The 12 Best Pieces of Portable Exercise Equipment of 2021

Take your workout on the go

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Our Top Picks
There's endless versatility with this fitness system—you can use it at home or outdoors for various types of workouts.
A substitute for weight lifting, minus the bulkiness, this portable set provides workouts in the least amount of space.
If sculpting your lower body is a priority, you're sure to get a lot of use out of these bands, varying in resistance level.
This helpful piece of equipment can transform any doorway into a workout area, no screws necessary.
As you fine-tune your push-up form, Perfect Fitness adds a little extra help without causing stress on your wrists.
While stability balls are a great addition to ab exercises, they also complement stretching and lower-body workouts.
Best for Abs (Runner-Up):
EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel at Amazon
Featuring an ab wheel that's notably wider than others, this set also comes with resistance bands, a knee pad, and push-up bars.
Best for Weight Training:
Empower Ankle and Wrist Weights at Amazon
Intensify your daily activities, walks, or runs with these ankle and wrist weights.
You'll think twice about getting a gym membership when you have this nine-piece set that provides multiple machine substitutes.
Best for Weightlifting:
Yes4All Aqua Weight Bags at Amazon
It can hold up to 49 pounds of water, giving you an easy, reliable way to take weight workouts on the go.

Stocking up on fitness equipment can be a great way to get a gym-worthy home workout. But gym equipment is rarely lightweight or portable. Bulky machines and heavy weights don’t tend to be very travel-friendly, and if you’re dealing with space constraints, you may not have enough room to house everything you need.

Thankfully, there are plenty of truly portable pieces of exercise equipment that you can use to get a killer workout. Resistance bands, stability balls, and jump ropes can offer a considerable challenge, and none of them are too bulky or heavy to toss in a bag.

“I'm a fan of simple. The simpler the equipment—easy to move around, easy to use—the better," says Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga. “Having a few simple pieces of portable fitness equipment can help with remembering to get your movement time in, and can also make it easier to create and maintain a lasting well-being practice," she adds.

Even slightly larger options, like pull-up bars and portable home gyms, are smaller than comparable fitness machines, making it easy for you to knock out a workout just about anywhere.

Here is the best portable exercise equipment on the market.

Best for Total Body : TRX All-In-One Suspension Training Fitness System

TRX All-in-One Suspension Training Fitness System
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Can anchor to trees, doors, beams, and more

  • Complimentary travel pouch

  • Access to virtual fitness classes via TRX’s app

Cons
  • Some quality control issues

  • Straps may slip if not secured properly

The TRX All-in-One Suspension Training Fitness System is an incredibly space-efficient way to score a full-body workout. The package comes with only five pieces: a suspension training strap, a door anchor, a suspension anchor, a 35-page workout guide, and a small mesh bag you can use to hold your equipment.

The fitness system weighs in at just 1.7 pounds, so you can easily carry it from place to place. The foundation of the TRX suspension system is the suspension training strap, which boasts built-in handles on either end. The handles can be used as grips during upper-body workouts and foot cradles during lower-body workouts. And since the center of the strap is equipped with a patented locking loop, you won’t have to worry about the strap slipping out of place mid-workout.

Because the fitness system comes with two different anchors, you can easily use your suspension training strap indoors or outdoors. Secure the door anchor to any closed door in your home, and fasten the suspension anchor around sturdy outdoor structures, like poles or even trees.

Best for Upper Body: Black Mountain Resistance Band Set

Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Handles and ankle straps included

  • Complimentary travel pouch

Cons
  • Lots of pieces to keep track of

  • Pieces may fray or snap over time

The Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set comes with five resistance bands, each of which has a different resistance level ranging from 2 to 30 pounds. Though the resistance bands cap out at 30 pounds of resistance, you can combine them to create a more challenging experience. By layering the bands and using all five at once, you can reach resistance levels up to 75 pounds—making it easy to scale up workouts over time.

Each resistance band set also comes with two soft-grip handles and two ankle straps, so you can comfortably use your resistance bands during upper-body and lower-body workouts, respectively. Since each resistance band comes with built-in metal clips on either end, you can conveniently swap out the handles and straps as needed. You can also take advantage of the anchor included with the set, which will allow you to fasten your resistance bands to a nearby doorway.

Best for Lower Body: Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set

Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set
Pros
  • Wide weight range

  • Color-coded and easy to use

  • Compact design

Cons
  • May have a strong rubber smell

  • One-size-fits-all

The Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set is a portable strength-training choice, designed with fans of yoga, pilates, and barre in mind. Whereas many resistance band sets are made up of cords with hooks on either end, the Peach Bands set is composed entirely of circular resistance bands. Instead of grabbing the ends of the band, you wrap the entire band around yourself to make squats, clamshells, and other classic exercises more challenging

Each resistance band is crafted from 100 percent latex, which promises to be lightweight, strong, and durable. The bands range in resistance level from 10 to 12 pounds of resistance and the heaviest offering 30 to 35 pounds of added difficulty. And because each band comes clearly labeled, it’ll be easy for you to keep track of your favorite bands. 

Best for Back: Iron Gym Pull Up Workout Bar

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
Pros
  • Easy to install and remove

  • Works without screws or nails

  • Supports up to 300 pounds

Cons
  • Bulkier design

  • Grips may slip off with use

Iron Gym’s Workout Bar is proof that you don’t need a ton of space to knock out a few pull-ups. At 3 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 1 foot tall, the pull-up bar won’t take up a ton of space in your home. And it can transform just about any doorway into a space suitable for pull-ups.

Though many pull-up bars need to be screwed into the wall, Iron Gym’s Workout Bar uses leverage and safety brackets to stay secure. It also means you won’t have to put any holes in your wall—which is a plus for renters, homeowners, and travelers, alike. Despite the pull-up bar’s easy installation process, it promises to be a pretty sturdy pick thanks to the heavy-duty steel bar which is designed to support up to 300 pounds at a time.

Best for Chest: Perfect Fitness Push-Up Handles

Perfect Pushup
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Equipped with non-slip bases

  • Rubber handles for easy grip

  • Helpful for perfecting form

Cons
  • Some reports of cracking over time

Perfect Fitness’s Push-Up Handles will make it easier for you to perfect your form while doing a push-up. The handles ensure you’re working all the muscle groups that should be challenged during a push-up, allowing you to get the most out of your workout. The device may also reduce joint strain, allowing you to direct energy where you actually want to build muscle or tone up.

Each set comes with two push-up handles. The handles come equipped with rubber grips, which make it easy to hold them firmly and comfortably in place during workouts. They also come reinforced with non-slip bases, so you won’t have to worry about them sliding around while you’re trying to master proper push-up form. 

Best for Abs: Black Mountain Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball

Black Mountain Static Strength Stability Ball
Pros
  • Can deflate completely

  • Can support 2,000 pounds

  • Available in five different sizes

  • Multiple color options

Cons
  • Some quality control issues

  • May burst

Black Mountain Products's Stability Ball is a professional-grade stability ball can up the ante on crunches, planks, and other classic ab exercises. It can also be used to enhance stretching and balancing workouts, as well as lower-body exercises. The ball can handle up to 2,000 pounds of weight at any given moment, so you can safely add free weights to the mix as you scale up your workouts over time. 

The exercise ball ships deflated, but it comes with a ball pump and a beginner’s brochure, both of which make it easy to get started. The brand also offers five different ball sizes, and the company recommends that you use your height to determine which ball best fits your needs.

Best for Abs (Runner-Up): EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel

EnterSports Ab Wheel Roller
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Smooth and comfortable to use

  • Grippy and floor-friendly

  • Can support up to 400 pounds

Cons
  • Lots of pieces to keep up with

  • Potential durability issues

If you’re looking for a core workout that goes beyond classic bodyweight exercises (like crunches, planks, and Russian twists), you’ve found it in the EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel. The fitness kit comes with an ab roller, a knee pad, two resistance bands, and two push-up grip handles, allowing you to challenge your core in a variety of creative ways.

Weighing in at 3.5 pounds, the kit promises to be both stable and beginner-friendly. The ab roller’s extra-wide design will keep it moving smoothly during workouts, so you won’t have to worry about it wobbling around as you exercise.

Because it's crafted from a combination of stainless steel, non-slip thermoplastic rubber, and PVC, it should be both durable and quiet. The heavy-duty stainless steel will hold up over time, while the thermoplastic rubber will cushion the blow of the ab roller, keeping your workouts quiet and protecting your floors. 

Best for Weight Training: Empower Ankle and Wrist Weights

Empower Ankle and Wrist Weights
Pros
  • Adjustable

  • Made with stretchy neoprene

  • Can be worn on wrists or ankles

Cons
  • Heavier than other options

  • Iron weight bars may be uncomfortable

Ankle weights are a convenient way to build strength while doing bodyweight exercises, cardio workouts, or everyday chores. Each set of Empower’s Ankle and Wrist Weights comes with two thick, adjustable bands that you wear around your wrists or ankles. These bands weigh in at 0.5 pounds each—not so much to hamper your movement but enough to give daily activities a strength-building boost.

The Empower Ankle and Wrist Weights set also comes with eight half-pound cast iron bars. These bars conveniently slip into built-in pockets on the adjustable weight bands, making it easy for you to increase the weight you’re carrying around as you see fit. And though the maximum weight you can reach is 5 pounds, it's ideal in terms of portability.

Best Portable Home Gym: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

BodyBoss 2.0 - Full Portable Home Gym
Pros
  • Multiple pieces of equipment in one

  • Easy to transport

  • Access to a free workout program

Cons
  • Lots of pieces to keep track of

  • Heavier than other options

The BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym comes with nine pieces including a fold-up base, a resistance bar, two resistance bands, two ankle straps, two grip handles, and one door anchor. You’ll also get access to a free workout program, which will help you get started with your new home gym. 

Start playing around with your BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym, and you’ll quickly realize you can use it as a substitute for a squat rack, a bench press, punching bag, and free weights—allowing you to recreate your go-to gym routine at home. When you’re finished using your BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym, you can fold it up for space-efficient storage. Though it's 16 pounds, it has built-in handles that make it easy to carry.

Best for Weightlifting: Yes4All Aqua Weight Bags

Yes4All Aqua Weight Bags
Pros
  • Lightweight when empty

  • Adjustable

  • Built-in handles for versatile workouts

Cons
  • Tedious to fill up and empty

  • Somewhat bulky

Yes4All’s Aqua Weight Bags make weightlifting on the go easier. The weight bags are crafted from durable PVC, and each one comes lined with four grippy handles you can use to comfortably grab the bag as you lift it up and down. Unlike other free weights—which get their weight from the solid iron or steel they’re made from—Yes4All’s Aqua Weight Bags get their weight from water.

It ships empty, weighing next to nothing, but when filled it can weigh as much as 49 pounds. It's also fairly foldable when empty, making it portable and easy to store.

Best for Bodyweight Workouts: Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

 Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat
Pros
  • Large surface area

  • Thick and comfy design

  • Available in multiple colors

Cons
  • May be too bulky to store in a bag

  • Reports of strong smell when it arrives

Bodyweight exercises like planks and push-ups can help you work up a sweat no matter where you are, and a yoga mat can make these exercises more comfortable. Gaiam’s Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is 72 inches long and 42 inches wide, making it big enough for multiple types of workouts. Its 2.5-inch thickness should also make it a comfy option. 

The durable mat promises to be grippy, giving you plenty of traction as you tackle complex yoga postures or fast-paced bodyweight exercises. And since it comes with a convenient carrying strap, you can rest assured knowing it should be pretty easy to carry.

Best for Cardio: DEGOL Jump Rope

DEGOL Jump Rope
Pros
  • Adjustable

  • Memory foam handles

  • Smooth PVC coating

  • Sturdy woven wire interior

Cons
  • May lack durability

  • May be too lightweight for some

If you're more of a cardio person, a jump rope can give you a good workout without demanding a ton of space in your bag. Made with a woven steel wire and coated in slick PVC, Degol’s Skipping Rope is both durable and comfortable.

The jump rope also comes equipped with two memory foam handles, which should make it easy to grip. And since you can use these handles to easily adjust the length of the jump rope (its initial length is 9 feet long), you can customize the jump rope so that it fits you just right.

Final Verdict

Finding the right portable fitness system will ultimately depend a lot on who you are and what you value in a workout. If you’re a fan of cardio, Empower’s Ankle and Wrist Weights (view at Amazon) could be a great way to render your go-to exercises (and your everyday activities) a bit more challenging.

If you prefer a bodyweight workout, the Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set (view at Amazon) will add resistance without adding weight to your gym bag. And if you love to strength train, the TRX All-in-One Suspension Training Fitness System (view at Amazon) will help you get a full-body workout without taking up too much space.

What to Look for in Portable Exercise Equipment

Weight

Portable fitness equipment needs to be lightweight and easy to carry. That's why it's important to focus on the total weight of a product—especially if you'll be traveling. Airlines have weight limits on checked bags, and you don’t want your fitness equipment pushing you into added-fee territory. 

Size

When it comes to portability, weight isn’t the only thing to consider—size and shape can be just as important. An item may be lightweight, but if it’s bulky, it may not be very easy to transport. So double-check an item’s dimensions before buying. Larger items may be tough to carry in hand or store in a bag. And the same goes for oddly shaped items.

Number of Pieces

Portable fitness equipment comes in many variations. Some items are sold individually, and others are sold in sets—and some of these sets can include as many as ten different pieces. Keep this in mind while you shop. The more items there are, the more space the equipment is likely to demand in your bag. And even if the pieces are incredibly small, more pieces mean more stuff to keep track of on the go.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best muscle building exercises with minimal equipment?

    Classic bodyweight exercises like planks, push-ups, crunches, and squats can help you build muscle. And while you can enhance these exercises with weights, resistance bands, or a yoga mat, you don’t actually need equipment to complete the moves. “I think the best part of building strength and mobility is that we don’t need much,” says Megan Kearney, Yoga Medicine's registered therapeutic specialist. “Our own body weight is pretty incredible.”

  • How to exercise when traveling

    “Simply holding a plank for one or two minutes on a mat—or even the floor—is a great way to build strength and gain a burst of energy,” Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga, says. Stiles also recommends tackling high lunges. Once you’ve found your balance, you can make the exercise more intense by twisting your upper body to one side. If you have a ball on hand, you can use it to make the workout even more challenging. But if not, the move should help you build strength on its own.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. That’s why she’s careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. For this shopping guide, she prioritized fitness equipment that was lightweight, small-space-friendly, and easy to carry around. She also favored options that were budget-friendly, high-quality, and versatile.

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5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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