Pack your Suitcase for Exercise

Pack your Suitcase for Exercise

vacation imagesIt’s that time of year again. The kids are out of school, the vacation is booked, and you have been working hard at SPARK to be pain-free, strong, and, everyone’s ultimate goal, to L.G.N. (for those who know our lingo). But how do you maintain all those gains when the resort you are going to has a less-than-enviable gym?

Remember those torturous gliders and crazy bands that we use at SPARK? Here are some convenient substitutes that you can easily slip between your bathing suit and shorts and a few ways you can use them.

  • Paper plates – these are an inexpensive substitute for gliders that can be used to strengthen multiple areas of the bodyFullSizeRender3
    1. Lateral lunges – with a paper plate under your right foot and the left foot on the ground slowly lower into a lunge with your weight over your left food and allowing the right foot to move to the side and away from you gliding on the plate
    2. Reverse lunges – with a paper plate under your right foot and the left food on the ground, slowly lower into a lunge with your weight over your left foot and allowing the right foot to move behind you gliding on the plate
    3. Curtsy lunges – with a paper plate under your right foot and the left food on the ground, slowly lower into a lunge with your weight over your left foot and allowing the right foot to move behind you and across midline
    4. Mountain climbers – with a paper plate under each foot get into a plank position and bring alternating knees toward your chest while maintaining a neutral back and pelvis
    5. Low pikes – with a paper plate under each foot get into a plank position and bring both knees into your chest maintaining a neutral back and pelvis especially when returning to the plank position
    6. High pikes – with a paper plate under each foot get into a plank position, keep your knees straight, and pull your feet toward your hands pressing your hips and gluts toward the ceiling
    7. Seal drags – in a plank position with paper plates under each foot, pull yourself along the floor maintaining a neutral spine and not allowing your hips to sink toward the floor. Try going forward and backward.
    8. Ab Roll out – get in a modified plank position (on hands and knees) with the plate under one hand (put them under both hands for a greater challenge). Keep your knees stationary as you allow the hand(s) on the plate(s) to slide away from you on the floor. Returning to the starting position by activating your abdominal muscles.
  • Theraband/Monsterband – with the right length band at the right resistance these really pack a punch for any work outFullSizeRender5
    1. SL RDL – step through the band so that it is between your legs, pull one end of the band over one shoulder and place the other end under the opposite foot
    2. Shoulder external rotation
      1. With a theraband – keep your arms by your sides, hold on to the band, and move your hands away one another creating tension in the band
    3. Resisted push up – with a very long theraband or a monsterband, put the band behind your back and your hands through the ends of the band. Get in the push up position and feel the burn.
    4. Lateral walk – put your feet on the inside of the band about shoulder width apart, grab the top of the band in an overhand grip and pull your hands up so that your elbows are close to your body and your hands are by your shoulders. Keep upright posture while you face forward and with your elbows close to your body walk sideways.
    5. Assisted pull ups – if your gym on vacation has a pull up bar but you can’t complete pull ups independently, loop the band around the bar, pull the other end under one knee and use the band to help you get closer to completing them on your own.
  • Jump rope – a great way to add some high intensity cardio to any work outFullSizeRender4
    1. Forward jump – with the rope moving forward, both feet jump over the rope on each revolution
    2. Double jumps – swing your arms quickly so that both feet jump over the rope touching the ground once for every two revolutions
    3. Backward jumps – with the rope moving backwards, both feet jump over the rope on each revolution
    4. Lateral jumps moving forward and backward – with the rope lying in a straight line on the ground, jump side to side over the rope while you move forward and backward – think ski jump
    5. Forward/backward jumps moving laterally – with the rope lying in a straight line on the ground jump forward and backward moving to the right and left over the rope

With just a few things added to your suitcase you can have a very challenging workout focused on any body region. Jump from using the rope to the plates to the monster band and you can incorporate cardio with strength for multiple benefits.

Dr. Kristen A Lattimore, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMTPT is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certifiedspark-2015-web-1a-300x200 Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist. She has also had experience as an athlete and coach of the speed and jumping side of Track and Field. She is passionate about integrating her knowledge and experience with fast and powerful exercise into the practice of physical therapy. She also enjoys working with patients whose concerns and complaints have been overlooked and perpetually deferred to the next medial professional. 

Kristen continues to challenge herself with varied exercise including interval running, weight lifting, yoga, and Pilates. She is passionate about making her patients their best selves and adding power and intensity back into physical therapy. She can be reached at kalattimore@sparkphysio.com.