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The pocket-sized device that lets you perform great training anywhere, anytime

Photo: Activ5

Although I'm the first to praise anyone who trains in transit, there are some wrong ways to do it. (Take, for example, pull-ups on the luggage rack or push-ups in the aisle, in Crocs no less.) But now there is a much more discreet and less ridiculous way to squeeze in between strength training. Takeoff and landing: the Activ5 portable exerciser. (See also: How to Work with Your Max Representative When You're New to Lifting Weights)

The Activ5 has been referred to as a "tiny gym in the bag" and is packed with over 100 sitting and standing isometric workouts programmed for selection. Some are even designed specifically for the plane or in your hotel room ̵

1; with clever names like "On Bored" and "Raise the Mini Bar", which I personally appreciate. It was named one of our key travel technology essentials earlier this year. And I had the opportunity to try a recent road trip.

Regardless of whether I'm at home or on the road, I'm much more likely to be guided by a coach or in a class than trained. I'm just supposed to go to the gym and wing it. It's unlikely that something like a Resistance band will leave my suitcase, but the Activ5 is doing the workout I'm in. And it really works. The first time I trained for about 30 minutes while sitting, and my abs and triceps felt it the next morning.

It was easy to set up both the app and the device that connect to iOS and Android phones via Bluetooth. You'll be asked for some basic demographic information, instructions on how to position the device, and then measure the maximum breast pressure as you press it as tightly as possible between both palms – pretty cool, right? (See also: Best Free Apps for Runners)

From there, you can select the exercises by theme or muscle group. All movements are resistance based. So you'll place it between your foot and floor to work on your hamstrings and calves, or between your knees for the inner thighs or between your elbows and the opposite palm for your shoulder press. And although you could do these exercises technically without Activ5 and feel the same burn, it's even more fun to watch your applied pressure chase the dots on your phone screen like a video game. And you can track your progress over time and judge things like your left and right body. (See also: I've tried the greatest fitness tracker on the market.)

It's a pretty solid replacement for your typical strength training (and a memorable gift for fitness-minded travelers).

Soda says x Activbody Activ5 Portable Gym

Photo: Activ5

Buy, 120 $

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This story was originally published on Travel + Leisure.com by Richelle Szypulski.

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