8 simple exercises you can do with a resistance band on holiday

There’s no doubt about it, exercising whilst you are on holiday can help to maintain your fitness levels.  Swimming and walking are great forms of exercise but would you love to tone up your muscles in a different way that doesn’t involve finding a gym? Read on for some of my favourite exercises using a resistance band.


Resistance bands weigh next to nothing and are easy to fold up and pack into your suitcase.  There are various types.  I find the best bands are the pilates ones but you could also use bands with handles.   Whichever band you choose make sure it ticks the following criteria:

  • Length – 150cm or more is better, especially if you are tall.
  • Flexible/stretchy –  you want the band to be able to stretch (in other words do not use a yoga belt).
  • A band with medium resistance is good for most people – if you need to increase the resistance you can just make the band shorter by wrapping it around your wrists several times.  If you are new to strength training type exercise then a light resistance might be better.
  • You can buy bands from Amazon, Argos, Physical Company, TKMAX, Sports Direct, even some health food shops sell them.


Below are 8 of my favourite exercises. You can do these in the privacy of your hotel room so you don’t have to feel self conscious about people watching you.   

Between 8-15 repetitions of the exercises is plenty.  Remember to warm up with some arm circles and walking around for 5 mins and stretch out at the end.

SQUATS – tones the leg muscles

Stand on your band, feet shoulder width apart and sit on the edge of a chair.  Hold the band in both hands with straight arms, keep the tension fairly high by holding the band nearer to your feet.  Push your heels into the floor and stand up, keeping your back and arms straight during the move.  Sit down again by moving your bottom back and bending your knees.  Keep your heels down and avoid letting your knees move in front of your toes as you stand up.

STANDING BICEP CURLS – tones the front of the upper arms

Stand on your band, hold it near to the ends.  Keeping your elbows into your waist, bend the elbows, lifting your forearms so that your fists stop just in front of your shoulders.

STANDING ROTATION – tones the muscles in your waist

Double up the band and hold it in both hands, pulling it straight so that your arms are about shoulder width apart and the band is under tension.  Lift the arms up to chest height, twist to the right, moving from the waist, keeping your hips facing forward, then lower the arms, lift them again and this time twist to the left.

STANDING TRICEP PUSHES – tones the back of the upper arms

Hold the band in both hands behind you, pulling it straight so arms are shoulder width apart and band is resting just below your bottom (depending on how long your arms are).  Keep arms straight and lift them up behind you, then lower back down to starting position.  Avoid lifting shoulders up to your ears.

SINGLE ARM LATERAL RAISES – tones the shoulders

Stand on one end of the band, hold the other end with your right hand, arm straight and down by your right side.  Keeping your right arm straight lift the arm out to the side to shoulder height only and then lower down to starting point but do not let it rest on the thigh. Repeat with left arm.

STANDING CHEST PRESS – tones the chest muscles and front of shoulders.

Put the band around your back (bra strap level).  Hold the band in both hands either side of your body so that your fists point forward and wrists are in front of your shoulders. Push your arms forward against the resistance of the band until your arms are straight but still at shoulder height.  Slowly bend the elbows bringing your wrists back to the starting position.

SHOULDER RETRACTIONS – tones the muscles between your shoulder blades

Hold band in front of your chest with straight arms.  Pull your straight arms further apart against the resistance of the band to a horizontal position, squeeze shoulder blades together and then return arms slowly to the starting position.   Avoid lifting shoulders to ears and keep arms at shoulder height.

BRIDGE – tones glut (bum) and back of thigh muscles

Lie on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor.  Knees and feet are hip distance apart. Hold the band tight over your pelvis.  Squeeze your glut muscles (muscles in your bum) and lift the bum and roll the spine off the floor up to your shoulder blades.  Roll the spine and bum back down to the starting position.  Keep your feet flat on the floor and avoid letting the knees sickle in or out.


  • Do 4 exercises one day and the other 4 another day.
  • or only do the exercises you like.
  • or exercise for 10 mins only – set your timer, keep moving from one exercise to another, stop when 10 mins is up.
  • or do all 8 exercises 2-3 times per week not every day.

There’s more to feeling good about yourself than exercising on holiday.  If you want to reclaim your confidence, feel amazing in your clothes and enjoy your life more, let’s chat about how I can help – book a FREE Getting to Know You call.

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