Roadwork Ahead

2006-05-22

Roadwork Ahead

This article is dedicated to all of you who travel frequently and need ideas - and encouragement - to help you stay in shape while you're on the go. Even if you belong to a gym that has outlets around the world, read on to learn a new way to enhance your power, strength, speed, stability and flexibility.

For the most part, working out and stretching while traveling is about maintaining what you already have. The difference between keeping fit on the road andyet another visit to Flab City is the conscious decision to work out. That commitment, unfortunately, is often harder than actually working out. You've got to build it into your travel schedule just like you would any other activity. Another key is to always have your workout clothes packed and ready to go. The bottom line: Don't give yourself an excuse to slack off. Once you've done these things you've already proven that you're a person of action. Remember, you put your heart into something but you also set your mind to it.

Exercise is usually associated with big gyms, machines and saunas - all the fitness bells and whistles. If you can find a place where you're headed that has them, great! However, they're not necessary for effective training. Ultimately, it's about performing movement against resistance - of any type - while maintaining good form. Many of the world's strongest and fastest people train in gyms that sport nothing but barbells, dumbbells, benches, lifting platforms and knowledge.

To accomplish this while you're on the go requires something light and portable yet effective. So I'd like to introduce you to a type of training I do at my gym that you can take with you. It's called band training, and it will pump you up, work you hard, and make you sweat. Bands? Yep, big flat rubber bands - not the silly round ones you see in many aerobic classes that offer little more resistance than a regular rubber band These flat bands are inexpensive, come in different strengths, and provide more than enough resistance for your workout. They range from mini bands of moderate resistance to those that won't do you much good unless you can squat 500 pounds!

You can do just about anything you want with these bands, but a good standard program of core exercises will be enough to preserve your physique. I do plenty of exercises that incorporate them at EastWest. The guys love them because we do 徒ick-ass speed training and strength/power work with them. We attach them to barbells, dumbbells, belts, or simply work with the bands alone. The women love them because I've developed some great total body, butt-burning and shaping programs. I use them myself for extreme power and speed training. The world's strongest athletes use them, too. They will accommodate anyone from beginners to elite athletes.

Here's how they work: As you stretch the band, its resistance increases, thereby varying the load throughout the rep while simultaneously creating different demands on stability. When you increase the weight while lifting the band, the rep can get slower. Conversely, lowering the band is usually quick, since the band wants to return to its normal shape. The bands allow a variety of lifting styles and loading pattern options.

Stretch Points

When you're in your hotel room, you can anchor the bands to the bedpost, a heavy object, or yourself. If you want to change the scenery, take them to a nearby park, where a bench or other fixture will serve the same purpose. Your travel workout doesn't need more than three or four exercises to keep your body taut and strong. Here are two examples of very effective routines.

Option 1: Squat push plus, Pushups, Reverse-band wood chops, Hyperextensions

Option 2: Shot put throw squats, High step walking, Bent rowing, Bed off crunch

These two short programs hit all your major musculature systems and force your entire body to get involved. Two or three sets and 10 to 15 reps for all exercises will be enough. Please remember to do your stretches first.

Every day we move in three planes - sagittal (front to back), lateral (side to side) and rotational. All programs geared toward athletics and fitness should include rotational components, but most do not. An optimum program includes training to improve and strengthen the body in each of these planes.

To see what I mean, try swinging a bat, club or racquet without rotating. Look fully behind you or reach one hand fully across your body to get something without rotating. Even the lumbar spine during side bending from a neutral spinal alignment has a rotational component (Fryette's Law). That means when you bend sideways while standing up, the lumbar spine rotates in the opposite direction.

The bands offer incredible variety. They weigh less than a pound (under half a kilo), making them easy to tote around, and offer you capable resistance that will tax you. They are no respecter of persons and require the same from all users. So choose your bands today and get at them. The only thing ever stopping you is



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