Workout Equipment: Strength at Home and on the Go

Key Items

  • Strength training is a form of exercise that uses resistance and force against the muscle to improve strength.

  • Find various types of workout equipment to stay consistent at home and away.

  • Rest and stretching are just as important as workout equipment in an exercise regimen.

Having a portable home gym system is a great way to stay healthy and fit. Finding workout equipment that works with your exercise gives you the most from your workout.

There are many options to explore when using workout equipment. Portable home systems, dumbbells, and even laundry detergent create full-body workouts without the professional gym layout.

What Is Strength Training?

Strength, or resistance, training is a form of exercise that makes muscles work against a force or resistance. Strength training is a type of anaerobic exercise, meaning it doesn't require as much oxygen as other types, like running.

Excessive force on the muscle leads to tiny microtears in the muscle tissues. These microtears are responsible for the soreness you feel after a tough exercise. The muscle repairs itself by sending minerals and nutrients to fix the tears.

The muscle fibers grow back stronger than before. Repeatedly tearing and repairing the muscle increases strength. That's why rest is just as important as exercise.

Strength Training Consistency

Many people who strength train practice the sport more leisurely. Others focus on setting and reaching goals. To set and reach strength training goals, you have to be consistent.

You may wonder why people want to strength train away from their home or normal gym. It's often because missing days in your program affect your progress. That's why it's important to discover and utilize portable weights for strength training.

Taking your workout with you on the go helps you stay motivated and dedicated to reaching your goals. Don't forget the short-term benefits that last the entire day. Grabbing your portable home gym on your way out the door is totally worth it.

Weights on the Go

Taking your workout with you provides many benefits. Now you just need to know what to bring and how to improve your out-of-home exercise.


Dumbbells are easy to handle and take up little space while providing a full-body workout. Dumbbells come in many shapes, materials, and sizes, so it's easy to find some that meet your needs. Simply slip them in your bag beside your favorite gym shoes and head to the airport.

What if you normally use 20-pound dumbbells for bicep curls? Those are hard to carry around in your luggage. If you're trying to travel light, ditch the two 20-pound dumbbells for two 10-pound dumbbells.

Put both 10-pound dumbells in one hand for your curls, then switch sides. It may take a little longer, but you get the same workout at the hotel as you do at home.

Girl holding dumbbell

Exxentric kBox

The Exxentric kBox is a really cool device that takes up about the same space as a short step stool. It uses a flywheel and pulley system to provide resistance training.

You're able to stand on the platform and use various attachments to work out the whole body. The attachments connect to a cable that changes to fit your desired resistance level. The kBox comes in three variations: active, lite, and pro.

The active system is best for home gyms or personal trainers. The lite focuses on traveling athletes and physiotherapy rooms. The pro version is for professional teams and performance centers.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands fold up into small sections that fit in any bag. They come in various sizes and difficulties. Long, thin resistance bands are easy, while short, thick resistance bands are hard.

Resistance bands make you stronger by forcing you to work your muscles. Stretching a short, thin band is easier, so it's perfect for low-intensity exercises. Grab your thick band if you're looking to break a bigger sweat.

Lay a long resistance band on the ground. Stand on it in the middle with both feet and grab both ends of the band in each hand. Hold tight and stand up. The resistance from the band pulling down as you rise up strengthens your muscles.

Resistance band exercises


Kettlebells are similar to dumbbells, although they have a curved handle at the top for better grip. They're steel balls with a flat bottom, so they don't roll away. Kettlebells are easy to swing because of their shape.

Kettlebells come in various sizes, so you're able to increase the weight as you move through your exercises. Kettlebells are beneficial for squats, bicep curls, and deadlifts. The most popular movement with kettlebells is the kettlebell swing.

Be conscious of the flooring when using cast iron kettlebells. Hardwood and tile floor might chip or damage when you're using them. Lay down a mat or buy rubber-coated kettlebells to keep the floors unharmed.

Gonex Portable Home Gym

The Gonex portable home gym is a versatile piece of equipment that provides a whole-body workout. The Gonex has everything you need to break a sweat, from squats to bicep curls.

This gym system uses cables, pulleys, and resistance to alter the weight used for training. It also has a platform for pushups, squats, and deadlifts. Connect the cables to various attachments on the platform to change the intensity and type of exercise.

The platform is sturdy with an anti-slip surface and holds up to 300 pounds of pressure. The gym has wheels for ab rollouts and handles for more comfortable pushups. It also allows for more than 70 exercises.

TRX Suspension System

The TRX all-in-one suspension system anchors on trees, poles, and doors. It's lightweight and comes with a travel pouch that's great for packing up and heading to the park for a workout.

It also comes with the TRX app that provides you with online fitness classes using your TRX system. It's space-efficient and only includes five pieces: a door anchor, strap, suspension anchor, workout guide, and a mesh bag to hold the equipment.

You hold the handles on the straps after anchoring them to something sturdy and use gravity as resistance for the exercise. Try TRX pushups for a challenging arm and chest exercise.

Weighted Balls

Weighted balls help you complete ab exercises more effectively. They also give you the opportunity for a full-body workout.

Weighted balls are even more effective when you have a partner. Try going down for a squat, then tossing the ball to your partner when you stand back up. After they squat, they throw it back to you. This exercise allows you both to work your arms, legs, abs, and back.

Weighted balls come in various sizes, from 8 to 22 pounds. They fit great inside a backpack or piece of luggage.

Weighted ball workout

Ankle and Wrist Weights

Ankle and wrist weights are soft, weighted packs that strap onto your ankles and wrists. Lots of athletes use these in addition to their regular workouts to make them more challenging.

The bands are elastic, so you're able to adjust them to fit. Some ankle and wrist weights have removable packs or bars to change the weight. They also come in tons of cool colors and designs.

Ankle and wrist weights come in small sizes to prevent hindering your movement. They're great to pack and use when you're traveling.

Yes4All Aqua Weight Bag

If you're looking for a new, innovative way to carry around exercise equipment, consider the Aqua weight bag. The Aqua weight bag is a clear bag with handles that you fill up with water to make it heavier.

The more water you add, the heavier the bag. The bag weighs 49 pounds when it's full. When it's empty, it's nearly weightless and folds up to store almost anywhere.

The Aqua bag adjusts to your grip and type of exercise. The handles are in various places throughout the bag, so you're able to complete various exercises.

Working Out Without Weights

Sometimes you must travel quickly and lightly, so bringing exercise equipment just slows you down. Luckily, you may get the same workout on your business trip that you would at home using a few creative sources.


Did you pack a big bag? Use it as a weight for deadlifts and bicep curls. Ensure you have nothing breakable or spillable in your bag before beginning.

Keep the weight as evenly as possible in the bag. If one end weighs less than the other, try to smooth out the weight. If the bag is uneven, it may cause one side of your body to work harder than the other.

Packing suitcase for travel

Water Bottles

Buy a gallon of water when you get to your location. Use the gallon of water as a weight for your workout. It's also refillable so you're able to add and remove water as needed for your workouts.

Some reusable water bottles are heavier than others. Opt for a heavier water bottle so you add more weight to the workout.


Books are a great way to get your heart pumping. Stack heavier books together and use them as a weight for squats. You might also sit them on the ground and bend to pick them up, like in deadlifts.

Sticks and Stones

A small community outside Cancun, Mexico, has a full outdoor gym made from sticks and stones. You may not find an outdoor gym, but you're likely to find heavy rocks or stones in some areas. Some heavier branches make great barbells for forearm raises.

Laundry Detergent

A lot of laundry detergent bottles have at least a few pounds of liquid and a handle to use as kettlebell. Even the travel sizes that weigh one to three pounds act as great dumbbells. See what's on sale before you head out of town.

Focus on what you have rather than what you don't. Try to find heavy objects that work well with your exercises. If you're unable to find anything that works, tweak your routine to fit.

Effective Strength Training

Strength training programs depend on your goals. Your program must include frequency, reps, sets, and weight. Despite which program you create, you need to continuously increase the difficulty of your workout so you keep getting stronger.

As a beginner, working out twice a week is a perfect target. It helps to increase your visits to three to five times a week as you progress.

Woman performing deadlifts

Daniel Bubnis, a certified strength coach with Greatist, shares that "if you want to gain a bunch of muscle, you'll want to consistently add volume to your workouts."

Volume is weight times reps times sets. Increasing volume makes the exercise more challenging, leading to strength gains.


Don't increase your frequency or volume too quickly. Advancing before you're ready leads to injury because you're putting too much pressure on the muscles.

Strength training is beneficial, but it's also tough on the body. You must stretch and rest to stay safe and pain-free.

Stretch the muscles after every workout session. Major muscle groups, like the quads and back, need regular stretching to prevent injury.

Stretching enhances flexibility and versatility in the muscles. Increased flexibility and versatility allow the muscle to bend and lift more without injury.


You need roughly 24 hours of rest between strength training sessions. Don't exercise the same muscle group back to back. For example, don't work your arms on Monday and Tuesday. Wait an extra day or switch to a different set of muscles.

Drink plenty of fluids and eat protein to improve muscle recovery. Fluids replenish the hydration lost during exercise. Proteins act as building blocks when repairing the microtears in the muscles.


Results don't happen overnight, so you have to stick with your program. It may take four to six weeks before you notice a difference in your physique. You're going to see a difference; you just have to be patient.

Stay motivated, work out with a partner, and add exercise to your day to stay consistent with your routine. Set fitness goals, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep to boost your chances of getting stronger.

Woman with weighted barbell

Get Lifting

Don't expect to look like a professional powerlifter next week, but be on the lookout for some amazing benefits and transformations. Strength training improves mental, physical, and emotional health. It even helps treat and cure various conditions.

Be consistent with your strength training by working out, even when you're not at home. Be creative when finding something to use to exercise. Most of all, stretch, rest, and repair between strength training.

Feeling inspired? Scroll over to Fit&Fab for more workout tips, tricks, gear, and motivation for a better you!

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