It may seem odd that I go to the gym daily (except on weekends) but will often be seen using portable workout equipment even at the gym. Of course, that’s because I also use the non-portable equipment there too. But if you’re not one to join a local gym, here are a few items that you can have at home (or with you on the road when you’re traveling) that won’t take up space like those big exercise machines:
There are lots of workouts that you can see on TRX posters or on youtube videos utilizing TRX bands. Because it’s a set of bands that swing, the workouts you do on them can potentially be more difficult than with stationary bars. When you do push-ups with your feet in the handles, you’re basically getting an abdominal workout at the same time. You can also use them like those gymnastic rings. Since the point of using them is to use your body weight in lieu of weights, the portability level is excellent in both the lightness of the equipment and you can fold it like you would fold up a jump rope. It’s a great equipment in lieu of weight-lifting machines. The only thing you would have to worry about would be finding a place to suspend it from (it’s often found suspended from a barbell station frameMe at the gym).
If you are a crossfit enthusiast, these are considered essential. However, it isn’t impossible to substitute them with regular dumbbells. If you’re already going to a gym like me where they have them available, go ahead and use them to do your kettlebell swings. But for things like the Turkish get-ups, I actually prefer using regular dumbbells because I don’t have to worry about the kettle part swinging into my forearms. Like dumbbells, they’re also weighted so it’s not the lightest form of equipment and you can’t fold it up or make it more portable.
It’s no surprise that this is an equipment that seems to have been around now forever, as it is extremely portable (as mentioned in the description I wrote about the trx bands). And you can get a great cardio workout while staying somewhat stationary. I would of course not recommend jump-roping to anyone who’s already experiencing knee problems or may be prone to it (ie. if you are overweight, it could be a lot of strain/pounding on your joints). There are so many kinds out there, but I would just go ahead and start off with a straightforward, basic kind like this one:
Like kettlebells, this is also considered an essential if you do crossfit. The point of these is to catch one at some point so it’s definitely good to have one around if you’re planning on doing such exercises. And since they are weighted, you will often see people using them for that purpose to do core-twisting exercises when they’re not being thrown. If you’re planning on having them stored at home, it is recommended that you get a medicine ball rack for them (especially if you’re going to get them in different weights/sizes). If you have wrist problems, it might not be the best equipment to have around for catching exercises.
NOTE: Remember to consult your physician when in doubt (or just to be safe) before starting a new exercise program.