In a perfect world, I would be able to wake up every day, go to my gym, come home to a perfectly planned meal by my live-in chef (his name is Roberto, by the way), be treated to a 90-minute therapeutic massage - in the comfort of my own home, of course - and go to bed at a reasonable hour, only to be well-rested each and every day. Also, I don't work. Did I mention that? I'm independently wealthy so I spent my days reading crime novels by the pool and snooping on my unruly neighbors.
Unfortunately, this isn't the world that anyone lives in (well, that I know). And, instead, we find ourselves leading normal lives - slamming snooze on the alarm so that we are rushing from place to place, cramming food into our mouths while driving, and forgoing workouts simply because we don't have time to make it to our gym each day.
So what's in my go-to bag?
The Resistance Band
This is the heavy hitter of all things portable. I have a great set from Cymas that have removable handles that I can switch to connect to any of the bands in my set. The best part about resistance bands is that they have an endless about of uses. I use resistance bands with my clients all the time and making compound exercises (such as a rowing lunge) are a snap with the resistance bands. They're easy to hook up, too. All you need is a place to attach them (such as around a door handle) or wrap them around your own body to create a variety of different exercises. One of the reasons that I like this particular set as well, is that each rope has a different strength, so that you can perform a variety of different exercises and feel challenged.
If you feel like you don't need the complete set of ropes, SPRI sells single versions of the same bands, in more challenging difficulties. I like the purple band, specifically, for men who feel that they are not challenging by the lighter bands. Fold that baby over and man, that's some serious resistance!
The Mini Band
This isn't that much different than the resistance band, you say! On the contrary! The mini band is a great add-on to the resistance band. In fact, it's the perfect compliment to the arsenal. I like using the mini band around my ankles for walking exercises, around my knees for glute activation exercises, and even around my hands for some shoulder strengthening. The best part is it is absolutely TINY. There's no reason not to be able to fold up this band and take it with you. If you're a runner, you NEED to be using this band both pre- and post-run.
A good pair of gliders is going to take you a long way. Using either the soft cloth side or the plastic side, you can use gliders on any surface. This is perfect for hotel rooms! Slipping gilders underneath your feet immediately reduces your stabilization and forces you to engage your core and maintain your balance throughout the entire movement. If you have a weakness, the gliders are going to find it!
The best part is these are another completely easy to pack item that has a variety of uses and requires just your own body weight.
The Protein Shaker
But Ashley, I have one of those. Yes - you probably do. They're easy enough to get with any purchase from a health store or alongside your favorite protein. But have you tried THIS ONE?
This is what I love about this Blender bottle. It has a storage compartment in the bottle - that allows you to keep your supplements (read: pre-workout, vitamins, protein) completely separate from the rest of the shaker in an easy-to-use compartment. Why is this great? This means no more carrying your protein in a Ziploc baggie and dumping half of it all over the counter. You can use the shaker for water while you work out and unscrew the bottom when you're done and immediately dump your protein and shake!
And speaking of protein -
What protein do I use?
I can't say enough good things about Vital Proteins. Vital Proteins sources their collagen peptides from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows that are non-GMO, hormone-free, and preservative free. Collagen protein supports healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as bones and joints, which is a huge added bonus. But here's the best part - 2 scoops (one serving) of protein gets you 20g of collagen AND it's odorless, tasteless, and dissolves completely in water. So for those of you that hate the taste of whey proteins, I can't recommend a better (or tastier!) source. I love to slip a couple scoops into my coffee in the morning and increase my daily protein intake without even realizing it!
Added bonus: Vital Proteins makes single serving packs - so no messy cleanup! I throw 2-3 of these packs in my purse and pull them out just as I need them!
No workout would be complete without recovery. The R8 Roll Recovery is hands down one of my favorite tools because it's so portable. I've taken it on numerous trips because it packs down so flat! The best part about the R8 Roller is that you can use it over your entire leg, so there's no post-run neglect! Easily one of the best birthday presents that I've gotten!
If that's a little too big for your pack, you can always look to Triggerpoint to have some great equipment. This little roller hits all the major spots and is barely bigger than your palm. I especially like it for tight calves, ankles, and feet. Bonus: It comes in an extra-firm variety if you feel like you need more pressure.
What bag do you carry all this in?
Seriously - you can't look any farther than Kavu. They make some incredible cross-body sling bags, with thousands of pockets and tuck-away spots. They're large enough to fit a 13" Macbook, iPhone Plus AND all the equipment listed above! The best part? I hear that they are the perfect festival bag!
What are your go-to essentials? Leave a comment below!
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