Resistance gear

Finding resistance
Body Bar Flex: Bendable, 4-foot, 4-pound fiberglass-composite rod coated in a dense coat of foam rubber.

Likes: Surprisingly tough, satisfying and enjoyable workout for strength, flexibility and toning. Bending the bar in a variety of exercises works numerous groups of muscles at once. Example: For a seated ab crunch, hold the bar sideways across your lap, then bend forward and push the bar into a U-shape; this works abs and shoulders at once. To increase the difficulty, narrow the distance between your hands or twist the bar slightly to work against its natural flex. Chart of 12 exercises and workout DVD included. The Flex model, rated at 40 pounds of resistance, is for experienced fitness buffs. One- and 2-pound models with less resistance run from $24.95 to $39.95.

Dislikes: Inconvenient to take on a plane; otherwise, is space-efficient and travels well in a car.

Price: $49.95. (800) 500-2030;