Becoming a vagabond for a year and half means a major upset to my usual fitness regimen. Normally I run, attend a yoga class, and lift at the gym. Running and yoga are easy to take on the road, but barbell work? Not so much. All my lifting has to become body weight based. And since anything I bring with me has to be stuffed into my (currently very heavy) 65 liter backpack, I had to choose carefully.
Equipment I decided to bring with me:
- running shoes – for running/lifting/hiking
- jump rope – for cardio/warm up
- lacrosse ball – for rolling out tight and sore muscles
- resistance band – haven’t used it yet, it may get the boot
- yoga mat – for yoga/stretching
- set of gymnastic rings and straps – for lifting/body weight exercises
See links below for my specific items.
I also set a goal for myself: be able to do a freestanding handstand by the end of the trip (January 2019). Handstands are also excellent exercise, and require no equipment. Both my goal and my more body weight workout have been heavily influenced by the Nerd Fitness Rings & Handstands Super Pack. It offers progressions for handstands and various ring exercises, such as muscle ups and L-sits. These workouts are excellent for travel, though the rings are admittedly on the heavier/bulkier side for backpack travel.
For my ring and body weight routine I try to find a park with a pull up bar or a tree branch where I can hang my rings, and I’m good to go. I do get a lot of people staring at me when I work out, but that’s just something I’ve got to get used to; I’m not going to have a private dedicated exercise space for a long time.
I’m still ironing out the wrinkles, but I am trying to do the following:
- A short ~20 min morning yoga routine every day
- An hour long yoga routine twice per week
- A ring and body weight work out twice per week
- Run once a week, either sprints or long run
So we’ll see how it goes! I’m sure it’s something that will evolve over the course of the trip.
Here are Amazon Associates links for the specific equipment I have shown above (or close approximations). What this means is if you buy one the items via the link here, we will get a small commission on the purchase.
- running shoes: ASICS women’s Gel Fortius TR 2 training shoe
I got these shoes for lifting because of their low profile, but discovered that I like them for running as well. As an added bonus the low profile makes them more compact. The model I have is old now, but this a newer model of what I have.
- jump rope: Gold’s Gym 9′ speed jump rope
- lacrosse ball: Champion Sports colored lacrosse balls
My chiropractor gave me mine for free, and they seem to abound at CrossFit gyms, so you might be able to get one gratis if you look around.
- resistance band: TheraBand Professional Latex Resistance Bands
I got the blue/black set and brought only the black one with me.
- yoga mat: Gaiam no-slip yoga mat towel
I’m really happy with this particular mat/towel, as I usually have trouble slipping on most mats, but I feel solid on this one. It is very thin though (I wanted it to be light and easily packable), so I have had to modify my practice to avoid things like pigeon pose which require more cushion.
- set of gymnastic rings and straps: Titan Fitness Wood Gymnastics Rings
Mine are PROCIRCLE wood gymnastic rings, but they don’t seem to be available on Amazon anymore, so I’ve substituted a similar pair above.
As of July 2017, these are my current routines:
Rings and body weight (~55 minutes):
Warm up: burpees alternating with jumping rope (4 rounds)
Physical therapy exercises for my tendinitis (in my butt, sad!)
Wrist stretches and handstand work
Circuit #1: Pulls ups alternating with body weight squats (4 rounds)
Circuit #2: Ring dips (supported), ring leg lifts, push ups (4 rounds)
Circuit #3: Jumping (for distance) alternating with ring incline pull ups (4 rounds)
Circuit #4: Ring incline push ups alternating with kick lunges (4 rounds)
Short AM yoga routine (~60 minutes):
surya namaskar A – 5 repetitions
ragdoll and big toe fold – 2 repetitions
Long yoga routine (~60 minutes):
Surya Namaskar A – 5 repetitions
side crow (both sides)
vinyasa (or tripod headstand)
deaf man’s pose