Even if you are an avid fan of the gym, having exercise equipment at home is a great way to make sure that you meet your health and fitness goals. It isn’t always possible to get to the gym when you need to, so a good home set-up means you won’t have to miss a session.
Many of us have busy lives, so going to the gym at all can be a task – having a range of equipment available at home makes it easier to keep to a regular exercise regime. As well as being simpler to fit into our packed schedules, working out at home saves us from having to pay a monthly gym membership. Plus, you don’t have to share sweaty equipment with other gym users.
Choosing The Right Equipment
There are a lot of different considerations to bear in mind when choosing the gym equipment to have in your home. Practically speaking, space might be an issue, so before you make any purchases, think about how much room you have available to store exercise kit. With home workouts becoming more and more popular every year, there are now plenty of space-saving options available, from folding bikes to compact rowing machines. Even if space is very limited, you can get a long way with small pieces of kit such as hand weights, resistance bands and skipping ropes.
You will also want to consider your budget. It is possible to spend a lot of money on home gym equipment, but for most people it won’t be necessary to break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options available that still provide a good quality workout. You also don’t have to purchase everything in one go. Make a list of everything you’d need to build your ideal home gym, and then put the items in order of priority so you can get the most important equipment first. You can always add to it as time goes on.
Once you have the practicalities out of the way, you need to look at your own health and fitness goals. Are you working out to lose weight, improve your cardio fitness, tone, or bulk up? Likely it is a combination of several of these. Choose equipment that will help you reach your goals.
If you are training for a competitive sport, such as running, cycling, or rowing, you will want to prioritise equipment that builds the muscles and stamina you need for that particular sport. Look too at the types of workout you most enjoy – if you’ve been going to the gym, notice which pieces of equipment you naturally gravitate towards. If you are new to exercise, which workouts do you most enjoy? You are more likely to be successful in building an exercise habit if you choose activities that you like doing.
Top 14 Best Home Gym Equipments to Take Your Workouts to the Next Level
We’ve assembled a list of everything you need to exercise at home. These 14 pieces of gym equipment are our top choices to take your workout to the next level. There are options to suit every budget and every size home.
A great full-body workout includes some cardio, some core training, and some resistance work. Let’s start by looking at the 10 best pieces of equipment that will help you incorporate all three elements in your home workout:
1. Ab Booster
Who doesn’t want more defined and toned abs? Abdominal boosters / trainers are a great bit of kit for targeting your core and abs. They can be used for a range of different exercises to work each area of your core, giving you a more efficient abdominal workout than body weight exercises alone.
We love the Sportstech BT300 for its versatility and space-saving folding design. It offers 25 different difficulty levels, so is perfect whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. The padded knee support prevents you straining your joints, and it has been designed with home-use in mind, with smooth movements that make little noise. As a bonus, the Sportstech BT300 comes with resistance bands so that you can also use it to train your arms too.
2. Ab Wheel
An ab wheel is a deceptively simple bit of kit that can have a big impact on your abdominals. It is easy to use, with no complicated programmes or settings, so a great option for beginners, although you may want to use it against a wall until you have built up some strength to prevent yourself over-extending. Plus, it is an inexpensive bit of kit that is not too bulky to store.
We love: H&S Ab Abdominal Exercise Roller
Because ab wheels are so simple, you might think there’s not much difference between the various models, but we love the H&S roller because of the extra thought that has gone into its design. It is both light and compact, which is ideal for home use, but doesn’t make any sacrifices on durability.
Another simple piece of equipment that can make a big difference, a step platform is an easy way to take your cardio workout to the next level. You can also use it as a block for pilates or yoga, making it a versatile option. Small and easy to store, step platforms can even be useful around the house for reaching high shelves.
We love: HH Home Hut Aerobic Step
The Home Hut step gets our vote because it is adjustable, with height options of 10 or 15 cm, meaning you can easily adjust the intensity of your workout. It also has an anti-slip surface and rubber feet that give it great stability. It has a small footprint and weighs just a few kilos, making it easy to move and store.
4. Dumbbell Set
No home gym is complete without at least one set of dumbbells. These essential weights are vital for training your arms, upper back, core, and chest. There are lots of different weights available, so make sure you choose the right ones for you. Depending on the variety of exercises you plan to incorporate into your workout regime, you may want some lighter options to complement your cardio sessions and heavier ones for use in resistance training and muscle building.
We love: Xn8 Neoprene Dumbbells
These funky dumbbells come in a range of different colours, so you can even match them to your home décor. With weights from 1 to 10 kilos, you’ll be able to find a set to suit you whether you are a beginner or an experienced weightlifter. The neoprene covering is more than just decorative – it helps to maintain a good grip, even when your hands start to sweat.
Although they are slightly bulkier, an exercise ball is useful for such a wide range of different exercises that it is more than worth having in your home. It is great for use in strength training, core exercises, yoga and pilates. It can also double up as a desk chair, helping to improve your posture and strengthen your core while you work.
We love: Mode33 Exercise Ball
With multiple different colour options, this exercise ball comes in two different sizes, so you can find the right fit for you. It is extra thick, with anti-slip rings, and comes with a money back guarantee.
There are very few exercise kit that are as space saving as a skipping rope, but the benefits for your cardio, legs and arm workouts are huge. Plus, they are super affordable, usually costing less than $10.
We love: FITFORT Skipping Rope
This is a well-made and durable option, with foam handles that keep your grip from slipping as you jump. The length of the rope is adjustable, which is a bonus if the rope will be used by different people, as you can easily adjust it to the length you need without having to cut it.
7. Hula Hoop
Not just for school children, hula hoops are a great way to develop your flexibility, tone up, and burn calories. It can take some practice to master, but hula hooping is also great fun, which is good for inspiring you to get moving.
We love: Dibikou Hula Hoop
Traditional hula hoops can be bulky to store, so we love the Dibikou because it breaks down into smaller parts and can be stored away easily when not in use. The different sections also mean you can re-size it according to your needs. The weighted design makes spinning easier to master, while also maximising the effectiveness of your workout.
Along with a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell is an essential item for weight training at home. Useful for squats, twists, presses and swings, a kettlebell has a range of uses in strengthening your upper body, core, and legs.
We love: York Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell
The no-nonsense design of this kettlebell set is also functionality above being stylish in the best way. It is colour coded and comes with instructional workout wall chart. The large handles make it easy to grip, even if you have large hands and is wrapped in hard wearing vinyl coating. It comes in weights from 4-8 kilograms, giving you plenty of options to find the weight that you need.
Is there any bit of resistance training kit more versatile than the humble resistance band? We think not, which is why these inexpensive items are an essential buy for any home gym. Resistance bands can be used in multiple ways to work different muscle groups – intensify your squats, super-charge your yoga practice, and build your strength. Plus, they are small and inexpensive, making them perfect for any budget and space.
We love: Gritin Resistance Bands
This set of five bands comes with helpful colour coding to make sure you grab the right one for your workout. Giving five different resistance levels, this single set will take you all the way from beginner to pro. They are strong and durable, so shouldn’t stretch out of shape, helping you to maximise the efficiency of your workout.
10. Step Machine
A step machine is a great choice for your home gym, taking up little space but allowing you to strengthen and tone your legs and burn calories with cardio workouts. Look out for one that comes with handles or resistance bands to work your upper body at the same time.
We love: Ultrasport Swing Stepper
The swing design of this step machine means it is especially versatile, allowing both an up and down and a side-to-side movement that target different areas of your lower body. The simple display helps you track your steps and calories burnt, while the quiet design makes it ideal for home exercise. It can be used with handles to increase the efficiency of your workout.
Take it to the next level
If space and budget allow, you will get more out of your home workouts with some larger machines. We’ve looked for options that take up a little more space but are still compact enough for home use.
Here are our top 4:
11. Rowing Machine
If you invest in just one larger piece of kit, a rowing machine is a great choice. It provides a full-body workout, strengthening your arms, core, back, and legs, as well as upping your cardio fitness. It is worth spending a little more here, if you can, as there is a big difference in the quality of workout if you don’t just get the cheapest model.
We love: V-fit Tornado Air Rower
Although it is still not the smallest bit of equipment, one thing we like about the V-fit for home use is that it folds when you are not using it, so it does not have to take up your entire room. Rowing machines can be loud, but this one is comparatively quiet, another bonus for home users. It provides a good level of resistance and the display will help you track your speed, distance, and calories burnt.
12. Workout Bench
If you are serious about your weight training, investing in a workout bench is a good idea to take your home sessions to the next level. It is a versatile piece of equipment for use in resistance training, weight training as well as core building exercises.
We love: JX FITNESS Adjustable Weight Bench
This bench has so many uses – it has five different positions, can double as a sit-up bench, and even provides a handy space to store your dumbbells. Plus, it is on wheels and can be folded away when not in use, making it a great choice for a home gym. We like that it comes with resistance bands as an extra bonus.
Exercise bikes are one of the most popular bits of equipment for good reason – they are an easy way to get your cardio in from home. You can even workout while watching TV. A foldable option is a good choice if you are short on space.
We love: SONGMICS Foldable Exercise Bike
This quiet, foldable bike is ideal for your home gym. It has eight different resistance levels and an eye-catching design. It even comes with a mat to protect your floor and prevent the bike from moving while you power through a YouTube spin class.
When you can’t get out for a run, or need to protect your knees, a foldable treadmill is a fantastic item to reach your cardio goals without taking up your entire living room.
We love: Nero Bluetooth Treadmill
This treadmill is easy to put together and is both lightweight and foldable, making it a good option for smaller homes. It runs off the mains, which may affect where you can put it, but saves money on expensive batteries. It has 12 different inbuilt programmes, and you can also add your own custom ones. You can adjust the incline to change the intensity of your workout. It is also Bluetooth enabled, so you can link it to your phone to easily track your progress. We especially like that the Bluetooth capabilities mean you can choose real-world road maps to run.
Before we go: one bonus item
15. Vibration Plate
We promised you the best 14 pieces of gym equipment to maximise your home workouts, but we couldn’t resist one last cheeky item before we go. A vibration plate is a fun option to include in your home gym and is particularly good for beginners or those who are recovering from injury. The vibration ups the intensity of any exercise by making your muscles contract. We like the Bluefin one – it has five different programmes and is slim and lightweight, so is easy to store.