Review: I tried these resistance band workouts while I travelled

PHOTO: YouTube/Madfit, YouTube/Fit Simplify

As a foodie, I am not someone who monitors what I eat when I travel. If the food's good, it's going into my belly. However, I know from experience that this means coming home to the weighing scale showing me that I gained two kilograms or more.

This time when I went to Europe, I decided to try to stay fit on the go. To help me, I brought along a resistance band. It's light and can be taken anywhere, making it the perfect workout tool for travelling.

In my review, I kept certain variables in mind. I took note of how much space was needed and how long the workouts were. After all, I didn't want to spend too long every night exercising when I was dead on my feet from exploring.

Keep reading to find out which workouts I followed and what I thought of them.

Note: For my trip, I brought two types of resistance bands with me. The mini band is the thicker, shorter one, while the power band is the longer, stretchier version.

12 min UPPER BODY RESISTANCE BAND Workout (At Home) by MadFit

During my time in Rome, I spent much of my days walking around. So I opted for a workout that would focus more on my arms to give my legs a break. This one by MadFit seemed easy enough so I gave it a go.


The moves in this workout were straightforward and simple to follow, especially with MadFit's instructions.

I will admit that going into this, I was worried about whether I'd be able to maintain the correct posture and use the resistance band well.

However, MadFit constantly moved around in the video to show the different exercises from various angles. This helped me to adjust my body accordingly to follow hers (thank you hotel mirror for your help).

How much it burned

This exercise really left my arms burning - but in a good, satisfying way. My triceps were definitely feeling the effects. To be honest, the first night I did this workout, it felt surprisingly easy.

But it was only from my second run-through that I (belatedly) realised I needed to continue resisting the band's pull even as I released the tension in my arms.

This definitely made things a little harder, and my arms were aching much more after the workout.

How hotel-friendly it was

This workout is great when on a trip. Since the focus is on the arms, you don't have to worry about making too much noise and bothering your neighbours.

However, the last exercise of the workout requires lying down on the floor. I was lucky to have sufficient space to do so in my hotel room, but it might not be feasible to do in smaller rooms.

Other than that, the rest of the moves could be done with minimal space - I could have even done them in the hotel toilet if I wanted to.

How engaging it was

This workout is great for those who prefer to be guided through the moves. MadFit constantly gave instructions for each exercise during the breaks in between.

During each move, however, there can be a lull when only music plays and you are left to just follow along.

But since I had to keep my brain engaged to make sure I was properly using the resistance band, I didn't feel too bored during those moments. (Though I will admit that I prayed the timer would go by faster.)

Resistance Band Workout for Beginners [A 10 Minute Workout with Marin] by Fit Simplify

Switzerland left me feeling a little too relaxed - the alps have a way of doing that to you. So I decided to opt for a full-body workout.

However, what I didn't realise was that most full-body workouts required a lot of space to do. I'm talking at least one metre around you.

So it took a while before I found this video, but I think I hit the jackpot. Just to note, for this 10-minute exercise, I switched over to a loop band.


This workout is full of easy-to-follow exercises that I could grasp almost immediately. The instructor - Marin - also gave a detailed run-through of the moves before beginning each set.

She pointed out which muscles to keep engaged and I found it immensely helpful when she indicated when to inhale and when to exhale.

Overall, this workout is basically dummy-proof, and I say that as an exercise newbie.

How much it burned

This workout didn't leave my body screaming the next morning, but I could definitely feel it. I did each set thrice and found that I felt more alert than tired after it.

This is not an exercise to do if you want to have an intense strength training workout. However, it's perfect if you're looking for something light to do while on the go.

You can definitely repeat the sets as often as you like until you are satisfied with the burn, though.

How hotel-friendly it is

As I mentioned before, it took quite a bit of searching to find a video that didn't require too much space. Thankfully, this workout is definitely doable in a hotel room.

While you will need a chair, most hotel rooms come with one, so you don't have to worry about that.

How engaging it is

The best thing about this video is how detailed Marin was in her explanation of each move.

There aren't many silent moments during the workout and she was encouraging throughout (which I really appreciated; I can always use some cheering).

She also constantly reminded me to keep my muscles engaged to get the most out of the workout.

Slim and Tone your Legs & Glutes | Resistance Band Home Workout by MrandMrsMuscle

When I reached Paris, I decided to find a workout that would work the legs and the glutes.

I had a bit more space in my Paris hotel room than in the others, so it allowed me more choices to pick from. It wasn't too much space, but I could have comfortably rolled out a yoga mat.


Difficulty-wise, this workout was simple enough. However, there wasn't any rest in between each move. Because of this, I found myself having to pause the video quite often just so I could get into the next position.

There was one move I struggled with, though, and that was the Lying Abduction Presses.

I will admit that I'm not the most flexible person on the planet, so this move was a bit hard for me to do. But if you don't have such an issue, then this workout will overall be easy to follow.

How much it burned

Let's just say that I'm lucky I left this workout for my last day. The video ran through the whole thing four times, and by the second time, I was wondering whether I could make it to the end.

The next day, I found myself having to really stretch my muscles out so that I could walk around Paris (which has mostly level ground). I would recommend this exercise only if you aren't going to do a lot of walking the next day (or you are used to the ache).

How hotel-friendly it is

If there's one thing about this workout, it's that it requires quite a bit of space. This wasn't an issue for me, but I know that I couldn't have done it in the other hotels I stayed at.

This is definitely not the most hotel-friendly exercise, but if you have the space, it doesn't produce too much noise and you will be able to work up a good sweat.

How engaging it is

To be honest, I didn't find the workout to be particularly engaging.

There was no talking involved; only music. This meant that I had to really push myself to finish the workout since there was nothing to distract me from the burn in my thighs.

But if you are someone who enjoys really focusing on each move, or you simply prefer no-talking workout videos, this one is a great option for you.

ALSO READ: I tried exercising for 300 minutes a week (as per HPB's new guidelines) and I ran into some difficulties

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.