Best home gym equipment: 9 ways to ramp up your fitness goals

Be sure to read our guide to the best home gym equipment, and start the year off on the right note.

Included in this guide:

A handful of the best home gym equipment to invest in this year
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(Image credit: Yogi Bare / Ultrasport / Ativafit)

The best home gym equipment isn't just something we want to have on hand when it's too hot or snowy to attend the gym in person, but after spending over a year in lockdown, we now know it's essential. 

We know the importance of working up a sweat after a long hard day. A mere 45-minutes on the best elliptical machine can (and will) lift our spirits and have us feeling good in no time. In fact, it's that "state of mind" that is even more important come the holiday season. 

With many of us living and working at home, there is no work/life balance, and what little we do maintain is thrown out the window come the holiday season. 

After all, if no one sees us sneak those extra cookies, did we even eat said cookies? Absolutely, but one way to remove any guilt is by picking up a pair of the best dumbbells and adding some balance into your life. 

What are the best smaller home gym equipment buys?  

It doesn't matter if you have a workout room in your home or simply a small, designated space when it comes to working out at home; the last thing you want are pieces that are hard to store. Alleviate clutter by planning ahead. 

Think compact pieces such as dumbbells, weighted hula hoops, a pull-up bar, kettle, or even something as simple as a balance board. Just because you are short on space doesn't mean you can't be big on ideas. 

  • Best yoga mat: Yogi Bare PAWS Yoga Exercise Mat
  • Best treadmill: Life Fitness T3 Go Console
  • Best resistance bands: TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands 
  • Best stationary bike: Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer
  • Best exercise bike:  Sole E95
  • Best jump rope: DEGOL Skipping Rope
  • Best dumbbells: Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells
  • Best kettlebells: Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebells
  • Best ab machine: Stealth Core Trainer 

9 best homes gym equipment Items according to our team

best home gym equipment


(Image credit: Yogi Bare)

1. Yogi Bare PAWS Yoga Exercise Mat

An eco-friendly, non-slip selection that's great for beginners

Specifications
Materials: Natural PU rubber
Mat thickness: 4mm
Dimensions: 180cm x 66cm
Reasons to buy
+
Biodegradable and recyclable
+
Great grip
+
Range of colors and sizes
+
Body alignment guides for beginners

The best yoga mat is a given for anyone using their home and transforming it into an at-home gym, and the Yogi Bare PAWS Exercise Mat checks all of our boxes. 

This yoga mat is available in many shades and sizes, crafted from 100% natural PU rubber, which is both biodegradable and recyclable, only using natural plant-based dyes when making each option. (Meaning no toxic inks!)

With a measured 4mm thick surface, this easy-to-clean mat boasts body alignment and even shows you where your hands and feet need to go. Perfect for beginners and long-term yogis alike, this mat is extra-firm and includes an incredible grip, so no matter how much you sweat, you'll remain grounded! 

best home gym equipment

2. Life Fitness T3 Go Console

A state-of-the-art treadmill for those building a luxe home gym

Specifications
Size: L202cm x W88cm x H147cm
Incline range: 0-15%
Pre-set programmes: 14
Reasons to buy
+
Easy to use 
+
Stable and sturdy 
Reasons to avoid
-
Not great for small spaces
-
Expensive

It goes without saying that this is unequivocally one of the best treadmills on the market. The professional-looking machine has the functionality to back it up, and most avid gym-goers will say it mimics the ones at state-of-the-art gyms. 

A bit on the pricier side, it's worth every cent with the reliability, usability, and surprisingly quiet ride for a bulkier machine; with a wide running belt and easy-to-navigate console, you can ramp up your fitness goals and continue to move your way up.  

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: TheFitLife)

3. TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands

A pair of double-layered bands offering a rigorous workout

Specifications
Resistance range: 10-150 lbs
How many bands? : 5
Other items?: 1 door anchor, 2 ankle straps, 2 handles, 1 bag, 1 exercise guide
Reasons to buy
+
Five two-layered bands
+
Can be combined to reach a maximum of 150 lbs
+
Exercise Guide provides resistance band workouts
Reasons to avoid
-
Some reports of bands snapping

You don’t need a gym or strength-building equipment to build muscles – resistance bands will do the trick. TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands are a great addition to your home gym as they offer workout versatility without taking up a lot of space.

These resistance bands are made with two layers of natural latex resulting in tubes that are more durable than most. The bands are identified by weight – 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 lbs – and you can use them alone or combine them together for the resistance of 150 lbs. Attachable handles, ankle straps, and a door anchor are included in the kit and with TheFitLife’s Exercise Guide, you’ll learn the best ways to use these tools to maximize your performance.

best home gym equipment

4. Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer

A space-saving cycling machine that has eight levels to chose from

Specifications
Resistance Type: Friction
Levels: 8
Max User Weight: 100kg
Reasons to buy
+
Foldable
+
Affordable
+
Eight levels to match different levels of expertise 
Reasons to avoid
-
Not as high-tech as some  

Looking for the best exercise bike to work those legs and tone your abdomen? If you’ve only got a small amount of space to work with, let this slimline exercise bike be your choice.

This is one of the best foldable exercise bikes on the market as it allows you to work out anywhere in the comfort of your own home. It features an LCD display and has eight different programs for you to try. It boasts no other frills but it does the job nicely and it saves money on costly gym memberships.

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Sole Fitness)

5. Sole E95

An all-around excellent item that combines entertainment and adjustability

Specifications
Stride length: 20"
Resistance levels: 20
Workout programs: 10
Adjustable incline: Yes, motor-adjust (20 settings)
Weight limit: 400 lbs.
Dimensions: 82"Lx31"Wx71"H
Reasons to buy
+
Robust resistance levels, programming
+
Uniquely adjustable foot pedals 
+
Solid construction and a great warranty
+
Wireless heart rate monitoring/control
+
Bluetooth capable
+
Motor-adjust incline
Reasons to avoid
-
Takes up a lot of space
-
No virtual reality/video display

It's almost impossible to find fault with the Sole E95 elliptical machine, which provides the best combination of robust features, solid construction, and enough workout options to keep you hopping. It also offers uniquely adjustable foot pedals for a comfortable ride — and it's priced as a good value. It's definitely the best elliptical machine money can buy.

The Sole E95 offers as many (or more) resistance levels (20), workout programs (10) and incline settings (20) as any exerciser will need, along with a 20" stride length that hits the sweet spot for most people. This machine is solid, and Sole's one-of-a-kind "worm drive," a system that lets you (literally) dial the foot pedals into exactly the right angle to avoid numb toes and knee pain. 

Other notable features include wireless heart rate monitoring (a chest strap heart rate monitor is included), and two heart-rate control workouts that automatically adjust the elliptical's resistance to keep you within a target heart rate range. The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is also Bluetooth capable, interacts with many popular fitness apps, and has thoughtful control buttons on the moving handlebars so you don't have to interrupt your workout to adjust resistance or incline. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: DEGOL)

6. DEGOL Skipping Rope

A stellar at-home jump rope to raise your heart rate in a flash

Specifications
Size: Handle length: 6"; Rope length: adjustable to 9ft
Weight: 0.15kg
Reasons to buy
+
Affordable
+
Easy to store
+
Adjustable to your height

With near 50,000 Amazon reviewers singing the DEGOL Skipping Rope's praises, it's hard to dispute this jump rope. Designed from PVC embedded wire rope and coated with PVC, users will notice this item is both comfortable and lightweight. 

The near-perfectly-reviewed item is "fun to use" and deemed "one of the best," with almost every user mentioning the adjustable length; so many loved how it can extend to nearly nine feet and is suitable for both children and adults. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells

An all-inclusive set of dumbbells that feature five different weights

Specifications
Weight sets: 12.5, 27.5, 55, or 71.5 lbs
Weight increments: 2.5 or 5 lbs
Size: 13.9" x 12" x 5.1", 13.39" x 7.87" x 5.91, 16.73" x 7.68" x 8.07", 16.34" x 7.5" 8.67"
Reasons to buy
+
Five different weights in one set of dumbbells
+
Comfortable handle grip
+
Comes with racks that make it easy to adjust the weight
Reasons to avoid
-
Takes a bit of time and effort to change between weights 

The best dumbbells can help you bulk up and slim down, and we are partial to the Adjustable Dumbbell Set by AtivaFit, which is available in 12.5, 27.5, 55, or 71.5 lbs. 

This ingenious design provides users with two dumbbells that have a soft-grip handle. But the real kicker? These dumbbells are adjustable, so you have five sets of dumbbells in one. 

For example, with the 12.5 dumbells, you can adjust it to be 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, or 12.5 lbs at any given time. 

Plus, the dumbbells sit in special racks, and when you want to adjust the weight up or down, you pull up on the adjuster and slide to your desired weight. Perfect for any home gym, you'll love how versatile these dumbbells are when looking to do anything from HIIT workouts to starting slow and building muscle. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Yes4All)

8. Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebells

From your glutes to your abs and lats, this kettlebell will work it all out

Specifications
Weights: 5-50 lbs
Materials: Cast iron with vinyl coating
Other features: Flat bottom
Reasons to buy
+
Cast iron is durable and long-lasting
+
The vinyl coating will protect floors
+
Can buy in a set or as single kettlebells
Reasons to avoid
-
A full set might require a rack

If you’re looking for a fitness tool that hits your glutes, legs, abs, shoulders, pecs, and lats, then a kettlebell will do the trick. More specifically, you'll want the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell.

Yes4All’s Kettlebells are made of cast iron and covered in a vinyl coat to not only prevent corrosion of the cast iron but to provide a soft cushion to your floors (though you'll definitely need a mat to ultimately protect your floors!). The handles are wide and slightly textured to prevent slippage and the bottom is flat so they won’t fall over when set on the ground. The flat bottom also allows for more intense workouts like handstands and pistol squats.

Choose between a set of four kettlebells or pick and choose single kettlebells that range between 5 lbs and 50 lbs. 

best home gym equipment

(Image credit: Stealth)

9. Stealth Core Trainer

An at-home ab trainer that will perfect your plank (and more!)

Specifications
Size: 25.91 x 25.67 x 7.01 inches
Weight: 15.21 lbs
App? : Free with two free games; premium subscription available
Reasons to buy
+
360-degree maneuverability board allows you to move in different directions
+
Comfortable foam arm pad 
+
Two free games in the Stealth app
Reasons to avoid
-
Quite expensive
-
Premium subscription required to access more games

Working out doesn’t have to be boring – at least not with the Stealth Core Trainer. This tool is designed to work your core and body as you plank and play video games.

Here’s how it works: Download the Stealth Fitness app (which is free) and place it in the designated area on the multi-directional foam board. Then put your forearms on the pad and move into a plank position. The app provides two free games (a premium subscription offers more!) that direct you to move your core in various ways to complete the game. 

The board has 360-degree maneuverability, moving with you as your plank. 

Now, it by no means makes it an easier way to work out, but the interactive element could make core exercises more fun when you’re tired of crunches, sit-ups, and push-ups. 

Things to consider before investing in the best home gym equipment:

Fitness goals 

Which gym equipment you choose will be based primarily on the type of fitness goals you have. If you want to increase your stamina, cardio machines are the way to go, just as weights and resistance bands are the best option for those who want to slim up or bulk up. Decide what type of fitness goals you have and build your home gym around that.

Durable products 

Choose durable products when building your home gym. Everyone knows that most exercise routines require using the best at-home gym equipment fairly regularly; you'll want pieces that can withstand the test of time. 

Travel 

Whether you are hitting the road or want to go from indoors to outdoors, the best at-home gym equipment will be able to transport you anywhere, any time. 

Space

Sure, some home gym equipment can take up a lot of space, but there are plenty of items that are apartments – and small home-friendly, like resistance bands and adjustable dumbbells. 

If you reside in an apartment, you may want to bear in mind the noise some gym equipment will make. Dropping weights on floors that aren't padded or running on your at-home treadmill at 6 a.m. could upset your downstairs neighbors.

Protect your home and floor 

If you have to use your gym equipment indoors, make sure that you protect your home and floor from the hazards of workout equipment. Purchase padding to place under your cardio machines and always use weights on a workout mat. If those weights fall, you don’t want them to crack your tile or put a dent in your hardwood floor.

Brittany Romano is Future's U.S. Shopping Editor, based in New York City. From her start as a fashion market assistant at Marie Claire to building a highly profitable commerce vertical at Us Weekly and AMI brands, Brittany has produced award-winning content covering everything from celebrity beauty hacks to must-have items from online sales. She is a graduate of New England College. When she isn’t writing, you can find Brittany indulging in yet another DIY project or cheering on her beloved Boston Bruins. Find her on Instagram at @ItsBrittanyRomano.

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