The Best Home Gym Equipment
by Dean Stattmann
Photo by ProForm.
Building out a home gym—whether that means dedicating an entire room to fitness or just setting up a couple of pieces of equipment in your apartment—is one of the most convenient and time-saving strategies to work exercise into your life.
Regardless of the size of your home gym, the key is to get the most value out of the space you have available to you. That could mean equipment that can be used for not just one but dozens of exercises, or smart cardio tech that immerses you in live and on-demand virtual workouts.
“Whether you are training in your living room, basement, or garage, working out at home can truly get you in shape with the right tools,” says Joey Thurman, a Chicago-based personal trainer and the author of 365 Health & Fitness Hacks That Could Save Your Life.
Before you get started setting up or upgrading your home gym, Thurman recommends first considering your overall fitness goals—essentially, your reason for buying this gear in the first place.
“When looking for equipment, make sure to you plan for what you are looking to achieve,” he says. “For example, if you want to get stronger and add muscle, you’ll need heavier weights that accommodate that progression.”
“An adjustable set of dumbbells would be an amazing choice,” says Thurman. “Dumbbells can be utilized for every muscle group in your body.”
Below, we’ve rounded up our top home fitness equipment picks to help you find the products that are right for you, whether you’re just getting started or adding the finishing touches to your temple of iron. And, of course, we didn’t forget the adjustable dumbbells.
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1. Lebert EQualizer Total Body Strengthener XL
Unlike the parallel dip bars you’ll find at the gym, these bars move independently. Not only does that let you adjust the perfect grip, but it also unlocks the door to hundreds of different exercises, from inverted rows to hit your back and biceps to more chest-building pushup variations than you could dream of. This set stands a little taller than previous models, allowing for more versatility, and includes foam handles for extra comfort.
2. ProForm VUE
Reflective training is arguably one of the most exciting developments that connected fitness saw in 2020. But of all the products that entered the market, this is the only one that comes with adjustable free weights and even a barbell! ProForm’s VUE is powered by iFit, the interactive connected fitness platform, so you’ll be able to put those weights to good use with any of iFit’s engaging live and on-demand workouts, led by some of the best trainers in the world. In addition to two dumbbells, a barbell, and weight plates, VUE also ships with three resistance bands and a yoga mat, and all of the included accessories pack away neatly behind VUE’s sweeping display.
3. NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells
Why just match the gym experience at home when you can exceed it? Each of these dumbbells is adjustable between 10–55 pounds. In other words, just a single pair delivers the equivalent of 30 individual free weights. That’ll save you a lot of unnecessary iron, not to mention precious space. The intuitive adjustment system is designed for quick changes in weight, allowing seamless transitions between exercises and even the ability to perform drop sets. Each dumbbell ships with its own storage tray to keep your weights neat and tidy.
4. Valor Fitness CHN-MULTI Pull Up Bar
Home pull-up bars never really seem to hit the mark. Those glorified tension rods usually aren’t able to stick around for more than a couple of reps, and over-the-frame models allow for just enough risk to keep you from engaging mentally with your workout. Instead, skip those temporary measures and commit to something more permanent and sturdy. This heavy-duty steel bar allows for dozens of grip combinations, and it can be mounted to either a wall or the ceiling to fit the space you’re working with. The knurled grips are a nice touch. Best of all, this thing isn’t going anywhere.
5. trüFORMAT Scorpion Mat
All exercise mats are not created equal. Comfort, grip, and feel are important factors to consider when purchasing what will essentially serve as your foundation for all kinds of workouts. Some mats will turn into a veritable Slip ’N Slide the moment a drop of sweat hits; others are so plush that it can be hard to balance during unilateral lower-body work. While technically a yoga mat, the Scorpion Mat is ultimately the best overall exercise mat you’ll find. Surprisingly comfortable for its modest thickness and unusually grippy (in a good way), this durable mat will become your go-to training surface. And disguised in the edgy scorpion design are guidelines to help you keep your form in check!
6. Hyperwear Hyper Rope
A set of battle ropes is one of the calling cards of a no-nonsense functional fitness space. The trouble is they take up a lot of room and typically need to be anchored to something heavy—not ideal for training at home. That’s why Hyperwear created the Hyper Rope—a 20-foot weighted battle rope designed to be used unanchored. Concealed beneath the Hyper Rope’s quilted exterior is a metallic core that adds 15 pounds of weight. The result is a versatile battle rope that stays put, stores away easily, and can also be used to add spice to exercises like shadow boxing, Russian twists, and more.
7. Freemotion CoachBike
Connected fitness bikes became all the rage in 2020 and allowed us to recreate our favorite indoor cycling classes at home. But if you were already getting bored in the studio, chances are your at-home experience won’t be all that different. Enter the CoachBike. With access to iFit’s vast array of workout content, you can enjoy hundreds of studio workouts in addition to global rides shot at some of the most breathtaking locations on Earth. To make these transportive rides even more immersive, the CoachBike features automatic adjustments to resistance, incline, and decline that correspond to the trainer’s cues as well as the natural terrain of the ride.
8. Titan Fitness 3-In-1 Heavy Foam Plyometric Box
Not everything in your home gym needs to be a high-tech feat of engineering. A simple box can add a whole new dimension to your workouts. For instance, box squats can help you perfect your squatting technique and box jumps are a fun and dynamic way to increase power in your legs. You can also use a box to take your pushups to new heights (literally) and support your weight during exercises like single-arm dumbbell rows. Soft boxes like this will prevent unnecessary scrapes and dings while allowing you to be more ambitious with your progress. This one can be set up at a height of 15, 18, or 20 inches, depending on how you turn it.