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The Best Home-Gym Essentials

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🕚 Updated May 2022

To help improve your health and reach your fitness goals in the comfort and convenience of your own home, building a home gym is a great solution. Here are some of our top choices when it comes to the essentials.

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  Best Dumbbell Set Best Floor Mats Best Weight Bench Best Resistance Bands Best Cardio Choice
 
  papababe
Dumbbell Set Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell
BalanceFrom
Puzzle Exercise Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles
FLYBIRD
Weight Bench
Fit Simplify
Resistance Loop Exercise Bands
XTERRA
Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill
 
Our SummaryThis set has enough variety for different exercises, making progress, and a rack for keeping it all nicely contained.Protect your floor and cushion your feet with these easy-to-customize and clean tiles.The ability to adjust this bench allows you to use it for all types of training.Versatile fitness that you can take with you anywhere.Get a great workout in without having to commit a full room to your health goals.
ProsCast iron, knurling for grip, ergonomic handle design, hex head to prevent rolling, rubber encasement to protect weight and surfaces.Adjustable layouts, easy to assemble, made of EVA foam, textured surface for grip, interlocking seam, available in different square footage and thickness, available in three colors.Adjustable, variety of workouts, foot anchors for decline position, steel construction, supports 700 pounds, folds to save space.Five levels of resistance, color-coded, includes instructions, versatile, portable, don't take up much room.Steel construction, three incline levels, goes up to 10 mph, easily folds to save space, easy-to-read screen, includes 12 programs, not noisy.
ConsBlack rubber may leave scuff marks on surface.Squares can separate at interlocking seam.Slightly higher off the ground.Rubber bands roll during faster movements.May be small for those who are tall.
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The Best Home-Gym Essentials

Training at home concept, interior, decorative sport in the room with gym fitness exercise purple mat, dumbbell and bicycle.
united photo studio/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Home-Gym Essentials

Determined woman losing weight at home and exercising with dumbbells.
ORION PRODUCTION/Shutterstock.com

Why buy home-gym essentials?

You can do many workouts without a single piece of equipment, but when you want to change things up to keep workouts interesting and continue to make progress, adding home gym equipment is a good idea.

What should you consider when shopping for home-gym essentials?

  • Fitness Interests and Goals: Not everyone wants to lift weights or use a cardio machine. Determine what types of workouts and exercises you would like to do so you can focus on which types of home essentials are best to achieve your fitness goals.
  • Cost: Before you shop for home-gym essentials, you should set a budget. Browsing through exercise equipment can quickly run up a high cost. To avoid getting overwhelmed, determine your budget so you can find the equipment that can accommodate your expectations.
  • Footprint: When creating a home gym, you need to determine how much space you will dedicate to equipment. From there, shop for essentials that can not only fit your first two criteria but also will fit into the footprint of your home gym.

How do you maintain your home-gym essentials?

After using your equipment, properly clean and disinfect the surfaces. This will help keep everything looking nice, but more importantly, sweat won’t break down soft or porous surfaces. Regularly cleaning your home-gym essentials and area will also keep any stink out. For specific cleaning instructions, follow any suggestions for care that are included with your purchase.

Our Picks for the Best Home-Gym Essentials

Best Dumbbell Set

papababe Dumbbell Set Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell

This set has enough variety for different exercises, making progress, and a rack for keeping it all nicely contained.

Pros: This set of dumbbells includes pairs of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds. The range of weights makes it safe and effective to train smaller muscle groups and larger muscle groups. Having a variety of weights to choose from could make it easier to exercise with a friend, making progress much more attainable. The dumbbells are made from solid cast iron to last and have knurling for a more secure and comfortable grip. The hex heads prevent the weights from rolling and protect the weight and your floor’s surface. The set also comes with a stand that keeps the dumbbells organized and saves on floor space.

Cons: The black rubber can sometimes leave scuff marks on the floor, which does come off, but it’s something else to clean after your workout.

Bottom Line: Knowing which dumbbells to get can be confusing and often disappointing if you don’t get the right pair. Getting a set like this will allow you to do different exercises with the appropriate weights, and it can also motivate you to get stronger to use the heavier weights when you’re ready.

 

Best Floor Mats

BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat with EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles

Protect your floor and cushion your feet with these easy-to-customize and clean tiles.

Pros: These EVA foam mats are a great way to dedicate an area of your home to your workout space. Protect your floor from weights and extra ware while giving your feet some cushion during your exercises. The foam is textured for a stable grip but still allows unhindered movements. These interlocking tiles are easy to put together, and since they’re laid tile by tile, you can adjust the layout to fit your space. The tiles come in varying thicknesses and square footage, so you can buy what makes the most sense for your space. They also come in three different colors to blend in or stand out in your space.

Cons: High-impact or high-intensity workouts may cause the tiles to come apart or shift at the interlocking parts.

Bottom Line: When creating a space for your home gym, protect your floors and your joints with ultimate comfort with these foam mats.

 

Best Weight Bench

FLYBIRD Weight Bench

The ability to adjust this bench allows you to use it for all types of training.

Pros: This workout bench is a reasonable price for all its versatility in the gym. The seat adjusts in three positions, and the backrest has seven adjustments (including decline positions), making it compatible with just about any exercise an athlete could want from a bench. You can use this bench for an entire workout, from dumbbell or barbell exercises to body weight and cardio movements. The foot anchors are helpful for athletes keeping good form without a spotter as well as using in a decline position. Its steel frame supports a max weight of 700 pounds, and the leather pad is cushioned for comfort. Another great feature is that it folds, saving space when you’re not using it.

Cons: This bench is 21 inches off the ground, which may be uncomfortable or unnerving for novice users.

Bottom Line: This workout bench is an affordable and versatile option for beginner and seasoned athletes who want to use it for several different exercises.

 

Best Resistance Bands

Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands

Versatile fitness that you can take with you anywhere.

Pros: This pack of five loop resistance bands has varying resistance levels. This is good to accommodate various fitness experiences and exercises that utilize different muscle groups. These bands can be added to various workout programs to increase intensity, to strength train, or to stretch. The bands are made of natural rubber and are two inches wide to fit comfortably. Carry the bands with you in the convenient drawstring bag when you travel, or pack them away to keep your home gym tidy. The set comes with a booklet with suggested exercises if you’re unfamiliar with using loop bands in your workouts.

Cons: These can roll on themselves during movements, especially during high-intensity workouts.

Bottom Line: The variety of resistance is suitable for training different muscle groups. Their compact size makes it easy to fit in any workout space and carry with you when traveling.

 

Best Cardio Choice

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

Get a great workout in without having to commit a full room to your health goals.

Pros: This sturdy treadmill is made from steel and is 50 inches long, accommodating strides of many lengths. The speed ranges from 0.5 to 10.0 mph, and it has three incline levels. The treadmill includes a 5-inch intuitive LCD screen to easily display speed, incline, time, distance, calories, pulse, and workout programs. If you’re unsure what you want to do on the treadmill, it comes with 12 programs, which is a huge help for beginners or those who need a little workout inspiration. When you’re done with your workout, a knob allows you to fold it up easily and away so you can carry on with your day without any obstruction.

Cons: It may be a bit on the smaller side for tall people.

Bottom Line: With daily use for a family, this treadmill will be sturdy and not too noisy for the long haul. The easy setup and ability to fold and store it after use make it extremely reliable and convenient to make health and fitness a part of your daily routine.

 

Best Pull-Up Option

ProsourceFit Multi-Use Doorway Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar

Strengthen your upper body with a variety of exercises with only one bar.

Pros: This pull-up bar fits in your doorway without any installation necessary. This pull-up bar is made of steel with 12 comfortable grips to add variety to your upper body training. Soft cushions indicate proper grip placement for wide, hammer, and neutral grips. Even though it’s sturdy, you can easily remove it from the door to change from pull-ups or chin-ups to push-ups or dips. If you’d rather have it bolted to the door, it comes with the proper installation hardware. The pieces of the pull-up bar that come in contact with the door frame have pads to keep them from scuffing off paint. It holds up to 300 pounds within a sturdy door frame.

Cons: The assembly instructions aren’t too clear. Some users still want to wrap the bar in thin T-shirts to protect the paint.

Bottom Line: This is an affordable and straightforward pull-up bar that adds extra versatility to chisel your upper body. Thanks to 12 grips, you can try a variety of grips that will help strengthen and define your muscles, in addition to using the bar for push-ups and dips.

Final Thoughts

Building a home gym is exciting, but it can also be confusing if it is your first time. This list of home gym essentials can help you get started with a reasonable budget to meet your health and fitness goals.

Michelle Carellas Michelle Carellas
Michelle Carellas has had a love for writing from as early as her primary school years. Her writing career took her to journalism, copy editing, and email and digital marketing, and for the past 11 years, she's kept writing a strong focus with freelancing for local businesses and national marketing agencies. When Michelle isn't writing, she's homeschooling her four kids and embracing the country life with her husband in a small Texas town. She and her husband own and operate a small garage gym, the perfect endeavor for a couple who met and fell in love at a gym! Read Full Bio »
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