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As Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer approaches, many readers are hard at work getting in summer, “beach-ready” shape, sticking to a regular workout schedule.
However, many readers also lead active lives filled with travel.
In an ideal world, you’d have 24/7 access to a perfect gym, dialed in to your fitness interests, catering to your every need and desired workout, regardless of your location.
Of course, that’s not always possible: travel can take up entire days, you gym may not be present in a particular city, gyms may have early closing hours – there are dozens of reasons why, even with the best planning, you can’t always get to a gym.
Many times the road warrior is left with nothing but their hotel room and what passes for a hotel “fitness center” with a pulldown machine and a few lonely barbells. Not boss.
Still, you need to keep fit. There’s nothing worse than sticking to a good workout plan for 5 weeks, eating well, feeling great, and letting it all go to waste from a one week business trip filled with lots of booze, dozens of unhealthy meals, and zero workouts.
Don’t let those off days pile up and have all your hard work go to waste.
Today we present a guide to the best travel fitness equipment available. These can give you enough of a workout to stay toned and maintain fitness until you get back home to your routine.
The items below are all lightweight and easy to pack in a suitcase, or even a small duffel bag.
A RLB favorite. Invented by a former Navy SEAL, these rotating discs ensure the entire upper body gets worked with ideal form on every pushup.
The discs come with a raised grip that rotates on a steel ball bearing system. This ensures a smooth rotation with each pushup, engaging your entire upper body and core in the process – not the basic pec workout from a traditional pushup. You can also incorporate different width grips and angled declines for even more variation, offering you an surprisingly complete workout from one simple exercise.
There are many brands and models, but we’d recommend the Perfect Pushup Elite.
These are one of the larger road workout items – too large for a duffel bag or backpack, but still small enough to fit in a carry-on suitcase.
We’ve covered the TRX System in detail before. While it is a complete travel workout tool, it’s not just for travel – the system has become so popular it has evolved into its own type of workout outright. Many people now swear by suspension training and if you design the right program, it can indeed work your entire body top to bottom.
A word of note – While the TRX should be able to hookup to any sturdy door, it still won’t fit any door in a hotel room. You still need proper space for training, and the door to open at the right angle. If you find your room isn’t able to offer a proper TRX hookup, try the hotel fitness center. You can always hook up the system to any stationary pullup bar.
Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are the ideal travel fitness equipment – they weigh practically nothing and take up zero room. You can attach them to any solid surface that does not have a sharp edge – door handle, door hinge, bedpost, table legs, or any heavy piece of furniture.
Available in a wide range of resistance strengths, they offer dozens of possible exercises you can do in your own hotel room.
RLB Tip: If you plan on regular leg workouts with your resistance bands, look into buying a set the includes ankle straps – this provides a much cleaner attachment and more effective set of reps than simply tying the band around your ankle.
Grip strength is one of the most often ignored aspects of training, but it shouldn’t be. The stronger your grip, the more force you can channel into every rep.
These grip strengtheners offer excellent training for your forearms and wrists, and are super convenient for travel, easily fitting in any bag. You can use these anywhere, even in your airplane seat to relieve some stress on a long flight.
They’re also different than the normal ‘forearm grippers’ you’ll see in any store, which usually require 40-60 lbs of force to close. That’s nothing. These are for serious athletes. The grips offer high-quality, kneaded aluminum handles in a range from 100-350 lbs of resistance.
Jump Rope
A timeless classic, essential for general warmups, cardio, agility, and footwork. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the more ignored exercise tools these days.
For versatility, convenience and a quick leg and balance workout, the jump rope is hard to beat. Lightweight and easy to carry, it’s usable in any room with a hard floor and is a great way to perk up and get the blood flowing.
Keep several, or all of these items in your travel bag at all times so you won’t have to worry about forgetting them next time you have to hop a flight or train on short notice. A short workout with one or several of these items will maintain your fitness, helping you stay in beach ready shape wherever you are.

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