Travel & Train Hard Series 5: Arm Exercises with Bands

No need to let your health and fitness goals derail when stepping out of your typical routine. A few simple tips can help keep you feeling great in any setting you may travel to!


Sticking to your fitness routine and staying healthy on the road can be a struggle when traveling, especially in different time zones, but if you prioritize your health in your daily plans, you can stay right on track.


I have some wellness secrets and fitness tips to share that will help you stay healthy, fit, and feeling great while collecting those frequent flyer miles!



Traveling for vacation is amazing and has unlimited positives to cherish. It’s a way to see the world, relax and regroup, try new foods, and experience different cultures and lands. Although traveling has its benefits, it can be stressful at times too.


Here are 9 travel tips and secrets I’ve found helpful to stay stress free and make fitness part of your travel experience:


Choose a fun activity based on your destination

Run on the beach, cross-country ski, climb a mountain, bike through a town, stand-up paddle boarding around an island… the possibilities are endless when you look to nature as your playground. It’s an excellent way to experience an activity while enjoying the great outdoors.


Get Grounded

Once you arrive to your destination, take a moment to settle into your surroundings by walking barefoot in the sand, swimming in the sea, or relaxing in a salt bath at the hotel.  This simple tip can circulate your blood and refresh your mind from a long flight, road trip, or even boat ride so you can feel rejuvenated and ready to begin your experience.


Routines & Rituals

Develop a system of things you do each day to stay on track. For example, plan to workout before you head out for the day, even if it’s a short one. This will ensure your sticking to a routine. Another example is to make sure you eat healthy options to balance out the bad.


Walk the Walk

Do your best to walk as much as you can each day. Walking will let your mind wonder to a state of Zen and keep your metabolism on a roll. Cities are simple to get around by foot, but even in remote locations you can cover some ground. Make the effort to move by foot.


Protect your Skin

There’s nothing like getting a nice tan by the sun’s rays, but there is such a thing as too much sun! This is so dangerous and can result in sunburn, blisters, or worse, a deadly skin condition. Be sure to apply sunscreen early and often!  Trust me, you WILL still get a gorgeous tan while protecting your skin.


Use your Natural Resource

Let mother nature give your body a healing boost! Earth is filled with natural springs, salt waters in the ocean or dead sea, healing mud from volcanos, natural waterfalls that can massage, and even heat that seeps from the earth’s ground. Depending on where you travel, nature can be your healing ground to rejuvenate and heal your body. Turn to natural resources to open your pores, release toxins and inflammation within your skin.  (If this is not an option, hit the steam room, sauna, and hot/ cold plunge at a spa! You deserve it.)


Be One with your Spirit

Take time to listen to your inner thoughts and embrace the world around you. Spiritual learnings occur when we are open, quiet and listen inward. Many spiritual awakenings occur during traveling adventures and can lead to a new perspective on life’s purpose. Let your spirit guide you to find your true meaning and place under the stars.


Breath in Fresh Air

Fresh air cleanses your mind, heart, skin, lunges, and emotions. Earth is filled with many secret green havens to experience and explore no matter where you are visiting.  So, nourish your body with pureness in the air.


Be Creative

Let your creative side come alive. Being creative is the mind, body, and spirit’s way of expressing feelings, emotions, passions, and ideas. These feelings need to be expressed in order to release the mental and emotional pressure built up inside. The best way to express your creative side is through music, art, photography, writing, dance, exercise, or whatever makes you feel inspired!



Define and tone your arms while stabilizing your core with some simple movements you can do anywhere with the added resistance of a band. Bands are excellent fitness tools that can fit into any suitcase or bag to provide you the extra challenge for any workout.  They are portable, affordable and transportable!  Definitely worth the investment for your fitness.


This workout contains movements that are similar to Total Gym exercises you may already know when performing cable exercises. This workout is all about your arms but know that there are many other band exercises you can incorporate to work your entire body.



  • The exercises can be performed in circuit style, one exercise after the other with little to no rest in between or at your leisure!
  • Always begin your workout with a few mobility exercises to warm-up the spine and conclude with a few stretches to promote recovery.
  • Aim for 20 reps for one set, or 10 reps if you do multiple sets.


Your workout could be as short as 5 minutes (one set) or longer (+sets) if you have more time. It’s really up to you but the goal is to be prepared and do something each day you’re away.


6 Arm Exercises you can do anywhere with resistance bands

Front & Side Raises

  • Stand with both feet on the band and hold onto both handles. (For less resistance, stand with one foot only on the band.) Keeping the arms straight, raise them to chest level and lower, then laterally out to the sides and lower. Alternate these motions.
  • Keep the arms below the chin/ shoulders every time they lift.


Bicep Curls & Reaches (+ different angles)

  • Remain standing on the band holding the handles for these exercises.
  • Bicep Curls- Begin standing with the arms extended straight down by the sides. Bend at the elbows to curls the arms up and extend them slowly with control.  Change the muscular movement by curling the arms at different angles.
  • Reaches- Bend the elbows parallel to each other at 90 degrees with the palms facing up. Extend the arms straight forward, then slowly return them to the starting position. Change the muscles worked by positioning them at a different angle and perform the same exercise.


High Elbow Rows

  • Place the band around a sturdy object at chest height. Face the anchor point holding onto to both handles with palms facing down and step away for desired resistance. Bend the elbows by keeping the arms parallel to the ground and bring the thumbs towards the underarms. Extend with control and repeat.
  • The closer you stand to the anchor point, the easier the resistance. The farther away you stand, the harder.


Straight Arm Press Backs

  • Same band set up as above (#3).
  • Extend arms straight by sides. Hinge from hips keeping knees slightly bent and torso long. Press the arms straight back behind the hips keeping tension in the band at all times.
  • The closer you stand to the anchor point, the easier the resistance. The farther away you stand, the harder.


Chest Press & Flies

  • Keep the band anchored around a sturdy object. Hold onto the handles and face away from the anchor point. Step one foot forward for stability.
  • Chest Press- Bend the elbows so that the hands align with the underarms with palms facing down. Extend the arms in front of chest, then return to start.
  • Flies- Form an oval with the arms in front of the chest while keeping a slight bend in the elbows and palms facing each other. Open the arms to the sides, then ‘hug’ back in.
  • These exercises can be performed at different muscular angles.


Torso Rotation

  • Stand with one side facing the anchor point in a wide stance and hold both handles together in the hands. Extend the arms out from chest. Keep the hips still as you rotate the torso ONLY away from the anchor point, then back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pay close attention to form so that the torso/ core performs the work, not the hips or arms!


Check out the video to see how these band exercises are performed.


Travel this wonderful world we live in with an open mind and an active spirit.  Always take care of you and happiness will supply your health.


Stay tuned for Travel & Train, Series 6 to learn a series of stretches that keep your muscles lengthened, limber, and ready for your next adventure!


Happy Travels.


Social Media: @groovysweat

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Has anyone thought about coming up with a resistance band attachment for the total gym? I think it could be a great way to get around the maximum weight barrier of 400 pounds.

    1. Hey Scott, we have the weight bar attachment, that allows you to add more weight to the gym for more resistance. You could probably finagle some resistance bands around the base of the TG and the weight bar if you didn’t have any weighted plates to put on the bar.

Leave a Reply