home gym equipment

10 Essential Equipment for Your Home Gym

Are you looking to build a home gym? Tired of schlepping to the gym and want to workout from the comfort of your home? It’s easy to build a home gym, you just need space at home for your gym and some basic home gym equipment to get you started. We asked Marianna Linnehan, personal trainer at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, for her list of must-have home gym equipment. Here are 10 essential equipment for your home gym.

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Why Should You Build a Home Gym?

There are a lot of advantages to building a home gym and working out from home. First you save a lot of time commuting back and forth from the gym to your home. Even if it’s only a 15 minute commute each way, that is still 30 minutes of your time that you can use for something more productive. You also save money if you build a home gym. Overtime, the savings you get from canceling your gym membership will more than cover the initial cost to build your home gym. Another advantage to having a home gym is it is convenient. You don’t need to worry about being late for fitness classes anymore, you can workout at your own time. And you don’t need to get dressed up to workout in your home gym! You can also watch free fitness classes on YouTube or if you have the Mirror, you can take fitness classes on demand. That way you are still getting fitness instruction when you workout in your home gym.

Even though there are many advantages to building a home gym, there are also some disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that when you workout in your home gym, you miss out on the opportunities to socialize with other gym members. If you enjoy meeting people and socializing with other gym members then you should probably keep going to the gym. It is also difficult to be motivated when you workout from home. There is no trainer pushing you or motivating you during your workout at home. If you plan to workout from your home gym, you need to have a minimum level of self-motivation and self-discipline.

Where to Build Your Home Gym

Building a home gym is easier than you think. You can easily build your home gym over a weekend. First you need to set aside space for your home gym. It doesn’t even have to be in a dedicated room, you can set aside a corner to build your home gym. I’ve seen people build a small home gym in the corner of their family room so they can workout while they watch TV. I’ve also seen home gyms in garage. One thing to note as you are buying gym equipment for your home gym is that you need to take into account the weight of your equipment. Just make sure your floor beams can take the weight of all your gym equipment since some home gym equipment like treadmills and elliptical can be very heavy and may damage your floor. If you are not sure, it may be worth hiring a professional to inspect and reinforce your floor beams so it can take the weight of your home gym equipment. The safest bet is to build your home gym at the lowest level of your home like your basement.

What Home Gym Equipment Do You Really Need?

There are so many home gym equipment out in the market. It can get overwhelming and you may end up buying more than you really need. So what home gym equipment do you really need? At a minimum, you will need gym equipment for cardio and weight training as well as gym equipment for stretching, yoga and pilates. Below you will find essential equipment for your home gym.

Cardio Equipment for Your Home Gym

You will need at least one cardio equipment in your home gym. When it comes to choosing the type of cardio equipment for your home gym, it’s really a matter of personal preference. Do you prefer to get your cardio workout from a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, or row machine? Some people find it uncomfortable to be sitting on a bike for an hour, while some prefer to sit down when they are doing their cardio workout. It’s really a matter of preference. If you are the kind of person who easily gets bored with your workout routine, then you may want to buy multiple types of cardio equipment in your home gym so you can mix up your cardio workout. Below are some cardio equipment suggestions for your home gym.

Indoor Bikes for Your Home Gym

home gym equipment bike

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

Indoor bikes are a great way to get your cardio workout at home. If you want a comfortable indoor bike with a fully-loaded console then you will like the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike. The bike has 29 workout programs and 25 levels of resistance so its suitable for all fitness levels. The padded seats makes it a comfortable ride. There is also an adjustable handle with forearm rest for you to lean on when you workout. It has a built-in Bluetooth connectivity so you can set, track and monitor progress with popular app-based tracking tools. It is also VR compatible so you can connect to virtual reality app like Explore the World and bike in virtual courses and stunning trails. The Schwinn 170 Indoor bike is a great addition to your home gym.

NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle

If you want a fully-loaded, interactive indoor bike then you will like the NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle. You can access live and on-demand workouts from your bike powered by iFit. You will be motivated with the high-energy studio sessions led by iFit trainers. The best part is they can control your machine’s decline, incline, and resistance in real time! Aside from cycling workouts, there are also fitness classes like yoga and full-body sculpting. There is a membership fee to access these workouts but if you need the motivation, then it is well worth it. You will be streaming on-demand workouts from the 15 inch Interactive HD Touchscreen Display. The display mount is adjustable and it can rotate your screen 360-degrees so you can use it for non-cycling workout routines. There are 24 digital resistance levels for complete workout control. The SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance delivers a smooth, quiet workout with every use. If you are looking for a fully-loaded indoor bike, then the NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle is a great choice for your home gym.

Nordictrack bike home gym equipment
NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle

Inexpensive and Compact Elliptical for your Home Gym

Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer

If you want an inexpensive and compact elliptical for your home gym, then the Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer is a good choice. It is easy to adjust the intensity of your workout with the twist of the precise micro-controller equipped with 8 levels of magnetic resistance. There is a digital monitor that displays your time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse so you can easily follow your workout progress. There are anti-slip handlebars and footpads for a safe and stable workout. If you are short on space, this is a great elliptical for your home gym.

compact elliptical for home gym

Interactive Treadmill for Your Home Gym

NordicTrack T-Series Treadmill

If you want a fully-loaded, interactive treadmill, then you should get the NordicTrack T-Series Treadmill in your home gym. The treadmill gives you access to on-demand and live studio workouts through iFit. You can stream high-energy studio sessions with world-class personal trainers. The best part is your trainer can auto-adjust your machine’s decline, incline, and speed in real-time! There is a membership fee to access these workout sessions but it is well worth it if you the motivation of a trainer-led workout. There is a SMART-Response Motor for effective speed, interval, and endurance training. The 20” x 55” tread belt offers plenty of leg and elbow space as you run and the FlexSelect deck cushioning protects your joints. There is also a SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist so your treadmill can fold up after your run for compact, simple storage. The NordicTrack T-Series Treadmill is a great addition to your home gym.

treadmill for home gym

TRX System for Your Home Gym

TRX is a type of suspension training where you can train your upper body, lower body and core. TRX is great if you are short on space because the TRX system will take up minimum floor space in your home gym.

TRX Go Suspension Training System

If you are tight on space, the TRX Go Suspension Training System is great for your home gym. You can anchor your TRX to any door, rafter, beam, or post in seconds that supports 350 lbs. Since it is a portable system, you can move it around and even anchor it to a tree if you want to workout in your backyard! You can get amazing workouts with your TRX. It’s easy to find free TRX workout videos in YouTube for you to follow along. Build muscle, burn fat, increase endurance and improve flexibility with your TRX Go Suspension Training System– all in the comfort of your home gym.

trx for home gym

Bench and Step Up Bench for Your Home Gym

You should have a bench and step up bench in your home gym. It’s important to have a bench if you plan to weight train. A bench will give you the proper support you need when weight training. If you don’t have space for a bench in your home gym or if you are not planning to do any weight training, then at a minimum get a step up bench. It will come in handy when you do interval and aerobic exercises.

FlyBird Adjustable Bench

If you are planning to weight train at home, then the Flybird Adjustable Bench is a useful equipment in your home gym. Having a bench makes weight training at home safer. There are 6 back positions and 4 seat positions. The Flybird Adjustable Bench is made of heavy-duty commercial quality steel with a 500 lbs weight capacity so you can have a safe workout at home. The backrest and padding are thick and made of high quality leather for a comfortable workout. If you are tight on space, the FlyBird Adjustable Bench is foldable so you store the bench in a corner when you finish working out. The FlyBird Adjustable Bench is a useful equipment in your home gym.

adjustable bench for home gym

The Step Up Original Aerobic Platform

The Step Up bench is must-have home gym equipment if you plan to do interval exercise and aerobic exercise at home. A Step Up bench will give you the non-slip grip and weight support you need to safely workout in your home gym.

home gym equipment aerobic platform

Dumbbells for Your Home Gym

barbells for home gym

Dumbbells are essential home gym equipment. However, I recommend different dumbbell weights for women and men. For women, you should get 5 lbs. to 25 lbs. dumbbells. For men, get 15 lbs. to 60 lbs. dumbbells. I suggest Neoprene coated Barbells. If you want a whole set, the CAP Barbell Set with Rack is a solid gym equipment for your home.

barbell for your home gym

Kettle Bells for Your Home Gym

Kettle Bells are a useful gym equipment to have in your home gym. If you want a well-stocked home gym, you should get the 15 lb., 30 lb., 25 lb., 30 lb., 35 lb., 40 lb. and 45 lb. Kettle Bells. If you don’t want to have the whole set, then pick and choose a few varying weights to get you started. The Amazon Basics Cast Iron Kettle Bells are solid kettle bells for your home gym.

kettle bells for home gym

Yoga Mats for Your Home Gym

Yoga mats are another essential home gym equipment. You will need yoga mats for stretching, yoga and mat pilates workouts. If you have knee issues, you may want to consider thick yoga mats for extra padding on your knees. The Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is nice and thick providing good support for your knees when you do yoga or pilates at home. If you have kids, you may want to buy your child a yoga mat. They are fun and colorful, perfectly sized for children. Check out the Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat

yoga mat for home gym

Exercise Ball for Your Home Gym

Exercise ball is another essential home gym equipment. If you plan to do abdominal workouts at home, then you should definitely get an exercise ball. It will come in handy for your ab workouts. The Trideer Exercise Ball is a good choice for your home gym.

If you work from home, you may also want to consider getting a balance ball as your office chair. This will help keep your core active while you are at work. The Gaiam Balance Ball Ergonomic Chair for Home or Office is perfect for your home office.

balance ball for home office

Resistance Bands for Your Home Gym

Resistance bands is another essential home gym equipment. Resistance bands are inexpensive and does not take up a lot of space in your home gym. In fact, it’s useful to have because you can even bring it along with you when you travel for workouts in your hotel room. You can get a good arms and legs workout with resistance bands. The LetsFit Resistance Bands is a solid choice for your home gym.

resistance bands for home gym

Slam Balls for Your Home Gym

Slam balls are a great addition to the home gym. However, it’s not advisable to get a slam ball if your home gym is located in the upper levels of your house. You can potentially damage your upper level floor boards. Slam balls are ideal for home gyms located in the basement, however, double-check that your floor can support the weight and impact of slam balls before investing in one. The RBX Weight Training Slam Ball is a good choice for your home gym.

slam balls for home gym

Rubber Flooring for Your Home Gym

Rubber flooring is recommended in your home gym. It will give you the non-slip grip and the impact support you need when you work out. Rubber floor mats are available in interlocking pieces so it’s easy to make it fit your home gym. If you have ceramic tiles or another hard surface on the floor, definitely buy rubber floor mats to make your home gym safer. These BalanceFrom Foam Interlocking Tiles for Exercise are great for home gyms. They are easy to install too.

floor mats for home gym

About Marianna Linnehan

Marianna Linnehan has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Health Education with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Leisure Management. She is a Certified Personal Trainer at Chelsea Piers Connecticut. Marianna is the head volleyball coach at Westhill High School and is a former college coach at Eastern Connecticut University and Manhattan College. She has been recognized as Coach of the Year for two years in a row. She is also an Eastern Connecticut State University Athletics Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee. Follow her on Instagram @marlinnfitness 

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