Portable Gyms That'll Help You Get a Better Workout at Home

Person performing chest presses with a MaxPro
Photo: MaxPro Fitness

You don't need an extensive collection of portable exercise equipment to fit in resistance training at home.

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What's a Portable Gym?

MAXPRO SmartConnect

If you're over schlepping it to the gym, you've probably been dreaming up ways to upgrade your home gym set-up. Maybe you'd love to own a squat rack and dumbbell set but don't want to sacrifice a huge chunk of your living space. Enter: portable gyms. The portable workout kits allow you to do a variety of exercises, often with varying levels of resistance, but they're lightweight and don't take up much space. To make the most of your at-home workout time get your hands on one of these all-in-one "gyms."

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BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 Full Portable Gym Home Workout System

BodyBoss 2.0 Portable Gym

For an especially versatile option, go with the BodyBoss portable gym. It comes with a foldable platform that you stand on with multiple hooks. You clip one or more bands onto the hooks depending on how much resistance you want, and then pull, push, or press away from the platform. Also included with the portable exercise equipment: bar, handle, and ankle strap attachments, and a door anchor. You'd be hard-pressed to find an exercise that you can't do (at least some version of) with the portable workout kit.

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MAXPRO SportConnect

MAXPRO SmartConnect

The MAXPRO SportConnect is a deceivingly compact platform with chords on each side. It weighs under 9 pounds, yet it can reach an impressive 150 pounds of resistance on each side. You can it for strength, cardio, or suspension training, depending on how you set it up, and you can connect it to your phone via Bluetooth to access workout videos and track your performance. You can place the piece of lightweight, portable exercise equipment on the ground, anchor it to a bench, or even secure it to a door mount, and switch between ankle straps, handles, and a bar attachment. Needless to say, it's a pretty impressive alternative to the weights and machines you'll find at a gym. (

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TRX Home2 System

TRX Home2 System

If you love your gym's TRX suspension trainer, you can buy your own. This portable gym kit comes with a TRX as well as door and suspension anchors, all of which fit into a small pouch. Once it's in place attached to your door or ceiling, you can suspend from the straps to make bodyweight exercises more difficult. (This kit also includes a 1-year subscription to the TRX app, which is full of workout plans and new exercises to try.)

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Gorilla Bow Travel

Gorilla Box

Inspired by the bows used in archery, this lightweight, portable exercise equipment breaks down into three pieces that can fit in a backpack. A basic Gorilla Bow travel kit includes bands that provide 10, 20, 30, and 50 pounds of resistance, and you can buy additional bands based on your needs. Once you've attached one or more bands to the bow, you can stand on the bands to maintain tension throughout exercises such as squats, bent-over rows, and biceps curls. (

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Balanced Body MOTR

Balanced Body MOTR
Balanced Body

If you frequent a Pilates studio, but aren't ready to commit to a reformer in your living room, MOTR might help. This portable workout kit features two cables with three resistance settings and a detachable base — a setup that'll help you achieve the muscle shaking you experience in class. Unlike with more elaborate Pilates equipment, assembly is quick and it takes up no more storage space than a large foam roller.

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OYO Personal Gym

OYO Personal Gym

With overlapping chords and a frame that expands and contracts, the OYO Personal Gym might not resemble any piece of equipment you've used before. By bending the device or pulling its handles, you can use the OYO to add resistance to all your go-to exercises from glute kickbacks to chest presses. Snap the FlexPacks on and off to vary the resistance from 5 to 25 pounds. The portable strength training equipment is like a free weight that won't weigh you down.

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COBA Board

Coba Board

Hoping to fit in a butt-focused workout at home? You can incorporate a COBA Board in eight of the best glute-activating exercises: squats, lunges, deadlifts, glute bridges, hip thrusts, glute kickbacks, donkey kicks, and hip abductions. It's designed with a seven-degree incline, which encourages you to keep your weight in your heels for more glute activation and less emphasis on your quads when you're standing on top. Just hook on your desired number of light, medium, or heavy resistance bands, then place it on the floor, and you're set.

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Power Reels Dumbbells

Power Reel Dumbbells

Resistance bands make some of the best portable exercise equipment, but they can snap and aren't the most comfortable thing to grab onto. For something a little sturdier, you can try Power Reels Dumbbells, which feature two handles attached to each other with two chords that offer constant tension during exercises. It comes in three versions, which create 3, 5, or 8 pounds of resistance. Each set weighs around 2 pounds total, so you won't hesitate to pack it one in a carry-on.

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Bullworker Steel Bow

Bullworker Steel Bow

An old-school pick, the Bullworker Bow was inspired by the benefits of isometric training (exercises where you hold still), but can be used for isotonic (dynamic) exercises, too. This more portable version of the device has a short bar with two handles you can push and two you can pull. You can brace it against your body, the wall, or a chair, and use it to perform back and chest flyes, squats, resisted bicycles, and more. Add or eliminate springs in an inner compartment to reach a resistance of up to 130 pounds, then use the tool to work your entire body.

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