Cool Home Gym Equipment That Actually Works
Home gyms have been a thing for decades. Remember all those infomercials from the 1980s? Now the second decade of the 21st century is proving to be their golden moment.
More people want to be fit and healthy. Yet many of them have no time or desire to go to the gym. Lots of companies are eager to cash in on this newfound interest in working out from home.
But not all workout equipment is worth your money. This is the home exercise equipment that actually works, and you can use it no matter your fitness level.
A Jump Rope to Get You As Fit As When You Were 10
As a kid, you jumped rope for fun. As an adult, you can jump rope to do some cardio and wonder why you’d enjoy this pain when you were little.
Kidding aside, health experts claim jumping rope is one of the two best exercises to keep you fit for life. Add the simple yet effective exercise to your routine with this trusty jump rope that has more than 43,000 reviews on Amazon.
Buy now: Degol Skipping Rope, $9.99
Fabric Resistance Bands We Can Personally Vouch For
If you’re doing bodyweight training from home, you can easily up your game with some resistance bands. The idea is that they’ll create, uh, resistance while you do repetitive movements like squats.
These fabric bands are built specifically to make your muscles work a little harder and can’t be used for stretching like rubber resistance bands (don’t worry, they’ll be on this list too).
What makes these resistance bands great is that they don’t lose shape as easily and last longer. Unless you want to do deep stretches, these ones will work great.
Buy now: Walito Resistance Bands, $13.99
Simple Yet Effective Pilates Ball
You can do so much with this multipurpose tool, we think basically everyone should have one. It's great for pilates and core training exercises, but can also double as an ergonomic seat for your home office. Yes, really.
Another handy use is bouncing babies on it until they fall asleep or using it to stretch your back. It's a world of possibilities for an incredibly cheap price.
Buy now: BalanceFrom Exercise Ball, $11.93
Training Ladder That Will Help You Develop Agility
You’ve probably seen soccer players use a tool like this to develop their agility. This portable ladder can easily be used in your house, backyard or park. You can take it with you to train while you travel, and it provides a fun way to keep up with your fitness goals.
It’s simple and low-tech but very effective.
Buy now: GHB Pro Agility Ladder, $12.99
Basic Ab Roller Wheel With Knee Pad
Abs are the foes of every person trying to get fit so it’s worth investing in a small, simple equipment that lets you target your core.
The ab roller is a classic and can easily be put away in the closet after you’re done working out. We like this one because it comes with a handy knee pad and offers a great price.
Buy now: Vinsguir Ab Roller Wheel, $15.99
Yoga Mat That Works for Basically Everything
It may be called a "yoga" mat, but these types of mats work for almost everything. They’re perfect for stretching, body weight exercises and doing cardio without putting too much pressure on your knees. Of course, they’re also pretty necessary for yoga and pilates.
Since they roll up, you won’t even notice them when you’re not using them, so keep one in your home office for your five-minute stretch breaks. This yoga mat has 4.5 stars from almost 70,000 reviews on Amazon.
Buy now: BalanceFrom All-Purpose Yoga Mat, $16.60
Doorway Pull-Up Bar for When Space Is Limited
If a lack of space is keeping you from building the home gym of your dreams, get a doorway pull-up bar. Yes, they’ll be very visibly present, but they’ll just use the air space that is otherwise empty.
Doorway pull-up bars are great for getting short exercises in and can be used as a break from sitting at your desk. You can also unmount it and use it on the floor to do push-ups and dips.
Buy now: CEAYUN Pull-Up Bar for Doorway, $22.99
A Resistance Bands Set With Over 23,000 Amazon Reviews
If the fabric bands don’t work for what you want, get these latex ones. They’ll allow for great stretches and for working arms, legs and core at the same time. They can be used on their own or attached to other exercise equipment.
You can also use one band or stack any number of the 11 that come on this set together for more weight.
Buy now: Whatafit Resistance Bands Set, $24.97
A Home Gym Equipment Combo for Those Just Starting Out
If you’re just starting out and have zero exercise equipment, we recommend getting this 6-in-1 set. You’ll get an ab roller, a knee pad, resistance bands and push-up bars. The equipment mostly targets ab workouts but is an easy way to go from zero to something while building your home gym.
At a little over $25, it’s also the perfect way to test the waters of a fitness journey without spending too much money.
Buy now: EnterSports 6-in-1 Home Gym Equipment, $26.98
Simple But Efficient Step Deck
We love simple things that work without having to connect to WiFi or provide flashy perks. Get a step deck, step on and off of it repeatedly, get some cardio done. It’s as simple as that.
It's really a no-brainer why this is a popular Kohl's home gym equipment piece.
Buy now: FILA Step Deck, $29.99
A Kettlebell That Won’t Damage Your Floors if You Drop It
A kettlebell is a basic piece of home gym equipment. You can do squats, swings, sit-ups, deadlifts and many, many other exercises that’ll work your entire body.
What we like about this particular kettlebell is that it has a padded exterior that will keep your floors (and feet) safe if you accidentally drop it.
Buy now: Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell With Handle, $32.37
Classic Dumbbell Hand Weights
Like kettlebells, dumbbells are an almost necessary part of an at-home gym. They’re usually one of the first things people buy when they’re starting to get serious about fitness.
The great thing about dumbbells is that you can buy the weight that best fits your level and your goals. It’s also easy to increase or decrease the weight as you progress.
You can also do a million exercises with them.
Buy now: Portzon Dumbbell Hand Weights, $45.59
Balance Trainer Half Ball to Work On Your Core
Half balls are an incredible tool for getting your core to work hard and developing balance. You can’t have balance without core strength and without learning how to properly stand with a straight back (believe us, proper straight backs are not as common as one would think).
One way to use this balance trainer is to simply stand there without falling or fidgeting. You can try standing on one leg and doing different positions. You can also get more pro by using resistance bands with it, or turn it over and do push-ups as you balance the ball.
There are many exercises you can do with this balance trainer that will target different parts of your abs.
Buy now: Ativafit Half Ball Balance Trainer, $56.99
An Affordable Row Machine
Row machines work out basically every muscle in your body, which is why it’s become a popular at-home gym equipment, even with people who never plan to row row row a boat.
This particular rowing machine is adjustable, so you can easily customize it to your height and body. It does take more space than other items on this list, but can also work as your only large equipment, since it targets so many different areas of your body.
Buy now: Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine, $84.99
Ab Workout Machine to Strengthen Your Core
Another ab-specific machine, this core trainer is like the ab roller on steroids.
It will take much more space in your house, but if you are hard-core (pun intended) about your fitness and have a dedicated space to your home gym, it can take your workout to a whole new level.
Buy now: Fitlaya Fitness Core and Abdominal Trainer, $109.99
Portable Home Gym for When You’re on the Road
It's easy to lose your exercise routine when you're traveling, especially if you travel often. This portable home gym can pack small and light, so you can take it with you while on a road trip or even to get a quick workout at the office.
The home gym is also useful for people who live in small apartments or places with limited space. You can have a mini home gym that easily fits in a closet or even under your bed.
Buy now: BodyBoss Full Portable Home Gym, $129
Suspension Trainer System You Can Take Anywhere
The TRX Go suspension trainer system is not only popular with online shoppers, but with physical gyms as well. Their equipment can be seen in gyms all over the U.S.
Unless you're looking for the community a gym can bring, you might as well make the investment and bring the gym to you. The suspension trainer helps you use your body weight to exercise, one of the best ways to work out from home.
Buy now: TRX Go Suspension Trainer System, $129.95
Handy Adjustable Weight Bench
This weight bench is an Amazon No.1 bestselling product, and it's easy to see why. At a great price point, you get a weight bench that is not only adjustable but also foldable.
This means that you get all of the benefits of the equipment without having it take a lot of space when it's not in use.
Buy now: FLYBIRD Weight Bench, $145.79
An Even Smaller Portable Gym That Astronauts Use in Space
If the BodyBoss portable gym is still too large for your needs, consider paying a bit more for the OYO. The company claims that the product was used by a NASA astronaut, Dr. Leroy Chiao, to keep fit while in space.
Hey, if it's good enough for the geniuses of the world, it's good enough for us.
Buy now: OYO Personal Gym, $149.95
An Adjustable Dip Station/Pull-Up Bar
Now we're getting into the realm of equipment that's for the hard-core at-home gym enthusiast. This dip station/pull-up bar will definitely take up space in your home. But if you're one to already have a special space for exercise equipment, it'll be a great addition to your routine.
This versatile piece of equipment can be used for many exercises, including pull-ups, dips and chin-ups.
Buy now: Sportsroyals Power Tower, $185.99
A Cheaper Alternative to Peloton
Peloton may be the bee's knees, but it certainly wasn't made for your everyday Joe and Jane. Thankfully, this Yosuda alternative gets the job done.
Your stationary bike friends won't be able to track your progress and quietly shame you, nor will you get to join live classes. But this bike lets you do what you need: exercise at home in an effective way.
Plus, it has an iPad mount, which is the most important thing in our book.
Buy now: Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike, $279.99
Weider Pro's Popular Home Gym System
As far as complete home gym systems go, the Weider Pro 6900 is one of the best you can get at an affordable price.
This is for people who take fitness seriously enough to have a full system permanently set up in their home, but who can't or won't spend thousands of dollars on it.
Buy now: Weider Pro 6900 Home Gym System, $299.99
Rowing Machine With Smart Technology
We've already established that a rowing machine is a great full-body exercise tool. But if you want something more than a classic machine, we suggest investing in this Bluetooth-enabled rower.
The system can measure how many calories you've burnt, the time you've spent rowing and your distance. You can also pay for a membership to have a professional coach help you in your progress.
Buy now: Bluetooth Rower Rowing Machine, $379
Everyday Essentials Powercage
Does having a powercage mean that you may be a little too obsessed with the gym? Certainly. But as Polonius said, "To thine own self be true." Or in modern language, haters gonna hate.
So go ahead and spend $400 on a powercage for your home. This handy exercise equipment can be used for pull-ups, pull-downs, dips and more. You'll probably want to get extra gear to maximize your workouts, but you're sure to develop upper body and core strength.
Buy now: Everyday Essentials Powercage, $399.99
Marcy Home Gym Station for a Full-Body Workout
Target all areas of your body with the popular Marcy home gym station. While it isn't cheap, it's is one of the most affordable options on the market, especially for the quality of the product.
This is really like having a mini gym in your home and we like that you're able to switch up your target area very easily and without having to change machines.
Buy now: Marcy 150-Pound Stack Home Gym, $599
Or the Bowflex Home Gym
Coming in at a similar price point as the Marcy Home Gym, this Bowflex home gym is another great alternative to the gym.
We like this one a bit more simply because of the variety of exercises it offers. For instance, you can change the rolling seat to make it into a rowing machine. There's also pull cables in different positions and a horizontal bench press.
If you want something even fancier, though more expensive, check out the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym.
Buy now: Bowflex Home Gym Series, $599.99
Chuck Norris-Approved Home Gym
Really? We're gonna fall for a paid celebrity endorsement? You bet we are!
This is, after all, Chuck Norris, actor/martial arts master extraordinaire. And if he thinks the Total Gym Supreme is good for exercising, who are we to argue?
C'mon, just look at how fit he is for someone in his 80s.
Buy now: Total Gym Supreme, $699
The Aspirational Lululemon Mirror
If you can afford to spend almost $1,500 on home workout equipment, Lululemon's Mirror is a great investment. While it's not the only one of its kind, we do appreciate its sleek design and the way it seamlessly blends with different styles.
The Mirror isn't physical equipment per se, but rather an at-home trainer that can guide you, push you and digitally measure your progress. You'll have personal trainers and live classes without even leaving your home.
Plus, Lululemon offers a monthly payment plan that makes this affordable to those who don't have wads of cash just lying around.
Buy now: Mirror From Lululemon, $1,495 or $42 a month
The One and Only Peloton Bike
The classic Peloton bike is even more expensive than the Mirror, but it's also an actual piece of exercise equipment, and it'll definitely kick your behind.
There's a reason why the CEOs of the world have rallied up behind it and chosen it as their preferred at-home exercise item. It's effective, to the point and its steep price point comes with a high return of investment.
You'll get stats, classes that go beyond spinning and can follow your acquaintances through the app for a bit of friendly competition (again, this is why CEOs love this). Like the Mirror, Peloton offers a monthly financing option for less than $50 per month.
Buy now: Peloton Bike Basics, $1,895 or $49 a month
The Holy Grail of At-Home Gyms
An at-home gym for $3,000? Yes, we know, we know. But there's a good reason the Tonal Home Gym is included on this list, and that's because we actually think it's worth the money if you can spare it.
This is like the home gyms listed above with the Lululemon Mirror wrapped up in one. The high-tech gym is an actual piece of exercise equipment and can be used for full-body workouts and strength building. It also has a "mirror" that analyzes your movements in real-time and provides feedback and statistics based on them.
The weights digitally adapt based on your position and strength to help you avoid injuries. That alone makes it worth it for someone who doesn't want to stop exercising because of an injury.
Buy now: Tonal Home Gym, $2,995 or $63 a month