The Best Portable Gyms

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Portable gyms are convenient ways to stay fit even when you’re on the go. If you’re a person who lives in the gym or prefers using traditional weight equipment, a portable fitness solution may be just the occasional alternative you need to change your workout a bit. The best portable gym is one that is compact, somewhat light to tote around and provides a total body workout using resistance that's suitable for users at all fitness levels.

TRX Suspension Training

The TRX Suspension Training system was developed by Randy Hetrick, a U.S. Navy SEAL. TRX is a military-inspired fitness gym designed to provide fitness to individuals anywhere they travel. This convenient system comes with two durable straps that are adjustable for height preference. The system can be mounted on a door or anchored around a bar; this mounting feature engages the suspension system. Resistance is controlled through the individual's body weight and does not require additional equipment. The TRX Suspension Trainer comes with a DVD instructional guide that demonstrates the exercises that can be performed on the unit. Additionally, the portable system can be up and ready to go within seconds to provide an effective total body workout. The TRX Pro Pack can be purchased for a little under $190.

Weider X-Factor

Weider, maker of home gym equipment, designed the X-Factor portable home gym with up to 320 pounds of resistance tubing. The X design forces the user to work from the core using explosive movements to effectively gain results. The X-Factor assembles to any door within seconds and comes equipped with two ankle straps, two handles, a workout DVD instructed by former U.S. Special Forces member Michael Skogg, and a nutrition plan. The resistance tubes provide a total body workout that can be purchased from $99 to $142, depending on the resistance package.

Resistance Band Set

Resistance bands are marketed by many fitness manufacturers and typically include a set of five or six resistance tubes with handles. Resistance bands can provide a convenient workout that is light weight, portable and compact, no matter where you train. Each band provides a unique resistance; the thicker the band, the more resistance applied. Resistance bands are alternatives to dumbbells and they allow you to perform basic exercises -- bicep curls, seated rows and squats -- in the same manner as if training with dumbbells. Many fitness manufacturers market a set of resistance bands at various, but affordable prices.

PowerBlock KettleBlock

Kettlebells are another alternative to dumbbells and traditional strength training equipment. Kettlebell exercises help to build strength and provide a unique cardiovascular workout. PowerBlocks' KettleBlock replaces five or eight kettlebells in one. This piece of equipment can be used to train the entire body, from shoulder press and bentover row to kettlebell swings. The compact design allows for easy transport to any location and takes up a minimal amount of space. You can purchase the KettleBlock 20 (a five weight range with a total weight of 60 lbs) for $99 or the KettleBlock 40 (eight weight range with a total weight of 186 lbs) for $199.