Portable Gyms That'll Help You Get a Better Workout at Home
What's a Portable Gym?
If self-quarantining has you experiencing gym withdrawal, 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 your living space. Enter: portable gyms. They allow you to do a variety of exercises with varying levels of resistance, but they're lightweight and don't take up much space. To make the most of your quarantine workout time—and any other home workouts down the line—get your hands on one of these all-in-one "gyms."
BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 Full Portable Gym Home Workout System
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: 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 kit.
The MAXPRO is a deceivingly compact platform with chords on each side. It weighs under 10 pounds, yet it can reach an impressive 150 pounds of resistance on each side. You can use it for basically any exercise, depending on how you set it up. You can place it 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.
TRX Home2 System
If you miss your gym's TRX suspension trainer, you can buy your own. This portable gym kit comes with a TRX and door and suspension anchors, which all 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.)
Gorilla Bow Travel
Inspired by the bows used in archery, this lightweight tool 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 lbs. 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 like squats, bent-over rows, and biceps curls.
Balanced Body MOTR
If you've been missing your Pilates studio dearly, but aren't ready to commit to a reformer in your living room, MOTR might help. It 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.
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. It's like a free weight that won't weigh you down.
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 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.
Tony Little Adjustable Easy Shaper Pro
The Tony Little Adjustable Easy Shaper Pro is an especially minimal option with a single bar and two bands. To up the resistance, you'll wrap the bands around the bar rather than unclipping and switching them out. It weighs a modest two pounds, so you can toss it in your suitcase when you're headed on a trip.
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.