The best gym equipment for at-home workouts

Know you want to put together a home gym, but not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up the best bits from rowers to medicine balls to help you decide on your perfect combo

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Looking for new home gym equipment? We don't blame you – if you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a lot of space to spare, putting together your very own home gym and filling it with gym-worthy equipment is an attractive idea. Plus, after the initial outlay, it can be more cost-effective than a pricey membership at your local gym, and who wouldn’t rather hop straight into their own en-suite bathroom than a communal shower at the end of a sweaty workout?

We’ve rounded up a list of the best gym equipment to provide a fully kitted-out space, and all the workouts you can imagine, whether you want to use your home gym to work on your cardio, resistance training, or a bit of everything.

Which home gym equipment to consider

Make every day leg day with an elliptical trainer or cross-trainer – whatever you call it, it’s a fantastic low-impact exercise for fit and healthy stems, friendly to joints and a great way to get in those all-important ‘flights climbed’ numbers. A rowing machine offers the same benefits but adds a bit more emphasis on core strength, with some experts saying it’s the closest thing to a full-body workout available from a single machine. 

And speaking of the elusive full-body workout… a compact home gym or multi gym is among the best investments out there for versatility, great if the whole family wants to use the space, or even if you just like a bit of variety in your resistance training. Then, there are the accoutrements: the balls, really. Exercise balls are great for warming up, cooling down, and everything – really, everything – in between, while medicine balls can add a little more oomph to squats and lunges. 

1. Concept 2 Indoor Rower

An all-round workout with progress tracking: that’s a concept we can get behind

Best for: Full-body, low-impact exercise
Size: H113 x W243.8 x D61cm
Weight: 25.9kg
Type: Rowing machine
Reasons to buy
+ Multi-purpose workout + Track progress with app 
Reasons to avoid
- Expensive starter piece 

This indoor rower might seem a little spendy on first glance, but it’s well worth the investment for anyone looking to get fit and healthy at home. Working the backs, arms, and legs, it’s an almost-complete workout unparalleled by any other type of single-use home exercise machine, and a low-impact form of exercise that’s good for anyone with problem joints. Plus, there’s no set-up time, just start rowing whenever you feel like it, and log your progress with the accompanying app and any smart device. 

2. ProForm 225 CSX

Keep up your cycling during the cold winter months

Best for: Controlled cardio
Size: H161cmxW54cmxD96cm
Type: Exercise bike
Reasons to buy
+ Interval training + Magnetic resistance 
Reasons to avoid
- Only 8kg flywheel 

This bike will by no means replicate the toughest mountainous cycling conditions but if you’re looking to simulate the kind of mileage you were covering during the summer because you don’t want to lose your fitness, this bike is a great buy. One of the greatest attractions of this bike is its interval training, which allows you to work and rest to build up strength and stamina. ProForm have loaded 21 programmes into the system, so you can mix and match and not become bored of the same exercise routine. The display monitors your calories, distance, pace, pulse, resistance, speed, time and watts so you can keep track of your improvements as you train.  

3. T3 Treadmill With Go Console

Our best home treadmill: easy to set up, sturdy and quiet to run on

Best for: Aerobic exercise
Size: H147 x W202 x D88cm
Weight: 111kg
Type: Treadmill
Reasons to buy
+ Good-looking unit + Ease of setup and use 
Reasons to avoid
- Can wobble a little with increased speed 

There’s no sense in plumping for sub-par equipment just because you’re working out at home, so if you want to chuck in that gym membership once and for all, you’ll want to look to the top of the range for home gym inspo. This Life Fitness treadmill is chock full of features that would be right at home at a pricey health club, and those who’ve used it have found it sturdy, stable and quiet – good news for those trying to work or sleep downstairs as you get your sweat on in the loft! The LCD console is also said to be simple to navigate, so you should be able to get set up quickly. 

4. NordicTrack Freestrider Elliptical Trainer

Choose from endless combinations to keep leg day interesting

Best for: Leg day
Size: H174 x W157 x D74cm
Weight: 128kg
Type: Elliptical cross trainer
Reasons to buy
+ Tailor intensity accordingly + Engaging HD display 
Reasons to avoid
- Could be more resistance at the top end 

The concept of the home elliptical trainer is simple enough, but the right one can offer you a wealth of functions you never thought of that’ll make your workout work better for you. This NordicTrack cross trainer features a power intensity ramp that allows you to choose between a whopping 24 levels of resistance and 10 degrees of incline, so on those days when you particularly fancy working a different muscle group, you can tailor your tech accordingly. The HD screen is also surprisingly engaging, showing you your target and actual heart rate and all the stats you could want as you work towards your PB, as well as packing a sound system to keep you motivated. 

5. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells

A flexible dumbbell set that saves space and ups your gains

Best for: Arms
Size: H53 x W44.4 x D24.2cm
Weight: 4 - 41kg
Type: Dumbbells
Reasons to buy
+ 15 dumbbells in one + Simple to increase your workout 
Reasons to avoid
- May want to invest in some smaller free weights to start with

Whether you’ve already taken up a good deal of the room in your home gym, or you have a dedicated but on-the-small-side space, these space-saving dumbbells are a great purchase. The price might seem high, but you get a whopping 15 sets of dumbbells in one – when you want to size up or down, just click the next weight on or set one back into the stand. They’re incredibly easy to use, and are a great way to pace your own training, but trying to move the whole set at once is a hefty task: you have been warned. 

6. Marcy Eclipse Compact Multi Gym

Work out legs, bums, tums and more with this marvellous multi gym

Best for: Abs, arms and legs
Size: H210 x W91 x D172cm
Weight: 123kg
Type: Multigym
Reasons to buy
+ Work out every part of your body  + Safe, quality build 
Reasons to avoid
- Needs a lot of space 

While you’ll need a dedicated space to keep this ultra-versatile powerhouse in, it more than earns the rather large footprint it occupies, offering the value of multiple machines in one. To work out arms, chest, legs, and more, you can utilise the 68kg solid vinyl weight stack – an ample amount for beginner to intermediate lifters – high and low pulleys, press arms, and leg extensions for a truly all-round resistance workout. Plus, all the business is at the front, so you can even push it against the wall to save space. For cost per use, and use per inch, this really is a fantastic machine. 

7. York Fitness Active 120 Cross Trainer

Get fit and toned across the board

Best for: Training your whole body
Size: H148 x W54 x D121cm
Weight: 37kg
Type: Cross trainer
Reasons to buy
+ Reviewers found it easy to set up and use + All-over workout 
Reasons to avoid
- Not as many resistance levels as the Freestrider 

While an elliptical like our choice above is ideal for working out every single leg muscle (including ones you didn’t know you had) the similar-looking cross trainer provides some extra benefits, so if you’re looking to get more of an all-over workout it may be worth going for this multi-tasking machine. It only has 16 level of resistance compared to the NordicTrack Freestrider’s 24, but with its easy-to-use selection of presets that run from light and breezy to positively fiendish, and 18 motivating workout programmes for arms and legs, it seems to be a great addition to the home gym setup. 

8. RDX Punch Bag

A one-two punch of core and cardio brilliance

Best for: Stamina
Size: 4ft, 5ft
Weight: 24kg
Type: Punch bag
Reasons to buy
+ Good for building stamina + Full set to get started straight away 
Reasons to avoid
- Needs a lot of space 

Anyone who fancies themselves a bit of an Ali or Tyson will no doubt already have resolved to get a punchbag into their home gym, and this is our pick of the bunch. The multi-layered foam inner with gel lining is a pro shock-absorbing combination, while the ‘SpongeX’ padding offers added resistance with high-intensity hits. Best of all, it comes complete with gloves, wraps and hanging fixtures to get you started right off the bat. It’s also surprisingly versatile: if you do run out of space in the gym – hey, those multi-gym machines don’t store themselves! – its waterproof covering means it can even be used outside, and it comes complete with a pair of gloves to get you set up straight away. 

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