The Best Home Gym Equipment for All Budgets in 2021

The Best Home Gym Equipment for All Budgets in 2021

Although the phrase “home gym” can still conjure images of a swanky, expensive fitness space, many people have found that creating a home workout area isn’t an out-of-reach dream. (Especially when so many of us are spending much more time at home!)

By choosing the right home gym equipment, you can build a versatile, functional space that’s ideal for any workout, even on a tight budget.

Here are some equipment options to make it happen:

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Flooring

ProsourceFit Puzzle Mat--best home gym equipment

Although carpet is fine for many workouts, it’s not always the easiest to clean if you’re going to have major sweat sessions regularly, like with T-Minus 30 or 600 Secs. It’s also less than ideal for yoga and barre.

Consider upgrading to flooring that can cover the carpet, be installed in a basement or garage, or comes in pieces so you can move it around. Home gym floors are available in several materials, including cork, rubber, foam, bamboo, and artificial turf. Flooring with a “puzzle piece” format lets you install it easily, anywhere.

Top pick: ProsourceFit Puzzle Mat

 

Chin-up or Pull-up Bar

SIEBIRD Pull Up Bar for Doorway with Mount Hook--best home gym equipment

Pull-ups and chin-ups are two awesome moves for boosting functional strength — especially in your upper body. They’re also tough to do at home if you don’t have a bar. Look for one that’s sturdy and attaches to a doorframe securely (it needs to safely accommodate your bodyweight, after all). Bonus points if it offers multiple grip options to help you expand your exercise arsenal.

Top pick: SIEBIRD Pull Up Bar for Doorway with Mount Hook

 

Weight Bench

FLYBIRD Adjustable Weight Bench--best home gym eqipment

If you’re getting serious about strength training, you’ll want to invest in a weight bench. An adjustable bench is highly versatile, allowing you to do tons of moves, from the step-up and hip thrust to the dumbbell bench press and triceps extension.

You can also find a number of options in various price ranges, depending on their features. For more versatility, look for benches that incline and decline.

Top pick: FLYBIRD Adjustable Weight Bench

 

Weights

Bowflex SelectTech 552 - Two Adjustable Dumbbells--best home gym equipment

Dumbbells help you build strength and lean mass by challenging your muscles with heavier loads. If you’re going to invest in them, it’s critical that you have a variety of weights to work different muscle groups and to allow you to continue to challenge yourself as you become stronger.

If you love thrifting, check out secondhand gear stores to get some killer deals on gently used — or in some cases, never used — classic dumbbells. But if you’re short on space (or simply don’t want to clutter up your workout area with a bunch of free weights), consider investing in a pair of adjustable dumbbells. One pair can replace an entire rack of traditional dumbbells, and although the upfront cost is higher, you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run.

Top pick: Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Two Adjustable Dumbbells

 

Resistance Bands and Loops

Tribe 11PC Premium Resistance Bands Set--best home gym equipment

Incredibly affordable and versatile, resistance bands and loops are like a gym-to-go, giving you a great workout anywhere. Like free weights, they build muscle by forcing you to overcome a resistance. But unlike barbells and dumbbells, that resistance remains constant throughout each rep, pulling against you during the lifting and the lowering phases. In so doing, it helps you maximize a key growth stimulus: time under tension.

Top pick: Tribe 11PC Premium Resistance Bands Set

 

Suspension Trainer

TRX GO Suspension Training: Bodyweight Fitness Resistance Training--best home gym equipment

A simple system like a TRX attaches to a secure anchor point and has two adjustable straps that come down to a set of handles. Although it sounds basic, this system is incredibly versatile — and portable. Use it to increase the challenge of classic exercises such as the push-up and lunge by adding an element of instability that can help you hit the refresh button on a stale routine.

Top pick: TRX GO Suspension Training: Bodyweight Fitness Resistance Training

 

More Home Gym Equipment

As you keep expanding your home gym, there are plenty of other choices to add to help reach your goals. One strategy that tends to work well is to go with the basics first, and add on from there so that you’re only bringing in what you’ll really use. That way, you’ll have a customized home gym that works as hard as you do.

Budget-friendly gym equipment

Investment-level home gym equipment

Stepfanie Romine

About

Stepfanie Romine is a yoga teacher (RYT 500), ACE-certified health coach and fitness nutrition specialist who writes about natural health, plant-based cooking and yoga. A runner and hiker based in Asheville, N.C., her books include The No Meat Athlete Cookbook and Cooking with Healing Mushrooms. Follow her on Twitter.

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