Best Portable Workout Equipment For Home and Travel

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You can call me the Fitness & Health GEEK. I've been involved in the fitness industry since 2015. Exercise and Nutrition are my bread and butter.

As a gym-goer, athlete, or just someone who likes to stay fit, there are some complications that face you along your fitness journey such as traveling or moving houses for example.

Every one of us can not quit training for a couple of weeks because we love training and we know the consequences of it. Today, we are going to list the best portable workout equipment that is on the market.

When you travel, you probably will not have access to a gym because you are not settling down or because you won’t stay long so you just quit training for these traveling days.

Portable workout equipment lets you train effectively and target your muscles even while traveling. Portable workout equipment is known to be compact, could be taken in a bag, and effective.

The reason why we need portable workout equipment is that because when we travel and quit training for a long time, we lose our muscles by a mechanism called muscle atrophy.

After some time with no training, you begin to lose your muscles and strength gradually which affects your health and mental health as well.

Portable workout equipment lets you maintain your muscles and current fitness levels with light training.

portable workout equipment

Either you want resistance training, cardio, or just calisthenics, the portable workout equipment includes it all.

You will be able to do your cardio session effectively, your strength and hypertrophy sessions with high intensity, and last and foremost your ab sessions with perfect stimulus.

We are going to list each portable workout piece of equipment and talk about it briefly with its pros and cons.

Best Portable Workout Equipment: Top Picks

1. TRX All In One System

TRX ALL-IN-ONE Suspension Training: Bodyweight Resistance System | Full Body Workouts for Home, Travel, and Outdoors | Build Muscle, Burn Fat, Improve Cardio | Free Workouts Included

TRX system is a suspension system of training that was based on the suspension strap. It is also called Total Resistance Exercise meaning that the TRX system can target your full body.

TRX system is an effective way to train at home, when traveling, or anywhere. It was founded in 2005, so it is basically not as old as dumbbells but it has its name and uses now.

TRX System is good as a portable workout piece of equipment because it is compact and very lightweight.

A whole TRX system would weigh less than 2 pounds, making it very easy to be carried on a bag or when traveling light. With a TRX, you would be able to do various exercises for the total body.

Exercises such as squats, pushups, decline pushups, and back rows are some of the most popular exercises that are done with a TRX system. TRX is pretty popular so you would definitely find it in any gym or store.

If you are a bodybuilder and want to maintain your muscle mass or even build it, a beginner gym trainee and your goal is to lose fat and build muscle, a powerlifter that is on his/her volume block, if you are one of them, you will definitely benefit from the TRX system.

Pros

  • TRX system is compact: TRX weighs typically less than 2 pounds, meaning that you would be able to carry it on your bag while moving, traveling, or going anywhere.
  • Full-body Strength training: With TRX, you would be able to do some of the best and most effective exercises for the whole body such as squats, pushups, and rows.
  • Cardio: With TRX, you can do some cardio and ab exercises that will burn fat and make you shredded
  • Indoors and Outdoors: TRX could be hanged on a tree or a hanging bar in any park for example, which makes it a good and natural way to train.

Cons

  • Requires a door, tree, or a bar: TRX system as a suspension system, it needs something to be hanged on.
  • Mostly, people hang it on a door when training inside or a tree when training outside. If you don’t have these kinds of options, TRX would be a good fit for you.

2. Jump Ropes

DEGOL Skipping Rope with Ball Bearings Rapid Speed Jump Rope Cable and 6” Memory Foam Handles Ideal for Aerobic Exercise Like Speed Training, Extreme Jumping, Endurance Training and Fitness Gym

Who doesn’t remember jumping rope in school?

This is because one of our best memories are made with jump ropes while jumping with our friends. You may think that jump ropes are made for kids only and won’t be effective for adults, but…

Have you ever seen Creed or rocky? If you saw these movies you would know that jump ropes have great importance to every athlete especially the ones concerned with cardio fitness levels.

Jump ropes increase the cardio fitness levels which translate to an increase in heart’s and lung’s capacity.

In other words, the ability to run for long periods of time and run fast. When you train with a jump rope, you train this kind of fitness, cardiovascular fitness. As well as increasing heart’s and lung’s capacity, it has many other benefits.

Jump ropes work up your whole legs and glutes as you jump. The calf is the most benefited muscle as it takes most of the load on it. Also, jumping rope is not only good for that, jumping rope also burns fat.

As you do a cardio exercise and your heart pumps fast, you burn calories. These burned calories translate into fat when mixed with proper dieting and eating patterns.

A jump rope is a simple but yet very effective piece of equipment. It barely has a weight and is very portable so you would be able to take it anywhere.

Pros

  • Cardio: Jumping rope serves as a great cardio exercise that increases the heart’s and lung’s capacity and translated to many specific sports such as crossfit, boxing, and soccer.
  • Fat loss: Jump rope is a great portable piece of equipment if you are concerned about losing fat, this is because it is effective at burning calories in a short period of time which translates fat loss.
  • Light and Compact: Jump ropes are your cardio savior while traveling because of their lightweight and small size.

Cons

  • No strength training: The problem with jump ropes is that you won’t be able to perform any strength exercises. Unlike TRX, jump ropes only serve as a cardio piece of equipment.

3. Resistance Bands

Bodylastics Resistance Bands Set with Patented Anti-Snap Elastics, Patented Clips, Upgraded Handles, Door Anchor, Legs, Wrist Ankle Straps

Resistance bands are the way to go for many fitness coaches and athletes. Ever thought of taking a dumbbell and barbell that are compact with you while traveling? Never, right? Resistance bands made it possible.

Resistance bands are typically bands that have very light to very heavy resistance levels similar to weights. This is the reason they could be considered the same as dumbbells and barbells, because you will be able to train with resistance!

Resistance bands are great portable workout equipment because you will be able to perform nearly every exercise you would do in your commercial gym.

They offer exercises for all your body muscles that are effective and give you enough stimulus to build muscle. If you are traveling and you are afraid to lose muscle, resistance bands would maintain and even build it more.

With resistance bands, you would do pushup, rows, curls, triceps extensions, lateral raises, and many more to mention.

Think about these bands as dumbbells but in a lighter and more compact shape. They are very compact and light and can be folded and put to an included case that barely takes space at all.

For bodybuilders who are eager to build muscle or maintain it while traveling, powerlifters that want to maintain strength and maintain their shape, and for regular people that want to build muscle while losing fat, resistance bands are definitely your way to go.

Read more about resistance bands here

Pros

  • Adjustable: Resistance bands usually come in packs. In other words, you will find that they come in different weights and resistance ranging from X-light to X-heavy. Each resistance would fit a specific type of exercise. It depends on whether this exercise is a compound exercise or an isolation one.
  • Strength Training: Unlike ropes, resistance bands offer real resistance similar to dumbbells and weight at your local commercial gym. By that, you would have a great weight replacement while traveling.
  • Compact: Resistance bands are very lightweight and could be folded and carried on a bag and that’s what makes them so special to many people.
  • Full Body Exercises: Resistance bands give you a variety of exercises for both the upper body and lower body with the same efficiency.

Cons

  • No cardio: Unfortunately, resistance bands do not offer cardio exercises so you won’t be able to kick in a cardio session with them. However, you could get the same benefits from cardio with high-rep training or supersetting with the resistance bands
  • Could break: Resistance band because it is made of elastic, could break and get torn out from intensive use. However, if you bought a high-quality product, it will last long without any durability problem.

4. Push-Up Handle

Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup Rotating Push Up Handles, Pair

Pushups, the almighty exercise for the upper body. Almost every one of us used to do this exercise when we were children. The pushup exercise is a great exercise that targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, and with some variations, your back.

You see, it involves almost every single muscle of your upper body, which makes it a great exercise and could be done while traveling.

While pushups exercise does not need a specific piece of equipment to be done, it is crucial to use the push-up handles while doing it. Push-up handles make it easier for the athlete or user to do the pushups without any pain.

It removes the pressure from undesired joints such as the wrists. Some people experience undesired pain in their wrists while doing pushups, which prevents them from maxing out and truly training to failure.

Pushup Handles also increase the range of motion of the exercise. By increasing the range of motion, the stimulus increases, which results in more muscle gain. For anyone that wants to build muscle and maintain it while traveling, the pushup handle will be your bread and butter for most of your upper body.

Pros

  • More range of motion: Pushup Handles increase the pushup exercise range of motion, resulting in more chest and shoulders gains. Also, the stretch at the end of the motion which occurs heavily with the handles stimulates the muscles to grow more than anything.
  • Compact: The pushup handle is a compact and lightweight piece of equipment that could be your travel workout. Pushups exercise with handles is your best portable exercise.
  • Upper body: This piece of equipment is good for the upper body as it targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, and upper back effectively.

Cons

  • No lower body: The big downside of pushup handles is that they do not offer any lower body exercises. They only offer assistance in the pushup exercise along with its variations.

Related

Dips vs push ups

5. Pull-up Bar

Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar with Smart Larger Hooks Technology [2019 Upgrade] - USA Original Patent, USA Designed, USA Shipped, USA Warranty

Pull-up is known as the king of back exercises. Back muscle is a big muscle group that includes many muscles. Not every exercise can target them all at once. Pull-ups target them all with much effectiveness that made it one of the best exercises to do at the gym.

Pull-ups could not be done unless you have a pull-up bar which would be on your cable machine or dip machine more often. But because we need a portable workout piece of equipment, we will have a pullup bar that could be hanged on a door.

You might think that a pull-up bar could only help in doing pull-ups like the push-up handles with pushups, but you are wrong.

There are many exercises that could be done on a pull-up bar such as chin-ups and hanging leg raises. Obviously, a pull-up bar would help you target your back, abs, and biceps heavily.

For calisthenics athletes, crossfitters, bodybuilders, and anyone who is interested in building these muscles and interested in the pull-up movement in general would definitely benefit from a pull-up bar.

Pros

  • Upper body: A pull-up bar is a great way to work up your upper body as it works nearly your whole upper body muscles except for the chest.
  • Door: A pull-up bar only needs a door to hook up in and would work just fine after hooking it up. You don’t have to worry about falling or breaking the door because they are quite durable and stable.

Cons

  • No lower body: Unfortunately, with all these advantages that a pull-up bar offers, it does not offer lower body exercises. If you are concerned about working your legs up, you should equip yourself with another equipment other than the pull-up bar.

6. Ab Roller

EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel, 6-in-1 Ab Roller Kit with Knee Pad, Resistance Bands, Pad Push Up Bars Handles Grips , Perfect Home Gym Equipment for Men Women Abdominal Exercise

The Ab Roller is one of the most important pieces of equipment when we talk about portable workout equipment. It is very light and compact, which makes it very good for traveling or when quarantining. The Ab roller as it indicates works mainly your abs.

The Ab roller works up your abs in a way that it completely destroys the muscle after a couple of sets. It works up your entire core area which includes the abs, lower back, and the stabilizing muscles around them.

It is very useful too for your lats and triceps as its main mechanism of movement is pulling.

If you have the goal of toning up and shredding the fat in your stomach area, an Ab Roller should be the first on your list.

Pros

  • Abs, triceps, and lats: The Ab Roller works up your entire core area very effectively along with the help of lats and triceps when pulling. If you want to gain muscles and burn fat in your abs, the ab roller is your way to go.

Cons

  • Specific to abs: The Ab Roller is very specific to ab training, meaning that you won’t be able to hit any other muscle with this piece of equipment.
  • Some are heavy: Unfortunately, not all ab rollers are light and compact. There are some models that are heavy and could not be carried on while traveling.

Final Words

In conclusion, travelling might cause a big problem for someone that is interested in fitness and health.

When you stop training for a while your muscles get weakened and you lose your gains, this might be one’s nightmare when traveling.

Portable workout equipment made it easier for us to maintain our muscles and fitness or even increase and build them.

We have listed the best portable workout equipment ranging from upper body specific pieces of equipment to full-body. Read carefully, know what your goals are, and you will be ready to choose which is the best one for you.

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