While Covid is—hopefully—in its waning stages, and many of us are beginning to get back to some sense of normalcy, working out at home has become the norm for countless people. And we have to admit, it's a bit of a relief to never worry if your sweat stains made it look like you wet your pants or wait around until someone else's thousandth rep is finished to use your favorite machine at the gym. But working out at home also has a serious downside: namely a lack of equipment.
While you don't need to invest in everything that you would normally have access to at your local gym to get in a great workout, you will want to make sure that your home gym serves your fitness needs and fits both your space and budget. To help, we’ve put together this list of the best home gym equipment that will help you build your dream home gym—everything from investment-worthy cardio machines to budget- and small-space-friendly tools. Here are some of our favorite pieces of home gym equipment to keep you active, happy, and healthy without leaving the comfort of home.
Though this certainly isn't an inexpensive treadmill, it's well worth the cost for the features that this machine provides. It features a 14-inch touchscreen, and has many of Nordictrack's standout features, like quick jump buttons that let you instantly set specific speeds and inclines.
It has a slightly bouncy cushion and a quiet motor that will keep noise down and keep your legs feeling good. It also has a great library of trainer-led workouts that will keep you motivated and help you reach your fitness goals.
One of the most reliable ways to make any floor or standing workout more challenging is by adding some bodyweight exercises to the mix. This suspension training kit does just that, while requiring nothing more to set up than a doorway or high anchor point (like a tree) and a few feet of space.
“If I were to make a list of my top five pieces of equipment for effective home workouts, the TRX would be my first, second, and third choice,” says certified personal trainer Ramsey Bergeron.
If you prefer to run outside and indoor cycling isn’t your thing, you can row your way to improved cardio on this machine. While rowing is a full-body exercise, it does require lots of work from the lower body to power each stroke.
This machine comes with time, distance, and interval workouts that can be easily selected from its display screen. It tracks and stores your stats so you can monitor improvements over time and try to beat some of your past PRs. The air-resistance flywheel also has 10 different damper levels to make things easier or harder, depending on your fitness level.
How to Use a Rowing Machine, Plus 3 Workouts to Try
There's an exercise mat out there to suit every need, from ultra plush options for achy knees to “smart” mats that talk to you.
But this all-time favorite mat from Lululemon is not only durable (one tester has had one for four years), but its yoga-specific features are ideal for runners: One side is grippy for barefoot work like mobility or feet-strengthening exercises, while the flip side is smooth for when you need less traction (think: plyos and sliding moves).
At 5 millimeters thick, it's also cushy enough that it's forgiving on sensitive joints.
Recover as hard, if not harder, than you work out. Even at home, it’s important to take care of your body pre-, and post-workout to prevent injury. Use this percussion therapy tool to warm up your muscles before your run or workout and to help you cool down and relax when you’re finished. It has different head attachments, so you can effectively target a specific area or muscle and it’s whisper-quiet so you won’t disrupt those around you.
Glute and hip activation is an essential, but often overlooked, aspect of warming up and running. And while resistance bands can make a world of difference when it comes to getting your glutes and hips in gear, most rubber resistance bands roll up during exercise and stretch out over time.
These extra-thick, fabric-covered options, on the other hand, are more comfortable on your skin, stay in place, and provide three different levels of resistance (light, medium, and heavy) so you can change them based on your exercise routine or as you progress and become stronger.
Low-impact cross-training is one of the most effective ways for runners to build their cardiovascular capacity, speed, and endurance without risking injury. The updated Peloton Bike+ design is sturdier than its predecessor, eliminating the back-and-forth rocking that was a common complaint among users of the original.
The new auto-follow feature adjusts and matches the trainer-prescribed resistance throughout the ride, which lets you focus more on each interval and takes away any temptation to not dial up the resistance for a hill. The bigger, 23.8-inch screen is more immersive and swivels, allowing you to hop off the bike for Peloton’s strength training, yoga, stretching, or boot-camp-style classes.
And if you love the Apple Watch as much as we do (see our Best Watches), the Bike+ is also equipped with Apple GymKit, which automatically begins a workout on the watch.
A weight bench is a great tool for your home gym, providing a stable surface for performing countless weight-bearing exercises. This bench can either lay flat or be adjusted to four different incline positions and two decline positions.
Thanks to two inches of soft foam padding, the bench is comfortable yet firm, and it’s easy to wipe clean. In addition to being great for upper body exercises, you can also lock your feet behind the foam pads for exercises like decline sit-ups.
Core strength and stability is so important when it comes to your posture, both while running and during everyday activities. Use this ball to enhance core exercises, like elevated planks and crunches. Simply choose your preferred size and color, and use the included pump to help blow the ball up. Plus, if you’re working from home, you can swap out your office chair for this ball to keep your core engaged throughout the day.
Give your legs the TLC they deserve by working this pair of compression boots into your recovery routine. Slide your gams into the boots, zip them up, connect the tube to the control machine as well as the tube on the boot, set your intensity level and time, then sit back and let the technology do the work. The boots will fill up with air to create different levels of compression against your legs and then release.
Using these boots will help reduce soreness, pain, and muscle fatigue, while increasing circulation and improving your range of motion so you’re able to maximize your performance.
Even if you don't have room for a full rack of dumbbells, you can still get in a great weight-bearing workout with this adjustable set. This pair can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments from 10 to 55 pounds. That’s 15 different weight options in one! Yes, they are a little pricey, but they’re a great option for households with multiple people who want to lift and have different weight preferences.
The weights are easy to adjust, too—simply pull the blue quick adjustment piece up and slide it to the number of pounds you’re looking to lift. The dumbbells also come with a storage base so you can keep all the parts tidy or safely stash them out of sight.
If you prefer a single-weight dumbbell, then these Amazon Basics models are a solid choice. They are relatively affordable and have a basic, sturdy design. They are available in weights ranging from 10 to 50 p0unds, and they are available in either a cast iron version or one with rubber-encased ends.
Use this weighted ball to take your push-ups, planks, Russian twists, and more to the next level. The extra weight increases the load for moves like squats, while the instability a medicine ball creates forces more muscle activation and core engagement for exercises like push-ups. You can also use this tool for exercises like a chest press or overhead throw to develop your power.
Take out all your pandemic frustration on this 14-pound slam ball. The soft outer shell is surprisingly easy to grip and hold onto, and it's made of extremely durable vinyl that can hold up to years of intense workouts (there’s a reason why most CrossFit gyms carry this exact model).
And thanks to the vinyl it's made of, it won’t mark up whatever floor, ceiling, or wall you’re slamming it against (though you may choose to do it against a mat or outside). Use the slam ball to perform moves like wall balls or squats to develop stamina, strength, speed, and power.
Use this sandbag to add weight on your back for planks or push-ups, on your shoulders when you squat, or hold it to make running or walking stairs more challenging. Its soft outer layer makes it wood-floor-friendly, and you can use it like a dumbbell, medicine ball, slam ball, or kettlebell. It also comes in a range of sizes from two to 50 pounds, so you can gradually increase resistance as you build strength.
If you already own a bike for cross-training, you’ll love having this bike trainer set up at home for low-impact cardio days. It uses progressive magnetic resistance to allow you to pedal along to your favorite cycling fitness app, or just ride to music or while watching TV. There’s no real setup required, either—just open, unfold, and mount your bike.
This cast iron kettlebell is durable enough to last a lifetime. And its thick urethane coating protects your home gym's floors and walls from the scratches, chips, and other wear and tear typically associated with using a flat-bottomed model. The handle is textured and seamless for a comfortable grip through long chipper workouts, and this style is available in 26-, 35-, 44-, 53-, and 70-pound increments.
If you've got limited space to spare, the Mirror is a great way to get in some serious sweat sessions without having to sacrifice a whole room. In addition to having a sleek and aesthetic design, the Mirror offers tons of classes like barre, boxing, yoga, and weight training, among numerous others. Its reflective surface makes it easy to pay attention to your form, and you can get feedback on your moves—and progress—during personal coaching sessions.
This model also comes with resistance bands, a yoga mat, dumbbells, and more to help you get started on your fitness journey.
After all that hard work, taking a break in this infrared sauna will provide some much-needed relief. If you have the space—and the cash—this two-person sauna can make your home gym feel like a luxury fitness studio.
Made with reforested wood, this sauna is not only beautiful to look at, but can help you decompress while relieving tension and soreness. This one reaches a maximum temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and is easily assembled in under 45 minutes.