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Best Home Gym Equipment for Initial Set-Up Reviewed For The Best Start

last updated Dec 03, 2019

In the not-too-distant past, home gyms were reserved for a few small groups of people. They could be found in the homes of the ultra-wealthy or they could be found in the homes of athletes regardless of the person’s income level. As daily demands have grown more constant, the ability to participate in regular sports or to make it to a gym has become a luxury that many people cannot afford. And while starting up a home gym requires a bit of an up-front investment, it is still more affordable than enrolling in a gym or joining a league. The issue is no longer whether it would be unusual to have a gym in the home, but rather finding a good guide to the best pieces of home gym equipment would be for someone setting up their gym for the first time. And this list aims to be that guide.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research

icon
 TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
98.5/100 our score
Portability
99
Style
98
Features
99
Versatility
98
TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Why is it better?

Free Online Videos

500 lb Weight Limit

Hollow Construction

Closed-Cell Foam

Multi-Density Foam Exterior

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Test Winner: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
30
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1500
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
13
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
36
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Portability Style Features Versatility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
Portability
99 %
Style
98 %
Features
99 %
Versatility
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Portability
97 %
Style
98 %
Features
99 %
Versatility
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$164.64
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.5
Portability
95 %
Style
96 %
Features
96 %
Versatility
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$9.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Portability
92 %
Style
94 %
Features
93 %
Versatility
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Portability
90 %
Style
91 %
Features
92 %
Versatility
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Portability
89 %
Style
88 %
Features
90 %
Versatility
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$17.97
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Portability
87 %
Style
88 %
Features
89 %
Versatility
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$35.88
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.5
Portability
85 %
Style
86 %
Features
86 %
Versatility
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$124.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
Portability
84 %
Style
85 %
Features
85 %
Versatility
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$20.49
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Portability
80 %
Style
82 %
Features
81 %
Versatility
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$38.98

Top 10 Picks

1. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.5
 TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Amazon Link
Portability
99
Style
98
Features
99
Versatility
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Free Online Videos

500 lb Weight Limit

Hollow Construction

Closed-Cell Foam

Multi-Density Foam Exterior

Cons:

Beware of Fakes

TriggerPoint is the best company on the market for foam rollers and massage balls. They have been featured on several lists and with every new list, their products are checked again, always revealing that they are as well-reviewed and popular as ever. Their GRID foam roller is one of their most popular products, likely due to both its versatility and its portability. The GRID roller has a 500-pound upper weight limit and a hollow-core design that makes adds a little bit of storage space in the center of the product. It is covered in a dual-density layer of closed-cell foam, rendering it mostly waterproof and easy to clean. The company also provides product-specific online tutorial videos to help get their customers rolling the right way.

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Hollow Core Design
There is a bit of a debate among foam roller users as to whether hollow-core designs or solid-core designs are superior. Both options have their benefits, naturally. But when it comes to the TriggerPoint GRID roller, its hollow-core design absolutely sweeps the competition. It has a 500-pound upper weight limit which greatly reduces the risk of the interior tube cracking. And the hollow interior is the perfect storage spot for other equipment rolled into a towel or folded yoga mat for those who take their roller on the road or to the gym with them.

Free Online Videos
Foam rollers seem easy to use but everyone who tries it for the first time has a learning curve ahead of them. Some positions are easy enough to get the hang of, but others require a little more balance or coordination than is initially expected. In situations like these, a tutorial video can come in handy and while YouTube is sure to have a few dozen, there is nothing quite like a product-specific video to get the information across. TriggerPoint offers access to brand-specific tutorial videos to all of their customers to help them speed through that learning curve and get the hang of their new foam roller in no time.

Cost and Value
The GRID is a little more expensive than similarly-sized products on the market but the slight price bump is more than made up for in the quality and value that the product brings to the table. Foam rollers are an ideal way to treat sore muscles at home and can help prevent sore muscles if they are incorporated into a cool-down routine. They can also add a little more challenge to body-weight workouts once users get the hang of using their roller, which brings a little more versatility into the mix. There are, unfortunately, a few fakes on the market so consumers need to be sure that they're buying from TriggerPoint in order to get the best possible product.

2. Escape Fitness Deck

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
 Escape Fitness Deck
Amazon Link
Portability
97
Style
98
Features
99
Versatility
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$164.64
Pros:

Multiple Positions

Easy Workout Integration

Associated App Available

Easily Stored

Anti-Slip Top Mat

Cons:

242 lb Max Safe Workload

An adjustable bench is an absolute must-have for any home gym and Escape's Fitness Deck appears to be the current cream of the crop. This product can be used as a step-up deck, a kneeling bench for weight pulls, and an incline or supine bench for overhead lifts depending on how the user sets it up. All of these positions are supported by the deck's no-slip top mat and the entire product can be folded up to lay flat for easy storage. The biggest drawback is the 242-pound weight limit which may make overhead bar presses a no-go but beginners to weight lifting should have a relatively easy time putting this deck to use.

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Multiple Positions
This product's biggest asset is the number of positions into which it can be configured. Escape's designers took a basic bench and added in the ability to transition into a seated incline, a general incline, and a supine bench in addition to a platform for step aerobics. The included manual suggests a few other additional uses and, when the deck is not in use, it can be folded flat for easy storage beneath a bed or cabinet.

No-Slip Top Mat
Half of this product's configurations would be of no use of users were at risk of slipping off the deck altogether. Escape built their product with a no-slip top mat to help keep their customers steady throughout their workouts. The mat also includes a few pre-marked "zones" so that users can get the right footing at-a-glance so they can keep up their rhythm.

Cost and Value
Escape's fitness deck is the most expensive item on this list but that does not mean that it isn't a bargain compared to other products on the market. There is one small catch, which is the deck's 242-pound upper weight limit which rules it out as a bench for anyone using a loaded barbell. Anyone working up to that point will get plenty of utility out of this product, however. Escape even developed an app to work in conjunction with the deck in order to help their customers reach their goals more quickly. It's a product with a whole lot of value packed into one easy-to-store item.

3. Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.5
 Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Set
Amazon Link
Portability
95
Style
96
Features
96
Versatility
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.95
Pros:

100% Natural Latex

Great Customer Service

Lifetime Guarantee

Multiple Band Weights

Cons:

Might Roll Up

Fit Simplify has been featured on a previous list and was considered the best set of tension bands on the market at that time. Their reputation hasn't waned since the original list was written and the company's products remain as popular as ever. It's easy to see why since the bands are made from 100% natural latex and come with a lifetime guarantee. As with all tension bands, Fit Simplify's loop set should not be stepped on or tied to anything because it puts the product at a higher risk of breaking and causing potentially serious injuries. This is definitely one product where users will want to read the safety guidelines and follow them!

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Multiple Band Weights
This kit is ridiculously affordable, especially when the multiple included band weights are taken into account. The bands are color-coded so that users can grab the right band at a glance once they have learned the code, each band providing a little more tension than the last so that users will continue to feel challenged as they grow stronger.

Lifetime Guarantee
Tension bands have a relatively high risk of breaking due to the way that they are generally used. It is actually recommended that users stop working out with their tension band if cracks or worn-out spots appear in the latex. At that point, Fit Simplify's customers can reach out to the company and take advantage of their lifetime guarantee, which is backed by fantastic customer service.

Cost and Value
This band set is probably one of the most affordable projects on this list and it is also one of the most versatile. Users can find band-specific workouts on sites like YouTube or the bands can be used to add extra burn to other workouts such as dance routines, yoga, and pilates. All bands have an unfortunate tendency to roll at some point though Fit Simplify seems to be better about this than most. It is a small annoyance, however, given the utility that these products provide.

4. j/fit Dumbbell Set with Rack

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
 j/fit Dumbbell Set with Rack
Amazon Link
Portability
92
Style
94
Features
93
Versatility
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Multiple Size Options

Rack Included

Iron Core

Double Neoprene Coated

Cons:

Possibly Too Light

Hand weights are the foundation of most home-based workouts that move beyond body weight. They are incredibly versatile and can be used to help with everything from arm toning to push-ups to martial arts practice. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts of nearly any group can find a use for hand weights and j/fit's set is the perfect starting point for most home collections. They are available in several weights and come with a tri-level storage rack to help keep them organized.

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Double Neoprene Coated
j/fit's weights are coated in not one but two layers of neoprene which is a material similar to rubber that is water resistant and almost entirely impervious to weathering. This coating not only protects the metal core of the weights but also the user's hands as well as the floor of the gym, as the neoprene will help soften any dings or scratches if the weights are dropped.

Multiple Weight Options
These weight sets start out with the lightest weighing in around three pounds and the values increase from there. The company offers several sets so that users can find one with a suitable value range for their capabilities and goals. j/fit also sells individual weights and pairs of weights so that users can customize the values they keep on-hand.

Cost and Value
These weights might seem like they're a hefty investment but they are a steal compared to the cost of buying each piece of the set separately. The only real downside is that some users might find that the weight values currently offered are too low to fit their needs, but the majority of people are likely to find exactly what they need with j/fit.

5. ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
 ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat
Amazon Link
Portability
90
Style
91
Features
92
Versatility
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Includes Six Pieces

Non-Skid Surface

Easy to Assemble

Water-Resistant Foam

Cons:

May Need Multiple Sets

This product is not a piece of fitness equipment per se but it is an important part of any home gym, particularly one that is set up on top of hard floors. Everything from push-ups to jumping jacks is easier when the floor cushions the knees or toes and absorbs some of the shock of a jump. These tiles also help protect the floor from the scuffs when someone inevitably drops a weight or drags the bottom of their shoe against the floor.

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Water-Resistant Foam
ProSource's foam tiles are designed to be water resistant which is ideal for any room in which someone is going to be sweating, carrying a water bottle, and using cleaning sprays to keep their equipment clean. It also means that the tiles aren't going to suffer any damage if they are put down on top of a somewhat damp base floor after it has been cleaned.

Non-Skid Surface
Some foam tiles have a somewhat slick texture on the top which is likely there to make it easier for rubber-soled shoes to cross the floor. This may be helpful in a classroom or general area but it can be a hindrance in a gym where people need to have a solid footing in order to avoid injury. ProSource opted for a slip-resistant surface that gives users a little more traction so they can move through their workout with confidence.

Cost and Value
Each set of these tiles is affordable for most budgets and is comparable to other products on the market. The product's price can add up, unfortunately, since many home gyms are likely to need more than one set if the owner wants to cover the entire floor. The water-resistant and slip-resistant nature of this product will make the investment worth it to most people, as will its versatility since the tiles can be easily moved from room to room as the need arises.

6. WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
 WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
Amazon Link
Portability
89
Style
88
Features
90
Versatility
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.97
Pros:

Multiple Colors Available

Size Adjustable

Storage Bag Provided

Spare Cord Included

Cons:

Some Tightening Issues

WOD Nation offers two products, both of which are variations on the jump rope. Some people might be surprised to learn how effective jumping rope is as a form of cardio but anyone who has seen a boxing movie is probably running a training montage through their head already. The standard jump rope that can be found in stores is unlikely to hold up very long as an exercise aide, unfortunately, but that is where WOD nation and their speed rope come in. This jump rope comes unassembled so that users can the length that best suits them. It also comes with a spare cord so that the handles can be reattached when the first cord breaks.Tightening the handles on can be a little bit tricky according to some users but most users either had no issue or found the issue well worth dealing with for the benefits this product can provide.

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Size Adjustable
Unlike most jump ropes that can be bought in stores, this product requires a little bit of adjusting before it can be put to use. Customers will receive their jump ropes unassembled so that they can use the included instructions to find the best length for their frame. The instructions cover the suggested lengths for adults of all heights as well as most children which makes this a viable product for the entire family.

Spare Cord Included
Jump ropes have a tendency to break after extensive use, either at the point where the cord meets the handle or at the point where the rope hits the ground. WOD Nation is a company that specializes in jump ropes and is naturally aware of this issue. Their solution was to include a second cord with the purchase of this jump rope, effectively doubling the lifespan of their product. Additional cords can also be purchased which allows customers to use the same handles even if their cord breaks.

Cost and Value
This product might seem a little pricey considering the low cost of jump ropes in most brick-and-mortar stores. Those jump ropes are not designed for high-speed use, however, and they cannot be adjusted to the ideal length based on the user's height. They are also not built with replaceable cords which means that using them for cardio and fitness can quickly rack up a higher bill than this product would have led to.

7. CAP Standard Barbell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
 CAP Standard Barbell
Amazon Link
Portability
87
Style
88
Features
89
Versatility
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$35.88
Pros:

Standard Sizing

Multiple Grip Points

Several Length Options

200 lb Capacity

Solid Steel Bar

Chrome Plating

Cons:

No Weight Clips

Few companies can snag two spots on a list like this, but CAP Barbell is an incredibly dedicated company whose entire inventory is built on the idea of providing affordable, high-quality exercise gear. They offer several variations on the traditional barbell but the classic standard is best for those who are just starting out. It is a solid steel bar plated in chrome with a weight capacity of 200 pounds and multiple textured grip points along its length. It also must be stated that this product should be used with caution and that spotters are always recommended when lifting weights with a barbell.

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Standard Sizing
Barbells have a deceptively simple appearance. Most people just see a metal pole with two reinforced ends that are meant to hold weighted plates. In reality, there are several different designs for the body of the barbell and two widths for the endcaps: standard and Olympic. Standard plates have a narrower opening in the middle, which is an important detail to keep in mind when buying plates for this particular barbell. Standard is also easier to find which makes them ideal for home gyms.

200 lb Capacity
Unless someone is setting up a gym in their home so that they can powerlift more than their gym is comfortable with, 200 pounds is more than enough weight for any one person to be able to lift. The bar itself is several pounds which will give users a good starting point from which they have plenty of room to grow before they hit this bar's limit.

Cost and Value
Barbells can be prohibitively expensive but CAP is all about affordable quality. Their barbell is affordable on most budgets which leaves their customers with plenty of wiggle room to add on any extra weight plates that they may want. The bar is available in several lengths and is designed with several grip points, adding a little versatility to a classic gym staple.

8. Everlast Heavy Bag Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.5
 Everlast Heavy Bag Kit
Amazon Link
Portability
85
Style
86
Features
86
Versatility
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$124.00
Pros:

Comes with Accessories

Composite Filling

Adjustable Height

Shipped Prefilled

Cons:

Only 70 lbs

Everlast is one of those companies that needs little introduction. They have been a staple brand in the fitness world for years. Their products are synonymous with quality and longevity. This reputation continues with their heavy bag kit, a 70-pound heavy bag that comes with a set of thin gloves, a set of wrist wraps, and a bungee cord to increase resistance when the bag is struck.

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Comes with Accessories
This bag might seem like an intense investment but the price tag does not cover the bag alone. It covers several accessories that allow the user to dive right into using their bag, whether they've spent time with one before or not. These accessories include wrist wraps and thin gloves to help protect the fine bones in a user's hands and wrists from boxer's breaks. A bungee cord is also included which can be used to increase the resistance a user feels when they hit the bag. These are valuable additions that many boxers purchase separately but Everlast chose to include with their bag for the convenience of their customers.

Adjustable Height
Everyone has their sweet spot on a punching bag. Unfortunately, this sweet spot may not be the point on the bag that is intended to take the most abuse, which is right in the middle. Everlast designed their bag with an adjustable height option to combat this issue. Users can use a chain to raise or lower the bag so that each user gets the best experience possible from their purchase.

Cost and Value
Everlast's name adds a little bit to the price tags of their products but it also adds a fair amount of value to the product in terms of construction quality and customer service. A company would not get as big as Everlast if they did not do right by their customers and this heavy big kit just reinforces that idea. And while a heavy bag might not seem that useful for the home gym of a non-boxer, practices like aero boxing are becoming more and more popular, proving that a heavy bag can help with cardio, strength training, and balance all at the same time.

9. Sivan Extra Thick Yoga Mat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
 Sivan Extra Thick Yoga Mat
Amazon Link
Portability
84
Style
85
Features
85
Versatility
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$20.49
Pros:

1/2 Inch Thick

Comes with Strap

Dual Surface

Extra Length

Easy to Clean

Cons:

Annoying Integrated Strap

Sivan Health and Fitness dabble in a little bit of everything that their customers might need to stay on track for their goals. From jump ropes to floor mats and cross trainers, their products are designed to keep people moving and to look good while they do it. Some products, like their half-inch thick yoga mat, are designed with comfort and versatility in mind. Because when a mat is this thick, it protects the knees whether the user is doing yoga, planks, or burpees.

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1/2 Inch Thick
The popular idea of a yoga mat is a thin rubbery rectangle that may have small bumps on it to keep users from slipping. These mats provide little cushioning and no place to take a firm grip if a particular pose or exercise calls for one. Sivan's mat is a slightly more versatile version of these more common mats. It is a full half-inch thick which provides ample cushioning as well as a several thick points users can grab onto when the need arises.

Dual Surface
Not only is this mat thicker than average but it also boasts a dual-surface design. One side is smooth which is ideal for workouts that will leave the mat in need of a cleaning. The other side is ridged to provide more traction for positions such as downward-facing dog and exercises such as planks and pushups.

Cost and Value
This mat costs only a few dollars more than the thinner mats that are so common in big box stores at the moment. That small additional investment can turn even concrete or wood floors into comfortable spaces for yoga and floor exercises that would otherwise be unnecessarily harsh on a person's knees. Some users may be frustrated by the integrated strap that serves as a closure mechanism when the mat is not in use, but this can be tucked away and is a small inconvenience for such a versatile product.

10. CAP Cast Iron Kettlebell

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
 CAP Cast Iron Kettlebell
Amazon Link
Portability
80
Style
82
Features
81
Versatility
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$38.98
Pros:

Multiple Weights Available

Enamel Coating

Labeled LBs and KGs

Smooth Surface

Cons:

Do Not Drop

If someone needs to buy weights, CAP Barbell wants to be the company that they go to. Their inventory carries everything from barbells to weight plates to kettlebells. They offer weights that range from the single to the triple digits to that everyone can find the weight that fits their needs. They have several versions of the kettlebell available but the best one for new home gyms is their enamel-coated iron-core kettlebell. Its versatility and easy-clean coating make it ideal for someone who plans on spending a lot of time in the gym they are putting together.

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Enamel Coating
Traditional weights and kettlebells are usually made of exposed iron that might have been painted to protect the metal underneath. Newer models often feature a slightly thicker coating which in this case is enamel. And while this does tend to give the weights a more finished appearance, the enamel serves several key purposes. The coating prevents the metal from causing serious scratches to the gym floor while at the same time creating a smooth surface on the weight that is both easy to handle and easy to clean.

Multiple Weights Available
One of the best things about kettlebells is that they can be purchased at almost any weight that can be carried by hand. The more extreme weights have to come from specialty companies, but the weights that best suit the majority of people are all available from CAP. Heavier weights tend to cost a little bit more because they have more material in them, but it is an investment that will last as the user become stronger and more toned.

Cost and Value
Kettlebells do not come cheap but there is a reason that this product is the first on this list. This sort of equipment is incredibly versatile, particularly when they are coating like the ones CAP offers. Kettlebells can help with bodyweight exercises, stand in for dumbbells and even play a part in pushups and planks if more than one is available. They are not limited to one or two exercises and that makes them invaluable to a home gym, particularly one that is short on space.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Portability

Most people who have a home gym prefer to keep their equipment all in one spot, but there are situations where they have to travel. These circumstances pose the risk of derailing a person’s fitness goals unless they are able to take at least some of the equipment with them to create an on-the-road workout routine. Bodyweight exercises work well for people who have to travel, but products like hand weights, exercise mats, and jump ropes can all help keep their user on track when they’re away from home.

Style

An unfortunate truth about working out is that some people are intimidated by the cultural mythos that has come up around it. The machines look complicated, gym etiquette can be confusing, and there are always conflicting recommendations on how to best lose weight and tone muscle. Home gyms remove some of these pressures, but complicated products can still pose a large enough issue to keep people from using their equipment as much as they would like. The products on this list were chosen with this issue in mind and products that are intuitive to use were given priority over-complicated products that might have been more of a frustration than a useful tool.

Features

A relatively modern frustration is the issue of dealing with obsolete equipment. As people get stronger, their low-weight barbells aren’t presenting the same challenge while their cardio routines are no longer leaving them breathless. People change and their exercise equipment should be able to change with them. This usually takes the form of upgrading to heavier weights and changing up the cardio method that someone uses, and any equipment that is able to upgrade along with its user was given priority over those that would have to be donated or sold to someone in order to make room for the new equipment.

Versatility

The products on this list should last their users for quite a while, but that was not enough of a reason for them to make this list. Each product needed to be suited for a few purposes in order to give customers the most value on their dollar and on the floor space they dedicate to their gym. It is also much easier to achieve fitness goals when the same piece of equipment can get someone through an entire workout that they would otherwise have to interrupt just to find the right fitness aide.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Versatile

Most of these products can be incorporated into workout methods ranging from martial arts to yoga to dance practice to personal eclectic forms that people put together on their own.

You never Know!

Tension bands break, people outgrow their weights, and the day might come when a bike, elliptical, or weight machine may need to be added into the mix. There are also products that are more workout-specific such as dance barres, mirrors, music systems, speed bags, and rowing machines that will appeal to certain users and may add immense value to their home gym setup.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

Home gyms in commercials tend to be heavy on large machines and light on the smaller, more affordable pieces of equipment that people are often more comfortable using. There’s no rule stating that a home gym has to have these large machines and they are often prohibitively expensive. That is why this list is focused on smaller and more versatile pieces of equipment that allow users to engage multiple muscle groups at once while letting them find the best workouts to fit their needs and not the limitations of the machine. The pieces can be purchased all at once or spread out over time to reduce the sticker shock that initial setup can cause. In the end, however, these products will help turn any space into an effective high-impact home gym.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do I know what weights to purchase?

a:

The easiest way to find the best weight range is to go to a store that sells weights and do a few reps. Don’t take anything out of its box, of course. Many stores have free weights set out on the shelf and it doesn’t hurt to grab one and do a few curls or overhead presses to decide if it’s too heavy or too light for the goals you have in mind. A set of three weights is best for most people to start with: one weight that is easy to lift but will leave them tired after a high-rep set, one weight that they struggle to lift but is still movable, and one weight in the middle.

q: Where can I learn how to use these?

a:

YouTube is the best source for workout tutorial videos, as long as users find trusted channels. Most health and fitness magazines and most gyms have their own channels and there are countless channels run by licensed trainers as well. I have personally found Xhit to be a great channel for free weight routines that fit well into a busy schedule and require a minimal amount of equipment.

q: Can I still use a trainer at home?

a:

It’s possible, but this depends on where you live and if any trainers near you are willing to work outside of a larger company. If you find someone willing to do private one-on-one training, make sure that you check their licensing and accreditation or education so that you can be certain you’re getting the real deal and not someone who may end up injuring you without meaning to.

q: How do I keep track of my workouts?

a:

There is an astoundingly wide range of exercise trackers on the market today ranging from smartwatches to pen-and-paper options. I personally use my Fitbit tracker as well as a pen-and-paper Happy Planner to make sure that I’m meeting my goals and seeing progress. These options are especially idea for people using a home gym because the Fitbit uses an accelerometer and not a GPS signal to track the work someone is doing while a pen-and-paper option can be left in the gym and personalized so that the user’s workouts are laid out ahead of time.

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