One of the biggest challenges to getting and staying in shape is remaining committed to regular physical training. Much of this stems from feeling like we don’t have enough time, space, or equipment to get it done.
With all of our traveling lately, sometimes in unconventional locations, we’ve been challenged to really embrace the philosophy that you can get in shape and stay in shape ANYWHERE, regardless of your circumstances.
With a little knowledge and creativity, you can create a physical training environment that is superior to any one gym; one that can be tailored to your specific needs and goals, and often at a much cheaper price (BONUS!!)
For this post, we wanted to start with the basics, the stuff that we carry with us everywhere!
Primordial Traveler’s Kit – the very least of what you need to be in rockin’ shape
The Roll-Model Starter Kit is my favorite set of tools for total body management
When you get up in the morning, try standing up tall, straighten your knees, and try to touch your toes. How did it go? Now, take one of your handy marbles (we always carry one of the larger ones) and spend some time stepping on the marble and rolling into the tender spots of the foot (put as much pressure as is tolerable). Spend 2-5 minutes on each foot, then remove the marble and try the toe-touch-test again. More than likely, your flexibility will have increased. This is because of the little known myofascial connection between your feet and the back of your body.
Jump Stretch Bands
Heavy lifting bands come in various levels of thickness/resistance. We use them mostly for tractioning joints like the shoulders and hips. Whether tractioning the joints as a warm-up for better positioning in your exercises or as a cool down to speed recovery, we make sure we pack these bands!
Another great tool for shoulder mobilizing. They are also popular in the physical therapy world for strengthening rotator cuff muscles, etcetera. They come in various levels of resistance that are color-coded and there are at least a dozen exercises we use them for.
Voodoo Floss Band
One word… Magic. Popularized by Kelley Starrett from Mobility WOD.com, these long bands may not look like much, but wrap one around a sticky elbow or painful knee and do some small movements and you’ll see what we mean. Once the band is removed, you’ll feel how much healthier the joint feels.
Expand-Your Hands Bands
Not a day goes by that we don’t need strong hands. Whether we’re using our hands flat on the ground for handstands or clinging the bar for pull-ups, we found that it’s important to balance the muscles of the wrist extensors. Got some pain in your wrist? Use these bands to expand your hand!
A classic tool for getting a great aerobic workout in a small amount of space. We like the adjustable speed rope variety like the one in the link above.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
This is a multi-functional element to the kit. Not only can you fill it with pure, clean water to keep you hydrated during your training, but it also doubles as a good roller for getting into tight-ass quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes – really, you name it, you got it! We recommend getting one of the sturdy insulated ones.
Chalk Bag and Refillable Chalk Ball
This is a standard accessory for most rock-climbers. We also carry one because we never know when we’ll find something that’s nice to climb on. It’s also handy for keeping your sweaty palms dry when swinging kettle bells and doing pull-ups.
Good video recording device
In order to ensure quality form in our exercises, we often film ourselves performing movements. This way we can look back and see whether we’re doing things right (or just fooling ourselves). There are plenty of options out there, we use the camera on our iPhones and it works great!
We love the Joby GP1-A1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod. It holds smaller digital cameras and smartphones and has flexible legs that can even wrap around objects. With this packable tripod, you'll be able to easily get the angle you want!
A Good pair of Training shoes
The minimalist, low-rise shoe is an important part of your training. You need something that’s comfy and with good traction, but also lets you really feel the activity you’re doing. These are some of our top three favorites. I've provided links to the men's models but they are available in women's as well.
There countless upper-body exercises that can be done on gymnastics rings. Whenever possible, we bring along a pair because of their portability and versatility.
DynaFlex Wrist Exerciser
Like the Finger Bands above, this gyroscopic device is an innovative way to keep your wrists and fore-arms strong and healthy. Great for people suffering from wrist pain.
A handy little tool that can also be used to strengthen the hands, wrists, and forearms no matter where you are. Just squeeze and play with the dough for a few minutes, stretching and molding it and you’ll feel what we mean. You can also try squeezing it between fingers (like fore-finger and middle-finger, etc) to get a whole different experience strengthening your fingers.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please consider purchasing some of the equipment at our Amazon Affiliate Store. The price to you is no different, but we can receive a small commission when you click through our links. Consider it a donation for allowing us to continue providing high-quality advice through our blog and emails.