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Free At-Home Workouts to Try During the Coronavirus Shutdown

home workout essentials

As gyms and fitness classes across the country close their doors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, it’s up to us to make sure we keep ourselves healthy in the meantime. Thankfully, working out from home has gotten much easier as fitness apps and personal trainers are providing free lessons to help us all stay healthy during the pandemic.

Before starting any new exercise routine, always remember not to push yourself too hard if you aren’t feeling well — your health and safety come first. But if you’re ready to turn your living room into your gym, take a look through these options to see which fitness routine is right for you.

The P.volve fitness platform is committed to safe, functional, movement-based methods to help you achieve the results you want. Sounds like the perfect program for a crowded studio apartment. Even more perfect? They’re offering a free 30-day stream trial of their services during our period of self-isolation.

home workout essentials

Make sure to use the promo code ONEPVOLVE when you create a new account. If you’re still on the fence about the 30-day trial, P.volve is also offering 20-minute workouts for free on Instagram Live. If you’re still curious about their services, check out their YouTube page to see what some of their post-workouts look like.

Fitness Blender

Six million subscribers can’t be wrong! Husband and wife Daniel and Kelli Segars have uploaded over 600 free, full-length workout videos . Each title lists any equipment you may need, which is an easy way to find the right clip. You’ll likely be searching for content without gym essentials, but don’t worry — they have plenty of equipment-free workouts.

home workout essentials

However, their musicless, one-on-one training videos filmed in a blank, white space may make self-imposed isolation feel even stranger. This is the perfect time to blast your favorite guilty-pleasure workout playlist at full volume.

CorePower Yoga

In a move of compassion and business savvy, the CorePower Yoga team has provided a catalog of yoga workouts of various skill levels for free over the next month. “We know that life is challenging right now,” they shared on Instagram, “and we hope these changes create peace of mind and keep your practice moving without interruption.”

home workout essentials

If you’re interested in mixing strength-training with yoga sequences, then this is the outlet for you. Best of all, the classes are led by charismatic and relatable instructors who play some pretty lively music for a yoga session.

Sweat Factor

From HIIT to yoga, barre to bootcamp and kettlebells to kickboxing, Sweat Factor is offering all of their workouts for free during the COVID-19 outbreak. Sweat Factor has one of the most impressive rosters of trainers in the fitness world, and their workouts are accessible anytime, anywhere.

home workout essentials

If you’re the kind of person who likes a diverse workout routine, then Sweat Factor is the right choice for you. They even have a selection of custom exercises for pregnant women, so anyone can get a little workout in with this catalog of options.

If social isolation has you craving more human connection, Daily Burn may be what you’re looking for in at-home fitness. The Daily Burn Community Group is 20,000 members strong and is constantly checking in with one another pre- and post-workout.

home workout essentials

They’re offering a free 60-day trial with access to thousands of recorded group workouts during the COVID-19 crisis. If you download their app, you’re also able to access their virtual one-on-one training sessions for even more social engagement.

305 Fitness

Three weeks sounds like a long time to be stuck inside. And let’s face it — it is. But working out, even at home, doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Which is why we’re so grateful for YouTube channels like 305 Fitness .

home workout essentials

Their high-energy dance routines are the perfect way to shake your body and detox from any cabin fever. Blast the volume on high, dress like you’re in a music video and shake your money maker. The videos (and the dance instructors) are going to be your virtual new best friends.


home workout essentials

21 great fitness products for at-home workouts under $40

Get this top-rated workout gear all at a budget-friendly price tag.

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

It's about that time of year when the spring days are warm enough that many feel the urge to kick their fitness journeys into high gear. Whether you're dreaming about having abs to flaunt at the beach or you're just on a health and wellness kick, you may be looking to get a good sweat session or two in. Below are 21 things that are less than $40 and perfect for working out and helping you achieve all your fitness goals.

1. Dumbbells

No list of home gym equipment would be complete without a set—or two or three—of dumbbells. While they’ve been selling out online due to the coronavirus outbreak (and the fact that gyms have closed), you can still find them at Target. These weights, which are available from 2 to 15 pounds, have a non-slip neoprene coating that reviewers say is easy and comfortable to grip.

Get the All in Motion Hand Weight from Target for $3.31 to $22.79

2. Jump rope

Cardio doesn't have to be hardio. Or rather, it doesn't have to be boring. Jumping rope is a fun way to get your heart rate up—and this rope in particular has high ratings for its comfortable-to-hold handles and light weight.

Get the Everlast Jump Rope from Walmart for $8.92

3. Resistance bands

No weights, no problem. You can get just as good of a strength training workout with resistance bands like these ones. They come in five varying degrees of resistance from XX-light to XX-heavy, and reviewers like that they're durable (i.e. they won't rip easily) and versatile.

Get the BalanceFrom Resistance Loop Exercise Bands from Walmart for $13.39

4. Pull-up bar

Thanks to this easy-to-install bar, all you need to achieve the toned back of your dreams is a doorway (and a lot of hard work and patience and sweat, of course). It has three different grip options—normal, close, and hammer—and happy customers like that it's super simple to assemble. Plus, if you're tired of pull-ups, you can use it on the floor for pushups, sit-ups, and dips.

Get the Harbinger Multi-Gym Sport from Dick's Sporting Goods for $39.99

5. Stability ball

It’s no secret that stability balls are a great piece of workout equipment, whether you’re looking for a killer ab workout or simply a core-toning alternative to your desk chair. This one from Walmart is praised for being durable and high-quality, plus it even has workouts printed right on the ball if you're in need of ideas.

Get the GoFit(R) GF-55PRO Professional Grade Core Stability Ball from HSN for $32.19

6. Ab roller

Sit-ups and planks aren't the only ways to tone your core—you can also use an ab roller. This one has built-in resistance and can roll in any direction, so you can work everything from your lower abs to your obliques. Reviewers claim the ergonomic handles are comfortable to hold and maneuver and the extra-wide wheel provides just the right amount of stability.

Get the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Roller from Walmart for $34.99

7. Booty band

Leg day just got a lot harder thanks to this booty-sculpting band. Made of thick, non-slip fabric, it's designed to add resistance to your leg and glute workouts—just slip it across your thighs or hips while doing squats or bridge lifts, for instance. I use the Cheeky band when I'm working out at home and it makes my workouts burn a lot more (in the best way!) and the material is comfortable against my skin.

Get the Cheeky Fitness Booty Band from Walmart for $17.99

8. Exercise mat

Working out on your living room's hardwood floor is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. An exercise mat can solve that. And while our all-time favorite mat from Lululemon is more than $30, this budget-friendly alternative also comes highly rated. People love that it provides just the right amount of cushioning—whether you're doing yoga or a HIIT workout—and is non-slip so you won't be slipping and sliding while you sweat.

Get the Gaiam 6-mm Printed Yoga Mat from Target for $34.99

9. Kettlebell

Kettlebells are one of those things I have a love/hate relationship with. I love that they make me stronger but also hate that they can be such a challenging workout (have you ever done a straight minute of kettlebell swings?!). You can get affordable kettlebells at Dick's Sporting Goods—like this steel one, which comes in 10, 15, and 20 pound weights and has an ergonomic handle for better gripping.

Get the Fitness Gear Pro Kettlebell from Dick's Sporting Goods for $24.99

10. Foam roller

Whether you’re dealing with sore muscles from yesterday’s workout or stiff joints from watching one too many episodes on Netflix last night (no judgment!), a foam roller can help with that. People love this one because it's sturdy and effectively relives aches and pains by providing the perfect amount of pressure as it massages.

Get the ProSource Fit High Density Foam Roller at Walmart for $10.99

11. Subscription to virtual group fitness classes

If you’re a group fitness junkie like I am (I live for my daily yoga sculpt class!), you know that working out at home on your own just isn’t the same. But fear not—thanks to services like ClassPass  and Alo Moves , you can take your favorite classes from your own living room. Both apps offer access to classes taught by expert instructors, with everything from barre to spin to boxing to mediation.

12. Blender Bottle

Love protein shakes but hate the time-consuming process of making them in the blender or, worse, trying to mix them in a cup and ending up with a clumpy, chunky mess? I get that and I’ve been there—which is why I’m now obsessed with my Blender Bottle. The metal mixing ball blends drinks perfectly with just a few shakes and the leakproof lid is perfect for taking on the go. Bonus: You can just toss it in the dishwasher when you’re done.

Get the BlenderBottle Set of 3 Classic 28-oz Bottles from QVC for $24.22

13. Yoga block

As a yoga teacher who has been doing yoga for 12 years, I still never go to class without at least one block. Why? Yoga blocks are not only a great prop to help you get into more difficult poses but they can also be used for restorative variations of some of your favorites (think: placing a block under your lower back for supported bridge pose).

Get the Gaiam Tri-Color Yoga Block from Amazon for $9.98

14. Ankle weights

Sometimes you need just a little more weight when you’re doing leg lifts. Or you want to shoulder press 17.5 pounds but you only have 15-pound dumbbells. That’s where ankle weights like these come in. According to reviewers, the neoprene fabric wicks away sweat while the straps are easy to adjust to fit securely around your wrists or ankles. Psst: While you can use them as extra resistance for bodyweight exercises or strap them to other weights, you shouldn’t wear them when walking—they can increase your risk of injury.

Get the Yes4All Wrist/Ankle Weights Set from Walmart for $17.49

15. Stepper

No, this isn’t the ‘80s but yes, steppers are back in style (or maybe they never left?). The aerobics accessory is an easy way to get a cardio session in at home, especially because you can make it as low or as high impact as you'd like. Reviewers like this Tone Fitness stepper because it's adjustable (you can easily raise/lower it to four or six inches) and it has non-skid feet and a sturdy platform.

Get the Tone Fitness Step Stepper from Walmart for $27.77

16. Medicine ball

Looking for a creative way to add more weight to your workout? Look no further than a medicine ball, which you can use with exercises like Russian twists or crunches, for example. While medicine balls tend to cost over $40, this compact medicine ball (which is squishy and filled with sand) is more budget-friendly. People rave that it's incredibly grippable and versatile.

Get the Century Strive Medicine Ball from Target for $24.99

17. Core sliders

Planks are hard. Planks with your feet on core sliders are even harder. The slippery little discs—which you can place under your hands or feet—are used to improve your stability and engage your core even more. These have thousands of glowing reviews because they're double-sided so you can use them on any surface (plastic for carpet vs. foam for hardwood) and the perfect diameter for any size hand or foot.

Get the Synergee Core Sliders from Walmart for $12.30

18. Pilates ring

Bring the Pilates studio to you with this ring, which has padded foam handles and a soft rubber coating. Reviewers rave that it offers the ideal amount of resistance to challenge any area of your body from your inner thighs to your biceps. Also, unlike other rings, the AeroPilates ring has handles on both the inside and outside so it's much more versatile.

Get the Stamina AeroPilates Magic Circle from Walmart for $29.47

19. Weighted workout bar

Weightlifting at home is great. But by the time you order a bar, different size plates, a rack, etc., it adds up really fast. A more affordable solution? A weighted workout bar. This one—which comes in varying weights from five pounds all the way up to 30 pounds—is made of sturdy steel so it won't bend or warp yet has a soft foam coating so it won't slip while you lift.

Get the Everyday Essentials Weighted Workout Bar from Walmart for $24.99

20. This belt for runners

Running outside sounded like a good idea—until you realized you’d have to carry your phone, house key, ID, chapstick, extra hair ties, and towel in your hand. Ugh. Fortunately, however, the FlipBelt exists. Runners rave that the multiple pockets are roomy enough to hold all of your things while the belt itself sits snugly and comfortably around your waist (i.e. no bouncing and jiggling while you move!).

Get the FlipBelt Classic Running Belt from REI for $28.95

21. Resistance tubes

Similar to resistance bands, resistance tubes are an easy (and cheap!) way to intensify your at-home workouts. This set is highly-rated because it has three interchangeable tubes that you can swap out for different resistances, making it perfect for all skill levels. Additionally, it has squishy foam handles that are comfortable to hold (i.e. no painful callouses or aches here).

Get the Spri Ignite Resistance 3 in 1 Band Kit from Target for $21.99

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

The 9 Budget-Friendly Essentials You’ll Need to Create a Great Home Gym

Save time (and money) with everything you need to get in shape from home..

Updated on 2/11/2022 at 4:48 PM

home workout essentials to buy

In 2022, it’s easier than ever to do nearly everything from home. Beyond just working from home (which many of us are still doing full-time), we’re able to learn, shop, connect, and more without ever taking a step out the door. So why shouldn’t the same apply to getting yourself in shape?

Gyms (and gym membership fees) certainly aren’t for everyone. They’re often crowded, noisy, and intimidating, not to mention the time it takes to trek back and forth. With a few simple purchases, you can create your own personal fitness studio, right at home. Plus, according to Darrik Marstaller, founder of GamerBody , you can do it with relative ease.

“Everything you need [for a home gym] can fit into a standard-sized closet,” says Marstaller, “With the right equipment, you can get results with as little as an hour per week.”

Marstaller’s at-home workout platform is built around efficiency in terms of both time and space, and GamerBody tests and reviews hundreds of different products to help you maximize both with your home gym. Marstaller also encourages the adoption of High Intensity Training (HIIT) principles. “[With HIIT] you’ll keep your workouts short and allow enough time to recover in between sessions,” he explains.

There's no one size-fits-all method here, so it's all about finding what kind of exercise you enjoy and sticking to it. Fortunately, it won’t take a ton of expensive equipment or complicated installation to take on your new at-home fitness journey. We consulted with Marstaller and eight other fitness experts to get their take on the core essentials. Let's get into it.

Cardio is critical

"The easiest adjustment you can make to your health routine when you're working from home is to wake up by doing some form of cardio. Do it before you eat breakfast to get that metabolism fired up."

This is what Reggie Chambers , a sought after NYC personal trainer, told us when asked about setting up a home gym. His preferred method? The jump rope. (If you’re looking for one that promises a killer full-body workout, try the weighted Crossrope ).

Another popular cardio option is a stationary bike—we recommend the MYX . It's like a Peloton on supplements (but not as expensive). As for our budget pick? Schwinn makes an excellent stationary bike that works with most popular apps.

yoga mat jump mat

If you want to get in shape at home, you will absolutely need a mat. There are two different kinds our experts recommended: a yoga mat and a jump mat . The latter being a bit thicker and used for more intense exercises like plyometrics and core work. It can also double as a yoga mat if you prefer a little more cushioning.

"I like to sweat, so if I’m purchasing a mat for in-home use, that means heat on high,” says Olivia Young , a certified yoga teacher and founder of NYC studio Box + Flow ."I personally love the Lululemon Reversible 5 MM mat . It’s extra absorbent and is so comfortable you can use it on any type of floor."

There's also the question of where to place your mat. If you have enough room in your bedroom, it can work. But experts will tell you to try and make the living room a space for fitness and leave the bedroom for sleeping. Robert Lemus, professional bodybuilder and editor of Simple Fitness Hub , recommends converting your living room into a workout space, "With a few quick changes, your living room can be converted into a home gym. Move big furniture to the side of the room, allowing you enough space to stand and have a yoga mat on the ground. This can be an excellent space to work out, especially if you like to exercise while  binge watching Netflix ." Obviously, if you have roommates, this could be a tad more difficult.

And if you're the type of person who likes to play video games whilst blasting your core on a mat, check out Stealth . It's a core-destroyer that you throw your phone into and play interactive games as you plank. It's also incredibly difficult (at first), but that just adds to the fun.

As for the jump mat, this should be placed in an area that allows for plenty of range of motion. Fitness and nutrition experts Ryan and Alex , who "have been working out from home for the better part of a decade nearly every day," recommend this jump mat for more intense workouts like P90X and other plyometric programs.

resistance bands

Resistance bands

This is another core piece of equipment that should be a part of everyone's home gym. "Resistance bands are a must in an apartment gym, they take up very little room, and are extremely versatile, and cost effective,” says Jamie Hickey, certified personal trainer/nutritionist and founder of Truism Fitness . “They come in a variety of resistance levels from very light to extremely heavy making it so that you will always have an option to challenge you."

Here's a great set that even comes with online workout videos to get you started. Resistance bands can also be used in lieu of weights, according to Ryan and Alex. "Weightlifting workouts can be done with free weights or resistance bands,” they say. “Regardless of what you do, make sure you have a structured plan that covers all parts of the body, instead of doing a few reps of bicep curls or lunges, here or there." Amazon has a wide selection to choose from .

TRX all in one training system

One other item that came highly recommended was the TRX All-in-One System . It’s favored for its versatility in that it can be used for push/pull routines for the upper body, lower body hamstrings and glutes routines, and core routines. It’s easy to install, too, if you have a door that can support weight.

A resistance band bar setup

According to Marstaller, sometimes the best solution for at-home fitness is to create a DIY workout machine by combining multiple items. In this case, you’ll need three— resistance loop bands , a bar , and a step platform .

The result is a more comfortable, more efficient approach to resistance band training. With this simple setup, you can take on various exercises like deadlifts, bicep curls and squats, and the additions of the bar and platform ensure that you’ll standardize the stretch of your bands for consistent reps.

To learn more about what you’ll need and how to set it up and use, plus some exercises to try, check out the tutorial on the GamerBody YouTube channel .

a jump rope

A jump rope

“Every apartment gym needs a good liquorice jump rope,” says Tommy Duquette, co-founder and trainer at Fightcamp and former US National Boxing Champion. “ The Money Rope from Rush Athletics (inspired by Floyd Mayweather) is an inexpensive jump rope preferred by boxers—it’s performant, lightweight, and perfect for both beginners and advanced users. I use this every day to supplement my workouts and keep my feet moving on days I might not be able to get a full workout in.” The Money Rope sells out quickly so if you need a solid alternative, check out the Sonic Boom Rope .

Consider yourself an advanced user? Allow us to introduce you to the Crossrope (seriously this thing will kick your ass). Now, for the sake of brevity, we won't get too in the weeds with that kind of jump rope you should get since they're all so similar, but aside from The Money Rope, there's an offering from WOD Nation that one reviewer raved about: "One of the best speed ropes I have ever used! Great for single unders, double unders, and even triple unders. The rope is smooth and very fast and has enough weight to give you momentum on your swings. It is a fantastic product!"

bowflex dumbbells

If you're looking to break out of bodyweight exercises all day, a set of dumbbells is just what you need. Certified personal trainer Danny Saltos (who runs the IG account TrainWithDanny ) recommends Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbells , which are adjustable from 5lbs to 52.5lbs each. "Adjustable dumbbells add a little heat to your routine. Space saving and asskicking,” he says. “These dumbbells will give you and your partner the ability to go light or go heavy."

As an alternative, Powerblock makes a similar adjustable set (though they have gone up in price). And if you're curious as to why adjustable weights are the way to go, Young says that the “easiest way to keep challenging the body from workout to workout is simply to add more load and weight to the exercise." And if you have the extra room, Amazon has a large selection of adjustable weights to choose from.

pull up bar

A pull up bar

If you're new to pull ups, you'll likely feel like giving up real quick when you set up the bar and pump out… one. But stay with it! Pull ups are an excellent way to strengthen your upper body and core, and the more you keep at it, the faster you'll see results. Ahmed Ali, a personal trainer and consultant at Centriq who trains six days a week says that "a pull up bar can be easily attached to your door frame without taking away from your limited floor space. Just do a pull up every time you pass by it and you’ll be in shape in no time." And he's not wrong. Ryan and Alex also called the pull up bar one of the "basics for a full home gym."

As for which one to get? Well, there's this one from Perfect Fitness . And this pull up bar from AmazeFan has excellent reviews and is easily stored away after you're finished getting yoked.

Pull up handles

Similar to a pull up bar but a bit more versatile, pull up handles are an excellent addition if you want to take your gym on the road (or even just to various rooms in your home). They can easily fit in a backpack or carry-on, and don’t run the same risk of damaging your door frame after prolonged use as a traditional bar.

Marstaller’s pick for the best pull up handles you can buy are the Jayflex CrossGrips , which he describes as “maybe the last pull up bar you’ll ever need.” The handles are lightweight at about two pounds each, but can support up to 250 pounds. Plus, they aren’t just for pull ups. “You can also use them on the floor for pushups, or slide them under the door to assist with crunches or situps,” he says, “They’re a little pricey, but you can’t deny the quality, and I’ve personally been using them for over a year without issue.”


A kettlebell

A kettlebell is also a super useful piece of equipment due to its size and functionality. It can be tucked away easily when you don't need it and supplement your cardio exercises when you do. "It never hurts to grab a kettlebell and swing,” says Young. “Kettlebells offer full body toning and enhance your cardio exercises. I usually stick with a 15lb kettlebell for strength and endurance." Bowflex makes an awesome adjustable kettlebell which starts at 8lbs and can be brought all the way up to 40lbs.

workout bench

A workout bench

" This workout bench by PowerBlock is the best bench we’ve had,” say Ryan and Alex. “While the workout bench isn’t necessary for all of our fitness programs, it was key for our weightlifting programs." You can get a great workout without a bench, but if you have room, it can change up your whole routine by incorporating weight training. If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, this bench from Flybird is a best seller and easily folds down to slide under a bed or sofa.

Of course there are other pieces of equipment you can grab if you have specific needs (for instance, a medicine ball or stability ball ), but the above recs should be more than enough to get you started. It can be difficult to start thinking of your living space as your gym—especially if you have a gym routine that's been stalled. But staking out just 20 minutes a day to stretch, lift, or jump around (read: solo dance party) will definitely pay off. At the very least, Young recommends "putting on a backpack and adding in weights [for squats, lunges, etc]—whether that’s bottles of water, tins, soup, or bricks."

Ultimately, the most fun you can have working out is when you can get creative with your routines.

12 Home Gym Equipment Essentials Build An Affordable Home Gym Setup Here

5 Equipment Essentials You Need to Build a Home Gym for Less Than $100

home workout essentials

By Alexa Tucker

There’s no question about it: Working out at home with your own home gym equipment has some serious convenience benefits. There’s no need to account for travel time to and from the gym, you never have to pack a bag, and you can blast your go-to workout music sans headphones . And for many people, home is also a pressure-free zone to exercise (because, hey, gyms can feel a little intimidating, especially when you’re new to fitness ).

Of course, there are a couple of limitations that come along with picking up an at-home workout program. For one, you might have minimal workout space . Plus, gyms generally have a leg up on equipment, and it’s not exactly cheap to stock your home set with all of those bells and whistles.

That said, there’s a lot you can do with just a few cost-effective pieces of home gym equipment. (In fact, you don’t have to spend any money at all—there are plenty of ways to get in cardio and strength work using just your bodyweight for resistance.) But having some bonus equipment at your disposal gives you more exercise options, allows you to add resistance as you get stronger, and gives your workouts more variety, so you (and your muscles) won’t get bored of the same old, same old routine.

Let’s start with the basics: Here are five pieces of home gym equipment to get your home gym started for less than 100 bucks. Plus, check out seven add-ons you can invest in if it makes sense for your space, budget, and fitness goals. And by the way, not everything on this list is an absolute must-have for everyone, because your home workout space should be customized to you. So don’t think of these items as a to-buy list; instead, choose what you invest in based on your own personal workout routine and habits.

Exercise Mat

Exercise Mat, $15

At the base level (literally), an exercise or yoga mat makes floor exercises way more comfortable, whether you’re doing abs work on your back or push-ups on your knees. Look for a thicker mat for more cushioning, especially if you’re working out on a hard floor. Plus, using a mat is a great way to make sure you’ve got at least one rectangle of workout-designated space. You can also bring your mat to the backyard or beach to take your workout outdoors.

Buy it: ProSource Extra Thick Exercise Mat, $15, amazon.com

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands, $6

“Resistance bands are great because they’re lightweight, inexpensive, and don’t take a lot of room to store,” says personal trainer and registered dietitian Nora Minno , C.P.T. 

Resistance bands are a great way to add an extra challenge to lower-body exercises, in particular. “These small but mighty bands can take your glute workout to the next level, [so] try some glute bridges, side squats, or clamshells with a band around your ankles or under the knees,” suggests Minno. (Here’s a 10-move resistance band butt workout to try.) The tighter the band is, the more challenging it is to work with.

Buy it: Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands, set of 5, $6 (originally $10), amazon.com


Kettlebell, $25

Kettlebells are a more versatile piece of equipment than you might think, and they’re great for working your muscles and getting your heart rate up. “You can do traditional kettlebell exercises such as kettlebell swings or Turkish get-ups, and you can also add them to traditional strength training workouts to switch it up,” suggests Minno. “For example, you can do a goblet squat with a kettlebell or do a walking lunge, passing the kettlebell underneath your front leg every time you step forward.”

Buy it: Yes4All 15-Pound Vinyl Coated Kettlebell, $25, amazon.com

MediumWeight Dumbbells

Set of Medium-Weight Dumbbells, $18

A set of dumbbells opens up a world of opportunity when it comes to at-home workouts: Use them to do isolated strength exercises like bicep curls, amp up the resistance by holding them during compound exercises like lunges, and more, says Minno. Not sure what weight to get? She suggests going for a medium set first. While this means different weights for different people depending on your fitness level, 8- to 10-pound dumbbells are good place to start. (Here’s how heavy your weights should feel .)

And while it’s great to have lighter weights around for exercises that target smaller muscle groups (like triceps extensions), you can get crafty without ’em if you’re on a budget. “Lighter exercises you can do with resistance bands or household items, like cans of soup or shampoo bottles,” says Minno. Heavier dumbbells are harder to replicate around the house, so they can be a more useful investment.

Buy it: AmazonBasics 8-Pound Neoprene Dumbbells, $18 (originally $25), amazon.com

Heavy Dumbbells

Set of Heavy Dumbbells, $31

Minno also recommends getting a heavier set of dumbbells to add extra challenge to workouts. You can use them in place of your medium-weight dumbbells when you’re doing exercises that work your bigger muscle groups (like squats or dumbbell deadlifts), since they can handle more load.

Having a heavier set of dumbbells around also allows you to progress exercises as you get stronger, even if you can’t do quite as many reps with 15-pound dumbbells as you can with 8-pound dumbbells (it’s more important to keep good form).

Buy it: AmazonBasics 15-Pound Neoprene Dumbbells, $31 (originally $44), amazon.com

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Adjustable Dumbbells

Alternate Option: Set of Adjustable Dumbbells, $49

If you’re looking for a more than a couple of pairs of dumbbells, consider an adjustable set. While they’re not quite as comfortable to hold on to as neoprene dumbbells (and it can be a little annoying to change the plates), they do give you more options when it comes to switching up the weight.

These ones range from 3 pounds (just one of the bars) to 38 pounds (between the two dumbbells). You can add on and take away weight plates for different exercises, and you can increase the weight you use as you get stronger.

Buy it: AmazonBasics 38-Pound Adjustable Weight Set with Case, $49, amazon.com

Light Dumbbells

Add-On: Light Dumbbells, $10

Sure, household items and resistance bands can take the place of light dumbbells, as Minno mentioned. But if you’ve got the space and the budget, a set of three- or five-pound dumbbells can round out your collection (if you’re not opting for adjustable dumbbells). Try putting one behind your knee during donkey kicks for added resistance, or hold on to them during standing cardio moves (like shadow boxing) for a little extra burn.

Buy it: AmazonBasics 3-Pound Neoprene Dumbbells, $10 (originally $13), amazon.com

FullLength Mirror

Add-On: Full-Length Mirror, $43

A full-length mirror isn’t particularly basic home gym equipment, but it can help you keep an eye on your form. “Checking your form throughout your workout is essential to prevent injuries and build strength properly,” says Minno. So if you’ve got the space and the budget, it’s one of the top home gym add-ons she’d recommend. (And if a mirror isn’t in the cards, just be especially mindful of your form during each exercise.)

Buy it: Crown Mark Floor Mirror, $43 (originally $45), amazon.com

Jump Rope

Add-On: Jump Rope, $6

There are plenty of ways to squeeze in equipment-free cardio at home (burpees, anyone?). But a jump rope is a fun throwback way to get your heart rate up—and fast. Plus, jumping rope works your arms, shoulders, core, and legs. Here’s a 10-minute jump rope workout to try. (If you’ve got low ceilings or downstairs neighbors, though, consider getting your cardio with a HIIT workout or circuit workout instead.)

Buy it: YZLSPORTS Adjustable Jump Rope, $6, amazon.com

TRX Suspension Training System

Add-On: TRX Suspension Training System, $145

While TRX fitness classes are a popular gym offering these days, the training system itself is actually designed for at-home workouts. If you’re looking to splurge, TRX straps can work your entire body with endless exercise options, from rows to suspended planks (here are 12 TRX moves to try ). All you need is a door, beam, tree, or post to anchor it to, so it’s great for getting a killer workout in when you’re traveling too.

Buy it: TRX All In One Suspension Training System, $145, amazon.com

Gliding Discs

Add-On: Gliding Discs, $9

Gliding discs , or gliders, are one of those training tools that are way more challenging than they look. You place them under your feet or hands during exercises like reverse lunges or plank-to-pikes (check out some examples here ). They’re so tough because you have to put pressure into the disc to keep it on the floor while you also move in a horizontal direction, and since they slide around, your muscles also have to work overtime to keep you stable (especially your core).

These ones can be used on carpet or hardwood, but if you’d rather DIY a pair of gliders, you can use dish towels, washcloths, or T-shirts on a hardwood floor for the same muscle-shaking effect.

Buy it: CHICMODA Gliding Discs Core Sliders, $9, amazon.com

Stability Ball

Add-On: Stability Ball, $20

While stability balls aren’t exactly compact gym equipment, they’re a great bonus (especially if you like doing at-home Pilates or yoga). They’re also an excellent way to work your abs, since they challenge your stability. Here’s a four-move stability ball workout that hits your core from every angle.

Buy it: Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit, $20, amazon.com

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The 9 Best At-Home Workout Essentials for the Perfect Home Gym

home workout essentials

Whether you're working from home, consumed by wedding planning , or don't even have a gym membership, it is still important to get your daily dose of physical activity in. Enter: the at-home gym!

Despite what you may think, you don't need fancy weight machines or group fitness classes to stay active and meet your health goals . Exercise can truly be done anywhere—and what better place than your home? Make your bedroom your yoga studio and your living room your weight room. And when you're done getting your sweat on, simply store your fitness items away.

If you feel intimated by exercising sans trainer (sometimes we all need professional guidance!), there are plenty of apps and streaming services to guide you through your workout. While some virtual classes don't require any equipment, most of the time a few weights and resistance bands can increase the intensity of the workout.

Read on for the best at-home workout essentials to get you moving.

Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat

Even if you aren't a yogi , a yoga mat is an essential item for every home gym! Whether you're saying namaste or pushing yourself through an intense core workout, this mat is extra thick and comfortable.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Mirror Home Gym

Courtesy of Mirror

If you’re looking to replicate the full gym experience in your home, Mirror can do it all. And we’re talking about bringing Equinox into your living room. Mirror is exactly what it sounds like: When not in use, mounted on your wall, it acts just like a reflective surface, but when it's on, it brings you endless personalized workouts.

Live and on-demand classes taught by expert instructors include cardio, strength, yoga, barre, Pilates, boxing and HIIT. The experience might be even more advanced than the standard hour at the gym! Mirror tracks your heart rate and optimizes in real-time based on your ability, goals, and preferences.

Price at time of publish: $1,495 for Mirror

Stephanie Gottlieb Wearable Ring Pouch

Courtesy of Stephanie Gottlieb

Even if you aren't going to the gym anymore, this wearable ring pouch is exactly what you need to keep your engagement ring and wedding band safe . It wears like a sweatband and features a zipper pouch to store your jewelry securely no matter what activity you are doing. Besides, who wants to get their diamond all sweaty?

Price at time of publish: $30

PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells

Courtesy of Amazon

If you aren't familiar with PowerBlocks already, prepare to have your mind blown. This set of dumbbells can adjust between 5 and 50 pounds (at 2.5-pound increments)—making it the only set of weights you need!

Gaiam Yoga Block

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

A yoga block is key to mastering all your yoga moves at home. This lightweight block comes in multiple colors and has beveled edges for easy gripping. It can be used to deepen stretches and poses and ensures proper posture.

Price at time of publish: $10

Yes4All Cast Iron Kettlebell Weights

Kettlebells are another at-home staple we love. This set of three cast-iron weights contains a 5, 10 and 15-pound weight. Kettlebells are also so versatile—swing them to build your back and arm muscles, hold them while squatting to strengthen your legs or mix them into your core routine.

CHICMODA Gliding Core Discs

Core sliders have the power to make any hard surface a gym floor. These little discs can really transform any workout by engaging and strengthening your core. Step up your mountain climbers, side lunges and reverse pikes with this little, budget-friendly gadget.

Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker

Exercise just feels incomplete without music so blast your favorite tunes with this powerful speaker by Bose. It's water-resistant, portable and has Bluetooth capabilities so you can listen to music all day long.

Price at time of publish: $119

Gaiam Restore 65 cm Strong Back Stability Ball Kit

Courtesy of Gaiam

Try an exercise ball if you want to improve your balance and increase your strength. Incorporate it into your routine with everything from pushups to sit-ups—it adds an extra layer of difficulty so you can get the most out of your workout. When not exercising, people often use the ball instead of a chair while at their desk to improve posture and burn more calories. Use the DVD that comes in the kit to help develop the perfect routine.

Price at time of publish: $25

Final Verdict

A comfortable, cushioned yoga mat like the Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat is a must-have, whether you're a seasoned yogi or just want to stretch before or after a workout. If you're looking to splurge on a piece of equipment that will truly bring the gym into your living room, we love the Mirror for the high-tech, interactive experience. And if you want to incorporate strength training into your routine but don't have a ton of space to spare, the PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells is a winning set.

What to Look for In At-Home Exercise Equipment

How much space it takes up.

Obviously, the first thing to consider is how much space you have available. Do you have a spare room or basement to turn into your home gym? Or are you bringing things in and out of a closet when you're ready to work out? Make sure that whatever items you have fit easily into your lifestyle—if it's too complicated or heavy to tote back and forth, chances are you won't use it regularly.

Home exercise equipment can run the gamut from pricey, high-tech Pelton bikes to inexpensive hand weights. You can get a great workout with simple items, but some people are inspired to spend more if the product offers added benefits like social interaction or guided coaching.

What Is the Best Home Exercise Equipment for Beginners?

Stability balls, resistance bands, jump ropes, and kettlebells are all easy tools to get started on a fitness routine. If you're trying something for the first time from home, make sure to stream a class or watch a Youtube video to learn how to use it properly and safely. And if you have underlying conditions, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor before making any big changes to your fitness routine.

Why trust Brides?

Maggie Kreienberg started as a digital producer and social media assistant, reporting on wedding-related celebrity news, fashion trends, and real weddings. She's currently the Associate Editor for Brides.

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The 41 Best Home Gym Equipment in 2023, According to a Fitness Director

This gear will make you never want to leave your personal fitness sanctuary.

home workout essentials

WHETHER YOU'RE a dedicated weight lifter, a super intense CrossFit acolyte, or a chilled-out yogi, it pays to have a reliable setup to take on your favorite workouts at home. You might not have the square footage or budget to create a space that replicates your go-to health club or weight room space, but you can make a little bit of gear go a long way if you're dedicated to the idea of getting your sweat on without walking out your front door.

The most important thing to consider when you go about picking your gear is getting the best options for your space and interests. Why pick out a random piece of equipment you'd never use? Don't be hoodwinked by special sales or flashy trends—opt for gear you've used before that you can see yourself turning to again and again. More importantly, only select stuff you already know you'll be able to store. Unless you do have room for a full-on garage gym dedicated only to your fitness plan, you're going to want to stow away your training space to transition back to general usage. (Here are 10 simple home gym hacks from Garage Gym Reviews expert Cooper Mitchell.)

NÜOBELL 80lb Classic

Best Premium Dumbbell

Smrtft nüobell 80lb classic.

Resistance Bands

Best Resistance Bands

Living.fit resistance bands.

AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench


Rep fitness ab-3100 adjustable weight bench.

REP 3 in 1 Soft Plyo Box

Best Plyo Boxes

Rep fitness rep 3 in 1 soft plyo box.

NordicTrack EXP 14i

Best Treadmill

Nordictrack nordictrack exp 14i.

Normatec Go


Hyperice normatec go.

Studio Mirror


Lululemon studio mirror.

EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

Best Floor Tiles

Prosourcefit eva foam interlocking tiles.

Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Best Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept2 model d indoor rowing machine.

Compact Gym


Tempo move compact gym.

From traditional heavy lifting (we love these 12 barbell sets and these 16 weight benches ) to HIIT workouts (this 15-minute interval workout is sure to make you sweat) to full-on indoor cardio rigs (here are our picks for the best indoor rowing machines , as well as the best ellipticals ), there's something out there for every type of training imaginable. All you have to do is find the right stuff and make an investment in yourself— like this guy , who, at 63, changed up his workout and diet to get absolutely ripped. Ready to upgrade your home gym space? Here are 56 can't-miss pieces, with picks that will work for just about every type of space and style of training. For an even deeper dive, check out our 2023 Men's Health Home Gym Awards for some of the most highly-rated pieces.

Best Fitness Gifts for Men | Best Treadmills | Best Rowing Machines | Best Exercise Bikes | Best Adjustable Dumbbells | Best Massage Guns | Best Weight Benches | Best Barbell Weight Set | Best Foam Rollers | Best Pull Up Bars | Best Resistance Bands | Best Air Bikes

“ SMRTFT’s Nüobell is the perfect ultra-durable adjustable dumbbell I need. It can easily be five pounds, perfect for warmup work, or 80 pounds, enough to challenge me on heavy leg moves.” — ERIC SUNG, C.S.C.S.

These steady, sturdy resistance bands , made of durable latex, can lighten the load on challenging bodyweight exercises like pullups or add more challenge to squats and bench presses.

Few weight benches combine sturdiness, comfort, and versatility like this one from Rep Fitness, which offers six different incline angles and a three-post design, anchoring it to the floor no matter the exercise.

Plyo box workouts can be incredibly effective, but the boxes themselves can take up space. This one from Rep Fitness has 3 vinyl-covered plyo boxes (16 inches, 20 inches, 24 inches) that are soft but sturdy.

The EXP line of treadmills are specifically designed for at-home use and are NordicTrack's most customizable and smartest machines. Key features include the ActivePulse™ heart rate monitor and AutoAdjust™ technology that automates speed and incline adjustments throughout your workout. The EXP 14i is driven by a powerful 3.5 continuous horsepower motor with speeds up to 12 MPH as well as a wide decline/incline range from -3% to 12%. In addition to the commercial-grade motor and tread belt, this model has a 14-inch HD touchscreen display with live iFit classes.

Beyond its capable specs is its solid build and intuitive controls. We found that its belt (which isn't too narrow or wide) and base could hold steady when used by bigger guys up to 300 pounds. Plus the FlexSelect Cushioning absorbs some of the impact from your strides, making it easier for your knees, and makes for a quieter running experience (your downstairs neighbors will thank you). Meanwhile the touchscreen display is flanked by quick key buttons to speed and incline, instead of repeatedly pressing a button.

“Out with big, bulky air- compression boots and in with these ultra-slim sleeves. They still stimulate the lower body blood flow I need, but they store more easily—and travel great, too.” —EBENEZER SAMUEL, C.S.C.S., MH FITNESS DIRECTOR.

The venerable 43-inch, full-HD-display unit has evolved: You can now take part in 10,000-plus workouts from eight fitness studios, including Rumble, Dogpound, and Pure Barre, all from the comfort of your own home.

Protect your floors—not to mention your joints—with these non-toxic foam tiles. Whether you’re throwing around weights or a judo partner, a home gym floor mat provides a safe surface for your home workouts.

The Concept2 RowErg is the standard by which all rowing machines are measured, a device that can redline your heart rate in minutes and is perfect for strengthening hips, glutes, back, and abs.

Tempo’s tiny unit fits in the corner of any living room or family room. Open it and you instantly get enough weight to get started on your fitness journey–and access to a host of beginner-friendly workout classes.

Omorpho G-VEST+


Add up to ten pounds of resistance without the bulk and bounce that come with a typical weight vest . Omorpho’s GVest+ fits tightly to your body while still letting you move, whether you’re running sprints or doing pushups and burpees.

Forme Studio Fitness Mirror

Fitness Mirror

This fitness mirror is all about aesthetic, meant to look beautiful in your living room (or any room really), yet it delivers the cable resistance of a Tonal, and one of the best triceps pressdown ropes you’ve ever used.

Peloton Row


“Peloton’s take on the rower delivers the smooth rowing experience I want, while offering a massive library of workouts. The Peloton Row has helped make rowing exciting.” — DAVID OTEY, C.S.C.S., MH ADVISOR.

Hyperwear Hyper Vest Tactical Weighted Vest

Hyper Vest Tactical Weighted Vest

There are multipurpose weight vests and then there’s this heavy-duty unit from Hyperwear, which gets you nearly a full weight plate (up to 42 pounds) of resistance.

Hyperwear Hyper Rope Battle Ropes

Hyper Rope Battle Ropes

Unlike most battle ropes, Hyperwear’s does not need to be anchored to a post, but it still lets you attack battle-rope moves like slams, waves, and shuffles.

TRX Tactical Gym

Tactical Gym

“TRX’s Tactical Gym makes basic bodyweight moves like pushups and mountain climbers that much more challenging because of instability. It’s changed my workouts and helped me add serious core strength.” — BEN COURT, MH EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage

810XLT Super Max Power Cage

This cage is a #1 best seller on Amazon. It has 19 adjustable height levels and an 800 pound weight capacity. Plus, it's super affordable.

Lululemon The Reversible (Un) Mat

The Reversible (Un) Mat

You don't have to be into a yin slow flow or a vinyasa expert to make a yoga mat useful at home. Use this top-notch option from Lululemon for abs and basic stretching, too.

MRCOOL 12K BTU Mini Split

12K BTU Mini Split

The ultimate in climate control for your garage gym, Mr. Cool’s mini-split is easy to install and features wireless controls. Perfect for any home gym space.

Lasko Pro Ceramic Utility Heater

Pro Ceramic Utility Heater

Super basic, but surprisingly powerful, this 1,500-watt space heater (good enough for 300-square feet) has a high and low setting (and fan only) and an adjustable thermostat. Aim it at your weights and kettlebells and at least your hands won't freeze on polar training days.

Headshot of Ebenezer Samuel,  C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.  

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Build Your Own Iron Paradise With These Home Gym Essentials

Looking to build your dream training space check out our list of the home gym essentials worth considering..

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Many lifters dream of having a dedicated training space to call their own, set up to their exact specifications, and brimming with only the finest pieces of equipment. Well, owning your own home gym doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. Sure, it’ll take some budgeting and planning, but like training itself, building a home gym is a lengthy endeavor that pays for itself over time.

Owning a home gym is convenient , cost-effective in the long run, and more private. Better yet, if you train for a specific sport, you can outfit your home with only the equipment you need. For most home gyms, you’ll want a weight rack, a versatile barbell, a solid weight bench, and a set of weight plates at the minimum. Other pieces of equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, plyo boxes, and cardio machines can be essential too depending on how you like to work out. Of course, you need to know where to start, which is why we’ve curated a list of home gym essentials to get you started.

Home Gym Essentials 

Weight rack, weight plates, resistance bands, training bench, cardio machines.

If you’re a strength athlete , then a power rack is like the dining room table of your home gym. That is, it’s the centerpiece, where you and your fellow muscle mavens will gather to squat , press, and deadlift every weight plate you own. A weight rack is what supports your barbell so that you can hoist it for all sorts of lifts.

But a high quality weight rack should do more than hold your barbell in place for sets of bench press and squats . If you want, you should have the option to add extras such as dipping bars , cable pulleys , and extra plate storage. The right weight rack can and should serve as the hub for your training session. 

Whether you’re a strongman , powerlifter , or CrossFitter , you undoubtedly squat and bench press — and you need a rack to do those movements. But you may as well get something you can customize for your training endeavors. 

Our Favorite Weight Racks

Because everyone has different space requirements and needs, you’ll need options when it comes to weight racks. Below, we’ve compiled three choices — a traditional garage-friendly power rack, a foldable rack , and a squat stand. 

Force USA MyRack

This customizable and sturdy power rack from Force USA can make a great centerpiece for your home gym. The rack is constructed from laser-cut 12-gauge steel and can support up to 2,000 pounds. Force USA offers a variety of attachments to increase the versatility of the rack too with options like a cable crossover , landmine , lat pulldown , and more. You can choose between a red, black, or blue powder coat to match your gym’s color scheme. Pick one up with a lifetime warranty starting at about $499.99 (plus tax and possible shipping charges). 

Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack

This power rack is sturdy, can support 2,000 pounds, and can hold various accessories such as band pegs and dip bars. You can also add a cable pulley system and lat pulldown machine to really get the most out of your gym. 

The MyRack can do just about anything you ask of it with over 20 attachments available. The design is sturdy and the price is affordable, which makes this a great option for a home gym environment.

Read our full review of the Force USA MyRack .

REP PR-4100 Folding Rack

Say you want to own a power rack but also be able to park your car — well, that’s not a crazy ask, and there’s a rack for that. Our favorite space-saver is the REP PR-4100 folding rack, which is made from top-quality 11-gauge steel. That steel is shaped into 3×3 inch uprights giving this rack a 1,000-pound weight capacity and the ability to use a variety of attachments from REP and other manufacturers. It comes in two depths — 21.5 inches and 41 inches — which come six inches and 24 inches off the wall (respectively) when folded closed. The only downside is that it’s only available in black. The REP PR-4100 starts at about $499.99 before taxes with free shipping.

REP PR-4100 Folding Wall Mount Squat & Power Rack

The PR-4100 comes in two sizes — the 21.5” and the 41”. Both options fold into the wall when not in use thanks to four heavy-duty pull-pins, which can save users a lot of space. 

This rack is easy to set up and fold away, heavy-duty, and compatible with a ton of attachments. REP obviously designed this rack with a home gym owner with limited space in mind. The bottom of the uprights even have protective caps to prevent damage to your floor when unfolding or closing the rack.

Rogue SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand

It’s a squat stand by name, but Rogue’s Lite Squat Stand can really support any compound movements like overhead pressing and bench pressing in addition to squats. This stand only weighs in at 166 pounds but can support 1,000 pounds of weight, which is pretty incredible. Because it’s so light, you can easily move it around your home gym. If you don’t want to buy a more cumbersome power rack and don’t want a wall-mounted rack, then the Lite Squat Stand is a solid compromise. You get the support and the mobility . 

Rogue SML-2 Monster Lite Squat Stand

Rogue's squat stand has a pull-up bar, comes with spotter arms, and is light enough (166 pounds) to move around at will.

At 92 inches tall and 49 inches wide, this mobile squat stand can support over a grand of weight, which is a lot. One note about this product: It’s not ideal if you bench press alone. You can bench press on this rack, but you’ll need to take the spotter arms off, and then you’re in trouble if you go heavy. 

Kettlebells offer a unique array of benefits for home gym owners: They’re compact and versatile, and you only really need one to perform dynamic flows . Compared to barbells and dumbbells, they can be more easily swung and tossed around for ballistic, power-building movements.

Even if you’re not a kettlebell sport athlete, you can benefit from the power-building prowess of these funky-shaped tools. Swing a heavy bell for more hip strength , or swing and clean a lighter bell as a quick cardio finisher . You can even string specific kettlebell movements together to create a full-body flow.

Our Favorite Kettlebells

Like most of the equipment on this list, kettlebells don’t need to be fancy or frilly to be effective. When choosing a kettlebell , you need to ensure it’s balanced, easy to grip, and can handle a drop (because you will, at some point, drop your kettlebell mid-snatch ). It’s best to stick with a trusted brand that prioritizes high-quality construction over aesthetics. 

Onnit Kettlebells

Onnit kettlebells offer quite a few upsides for athletes. They look sharp, they have a solid grip , and they’re well-balanced. The powder coat is chip-resistant and grips well both with and without chalk . Onnit uses a unique forging process called gravity casting, which results in a more durable bell that can last a lifetime. The gravity casting process produces a more consistent weight distribution as well since it forms the kettlebell in just one piece (instead of two), which makes the kettlebells better balanced and more durable. These are available in weights from four kilograms to 32 kilos in six-kilo jumps.

Onnit color codes the handles on their kettlebells too, so you know exactly which weight you’re grabbing. This can make transitions both quicker and easier. The price on these is reasonable for home gym owners starting at about $32.95 before tax and possible shipping charges.

Onnit Kettlebell

Onnit makes a quality cast iron kettlebell that is affordable, color-coded, and durable. The powder-coat finish is durable and consistent. It's the perfect starter kettlebell and also one experienced users will get great use out of, time and time again.

Read our full review of Onnit Kettlebells .

A barbell needs to be grasped with both hands, but dumbbells offer single-sided versatility. Even if you’re lifting two dumbbells at once, your muscles work independently to support these singular weights. Or, you can perform unilateral movements such as dumbbell rows to increase your overall capacity and target one side of your body at a time. 

When it comes to dumbbells, you can buy pairs of them at specific weights or go for an adjustable pair of dumbbells . Buying separate pairs of dumbbells is more expensive, but, like bumper plates, they’re more durable and available in heavier weights. Adjustable dumbbells offer up an average weight range from five to 55 pounds. So you save a lot of money compared to buying each set of dumbbells in five-pound increments. However, they’re typically made from less resilient plastic and top out in the high 50s to low 60s for weight. 

Our Favorite Dumbbells

On this list, we opt for non-adjustable dumbbells. If you have barbells and weight plates, then a wide range of weights isn’t as much of a concern, so you may as well opt for quality over quantity. 

Living Fit Hex Dumbbells

These dumbbells are a modern take on the classic hex dumbbell with some notable upgrades. A moderately knurled handle for better grip and rubber coating around the ends of the dumbbells to protect your home gym floors are included. These dumbbells are less likely to roll away on you thanks to the hexagonal shape and even make doing chest presses easier.

Living Fit priced these dumbbells well for home gym owners, with a standard five to 50-pound set coming in at $1099.00 plus tax with free shipping. If that’s too light, they have dumbbell sets up to 100 pounds too. The weight tolerance is somewhat generous at +/- 3 percent, but for the quality and price, these are a score for anyone looking to add dumbbells to their workout space. 

Living.Fit Hex Dumbbells

These hex dumbbells from Living Fit come with an etched, knurled, grip, and durable rubber cap to help you hold them and protect your floors. Available in weights from 5lb up to 100lb, they’ve got what you need to progress along your fitness journey.

Read our full review of Living.Fit Hex Dumbbells .

A high quality barbell is a bridge between you and the weight that needs lifting. Without one, you can’t perform deadlifts, bench presses, and barbell rows . If a weight rack is your dining room table, the barbell is your chair. One is essentially useless without the other. 

When it comes to picking a barbell , you need to factor in quality, durability, and the type of barbell. Typically, weightlifters want a barbell equipped with bearings that allow for more spin of the sleeves. When performing a dynamic movement like the clean and jerk and snatch, you want the weight to spin separately from the bar so the hand positioning can be easily adjusted. On the other hand, powerlifters performing heavy deadlifts , squats, and bench presses don’t want the bar to spin as this can cause instability . 

Regardless of the barbell you choose , you want to know it’s durable — otherwise, you’ll be looking for a new bar in a couple of years. 

Our Favorite Barbell

This weightlifting bar is made from high-quality steel alloy and has a unique bearing system. Any lifter will appreciate it and find it both utilitarian and useful.

X Training Elite Competition 2.0 Barbell

A barbell in a home gym needs to be able to stand up to heavy daily use and oftentimes a variety of temperatures . This bar from X Training has a black chrome coat to help prevent rust and is made from top-notch steel alloy. 

On top of that, it can handle nearly anything you throw at it with a high tensile strength of 215,000 PSI and bronze bushings. It features both powerlifting and weightlifting knurl marks and a medium amount of whip.

X Training Elite Competition Barbell

The X Training Elite Competition Barbell has a 215,000 PSI tensile strength, and features medium, dual knurl marks. This bar is made with alloy steel and has a black chrome finish — plus, its oil-impregnated bronze bushings provide a great spin.

The spin and whip are both moderate, so weightlifters will be happy with the ease of turnover , but powerlifters won’t feel off balance from too much sleeve rotation. X Training includes a lifetime warranty and priced this bar at a friendly $229 before tax with free shipping. The Elite Competition 2.0 Barbell is a steal for your home gym and is available in 20kg and 15kg options .

Read our full review of the X Training Elite Competition 2.0 Barbell .

Weight plates are what you load onto your barbell (and your loadable dumbbell and kettlebell handles if you have those) to increase the weight you’re lifting. When assessing weight plates, you want to make sure the weights are accurate and the build is durable enough to hold up if you drop them.

There are two main types of weight plates — bumper plates and traditional weight plates , typically made from iron or steel. The former is more expensive but coated with rubber or urethane to protect both the plate and your floor. (That said, we don’t suggest dropping bumper plates on the ground for fun unless you have a platform ). Iron plates are more affordable and differ in diameter, which means they’re less cumbersome to store. But they don’t have that protective rubber coating.

Simply put: You likely won’t be able to progress without a set of weight plates. You’ll want to lift more weight over time to get bigger and stronger , so these are a must-buy.

Our Favorite Weight Plates

They’re more expensive, but bumper plates are generally more durable and better protect your floor, and these are color-coded to help you more easily identify weights at a glance. 

Again / Faster Crumb Bumper Plates

Weight plates are pretty straightforward at first glance, but there’s more than meets the eye. These plates have the steel collars co-molded into the rubber of the plates for better longevity and durability. They are also made to IWF size standards, which competitive weightlifters will appreciate. Being made from 100 percent recycled, vulcanized crumb rubber these plates offer less noise than traditional bumper plates but do bounce more.

Again Faster Crumb Bumper Plates

Again / Faster Crumb Bumper Plates are made from 100 percent recycled vulcanized rubber and built to last. These tough bumpers are a great value thanks to their durability and engineering. 

Again Faster color-coded these plates with flecks throughout the plates to make what weight you’re lifting easy to identify. Crumb bumper plates offer some of the best durability of all weight plates which is why they’re used in most CrossFit gyms where they take a beating daily and keep going. If you decide to pick these up for your gym, you can expect them to last for many years with proper care.

Resistance bands offer a more unique challenge than any other tool can provide. Because of their elastic makeup, a lifter’s muscle is challenged throughout an exercise’s full range of motion. Take barbell curls as an example. A barbell is heaviest at the furthest point away from the body — mid-way. The biceps muscle is relaxed at the bottom of the lift and the very top. Bands, however, are taught throughout, so the biceps are always active. 

Bands are either lifted or looped around an implement to provide what’s called accommodating resistance . This reverses the resistance curve of a lift to train the muscles in the opposite pattern of what they’re used to, which can lead to some great gains. Bands are also a great way to bump up the intensity of bodyweight movements like banded push-ups . Ideally, you want a band that can do both. That said, bands for lifting are also often equipped with wanted extras, and bands are cheap enough that you can own a pile of them without really breaking the bank.

Our Favorite Resistance Band 

We like Living Fit’s resistance bands because they come both individually and in sets, which can save you money — something that’s always important when putting together a home gym. Aside from that, they’re well-made and durable bands that are unlikely to lose tension with use.

Living Fit Resistance Bands Set

Living Fit’s resistance bands are made from natural rubber latex and come in six different resistance ranges from five pounds up to 200 pounds. The resistances are listed as the amount from the start to most resistance the band applies, which is a welcome departure from the fixed resistances that most other brands list. For example, the green band offers tension resistance of 50 pounds to 125 pounds depending on how much the band is stretched.

Living Fit Resistance Bands Set

Living Fit makes their resistance bands from natural rubber latex. They’re available in six different tension ranges from five pounds all the way up to 200 pounds and are sold both individually and in sets. Add some variety to your workouts or have more thorough warmups with a set of resistance bands from Living Fit.

Living Fit offers their bands individually or in a set of four or all six. The set of four is reasonably priced at $79.99 while the full set of sex will cost you $199.99. The bands included in the set of four are the red from five pounds to 35 pounds, 30-60 pounds, 40-80 pounds, and 50-125 pounds. The six-pack adds the final two strongest bands of 60-175 pounds and 70-200 pounds.

A training bench is a support system. You can lay on it for lifts, prop your feet and hands on it to angle your body, and use it as a step for step-ups. Adding a training bench to your home gym expands your training possibilities. 

For one, you can’t train horizontal presses — i.e., the dumbbell bench press and dumbbell pullover — through a full range of motion on the floor . And if you’re a competitive powerlifter , you need a bench to train the bench press. You can also lay belly down to better isolate your lats with chest-supported rows . 

Your training sessions will benefit big time from owning a training bench, and so will your gains. Also, this isn’t the area you want to cheap out either, since you’ll presumably be hoisting hundreds of pounds while planted on the bench. Weight capacity is a big factor here.

Our Favorite Training Bench

Versatile, durable, and affordable — our favorite home gym training bench isn’t one you’d likely find at a commercial gym . That’s because the needs of a home gym owner are different and versatility reigns supreme. The MyBench from Force USA can do nearly anything you need.

Force USA MyBench

The Force USA MyBench is the pinnacle of versatility for a weight bench, making it a great choice for home gyms. In a few moments, you can go from flat, incline, or decline benching to using a leg developer , doing decline sit-ups , or even preacher curls . The back pad has a wide degree of movement available from -25 degrees to 75 degrees. Force USA even includes a set of wheels to allow for easy rearranging.

The weight capacity of 705 pounds should be sufficient for most people (except elite powerlifters who are benching in the 400+ pound range). No need to worry about longevity either as this bench comes with a lifetime structural warranty. The MyBench can be had for around $399.99 plus tax with free shipping. 

Force USA MyBench

The Force USA MyBench comes with flat, incline, and decline settings, and also offers preacher curl and leg extension attachments. Though versatile, this bench still comes at a very affordable price. 

Read our full review of the Force USA MyBench .

Cardio is important for heart health , and as a way to burn more calories for potentially speedier fat loss . Sure, you could jog outside , but for serious runners or CrossFit athletes, outdoor cardio doesn’t always cut it. And then what do you do if it’s raining outside?

Owning a solid piece of cardio equipment can also encourage you to train more. Stepping onto a treadmill with built-in classes is way more motivating than talking yourself into lacing up your running shoes and pounding the pavement. Also, other machines such as a rower are both a full-body workout and competition-specific for fitness athletes .

Our Favorite Cardio Machines

We like exercise bikes and battle ropes, but a rower and treadmill are two of the most classic and popular options. Here are the top models to consider.

Concept2 Model D

The name “Concept2” has become synonymous with rowers. Their Model D is effective and basic. It is 96 inches long and 24 inches wide and weighs 57 pounds. Concept2 suggests having at least a nine by four-foot space to use the rower. It’s equipped with a PM5 performance monitor to track all relevant data — calories burned, wattage, meters rowed, and your splits. When you’re done torching calories, you can stand it up to save space.

Concept2 Model D

The Concept2 Rower is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and a nifty monitor to track meters rowed and calories burned.

With an adjustable fan, comfortable, ergonomic handle, and PM5 monitor, the Concept2 Model D rower is a trusted piece of equipment that can level up your cardio sessions . 

Read our full review of the Concept2 Model D .

NordicTrack Commerical 1750

On the technical side, NordicTrack’s Commerical 1750 boasts adjustable cushioning — to help minimize joint impact or mimic outdoor runs — and decline capabilities down to negative three percent. When you purchase this treadmill, you also get a free one-year iFit membership (valued at $458), so you can add classes to your running routine. 

NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill

The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 comes with a year of free streaming classes and boasts adjustable cushioning to help minimize joint impact and replicate outdoor terrain.

If you’re looking for a product that has it all, The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is durable, packed with technology , and will keep your runs interesting for years to come.

Read our full review of the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 .

A plyo box is a bit more specific than other pieces of equipment on this list, but it’s a must-have for athletes and fitness competitors, like CrossFitters. Box jumps , for example, are a move often seen in CrossFit competitions. They’re also a popular exercise among athletes who want to up their hops and improve lower body power. 

Beyond box jumps, you can also use a plyo box to sit onto for box squats , step on, jump over, or test a bunch of push-up variations . Plyo boxes are also one of the most affordable essentials you can stock your gym with — plus, they’re lightweight and, for the most part, portable. While buying a weight rack is a serious financial investment , you can rest a bit easier knowing a plyo box will not leave your bank account full of dents. 

Our Favorite Plyo box

This plyo box has three different jump heights built into one unit to stretch your dollar even further. It also boasts a high weight capacity thanks to a reinforced design, so weighted movements are possible here. 

REP Fitness 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Box

The 3-in-1 design allows you to change from one height to another quickly and easily by simply turning the box to a different side. Each box has three different heights that correspond to sitting on different sides with four options available. The small measures 12 x 1 4 x 16 inches while the in-between is 16 x 18 x 20 inches. Opt for the medium and receive a box of 16 x 20 x 24 inches. And finally, the large measures 20 x 24 x 30 inches.

REP 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Box

The REP Fitness 3-in-1 boxes offer three different heights depending on which side of the box you lay down. Their sturdy, interlocking design allows for a 400 pound weight capacity and their affordable price make them a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality plyometric box.

The weight capacity on these boxes is quite high at 400 pounds, with pre-drilled holes and interlocking joints to thank for that. They’re affordable too starting at $60 and ranging up to $120 (for the larger boxes) plus tax and possible shipping charges. REP ships these with all the necessary hardware, but you’ll need a drill to complete the assembly (which should only take around 20 minutes).

Other Nice-to-Haves

Once you’ve built a solid foundation, you may want to add to your iron paradise. 

Here are a few other pieces you should consider buying for your home gym.

You can squat these, load them onto platforms (like Atlas stones ), and throw them for an explosive workout. Compared to medicine balls , slam balls don’t bounce back and can be as heavy as 100 pounds. 

Check out these high quality slam balls .

If cardio is a consideration and not a priority, then you’re probably not going to shell out for a rower or treadmill. A jump rope, on the other hand, is affordable and effective. Plus, you’ll build a stellar pair of calves in the process. 

Check out these jump ropes .

Grip Strengtheners

Hoisting a barbell or heavy kettlebell and dumbbell will improve your grip, but targeted grip work can really amplify your ability to clutch. If you’re a powerlifter or strongman, then you may want (or even need) grip strength beyond what simply lifting can provide. 

Check out these grip strengtheners .

Compared to a traditional barbell, a trap bar is a different type of bar  and has the lifter stand inside the cage, so they’re centered next to the weight. This allows for more efficient movement mechanics. The perpendicular handles mean the lifter maintains neutral wrists — which is a more natural and comfortable position. As a result, you’ll be able to lift more weight more effectively with a trap bar for various exercises .

Check out these trap bars .

Weight Holders

Storage is a vital component of a home gym. That said, you can always store a barbell on your power rack (make sure it’s unloaded), rest your dumbbells in the corner, and most racks come with plate storage. Of course, if you buy more plates, barbells, and dumbbells, you’re going to need a dedicated place to store them. There are a variety of weight trees, dumbbell racks, and barbell holders you can buy. Not only are they handy, but they also look pretty cool. 

Check out these great weight racks .

Benefits of Home Gym Essentials

When building out a home gym, it’s usually best to pick up all the essentials and cover your bases first. With just a few pieces of carefully selected and versatile equipment, you can vary your workouts greatly to whatever you’re feeling that day or training for.

Cover Your Bases

If you’re putting together your first home gym or revising an existing one it can be difficult to resist the temptation of all the cool niche pieces of equipment . If you don’t cover your bases and purchase the basics first, you might be left with a ton of neat equipment and no way to use it.

Person wearing a blue t-shirt and grey shorts placing their traps under a loaded barbell set in a power rack

Having a decked-out power rack with tons of attachments is awesome but if you don’t have a barbell and weight plates it might become a very expensive clothes rack. Check the pieces off on your list that have the highest utility that you’ll be using every day multiple times rather than pieces that have a single use. This will ensure that you can make it to our next bullet point.

Varied Workouts

One of the beautiful things about having your own home gym is that you can design it to function for whatever type of workout you want to perform. If you’re just starting out, it’s usually a good idea to select equipment that can be used in many different types of workouts. Barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and racks can all be used for strength training sure, but they can also be used for interval training , endurance , stability , and so on.

A person working out with battle ropes.

With a rather simple setup, you can efficiently train for CrossFit, powerlifting, weightlifting, and bodybuilding. Strongman training might take more specialized equipment so it might be best to wait on those until after you’ve purchased most of the essentials.

How We Chose the Best Home Gym Essentials

Building out a home gym is all about getting the best bang for your buck in terms of both money and utility. We selected pieces that can be used for a wide range of disciplines and ranked pieces of equipment higher that will see more frequent use . Essentials that are efficient with the space they occupy and the value you provide also ranked more favorably on our list.

Frequency of Use

An essential is something that you need to perform a given task. To have a solid workout, you’ll likely need at least a bar, some weights, and a rack. On top of that, some dumbbells , kettlebells, a weight bench, and cardio machines are ideal to ensure a comprehensive fitness setup. These are all products that you’ll use almost every time you work out (if not every single time). We ranked items that we use every time we’re in our gym higher up on the list, so you have the most use and return for what you’re spending and putting in your gym to take up precious space.

Not everyone has a spare three-car garage to turn into a mini commercial gym , though we wish that were true. Most of us are working with a relatively tight space for all the sweet equipment we want and constantly thinking about how to rearrange it to fit in that one new piece we absolutely have to have this month. That’s why we placed an emphasis on home gym essentials that aren’t going to take up half your space with one single-use machine. There are some larger items on this list, but we think they’re versatile enough to justify it or worth dedicating the space to.   

We get it. Outfitting a home gym can be costly and downright expensive. We tried to keep that in mind when selecting the items on our list. There are some things you can save on and some things that we would rather spend the money on upfront and not have to worry about buying again for a long time.

Muscular person working out in the gym.

There is a range of prices for the equipment listed, and we selected our favorites for each type. The items listed aren’t always the cheapest, nor are they the most expensive. We tried to keep value at the forefront when selecting the quintessential pieces of home gym equipment that we think everyone should own.

How Much Do Home Gym Essentials Cost?

Home gym essentials have a veritable Grand Canyon width of price ranges from relatively inexpensive pickups (like resistance bands and chalk) to centerpieces and heavy-use machines (like power racks and treadmills). The prices of essentials are all relative to the particular type of equipment we’re talking about with racks, plates, and cardio machines being the most expensive generally and resistance bands being the most cost-effective. The rest of the items fall somewhere in the middle.

As this table shows, there is quite a range of home gym essentials prices, and equipping your home gym sufficiently can become costly rather quickly. We did try to select more cost-effective options for each category to make this process at least a little less painful in the wallet area. For these items, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $30 to $2,300, depending on the piece you’re selecting.

What to Consider Before Buying Home Gym Essentials

Your home gym is only as great as the sum of its parts. There are, of course, singular home gym machines you can buy that promise to replace multiple pieces of equipment. That’s not a bad route to go down, but buying multiple pieces to stock your gym with offers more customization and specificity — which matters if you compete in a particular strength sport. Also, there’s some pride associated with taking time to curate pieces of equipment over time. You’ll end up with a gym that is uniquely yours — and that’s pretty cool. Here’s how we evaluated the pieces of equipment above.

You’ll notice we don’t say “price,” and that’s because many of the picks above aren’t cheap relative to other selects in the same category. That’s by design. See, we define value as how far your dollar stretches. Sure, some of these picks are pricier than you may like, but many of them come with lifetime warranties, so you’re only going to have to spend on them once. Can you buy a more affordable barbell? Sure, but then what happens when lifting chalk mucks up the bearings beyond repair, and you find yourself shelling out for another bar two years later?

There’s a saying in the home gym community — “buy once, cry once” — meaning you purchase the more expensive and higher quality option and only have to do so one time rather than buying replacements every time a cheaper or less well-made option breaks.

Home gym set up

Of course, not everyone can spend a lot up front, and many of these products are priced within normal market value. That said, buying a rack or kettlebell or barbell that’s a bit more than you kind find elsewhere but is built to last forever may actually be a better value in the long run. 


Not one of these home gym essentials is all show and no go. We ensure that every product on this list is built with performance being the number one priority. You’ll recognize a lot of brand names on this list, and that’s because they’ve proven to build outstanding products. The kettlebells on this list are designed to take chalk better for a more optimal grip; all three squat racks are built from durable, high-quality steel. The rower is the same model used in past CrossFit Games . If you buy a tool from this list, you can be sure that it will work well and last a long time.

The products you need for a home gym are different than what a commercial gym needs. The chances are high that even if you have a dedicated training space, it also serves as an office, garage, basement, or guest room. For that reason, it’s important that the equipment on this list either doesn’t take up a lot of room (i.e., dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands) or can be folded up and easily stored (i.e., the rower and power rack). Almost all of the picks on this list are space-friendly. 


If you’re building your home gym piece by piece, you need to ensure that everything works together. You can’t own a barbell without weights to load on it or a rack to support it. And what use is a bench without dumbbells to hoist? These aren’t the only tools you may want for a home, but they’re called essentials for a reason — any gym worth its weight has at least most of these items. In combination, they allow you to hit the most complete workout and hit a variety of types of exercises. 

Having a home gym can provide a variety of benefits . It might help you stay more consistent since you spent all the time, effort, and money building it. Whether it’s in your garage, basement, spare room or backyard, it will still be much more convenient than driving to a commercial gym — plus, you can show up in whatever you want (even your pajamas), and no one is there to judge you except yourself.

It can be quite a daunting process to select the right equipment and know what to prioritize. Our intention in making this comprehensive essentials list is to help remove some of the noise and hype while getting down to basics. Sure, you don’t need every single piece of equipment in this article, but it’s a great jumping-off point to help organize yourself, and maybe even familiarize yourself with some products you didn’t know about before. Figure out what is most important to the types of workouts you perform, set your budget, and map out your space before making any large purchases, and you’ll have a home gym that works for you in no time.

What should I consider before building out my home gym?

There are three main factors to consider before building a home gym: Space, functionality, and budget.

What's the best rack I can buy for my home gym?

That depends on what you’re using the rack for and the amount of space you have. If you’re working out in a spacious garage, the Rogue RML-390F Monster Lite Rack is a robust choice. If you need more space, then Rogue’s RML-3WC Wall Mount Rack folds inward and outward. Or, Rogue’s Lite Squat Stand is light enough to move around often, but can also support 1,000 pounds as a free-standing rack.

How much do home gym essentials cost?

This is a tricky one because there isn’t a straightforward answer. Each category of equipment has its own price range, and home gym essentials, in general, can range in price widely from as low as $40 to thousands of dollars for larger pieces (like power racks, cardio machines, and weight plate sets).

We did our best to select high-quality pieces of equipment that were still cost-effective, so you can outfit your space with a variety of equipment rather than blowing your entire budget on one thing.

Is there any reason I should choose standard plates over bumper plates?

Yes. Iron plates are cheaper per pound than bumper plates. Also, if you own a loadable kettlebell handle or dumbbell handles, iron plates are compatible with those tools.

Home Workout: Equipment You Need

Benefits of home workouts.

Home workouts have some great benefits over going to the gym. You don't need to spend time travelling to the gym, and you'll save money that you would have spent on a gym membership, which can average at around $50 a month.

If you feel anxious about going to the gym or self-conscious about exercising in front of other people, home workouts are a good alternative option. You can exercise with privacy in the comfort of a familiar space and don't need to wait your turn to use gym equipment.

If you work remotely or otherwise spend a lot of time at home, home workouts are highly convenient. You can simply hop from your computer to your designated workout space after logging off for the day.

Creating a Home Workout Space

Before exercising at home or buying any home workout equipment, set aside some space for working out. The space can be anywhere from your bedroom to the basement, but it should motivate you to exercise rather than making it feel like a chore. 

Add heaters to warm up cold spaces and use paints and posters to brighten up dull areas. Putting up posters of motivational quotes or pictures may be helpful. Keep a towel and fan nearby for sweat and consider buying a chalkboard so you can write down exercise regimes to follow. 

Equipment-Free Home Workouts

If you're on a strict budget, there are some home workouts you can do without any equipment.

Common cardio exercises include:

It's best to combine three to four of these cardio exercises with three equipment-free strength training exercises two or more days a week, such as:

Create your own workout regimen by doing 30-second sets of exercises for 3 to 4 minutes each and alternating between the cardio and strength training exercises.

Basic Home Workout Equipment

If you're ready to invest in home workout equipment but are still new to home workouts, consider buying some of the following simple and affordable items:

Resistance bands come in light, medium, and heavy weights according to your ability. Along with ab wheels and gliding discs, they're useful for strength training. Jumping rope is a form of cardio, and the ropes themselves are easy to store. 

You can incorporate step aerobics into your home cardio routine with the help of a step bench. Use an exercise mat for strength- and flexibility-related activities like yoga and Pilates, which you can practice with online videos. 

For around $75, or the approximate price of three studio workouts, you can get a mini-band, a set of dumbbells, a 2-arm resistance band, and a jump rope.

Intermediate Home Workout Equipment

If you already have some experience with home workouts and want to take your strength training to the next level, consider buying the following equipment:

A suspension trainer helps make workouts more challenging and is useful for abdominal exercises. It's a good piece of equipment for beginners to try before switching to weights.

Like resistance bands, dumbbells come in light, medium, and heavy weights. Adjustable dumbbells are pricier than regular ones, but they take up less space. You may want to buy some matching storage equipment to save on space, like a dumbbell rack or a wall mount for a medicine ball.

Add a stability ball, sandbag, and kettlebell to your $75 set for an intermediate home gym. This takes the total cost to around $200, which is roughly equivalent to a four-month gym membership.

Advanced Home Workout Equipment

To create a proper home gym, it's worth buying some electric cardio equipment, which usually costs between a couple hundred dollars to $1000. Cardio equipment you can buy for your home includes:

An indoor rowing machine is particularly useful because it works both your upper and lower body at the same time, which increases the number of calories you burn. Buying a power tower or squat rack can help increase the intensity of your strength training exercises. 

While these items are more expensive, high-quality purchases will last for years and save you the cost of a regular gym membership. Look for companies that sell used commercial gym equipment to get a lower price.

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home workout essentials

11 Affordable At-Home Gym Essentials

Denise vasi.

At-home gym equipment has become essential in 2021. Whether you belong to a gym, rock a ClassPass, or swear by your pilates or yoga studio, we’ve all had to adjust our typical fitness routines. Our homes have not only morphed into offices  and exclusive, family-only restaurants but also  at-home fitness studios ! 

However, getting your hands on the right equipment to set yourself up for a good-enough workout can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this list of what we consider to be at-home workout essentials, so you can still crush your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home. 

home workout essentials

Weighted medicine ball

An awesome alternative for dumbbells is a weighted medicine ball. These are so versatile in that they help to develop explosive and effective power, but also enhance speed and coordination. Plus, the exercises you can do with a weighted medicine ball are endless! Squats, Russian twists, slams, and lunges, to name a few. Check out this list of  25 medicine ball exercises to get you started with your at-home workouts.

home workout essentials

If you have the space, this pack of puzzle piece floor tiles is ideal for building out your makeshift, at-home gym. With 24 tiles and 48 end pieces, you can cover as much of an area as you need! Not only are you protecting your floor from getting scratches, but you’re protecting yourself by having your bases (literally) covered with durable foam. Plus, these mats are moisture-resistant and easy to clean after every workout. If a yoga mat doesn’t cover enough ground for you, this is the perfect alternative!

home workout essentials

Gliding discs

A simple and useful piece of at-home workout equipment that will take up no space at all are gliding discs. When it comes to bodyweight-only workouts, they do wonders in engaging your core and building up your balance and stability with every move you conquer. Plus, any movement with gliding discs is a low impact exercise, significantly reducing the risk of injury. Check out this article for a list of  31 gliding disc movements  you can try at home today!

home workout essentials

Resistance bands

Another tried, and true dumbbell alternative are resistance bands. This particular set comes with five different levels so you can adjust resistance per exercise: X-Light, Light, Medium, Heavy, X-Heavy. Not only are resistance bands compact (making them easy to pack in your suitcase once we’re traveling again), they’re also extremely versatile. While they’re primarily used for exercise, they’re an excellent tool for stretching, and physical therapists use them often to help with back, leg, and knee injuries. Check out these  22 resistance band exercises  you can do in your living room!

home workout essentials

Adjustable jump rope

For rainy days or the days you just don’t have the time for a long walk or jog, jump ropes are an incredible and effective way to get in your cardio. The burst of movement does wonders for getting your heart rate elevated, which stimulates cardiovascular health, and jumping rope improves your overall coordination. Not to mention it’s a calorie scorcher—ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an 8 minute mile! We love this particular jump rope on Amazon because it’s completely adjustable from heights 4’9” to 6’6” and available in a few color options. Challenge yourself to this 10-minute jump rope workout to get started with your at-home gym workouts. The jump rope is essential for your at-home gym.

home workout essentials

Kettle Bells

Just like dumbbells and toilet paper, kettlebells are becoming harder to find, but they’re still available on Amazon! Kettlebells are a fantastic strength training option and present healthy challenges to both exercise newbies and seasoned gym-goers. They’re perfect for dynamic movements like swings and snatches, and offer mix-ups to typical workouts when you’re growing tired of the same old thing. Check out one of our favorite workout teams, HASfit, for a 25-min beginner kettlebell workout !

home workout essentials

Exercise Ball

A stable core is a happy core, and that’s exactly what exercise balls promote. These stability balls not only improve posture and general spine health (which is why you’ve probably seen your office mates opting for them over chairs), but they’re also wildly popular for ab/core workouts and for good reason. Exercise balls challenge your hips, core, and shoulders to work together as a unit, which only betters your general athletic capabilities. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s an inexpensive piece of equipment for your temporary, at-home gym! Try this  full body exercise ball workout  for a challenge. 

home workout essentials

Wrist/ankle weights

An easy and effective way to add more resistance to your strength workouts and barely notice is by throwing on ankle or wrist weights. These hands-free dumbbell alternatives can be worn during any exercise, from walking or jogging to yoga to pilates, or during a bodyweight circuit. These particular weights are made from soft silicone and stainless steel and are fully adjustable to fit your wrists or ankles perfectly. Try this  15-minute ankle weight booty and thigh workout  to start.

home workout essentials

TRX suspension ropes kit

For those wanting something a bit more involved, the TRX kit is a powerful option. Born in the Navy SEALS, TRX is a series of portable pulls and ropes that focus on seven key moments: pull, push, plank, rotate, hinge, lunge, and squat. From beginners to pro athletes, TRX is a popular source of attainable, challenging workouts and, because they anchor to just about anything (doors, beams, trees!), they’re ideal to use during this quarantine and after. No weights, barbells, or any other equipment is needed when you work with the TRX. Check out this  40-minute at-home TRX workout  from one of their General Managers!

home workout essentials

Aerobic Step Bench

Step-ups, knee-ups, tricep dips, cardio! Aerobic step benches are another amazing alternative for the days when the jump rope just isn’t cutting it, and you’re not feeling a walk or jog. Using a bench provides all the benefits of a High-Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT) without putting added pressure on your joints. Low impact = high results. Plus, a bench is easy to break down and store at-home when you’re not using it. There are countless aerobic bench workouts to choose from, but we like this gal’s vibe and her  20-minute full body bench workout !

home workout essentials

Everyone needs a good yoga mat, whether you do yoga or not. Yoga mats help lay a foundation to keep your back and body safe during any floor movements (no one wants to workout on scratchy carpet or cold, hard wood!) and are perfect for stretching or meditating and are portable so you can change the scenery from inside the house to out in the yard. We love Lululemon’s Lightweight Reversible (Un) Mat. At just over 2 pounds, it’s no burden to move from here to there and rolls up beautifully.

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How to Create a Home Gym You’ll Actually Use

woman working out in her home gym

A New Year’s resolution to hit the gym more doesn’t particularly mix well with a global pandemic. As virus cases continue to surge around the country, many are making the decision to work on their 2021 fitness goals at home .

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Maybe you’re a seasoned athlete looking to create a dedicated space for a home gym, or maybe you’re wondering what the best bang for your buck is when it comes to purchasing gym equipment. Or perhaps you’re just making a serious effort to move your body more , which is a great place to start!

Whatever your at-home fitness goals are, exercise physiologist Katie Lawton says creating a home gym or personal workout area doesn’t have to take a ton of time or money. Here she breaks down what to consider, equipment essentials and some cost-effective options.  

Your fitness goal will determine your equipment needs and space

When you first start planning to work out from home, Lawton says to think about what type of exercise you’re planning to do and how often. Ask yourself – what type of exercise do I enjoy most? Your answer can help you start to plan for how big of a space you’ll need and what type of equipment you’ll use most.

Maybe you enjoy yoga and your goal is to practice more – so what does that involve? Likely, a mat, space to move on the mat, yoga blocks, straps and maybe a way to watch online yoga videos. 

Maybe your favorite exercise is a HIIT workout alternating between running sprints and weights. So you’ll need to think about what weights you need and if you’ll run outside or on a treadmill. You should also consider if your area lends itself to the space you need for the movements.  

Find the right space

Where you set up your home gym is going to vary based on what exercises you’re planning to do and how much equipment you have. You can convert a spare bedroom, a garage or create a space in the basement. Your backyard, driveway or even a small corner in the living room can all make decent spaces to exercise. Determine if you’ll need a mat or if you’ll need to put down foam tiles to protect your floors (and your joints , depending on your exercise).

Add equipment as you go

It can be tempting to buy all of the fancy equipment upfront when you’re feeling motivated, but it’s smarter to add a little at a time, especially when you’re figuring out the space and how often you’re going to use your gym.

“You don’t have to buy everything all at once,” cautions Lawton. “Start off with a few things you know you’ll use right away and build from there. Your home gym should be customized to you. Stock it with items you know you’ll use.”

If you find you’ve been consistent with using your gym or if you’re getting stronger and need heavier weights – that’s when you should make your next purchase or splurge on something more expensive.

What home gym equipment do you need?

Sure Peloton’s are nice, but if you’re not really into spinning, you’re not likely to use it that often. If you hate running , a treadmill probably isn’t the best investment. And if you’ve never done a bicep curl before, it’s better to start with a resistance band than purchase expensive new dumbbells.  

Whatever type of exercise you plan to do – and whatever you can see yourself doing long-term – will determine what equipment you’ll need in the beginning.

Keep variety in mind

When it comes to exercise, consistency is important, but so is variety. Lawton says that a solid workout plan involves a good mix of cardio and strength training, but that doesn’t mean you need to train for a marathon or bench press 150 pounds. Everything comes down to what your fitness or weight loss goals are and what type of workouts you’re planning to do.

Cardio can mean anything from running and biking to jumping jacks and kickboxing. For strength training, bodyweight exercises, free weights or resistance bands can all be beneficial. Whatever workout you plan to do at home, try to mix in a combination of cardio and strength training that works for you and your goals.

Here Lawton lists several home gym essentials, from the basics to advance. And remember, you can build as you go or as you determine what else you need:

The basics (inexpensive)  

Advanced (more expensive)  

Other home gym items to consider

Create your space for motivation

One of the main benefits of having a home gym is the convenience (and avoiding COVID-19, of course!). But just like a normal gym, you’ll need to use it regularly to see the benefits.

Make sure that your workout space is somewhere you actually want to spend time. If your dark basement isn’t motivating you, consider sprucing it up with some shelves, mats or paint. If you’ve been working out in your garage but stopped because it was too cold , consider adding space heaters.

Motivational pictures, quotes or adding a TV to stream online classes can help make the space more inviting. Adding more lights, a Bluetooth speaker, a timer or a full-length mirror can also create a more customized and inspiring area.

Stick with a plan

It can be hard to stay motivated to work out, especially at home. For some people, working out from home takes more discipline than actually taking the time to go to the gym.

“When you’re home, there are so many other things that can take the place of exercise,” says Lawton. “So it’s really important to find exercises that you like to do and to have some sort of plan going into each workout.”

It’s easy to start texting friends or answering emails while you’re warming up, so having a plan for your workout or a time goal gives you something to work towards.

Many gyms and businesses also offer daily or weekly exercise programs that you can join live or view later. Knowing there is a workout ready for you to complete can help with motivation and relieve exercise boredom. Some online programs even provide an opportunity to virtually meet others in your group, which is great since research says you’re more likely to stick with an exercise program if you have friends involved.

And don’t forget – inviting family members to join you for a workout can be motivating. You can also challenge your spouse to see who can complete a workout the fastest – loser has to make dinner!   

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Creating a home gym might seem like a big undertaking, but according to experts, creating a home gym or personal workout area doesn’t have to take a ton of time or money. Here’s a breakdown of what to consider, equipment essentials and some cost-effective options.


13 Workout Equipment Essentials For The Best Home Gym

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Are you looking to create the ultimate home gym? A quick search through many health and fitness websites will likely give you plenty of ideas for home gym equipment, but how do you know which home gym equipment is going to be the best overall fit for you? You can get a great workout at home without having to have high-end gym equipment or take up all the extra room in your home. We’re sharing at-home gym equipment must-haves to create the essential home gym.

blue dumbells on home gym rack

Photo by  Delaney Van  on  Unsplash

What Is a Home Gym?

A home gym can come in a variety of forms, whether you have a spare room in your house, your garage, or even a basement. For many, home gym setups need to be practical, convenient and portable.

Home Gym Tip: Whatever works for you that allows you to get your optimal workout is the best fit.

What is the Best Home Gym Setup?

When selecting gym equipment for your home gym, there are a few things to consider:

If You Have Limited Space

If you live in an apartment or small space, your primary focus when selecting gym equipment will be to purchase items that are portable and can stow away easily. If your gym is in your living room, you might want to consider lightweight equipment or gym essentials, such as dumbbells or kettlebells , that are rubber-coated to protect floors and furniture.

Home Gym Equipment Idea: Look for items that have many “all-in-one” uses to make the most of the limited space.

If You Can Convert a Whole Room

If you have the space to dedicate to a home gym workout room, you may consider heavier or bulkier gym equipment, such as barbells with weight plates or folding squat racks . If you are setting up a garage gym, you might want to consider covering the floor with thick gym mats to protect your body from the impact of concrete.

If Money is A Concern

If you’re looking to create a gym at home in a small space, or don’t want to spend a lot of ton of money on gym equipment, look for types of home gym equipment that you can use for a variety of exercises. You don’t need a large piece of expensive stationary equipment to get in a quality workout. Purchase kettlebells or resistance bands in various strengths and weights to give variety to your workout while still staying on budget.

orange dumbbells on home gym rack

Are Home Gyms Effective?

Does working out at home really work? The honest answer: it depends. Creating a home gym requires that you are willing to put in the time and effort on your own, without the benefit of attending a class at a local gym. For many, finding the time to workout on your own might be more challenging without the accountability of a coach or instructor. To make your home gym more appealing, it’s important to find an exercise routine that best suits your needs. If you prefer to watch at-home workout videos , make sure that your home gym is optimized so that you can both see and hear the video. If you prefer to follow fitness apps, consider adding in a portable charger or phone stand to allow you to view the app easily and hands-free.

Building a Home Gym on a Budget

There are many ways to find inexpensive essentials for your gym to start weight training at home. For many small spaces , you can easily create a home gym for less than $200. Amazon has a private label called AmazonBasics that offers cheap and affordable items for everything from kitchen gadgets to exercise equipment. If you’re looking to save money with a quality product, their line of workout equipment is some of the best we’ve seen.

Creating a Home Gym Essentials Checklist

Looking to get started building your home gym? These ten items are some of our favorite, affordable items to get in a quality workout at home.

8 lb yellow dumbbells

Image: Amazon

Neoprene Workout Dumbbell

Amazon basics.

Available : 1lb-60lb

Why We Love It: A good set of dumbbells is easily one of the best pieces of home exercise equipment for beginners. Many dumbbells come in sets of various weights to allow you to vary the weight necessary for each exercise. These dumbbells are coated in a neoprene material that makes them resistant against rust and safe enough to use in your small home gym. Use a lighter set of dumbbells for arms and shoulders or get a heavier set for lower body exercises like squats and lunges.

orange kettlebell The 10 Best Equipment Must-Haves for a Home Gym

  SPRI Kettlebell Weights

Cast iron coated kettlebell.

Available : 5lb-50lb

Why We Love It: Kettlebells are a great tool if you’re looking to add a heavier weight into your rotation, but also have a highly functional piece of equipment. Kettlebells are perfect for squats , swings, cleans, jerks or as a way to add weight and difficulty to your standard lunge or row. These SPRI kettlebells come in varying weights from 5lbs up to 50lbs and are some of the best kettlebells for your home gym on a budget.

interlocking rubber mat for home gym

Extra Thick Puzzle Exercise Mat


Available : 24-96 sq ft sets

Why We Love It: These interlocking gym mats are a home gym flooring necessity. These foam floor mats create a cushioned workout floor and help protect you and your concrete or hardwood from heavy weights and equipment. A small set comes with 6 pieces, allowing you to cover 24 square feet of flooring or a large set comes with 24 tiles for a 96 square foot coverage. When not in use, these mats easily fold up for convenient storage. Perfect for yoga , weightlifting or even a floor mat for kids to play and exercise.

glider plates The 10 Best Equipment Must-Haves for a Home Gym Sliders

Core Sliders

Available: Various colors

Why We Love It: Fitness sliders are an easy way to create challenging core or leg exercises by simply “sliding out” from your center. Test your balance and stability by using these sliders in a yoga pike or adding difficulty to a lunge or plank. The best part about these sliders is that they are customizable for everyone, whether you are a beginner or looking to create a fast-moving HIIT workout .

pink to purple Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Fit simplify.

Available: Set of 5 bands, 2-30lb resistance

Why We Love It: The mini band might be small, but it packs a workout punch. Each band comes in a variety of resistances and can be easily packed to make it the perfect travel companion. For a glute or lower body workout , place the band above your knees for a challenging booty burn . The mini band can be used for the upper body as well, as it makes the perfect compliment to an arm and shoulder workout.

three cloth mini bands for home workouts

Non Slip Cloth Exercise Bands

Available : Set of 3 bands, 14-50lb resistance

Why We Love It: While we love the latex mini bands for their versatility across many different exercises, these cloth bands are ideal for those who have issues with traditional mini bands riding up. These non-slip exercise bands have a thin gripping layer that prevents movement during workouts, and they also provide increased resistance, ideal for lower body workouts.

10 lb hyperwear sand bell slam bag The 10 Best Equipment Must-Haves for a Home Gym Sand Bag

Sandbell Workout Bag

Available: 2-50lbs

Why We Love It: This soft, sand-filled neoprene sandbag is a versatile free weight and provides a different challenge than your standard dumbbell. Sandbags are a great way to build strength, power, as well as grip strength. Plus, these sandbags come in a variety of weights from 2lbs to 40lbs to allow you to customize to your needs.

tangle free jump rope for home gym

Tangle-Free Jump Rope

Why We Love It: Looking for the best home cardio exercise equipment? The jump rope is king! One study recently found that jumping rope is one of the most effective cardio exercises, burning 500 calories in 30 minutes. Not only is a killer aerobic workout, but jumping rope helps build endurance, coordination, and increased muscle engagement. Try this working this portable cardio in as a warmup to your workout or as the workout itself.

woman using medicine ball for home workout

Medicine Ball

Available: 4-12lb

Why We Love It: Medicine balls are often neglected in the gym because many people don’t know what to do with them. But, these rubber medicine balls are a great way to challenge your core strength and balance. Try burning out your abs and chest by performing a pushup on the ball or add in a crossbody movement with a wall ball slam. Just be careful - the rubber design of these balls means that they will bounce!

The 10 Best Equipment Must-Haves for a Home Gym  TRX Suspension

Go Suspension Trainer

Available: Go Bundle includes set of mini resistance bands

Why We Love It: While this may not be one of the cheapest home gym equipment items on our list, this is absolutely one of the most complete. This TRX training equipment can be easily anchored anywhere (indoors or outdoors!) for a full body workout. These are a variety of TRX workouts online, but our favorites combine these bodyweight movements with balance exercises, such as planks or pikes.

How to set up: You can clip your TRX band anywhere that can support your bodyweight. Just clip the main body to the bottom anchor loop of the yellow suspension anchor. Wrap the suspension anchor as many times as necessary so that the anchor is 6 feet off the ground. Then just connect the carabiner to any of the intermediate loops or the anchor itself. Always make sure to weight test your straps before your workout!

Adjustable Strength Training Bench

Adjustable Strength Training Bench

Available: One size

Why We Love It: Let’s face it. No one wants to be stuck sitting on the floor of their home gym. This bench is perfect for classic weightlifting moves such as chest press and dumbbell rows, as well as providing a stable platform for step-ups and other lower boy exercises. This sturdy bench means that it will hold up to even the most intense workouts.

home workout essentials

SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

Available: Single or pair

Why We Love It: While not the cheapest type of gym equipment on our list, these adjustable dumbbells maximize space and efficiency. These free weights have eight plates that adjust from 5 to 52.5 points, in increments of 2.5 pounds until the first 25 pounds. Not only are these dumbbells heavy duty, but you can easily get a full body workout, with a wide range of exercises, all in one piece of equipment.

A bonus? These adjustable dumbbells come with a free 1-Year JRNY Membership - which gives you access to Bowflex’s fitness app, full of more than 500+ different workouts that you can perform anywhere!

woman walking on slim foldable under the desk treadmill

2 in 1 Folding Under Desk Treadmill

Why We Love It: Okay, so it might not be what you consider a piece of traditional home gym equipment, but we can’t ignore those that don’t have the space to set aside to get a daily sweat in. This folding treadmill is ideal for those with limited space but still want to get in daily movement. Even better, this folding treadmill can fit underneath an adjustable standing desk to allow you to walk (or run) while you are taking work calls or Zoom meetings. Plus, it’s much more affordable than a standard treadmill.


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