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Based at The University of New South Wales

Top tips to stay in shape while away on holiday

Top tips to stay in shape while away on holiday

It’s possible to incorporate exercise into your trip without ruining your plans to relax, writes Dublin based personal trainer David Last.

22 July 2017
By David Last

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The Summer months have kicked in, the sun is shining and you want to keep active.

In a previous article I described some workouts for you to try outdoors and I hope they went well.

In this article, I take a look at some of the best equipment out there for people who are on the road, away on their summer holidays, or those who just want to train outdoors with little to no equipment.

When my clients are going on holidays I encourage them to spend as much time outdoors doing workouts, focusing on the likes of swimmimg, cycling or running.

The priority should be to enjoy your holiday with good food and drink, taking time to switch off, reading, getting some sun by the pool and mostly spending quality time with family and friends.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t also spend some time on your health and fitness. Some of you spend enough time training indoors during the winter months in the gym, now is the time to get outside and improve your fitness, all while getting some vitamin D.

Below are some great pieces of equipment you can use while away from the gym. All the equipment mentioned here is easy to carry around, relatively inexpensive and highly effective for a good workout.

TRX suspension trainer

A super tool that fits easily in your suitcase. It comes in a small, netted bag and is very light. You simply hook the TRX up to any door frame, tree, or railing and you’re good to go.

It’s a great piece of equipment that can be used for all fitness levels and can train any body part. Squats, pistols, rows, presses, planks and holds — you name it.

There are so many workouts out there online. In the below video you can learn how to do up to 50 different exercises with the TRX.

Resistance bands

These are another great, inexpensive tool to have available and there are so many options for band-related workouts.

You can use them for warm-up drills, mobility exercises and even for assisted pull-ups, while they come in varying degrees of tension (resistance).

Some of the best drills you can do include:

1) Banded pull-aparts

This is a superb upper-body pulling exercise which is excellent for improving posture, improving shoulder health and is a good, rounded exercise to incorporate into your routine.

2) X-Band walks

This is a great lower-body exercise that will activate your glutes and is good preparation for you before you squat or deadlift, making it an ideal drill to bring into your warm-up.

3) Palloff press

This is a simple, excellent midline core exercise; all you need to do is tie a band around a pole. Keeping tension in the band and your core tight, push the band out and straight, hold it out in front of your body for a couple of seconds and then return to the starting position.

4) Bodyweight drills

Bands are also great for assisting with chin-ups, pull-ups and push-ups. They can also be used to make a workout more challenging; see the below video for an advanced push-up exercise.

Skipping rope

Slip one of these into your suitcase and you’ll have an intense cardio workout at the ready wherever you go.

Skipping ropes are great for circuit training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Not only will you give your cardiovascular system a run (or jump) for its money, but skipping ropes are also great for improving your co-ordination.


This is another great, portable tool that can be thrown into the travel bag. You perform exercises with these gliding tools under your palms, knees, or feet, and you can work an area from every angle.

Common exercises with valslides include a basic lunge, mountain climbers, seal drags and push-ups with a knee tuck.

Along with these tools I would also suggest staying on top of your mobility and flexibility drills.

Stretch daily, do some yoga and even use the bands to assist you with some mobility exercises.

Have a mini foam roller/lacrosse ball with you to keep your body loose and injury free.

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