- Now take one of your resistance bands with handles attached and place one of the cardboard 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.
- Adjust the length of the suspension trainer strap so 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.
How to do Resistance Band Squats – The Movement
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. Ensure that tension & resistance begin before the crease of the hip goes above the knee
- Commence the squat as you would with a back squat done with free weights and a barbell
What are the best resistance bands for legs?
I have tried and highly recommend the Rogue Fitness Shorty Monster Bands and just finished up a review of these Rogue bands that I recommend. At the tail end of the review I recommend several good alternatives for high resistance exercise bands if Rogue Fitness isn’t your cup of tea. But any durable, short, high resistance bands will facilitate these great mini band exercises.
Gear featured in the overview of making resistance bands with handles
The DIY TRX and Homemade Monkii Bars 2Disclaimer: 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
- A Review of the Monkii Bars 2 Compact Suspension Trainer
- How to setup a suspension trainer indoors or outdoors with the DIY minimalist suspension trainer anchor
- 10 Reasons to have a suspension trainer (**Coming Soon**)
- 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)
- The DIY TRX: How to make your own compact suspension trainer
- Heavy Resistance Bands for Legs with Handles: How to Make the Travel Gym for Lower Body Strength and Muscle
- How to do the essential resistance band exercises for legs: Resistance Band Squats and the Resistance Band Deadlift
- The Travel Gym: How a minimalist suspension trainer and resistance bands for legs can replace your gym (**Coming Soon**)