Unless you regularly travel with a full squat rack and a heap of dumbbells, you probably don’t get much of a strength workout when you’re on the road. My favorite fix for that is resistance bands. Sure, they’re a little retro, but compared to a set of dumbbells, bands are way cheaper and they take up a fraction of the space (a plus when you live in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment). They’re also easily portable: If I’m traveling and I suspect that the hotel “gym” consists of a treadmill and a half-deflated exercise ball, I’ll throw a couple bands in my carry-on so I can squeeze in some bicep curls and weighted squats right from my room.
Perfect. sells five different bands that offer degrees of resistance ranging from 10 to 50 pounds. The bands themselves are made from rubber tubing that feels sturdy and never gets tangled. Detachable handles are sold separately so you can adjust the weight or double the bands to increase the intensity. Plus, I like having the option to use the bands without handles for moves like pull-aparts or triceps pull-downs. Also, the included door anchor comes in handy for moves like standing chest presses, rows, or shoulder rehab. With the bands, you’re pretty much getting a full array of physical therapy and muscle-building tools — all for $20 or less. [$10.99–$19.99; amazon.com]