Exercise When Traveling With Portable Workout Equipment
Traveling is fun, and so is exercising, so how do you combine the two? Well, with portable workout equipment that lets you exercise no matter where you are.
After traveling for a couple of years, my wife and I have figured out what kind of equipment works the best for us, but it took us a while.
Now we exercise daily with resistance loop bands (click to view on Amazon), and we’re having more fun than we ever had in a gym because we can do it anywhere.
Outdoors in the desert, playgrounds, parks, in the RV, or even in airplanes (okay, we haven’t tried that yet).
Today I would like to help you find the best travel workout equipment so you can stay in shape no matter where you go.
There are ways to do strength training, cardio, and yoga even if you travel by air and need something that fits in a suitcase.
Maybe you’re a truck driver and need something compact and portable to stay in shape on the road.
It’s also possible that you’re looking for mobile equipment to bring to work, and we’ll talk about a couple of office-friendly tools as well.
The post is split up into three sections: Strength training/Weights, Cardio, and Yoga. You can use the table of contents to get to the part you’re interested in. Now, let’s get started.
Best Portable Strength Training/Weights Workout Equipment
When it comes to portable exercise equipment, the ab roller is one of the most known tools in the world. It’s nothing new, but it’s one of the best ab exercise accessories for everybody that wants to strengthen their core.
With its distinctive look and compact design, it’s easy to travel with. Travel by air, car, RV, van or even by foot, and the ab roller won’t be a hassle to pack or add tons of weight to your bag.
The ab roller wheel will not only make your abs sore, but it will fit in most bags since it’s so compact and light.
If you’re traveling by air, the ab roller wheel will not add a lot of weight and could even go in your carry on bag. It’s the ultimate fitness-buddy!
Using the ab roller is easy and does not require a gym or any other exercise equipment.
It’s easier to do on a hardwood floor than outdoors on gravel, but most ab rollers are made with materials that can handle rough grounds as well.
The Fitnessery Ab Roller is just one of many ab rollers on the market.
This particular one comes with a knee pad which you’re going to want to protect your knees. It also comes with two e-books related to working out abs and dieting.
When using the ab roller, you want to make sure you have proper form not to hurt your lower back.
I recommend watching the video below about this specific exercise. Do a couple of sets with the ab roller, and you’ll wake up with sore abs.
While the ab roller wheel mostly works out your core and strengthens your abs, side, and lower back, it also activates your upper back, biceps, chest, thighs, and shoulders.
You should, however, focus on and think about flexing your abs while doing the exercise. Doing so makes it easier to do it the right way and not cause injury.
But don’t stop there, there are several other exercises that you can do with the ab roller. Yuri Elkaim has written a great post about different exercises using on the ab wheel.
I recommend the Fitnessery kit because it’s an affordable quality product that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
With a wheel made out of heavy-duty PVC and rubber and a handle made out of stainless steel, it will take a beating and last a long time.
It also has comfortable grips so you can focus on doing the exercise right instead of how your hands are aching.
Mix the ab roller with some bodyweight exercises, and you can do a full-body workout no matter where you are.
For the best bodyweight workout, check out the FAQ at the bottom where I answer a question about this.
If you’re not looking to buy an ab roller for yourself, it also makes an excellent gift for people that like to spend time at the gym or people that want to get into exercising but haven’t taken the step yet.
Just make sure your friend learns how to do the roll correctly not to hurt their lower back. For other great gifts for travelers, check out this post.
- Super Portable
- Works Core, Shoulders & Arms
Bodyweight exercises are done using only your body as weight and is a way of training that is very easy to do no matter where you are.
If you travel with limited space, knowing a couple of simple bodyweight exercises can be very useful.
There are lots of workouts to do both for beginners and more advanced fitness fanatics that will leave you sweaty and wake up sore in the morning.
NewMe Fitness makes this deck of cards that each have an exercise on them. Each card shows in pictures how a specific activity is performed.
On the other side, you’ll find the exercise explained in words, what muscles it targets, and what to think about. It’s like having a personal trainer in your bag at all times.
The pack includes 50 cards with exercises targeting your core, abs, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms, upper body, and legs, in other words, you can do a full-body workout using only these cards for guidance.
Included are also some cardio tips, stretches, a goals card, and several workouts. In total, there are 62 cards.
What I like about this deck of cards is that they will take you through a full workout, while being extremely portable, lightweight, and easy to travel with.
For somebody that travels full-time in my RV, the more compact my workout equipment is, the better, and you won’t find anything more compact than these. A kit like this is perfect for RV, van, car, truck drivers, or air travelers.
Sure, an app on your phone could do the same thing, but then you have to focus on not letting your phone screen go dark while you’re exercising, and keeping your phone charged.
This deck of cards will always be there and easy to access. No machines, electronics, or other workout equipment is needed.
For some of the workouts, I recommend using a yoga mat (click to view on Amazon) that you put on the floor.
The reason is that some of the exercises are done seated or on your knees, and a gym mat will make them easier to do without hurting your knees.
Simple bodyweight exercises are also great for seniors. Always having a pack of activities in your bag as a senior will make sure you will get your exercises and stretches done and keep your body in good shape.
Always consult with a professional about what exercises would be the best for you.
What if you’re into strength training, will the bodyweight cards be useful? Yes, definitely!
What I like about bodyweight is that there are exercises for everybody. Both beginners and serious athletes can gain from doing bodyweight.
Some of the cards in this kit also have a picture showing harder ways to do an exercise.
For example, the single-leg squat can be done both with and without a bench or a chair, where without a chair is much harder and not an exercise I recommend for beginners.
Sometimes it’s hard to get into the exercise mood when you’re in a hotel room or nature. What gets me going is some great music in my ears, and I recommend using noise-cancelling headphones so you can turn all of the outside noise off completely.
Check out our post on the best noise-cancelling headphones so you can work out in peace while listening to your favorite tunes.
If you’re interested in bodyweight workouts, check out the FAQ at the bottom of this post where I answer a question about working out with no gym equipment whatsoever.
- Super Portable
- Great For All Fitness Levels
- Whole Body Workout
- Instructions for Exercise
Another tool handy for beginners, experienced, and seniors are resistance bands. Resistance bands are known for their portability and ease of use.
They’re very beginner-friendly, which is why they’re often used by physical therapists to help clients strengthen their bodies enough to move and do daily activities.
The resistance band kit by Weinas comes with tons of accessories to assist you during a workout. Two foam handles, two door anchors, two ankle straps, and a carrying bag to put everything in while you’re on the move.
If you have ever been to a gym and done exercises on a rope machine, you’re going to like the door anchor.
With the door anchors, you can create more natural push and pull movements by anchoring the straps to the top of a door and closing the door shut.
The light foam handles connect to the bands with carabiners and can easily be swapped between the many bands.
Ankle straps are included to make it easier to perform some of the leg exercises often found in resistance band workouts.
Weinas has put a lot of thought into these bands and added an extra nylon sleeve to protect both the bands and your body.
Most resistance bands on the market are “naked” and can whip you if they snap or by accident.
Included with the kit is also an e-book. The e-book is a workout guide that will teach you how to exercise with resistance bands.
Five bands with different resistance allow for a full workout. The bands offer 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 pounds of resistance.
This is an excellent variety for both endurance exercises and lower rep strength training.
Each band is individually colored to make each easier to recognize, but a small tag is also sewed onto each with the respective resistance printed.
What I like about resistance bands is that they’re very portable, lightweight, and versatile.
Even though the bands in this kit range from 20 to 40 pounds, you can add several bands together to create more resistance when needed. The exercises are simple yet rewarding.
I exercise with resistance bands and what I like the most is that I can do my workouts no matter where I am.
I can be outdoors, in the RV, at a playground, or at a friend’s house and get a great workout. The bands are light enough to bring with me on a hike, that should tell you something.
If you or somebody you know travel for work, resistance bands are a great way to get a workout done for all body parts.
I have used my bands in hotel rooms, and it’s a freeing feeling when you can stay in shape even on vacation. The fact that they’re so lightweight makes it all possible.
Resistance bands also make a great gift to guys and girls that like to exercise.
Even if somebody goes to the gym a lot, resistance bands can be of great benefit when they can’t make it to the gym, or even better, be brought to the gym and used together with free weights.
They’re a great gym accessory for both men and women.
The YouTube channel HASfit has made a great video showing a full 30-minute resistance band workout that is easy to follow. For some of the exercises, a gym or yoga mat is recommended to make it easier on your knees.
If you’re a more experienced lifter, I recommend Undersun Fitness Loop Bands Set down below that offer more resistance.
I also recommend using bands together with regular weights if you have access to a gym. Studies have shown that it’s a great combination, and I suggest reading through this study if you want to learn more about it.
- Bag Included
- Accessories Included
- Exercise E-book Included
- Great For All Skill Levels
Another popular way of exercising is with kettlebells. Most free weight exercises can be done using a kettlebell, so it’s easy to understand why most gyms have a couple of kettlebells in a corner.
Kettlebells have also become a popular accessory for yoga.
The thing with kettlebells is that just like free weights, they weigh.
That’s what this company is trying to solve with this product.
Meister Elite Portable Kettlebells are sandbags that you fill with sand, gravel, or water until it weighs the desired weight for a specific exercise.
The kettlebells are not sold in a kit but singular. There are a couple of sizes to choose from. 0-15 pounds, 0-30 pounds, and 0-45 pounds.
Selecting a heavier weight means that the bag will be bigger to fit more sand or water.
A comfortable rubber handle makes it easy to hold the kettlebell during your exercises.
If you’re new to kettlebells, here are ten great kettlebell exercises to get you started.
I love portable workout equipment like this. They’re so lightweight and compact when not in use and can be put in any travel bag.
If you’re going on vacation to the beach, these will be a great tool to have. Fill it up with some sand from the beach, do your exercises, and then go for a swim. No machines needed, doesn’t that sound fantastic?
The exercises shown in the picture above are great for people of all ages, and it doesn’t matter how much experience you have.
They’re simple to do and will make both a beginner and a fit person sore. They’re also good for seniors using less weight.
Kettlebells are so versatile, which also makes them a great gift for friends that like to work out. Even if your friend is into strength training, a kettlebell can help them progress when they’re traveling.
If you can’t decide between resistance bands and kettlebells, let me help you.
A set of resistance bands will be easier to get a workout started with, and if you’re aiming for hypertrophy or strength, resistance bands are the better choice.
The fact that you can combine several bands to create more resistance is a great feature on its own.
Kettlebells are great for some bodyweight exercises to add some weight to them, but you’re more limited since the max load in this kit is 45 pounds.
If you’re new to lifting or prefer endurance exercises for more tone than muscle, kettlebells are a great option.
Last but not least, I think kettlebells are fun to work with since you can do some swings and workout differently compared to resistance bands or free weights.
- Portable When Empty
- Adjustable Weight
- Full Body Workout
This set by Undersun Fitness is also a resistance band kit, but they’re different in the way that they’re loop bands and don’t have handles.
The guy behind these bands is James Grage, a YouTuber that in the past couple of years states that he works out exclusively with loop bands.
Before I praise these bands too much, I want to make it clear that I am not associated with Undersun Fitness or sponsored by them.
I am excited about this product though, as I have been in and out of the gym for the past eight years.
It’s not until now that I have found a product so portable, light and compact usable outside of the gym that can give me a workout as a free weights gym can.
Since my wife and I started traveling full time in our travel trailer, we only workout with these resistance bands. We purchased this kit that comes with five bands.
Each band is different from the other and offer different levels of resistance. The resistance levels are: 0-15 lbs, 15-25 lbs, 30-60 lbs, 45-100 lbs, and 50-120 lbs.
If the resistance is not enough, take a step back to make the band longer, which increases the resistance.
You can buy the bands separately as well if you want to try them out. I recommend starting with the light bands because in the beginning, the X-large 50-120 pound band won’t be used much unless you’re somebody with a lot of gym experience.
The reason we decided to go with loop bands is that we had a set of resistance bands like the ones above with handles, but felt that we wanted to try something new.
We like both kinds, but the amount of resistance you can get with these loop bands are higher than the handle bands.
Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time and are what most lifters start their workouts with.
Exercises like squats, deadlift, bench press, and pull-ups are all compound exercises.
With the Undersun Fitness Loop Bands Set, we can begin our workouts with these using a lot of resistance.
Just like with the other kind of resistance bands, you can add several bands together to create more resistance. We haven’t gotten to where that has been needed, but it’s a neat feature.
When we travel down the road, we can stop pretty much anywhere and get our workouts done. In public parks, playgrounds, football fields, a friends house or a relatives house during holidays.
There is no need for a gym, machines, or other tools to get our workout done.
If you travel for work and spend days or weeks away from home at a time, you’re going to fall in love with these bands quickly when you realize the potential they have to break a sweat.
Some hotels have gyms, but they often lack free weighs to do the heavier lifts, these will let you work out without leaving the room.
James Grage has lots of videos showing how he exercises with resistance bands on his YouTube channel, but for a full-body workout, check out the video down below.
He goes through not the only chest, legs and back exercises but also shoulders and arms.
The bands come with a string bag for easy transport. They’re easy to pack down into a suitcase and travel with all over the world.
I like to call them a portable all in one gym tool since I can work out my whole body no matter where I go.
If you know somebody that travels full time in an RV or for work and struggles with not being able to visit a gym, these make a great gift.
As someone that has been lifting weights for the past eight years, I can tell you that I don’t go anywhere now without my bands. They’re great for both men and women.
Resistance bands are also great for truck drivers. Since these store in a bag when not in use, they won’t take up a lot of space in your truck.
Undersun Fitness also sells workout gloves that cover your whole hands.
I haven’t bought some for myself yet, but I have felt the need for it when using heavier bands that slightly pinch your hands when you have to grip them tightly.
- Included Bag
- Up to 120 lbs of Resistance
- Set of 5
- Full Body Workout
Some people have tried resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, or a deck of cards with exercises, but they can’t quit using free weights. Free weights are the most traditional tool in the gym.
Using gravity to create resistance instead of a band is the way some people like to do it, and that’s fine.
Fortunately, there are ways to lift heavy weights when you’re traveling, with the downside being that you have to bring the heavy weights with you. But if it has to be done, this is the way.
The Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are sold in pair and let you adjust how heavy you want the dumbbells to be. When I lived in an apartment, this is what I used to exercise at home.
You can set the weights from 5 to 52.5 pounds. They adjust by turning a dial to the desired weight. I like this kind better than the adjustable dumbbells with discs you take off because discs take longer to adjust. With these adjustable dumbbells, it’s done within seconds.
The reason I believe they’re the best free weights for traveling if you want real weights is that they weigh 118 pounds in total.
That might not sound like a good thing, but imagine bringing a weight set with you capable of the same weight. Having separate dumbbell sets weighing 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 pounds would weigh 300 pounds.
If you travel by air, it won’t be possible to bring free weights like these, but if you travel on the road in a car, van, RV, or truck, it’s not impossible.
Match it with a portable workout bench like the Escape Fitness Deck Workout bench (click to view on Amazon), and you’ll have a gym with you at all times ready to go.
It’s not the most portable solution to working out when traveling, but it’s the one that will be the most like an actual portable gym.
Note that Bowflex also makes a bigger set that can be set from 10 to 90 pounds, the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbell (click to view on Amazon), not sold in pair.
- Adjustable Free Weights
- Great For Strength Training
- Full Body Workout
Best Portable Cardio Workout Equipment
If there is one thing most of us did as kids, it’s skipping rope. During the breaks in school, my friends and I would go out and jump and try to do it for as long as possible.
What we didn’t think about then is how good of a cardio workout it is. The fact is that jumping rope for only 10 minutes is equal to a 30-minute run.
Not only is skipping rope an excellent cardio workout to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but all you need is a rope, which is extremely portable.
It might be the most compact workout accessory in this whole post. You won’t notice it in your suitcase or bag when traveling.
Skipping, or jumping rope can be done in more than one way for a better workout. Check out the image below by Darebee.com for a full jump rope workout.
The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is a premium kit made with high-quality materials so you can focus more on your workout than your gear.
Steel bearings make the rope smooth to skip with, and the set is very lightweight at less than three ounces.
If the rope is too long for you, you can easily adjust it by shortening it with some wire cutters.
A downloadable manual is included with your purchase and tells you how to size it for your length. It also includes a guide with exercises.
Skipping rope can be done anywhere you have a flat area to stand on. It’s hard to find exercise equipment this lightweight and so effective.
Sometimes there is not enough time to go for a run, or it’s way too hot outside, then a jump rope can be used indoors and with better results.
- Great Cardio
- Can Be Used Anywhere
- Height Adjustable
This one might be obvious to most of you, but a great way to get a cardio workout done when you’re traveling is by running, so why not bring a great pair of running shoes, so you’re always ready to go?
A lot of hotels nowadays have an exercise room with treadmills and sometimes a machine or a couple of free weights.
You should use this room to get your exercises done when you’re on vacation. Even if it’s 100 degrees outside, you can get a run done in this air-conditioned room.
I recommend ASICS running shoes because it’s what my wife prefers. They’re not the fanciest running shoe there is, but great for the occasional run.
There are running shoes for all budgets so if you’re new to running I recommend getting a relatively cheap but good pair so you can go for a couple of runs to see whether you like it or not.
I don’t recommend running without running shoes.
When buying brand shoes online, you must be careful not to buy knockoffs. Usually, the reviews will let you know so you can make a judgment.
The most significant difference between running shoes and regular shoes is that they usually have more cushioning in the heel.
They’re designed that way to handle the impact better when you run. I recommend reading this publication on selecting the right shoe for you depending on your specific foot pattern.
You might wonder, can I wear my running shoes all the time? While I agree that it sounds comfortable to wear your running shoes even when you’re exploring a city, it’s not a great idea to mix walking and running with the same shoe.
The reason is that when you run, the shoe gets worn in a different pattern than when you walk.
What I recommend doing is having a pair of running shoes for running and a pair for walking.
The walking pair doesn’t have to be as cushioned as your running pair, but they should still be comfortable enough to not hurt your feet after exploring a city for a day. Since most shoes are lightweight, it won’t add too much weight to your suitcase.
That’s what my wife and I do, and we both like how most running shoes are more breathable than sneakers, so our feet don’t get as warm and sweaty from all the walking.
While running is an exercise most of us can do, it can be harder to go running at night. For this, I recommend a great headlamp so you can see what’s ahead.
Even if you have been running since you were a kid, it’s worth it to read a little bit about how to run correctly.
Running correctly is essential not to injure yourself in the long run and cause unnecessary wear and tear on your muscles and joints. As with any exercise, doing it with the proper form is crucial.
This image made by primermagazine.com goes through the most critical points when it comes to running.
A cardio exercise like running is also suitable for seniors. Studies have shown that it’s a good way to slow down the maximal endurance capacity loss for people aged 30-70.
While sedentary adults lose about 10 percent of their capacity every decade, people that did exercises like running lost only about 5 percent until age 70.
- Multi Purpose
- High Calorie Burning Exercise
- Easy to Get Started With
There are not a lot of portable exercise machines that work, but this mini exercise stepper is one of the few. A mini stepper is a low-impact aerobic exercise that mostly gives you a good cardio workout.
Its hydraulic drive system gives resistance hard enough to feel like you’re going on a brisk walk. It can be used anywhere there is a flat surface which makes it a great option for travelers.
It weighs 15 pounds so while it could fit in a suitcase and be taken all over the world, it’s more for car, van, or RV travelers.
I also recommend it for truck drivers that sit still for hours on end. Getting on a mini stepper for a while after a day of driving can extend your life by years.
The range of motion on a mini stepper is more limited compared to a bigger machine, but still very effective for being in such a small and compact form.
It’s not the machine you build huge muscles on, but one that can give you a good cardio exercise and tone your body.
If you’re stuck in a hotel room because it’s too hot outside but still want to exercise, a mini stepper is a great tool.
There are mini steppers for all budgets, and while most of them look the same, it’s important to take a more in-depth look at what features they offer.
This one made by Sunny Health & Fitness is a popular one that I like for two specific reasons.
First, it comes with resistance bands that you can use while you’re stepping.
I have praised resistance bands above and the many exercises you can do with them, so I like that Sunny Health & Fitness put these on the mini stepper to expand the workouts you can do on this little machine.
The second reason I like this specific model is that there is a height adjustment. This will let you choose between short bursts or long steps.
That’s a useful feature since most mini steppers only have one level of steps, and being able to choose means that you can do different workouts on it.
Shorter steps will be easier to do for a long time, and if you would like to stand on it for an hour, this is the setting to choose.
Longer steps will be more like the bigger machines found at gyms and work out your legs more. How many calories you’re going to burn will also depend on your step intensity. For a tougher leg exercise, do long steps with high intensity.
A small digital monitor shows step count and calories burned. This makes it easy to track your workouts and record them on your phone or paper.
For a quick stationary cardio workout, mini steppers are a great and practical choice. Mix it with some rope skipping or a couple of bodyweight exercises, and you’ll burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
A portable exercise stepper is also a great option for somebody working in an office.
These are portable enough to take to work during the week and put under your desk. You don’t have to do it intensively if you’re doing it for an hour or two to benefit from it.
- Very Portable for a Machine
- Resistance Bands Included
- Adjustable Height
- LCD Screen Shows Calories Burned
Who knew that an exercise bike could be portable? This model by a company called Exerpeutic measures 22 by 20 by 55.5 inches when folded up, which makes it portable enough to bring with you in a car, van, and RV.
You would have to be brave to bring it with you as a carry-on, but it might be possible. It won’t fit in a suitcase, however.
It has a 300-pound weight limit, with a nice large seat cushion for comfort during long bike rides.
A large LCD display will show distance, calories burned, time, speed, and your current heart rate.
Exercise bikes are one of the most popular forms of exercising, especially in gyms.
Every gym I have ever been to, and that includes workout rooms at hotels, has had a couple of exercise bikes. My grandpa even used to have one in his office!
What’s great about exercise bikes is that they usually have several levels of resistance.
This specific one by Exerpeutic has eight different levels of tension. It allows the user to choose if they want to go on a light bike ride or a heavier, more intense ride.
I recommend doing HIIT cardio, which stands for high-intensity interval training. HIIT is easy to do on a bike. It’s a great cardio and leg exercise.
Check out the video below to understand how a HIIT workout can be done on a portable exercise bike like this.
You might have heard that HIIT is the best kind of cardio exercise, but most studies done surrounding the subject haven’t found that to be 100 percent true.
The best way to exercise is to do a mix of things. Do resistance training some days, go for a brisk walk some days, and do HIIT cardio once a week.
Nerdfitness.com has a great post on the subject that I recommend reading if you’re interested in what the studies have said.
Whether you choose to do HIIT cardio or sit on the bike for 30 minutes isn’t as important as getting on the bike in the first place. As long as you get on the bike a couple of times a week, you’re doing great!
While exercising on your bike, I recommend playing some music to get you excited and in the right mood.
Working out on a bike is simple enough for anybody with functioning legs to do it. The downside is that it’s not as portable as some of the other tools.
Exerpeutic also has a model called ExerWork 1000 (click to view on Amazon) that is a folding bike with an adjustable desk.
If you do most of your work on a laptop, this can be your desk while also being your exercise tool. I
can see somebody leaving this set up in their RV or semi-truck permanently, to have a place both to work and move your legs to stay in shape.
- Easy on Knees
- Great Cardio
- Folds Down for Easier Transport
- Large Seat
- Heart Rate Monitor
Last but not least, I must show you this folding bicycle. There is nothing quite like exploring a town or a road on a bicycle, and with this compact folding bike, it can become a reality without being too much of a hassle to travel with.
Schwinn makes this 7-speed model with front and rear fenders, a rear carry rack, and a kickstand. The wheels are 20-inches, which makes it perfect for going around a town or the campground.
It folds down and measures 29.5 by 29 by 19 inches when in storage which makes it a great small option.
A popular way to bring bikes when traveling is to get a hitch bike rack that can hold several bikes.
That requires quite a lot of work every time you want to get on the road though, as you must make sure they’re secured and safe for the highway.
With folding bikes, you can store them easier either inside the RV or in the back of your truck.
Schwinn’s folding bike weighs 33 pounds. The selling feature here is that it folds and can be stored easier.
I don’t recommend taking this kind of bike on any intermediate mountain biking trail, but it’s good enough to take on scenic trails or through cities.
Just remember to wear a helmet and carry a patch kit (click to view on Amazon) in case you get a flat tire.
All you have to worry about when it comes to bike rides is the weather.
I recommend traveling with a great weather station with forecasts built-in, so you will be ready for whatever mother nature decides to do.
Biking is a great way to get a cardio workout while having lots of fun. It’s for all ages and great for your body.
With a compact folding bike like this, the bikes can be stored in an RV without any extra accessories needed.
- Folds to Portable Size
- Great Way to Explore More
- 7-speed Drivetrain
- Storage Rack & Bag
Best Portable Yoga Workout Equipment
You have most likely heard about Yoga. The exercise form focuses on becoming more flexible, improving your breath, and learning how to relax. It’s a philosophy that I think most of us need more of.
I think part of why yoga has become popular is not only because it’s a philosophy a lot of us feel like we need more of, but the fact that it’s so easy to do without any equipment.
The only tool that makes it easier to do no matter where you are is a yoga mat.
Yoga mats are great not only for yoga, pilates exercises, and stretches but for strength training, cardio, and resistance band exercises we have talked about earlier.
There is no need to go to a gym for your workouts when you have this mat in your suitcase or backpack.
On hard floors, it adds a comfortable base to do your yoga exercises on. In other places, like a hotel room, it lets you do your workouts on the floor without touching the nasty hotel carpet.
The Gaiam Folding Travel Yoga Mat is the perfect travel mat since it folds down and becomes a compact 10 by 12 inches.
It’s 2 mm thick and has a sticky non-slip texture so you can focus more on your form than on not slipping.
When it’s unfolded, the mat measures 68 by 24 inches. It weighs 1.8 pounds which makes it portable enough to throw in a suitcase or bring with you in a car, van, RV, or truck.
Gaiam lets you choose from five different colors and patterns.
If you have never done yoga but are interested in getting started, I recommend reading this post by Kristin McGee over at DoYouYoga with ten great beginner poses to get you started.
With a portable yoga mat, you can do these anywhere.
- Folds to Small Size
- Great for All Ages
The same company that makes the bodyweight deck of cards we looked at up in the weights section also makes these yoga cards.
Seventy cards have a unique yoga pose that will both teach and remind you how to do the most common yoga poses.
These are great not only for beginners but intermediate and advanced yoga fanatics since it can be hard to remember poses sometimes.
With 70 of them in your pocket, you can be an expert no matter where you are.
A deck of cards like this is very portable, lightweight, and small. Why not have a collection of different types of exercises and stretches?
Each card shows a different pose illustrated. The name of the specific post is also printed together with a card number so you can quickly find what you’re looking for On the back of each card you’ll find instructions on how to do a specific pose.
It will also let you know how hard a pose is on a scale.
NewMe Fitness also includes these neat sequence cards; nine of them comes with this pack.
As an example, one sequence is called “Yoga for beginners” and tells you card numbers and in what order it wants you to do them.
It’s a creative way of including nine workout guides without taking up a lot of space.
The best yoga poses are the ones you can do and gain something from, but I recommend starting with the easy poses in the beginning and work your way up.
I like these cards a lot because they’re beginner-friendly. Anybody can get through a yoga workout with these, without a gym or extra accessories.
A yoga mat makes it easier to do at home, or in hotel rooms, but I recommend visiting a nearby park when you’re traveling and do it on the grass.
In addition to yoga cards, I recommend traveling with a portable power bank to keep your phone and other devices charged up at all times.
Portable battery packs can be brought onto planes and fit in any bag. Check out our post on the best alternatives on the market.
If you have a friend that has been talking about yoga but can’t seem to get started, or recently started, then this deck of cards makes a great gift.
- 70 Yoga Poses
- For All Ages
- 9 Sequences
- No Additional Equipment Needed
When I was a kid, I would always get excited when I saw one of these balls. I would jump on them and go flying across the room. I used it more than my mother who bought it to do some exercises.
A company called URBNFit makes this exercise/stability ball which comes in lots of different sizes and colors. You can choose between five different sizes, 45 cm to 85 cm, and 11 different colors.
Which size is the best for you depends on your height.
Exercise balls can be used for not only exercises of different kinds like cardio and yoga, but also as desk chairs.
The reason that this has become increasingly popular in the past decade is that it’s believed that it increases your posture, engages your core, and decreases discomfort compared to regular desk chairs.
So, is there any truth to that? The studies say: No.
If you plan on buying an exercise ball, let’s use it for exercising and not sitting on while getting your work done.
Fortunately, a workout guide in PDF form is included with this kit that shows a handful of exercises. However, I recommend looking up some videos online like the one below for a good full workout.
Traveling with a huge ball is of course not optimal, but as you might already know, it deflates and inflates with a pump. A dual-action inflation pump is included to inflate it no matter where you are.
When deflated, it’s portable and lightweight enough to put in a suitcase. It’s a great accessory for car, RV or van travelers since it barely takes any space at all when deflated.
It’s very common to use resistance bands with stability balls in strength training routines since it lets you do exercises like chest press and seated row on the move. V
erywellfit.com has a great post on some of the most common uses for this.
If you plan on doing strength training with the stability ball, I recommend choosing the kind with a stability base (click to view on Amazon).
The reason I recommend using stability balls for yoga is that it makes it easier to start doing the more advanced yoga poses sooner.
Using an exercise ball when you first start with the more intermediate and advanced poses means that you can slowly build the muscles and the balance you’re going to need to do them without the ball.
It also makes a great gift for somebody that struggles with the more advanced poses.
- Dual Action Pump Included
- Workout Guide Included
- Great For Beginners
- High Weight Capacity
If you’re into Yoga, you have probably seen yoga blocks in videos or a class. They’re a great yoga accessory for beginners and intermediates.
The reason they’re good for beginners is that they can be helpful for certain poses or stretches that you’re not 100 percent comfortable with yet.
A good yoga block is made from cork, and that’s exactly what these are made of. JBM sells these in pairs, and with the purchase, you also get a yoga strap.
Yoga straps are used to help you improve your poses while increasing your flexibility and physical rehabilitation.
So why use cork for yoga blocks? Because cork is an excellent odor-free, non-absorbent, and moisture-proof material.
Perfect for yoga due to their soft grip and not the kind of exercise equipment that will get filled with bacteria.
Note that while the blocks come in different colors, only one of them is made with cork, the rest are foam.
Foam is also a great and safe material to use, but I prefer the grip of the cork.
Yoga blocks are brick-sized and weigh 0.38 pound each. Each block measures 9 by 6 by 4 inches.
The YouTube channel PsycheTruth has a great video on how to use yoga blocks.
I like the JBM Cork Yoga Blocks because they’re portable, adding less than a pound to your suitcase, meaning that it’s very travel-friendly.
You don’t have to stop doing yoga because you travel since you can bring a travel mat and yoga blocks with you.
Sure, you can’t fold these blocks in half, but they’re such a lightweight and compact exercise tool that it might be worth bringing.
Finding a place to store these in a car, van, RV, or semi-truck shouldn’t be a problem either.
Yoga is great because you don’t need a gym, machines, weights, or specialized gear.
This kind of accessory is only to assist you, making it easier for your body to do certain poses and stretches.
- Helps Beginners Do Yoga
- 2 Pack
- Yoga Strap Included
Another yoga accessory used much like the blocks is the yoga wheel. It’s a great tool for beginners that are looking to improve their poses and stretches.
Nature’s Integrity sells this high-quality yoga wheel. It’s 13 inches and made with quality materials to keep you safe while doing the more difficult stretches.
The wheel doesn’t flex or bend while you’re using it, it has a 650-pound weight capacity, a non-slip and sweat resistant surface, and a thick TPE foam padding around the whole wheel for comfort and support.
Getting started is easy, as Nature’s Integrity includes a workout guide in PDF form with 18 exercises and stretches to try.
The wheel weighs 2.8 pounds and can easily fit in a suitcase. Its portability and utility are why it makes such a great accessory for a traveling yoga lover.
When you learn how to do the exercises, you’ll be set for life and be able to do yoga no matter where you are.
It’s five inches wide, so you will feel safe and stable while stretching. The padding is 6mm thick for comfort so you can focus entirely on your form instead of how much it hurts.
A wheel with thick padding is obviously to prefer since you will be putting a lot of your body weight on it for certain exercises and poses.
So, is it good for your body to roll over a wheel? Yes, when done right, it’s a great way to stretch your back and spine, improve your range of motion, and help with lower or upper back pain.
The size of it makes it better to use than the small foam roller kind.
YogiApproved.com has a great video on how to start using a yoga wheel.
I recommend starting with the easier stretches, like stretching your back after a long day of work. Get to know the wheel and find your balance before you try anything more advanced.
Even if you have used a yoga block or wheel before, each one can be different from the other, so for safety reasons go through a couple of easy workouts before you advance.
- Helps Beginners
Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Exercise Equipment
What exercises or workouts can I do with no workout equipment when traveling?
Working out when traveling is extremely easy to do even if you don’t have any gym equipment. You shouldn’t feel like you need to buy anything since there are so many other things you can do and count as exercise.
If you’re a frequent gym-goer and mostly exercise by lifting weights, it’s a little bit harder to do it without any equipment at all, but it’s still possible with bodyweight exercises.
Here are a couple of ways you can exercise when you travel that doesn’t require any gym equipment (except for a good pair of running/hiking shoes for those activities).
Hiking is so good for you, and available pretty much anywhere you go. There are hikes everywhere, and finding trails to hike is easy to do with a website like AllTrails.com.
Whenever my wife and I visit a new city or town, we look up popular hikes in the area. You can see so much more of an area by taking a walk.
It doesn’t have to be a hike that takes all day. Climb a steep mountain, and you’ll get a tough cardio workout done in a couple of hours that will keep burning calories throughout the day.
If you’re staying at a hotel, there might be a pool available that you can use for a swim. I prefer swimming outdoors in the ocean and rivers, but hotel pools are better than nothing if that’s the only thing available.
How many calories you burn when you swim depends on how much you weigh, and if you’re more interested in that, I recommend checking out Active.com’s article on the subject.
Just like there are trails for hiking, there are lots of trails for biking. Mountain biking is so much fun and is an activity and workout available to anybody of any age with any experience.
Even if you have never been mountain biking before, you can rent a bike and try out a beginner-friendly trail. It can be extremely taxing on your legs and give you a great workout.
Nowadays it’s very common to rent bikes in cities as well, so you can rent a bike and explore the town while getting a cardio workout.
It’s safer than renting an electric scooter, and your body will gain something from it.
We talked about running shoes in the cardio part and how it’s a great way to get an exercise. I have never been anywhere where I have felt like I can’t go for a run, so keep it on your mind.
If you’re more into strength training than cardio, I recommend doing HIIT cardio, high-intensity interval training.
Thomas DeLauer has a video about HIIT and how to do it properly.
Exploring a new-to-you city or town on foot is always fun. All you need is a good pair of shoes.
Take a brisk walk through a city to see what it has to offer, and I bet you will feel good when you go to bed that night.
To me, walking is very energizing, and I like being able to stop and go as I want. It’s relaxing and enjoyable.
I bet you have walked down several floors of stairs sometimes and ended up out of breath, or even sore the day after. Stairs are such a great workout that they even make machines to imitate the movement.
If you’re at a hotel, there are probably several floors of stairs you can climb. Maybe you’re visiting a capital city in the United States.
Then you should head to the capitol building because that’s another place where there often are lots of stairs in front of the building.
One of my favorite ways to exercise is by doing bodyweight exercises. If you’re somebody that has been working out for years, you might think that your body won’t be enough to give you a workout, but believe me, it can.
Bodyweight exercises are exactly what they sound like; all you’re using is your body. You don’t need any accessories or equipment, and it can be done anywhere in the world.
Do you know squats and push-ups? Those are bodyweight exercises.
Finding ways to work out when traveling is a lot about being creative. You don’t need a gym to get a good workout. It’s all about knowing how to use things around us to get the blood pumping.
What are the best bodyweight exercises for beginners?
There are lots of bodyweight exercises that are great for beginners. Some of the best are ones you have probably heard about, like squats, pull-ups, push-ups, and the plank.
I recommend watching this video by Fraser Wilson for a quick 10-minute bodyweight workout.
How important is it to exercise when you’re traveling?
During a time when cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, most of us need to start being more active.
It’s not always easy to do, depending on where you live. Some live full time in their RVs and travel around and feel like they don’t have access to any exercise equipment or gyms.
The first thing I want you to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to go to a gym to get a workout, you also don’t have to lift heavy weights.
Exercise can be as easy as biking, swimming, climbing stairs, jogging, or even walking. According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes a day, five days a week will improve your heart health, which leads to a reduced risk of heart disease.
To exercise while traveling is just as important as exercising while not traveling.
If you’re a truck driver and spend a significant amount of time on your butt while driving, exercise becomes even more important.
What is the best travel bag for workout clothes?
If you want a special bag just for your workout clothes and workout accessories, I recommend looking for a duffle bag like this one by Under Armour (Click to view on Amazon).
The reason I prefer duffle bags instead of backpacks for my workout gear is that I like being able to both put it on my shoulder and carry it in my hand.
It’s easier to take in and out of a vehicle, and bring on a plane. They also appear more sturdy and durable.
What is the best portable pull-up station?
It’s hard to find a pull-up station that fits in a suitcase, but there are some that are portable enough to fit in vehicles, like the Stamina Power Towers (click to view on Amazon).
You do have to take it apart to fit it in most vehicles, but when you put it together you have a tower that you can not only do pull-ups on, but also tricep dips, push-ups, and sit-ups.
The most portable exercise equipment for pull-ups is the doorway pull-up bars, like this one from Perfect Fitness (click to view on Amazon).
It can hold up to 300 pounds, but you need to find a safe door frame to use it on.
Its portability makes it perfect for travelers that stay in hotels. It weighs 8 pounds.
How much cardio workout can you get from a portable foot peddler?
Portable foot peddlers like this one from Vaunn (click to view on Amazon) are made for low impact and gentle exercising.
It’s not ideal to go all in like you would do on an exercise bike, for several reasons.
It is, however, a good way to keep your legs moving for a longer time, like if you’re working at a desk for eight hours a day.
Don’t buy a portable foot peddler and expect to do 10-minute workouts every other day that is going to make you sore or build muscle.
But if you work at a desk, and want something that will get your legs moving it’s a great portable option.
To answer the question, it’s going to be similar to a slow walk in most cases. How many calories you burn will also depend on how fast you paddle, and with what resistance.
Don’t trust the calorie counter on the screen though, and I recommend getting a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Fitness Tracker (click to view on Amazon) that can monitor your heart rate.
What is the best portable home exercise machine for a small space?
It depends on what kind of exercises you would like to do.
If you’re more into strength training than cardio, I recommend something like the Total Gym APEX G3 (click to view on Amazon).
The newer BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 is also a really popular package that comes with a base, a collapsible workout bar, resistance bands, handles, limb straps, and a door anchor.
With the BodyBoss you can do a full-body workout no matter where you are, all you need is a flat space large enough to put the base on.
You can use it at home, outdoors, in hotels, in the garage, or even inside an RV.
The base of the BodyBoss folds and weighs less than 10 pounds, which makes it a very portable exercise tool.
For cardio, it’s hard to beat the portable exercise bikes that fold, like the Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike (click to view on Amazon)
How do you travel with workout supplements and which ones are the best?
How I travel with supplements depends on how long I am going to be gone. Since I pull my home behind my truck (I live in an RV full time), I always have my protein powder and creatine with me.
If I am going somewhere for a night or two without my travel trailer, I often fill a plastic bag with protein powder, or my BlenderBottle shaker (click to view on Amazon).
Fill a couple of plastic bags with a scoop each of protein powder, close them up, and store them in your shaker.
This is also a great solution if you bring the shaker to a gym. All you have to do is fill it with water and shake it when you’re ready to drink it.
If you’re going on an airplane, you might run into some questions at the security check if you’re unlucky, but I have been through security checks with a couple of bags in my shaker and haven’t had any issues.
When it comes to what workout supplements are the best, I only recommend protein powder and creatine.
The best tasting protein powder I have found is the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (click to view on Amazon).
Creatine monohydrate doesn’t taste like anything, but the one I usually buy is this one (click to view on Amazon).
No other supplement has helped me like creatine has and it’s a natural supplement.
It feels like you have superpowers when you can do more reps and sets than before. I recommend reading through Examine.com’s post about creatine.
Are “as seen on TV” exercise products legit?
I can’t comment on all of the “as seen on tv” workout equipment out there, but anything that doesn’t involve you getting involved is most likely not legit.
There are no shortcuts to exercising, and you will feel it when you do it.
You can’t put a vibrating machine on your belly and sit on the couch. The body does not work that way.
There is also no way to burn fat on a specific part of your body. These machines on TV often promise a thinner stomach, legs, or arms.
You can’t control where the body burns fat when you work out.
A big part of weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fewer calories in than out will equal weight loss.
I suggest Googling about the specific product being sold as “as seen on TV” and you should be able to find reviews from regular people.
What are the best workout apps for iPhone/Android?
Which workout app is the best for you depends on what kind of workouts you do. If you run, bike, do yoga, or work out in a gym, there are different apps for each purpose.
For working out with weights in a gym or at home, I recommend tracking your workouts with Strong (iOS/Android). It’s easy to create your own workouts in the app and track exercises, rest, sets, reps, measurements, and 1RMs.
Strong also has a vast database of exercises, with instructions in image and text form to make sure you perform the exercise with proper form.
If you’re looking for a workout routine, I recommend checking out Bodybuilding.com’s plans. You don’t have to follow them to 100 percent, but you can take inspiration from them and set up your workouts in similar ways.
Have any more questions about portable exercise equipment for travel? Leave a comment below.