Home Gym Essentials: 13 Pieces of Gym Equipment That You Need
Do you find trips to the gym and membership fees discouraging? Getting your own home gym essentials makes exercising easier and often cheaper. What excuses can you make when your gym is a few steps away?
If you’ve felt self-conscious around other people at the gym or have gotten frustrated at having to wait in line for a machine, it’s easy to see why a home gym is appealing. And what about people leaving equipment messy and sweaty or leaving weights all over the place? You’d never have to deal with that in the comfort of your home. Nor would you have to pay for a bunch of things you’ll never use. But, what exactly do you need? Let’s look at the home gym essentials you should consider.
FREQUENTLY ASKED HOME GYM QUESTIONS
They say there’s no power like knowledge. So, let’s begin with some basics.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A HOME GYM?
First of all, the convenience of not having to go to a gym and renew memberships removes a lot of excuses and discouragement. You save time, and you’re more likely to stick to your routine. Also, you can save money in the long run. And you’ll never have to deal with other people occupying equipment, giving you weird looks, and disturbing your workout.
WHERE CAN I BUY HOME GYM ESSENTIALS?
Nowadays, you can get home gym essentials almost anywhere. Online shops like Amazon carry a huge variety of exercise equipment.
HOW MUCH DO HOME GYM ESSENTIALS COST?
The cost of a good set of home gym essentials depends on what you want. It can range from a few dozen dollars to a few thousand. Some of the items we’ve chosen cost a few bucks, others cost several hundred.
HOW WE REVIEWED
There’s a wealth of information from real consumers on the web. We’ve chosen well-received home gym essentials and compiled comments and ratings from Amazon customers to give you a better idea of what to expect.
TOP 13 HOME GYM ESSENTIALS
The following home gym essentials are among the best you can get. We’ve listed them in no particular order. What’s best for you depends on your goals and budget, and there’s something for everyone.
A power rack, also known as a power cage, is the most complete piece of gym gear you can get. And if you want to build big, strong muscles, you’ll need one of these. The primary feature of a power cage is the squat rack, which is crucial for loading up those essential heavy lifts in a safe manner. For example, squats are easy to load heavy because it uses the quads and glutes together, and they’re your biggest and strongest muscles. However, getting into position with a load that’s heavy enough to stimulate growth using free weights would be difficult and dangerous. Unless you’re an expert weightlifter, you’d most likely cause strain and damage to other muscles. The rack lets you start from the right position and ensure a safe lift. As you grow stronger, the same principle will become true for lifts such as the military press. Power racks let you set your bar at various levels, so they also allow you to set up for bench press. What’s more, you can use them for pull-ups, and many have dedicated pull-up grips and other extra gym essentials. They can also double as storage racks. As an example, we’ll look at the Vanswe Silver power cage. It features multi-grip pull-up bars, a landmine attachment, a dual-pulley cable machine, and dip handles. You can work every muscle with it. What’s more, you can get it with a bench and other accessories of your choice. Users give it 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They say it’s easy to assemble and works like a charm. Some hardcore lifters wish it had a better lat pulldown rig or a higher maximum capacity. You can get it for between $450 and $750.
Regarding free weights, nothing beats a pair of adjustable dumbbells. Almost anything you do with a bar also works with dumbbells, and it’ll often have better results. That’s due to a better range of motion and more stability requirements. With a bar, one side can take more of the weight, which leads to imbalance. That won’t happen with dumbbells, and you can also do many more movements such as lateral raises. We recommend the Yes4All adjustable dumbbells. They have a non-slip diamond chrome grip, and you can choose your desired weight. Buyers like the good value and the moderate increments. However, some report somewhat imprecise weights. Overall, they get 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Depending on the weight, you can buy them for between $30 and $220.
The barbell needs no introduction. It’s what you’ll use for most heavy lifts. Load it up and knock out some deadlifts or bench press. The XMark barbell comes with rubber-coated weight plates, which are ideal for a home gym since they reduce the risk of damage to your floor. Buyers say it’s easy to use but that it has a strong smell, and a few report uneven plates. Therefore, it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It can be yours for between $200 and $800 depending on weight.
Bench pressing is the main attraction of most gyms, so one of the top home gym essentials is a good bench. Compound lifts like this are the best way to get stronger fast. The Feierdun adjustable weight bench offers many positions for incline and decline pressing as well as ab work. Users like the compact, versatile design and the price. However, some wish it was more stable. Therefore, it has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can get it for $170 to $200.
These versatile, portable home gym essentials help you both strengthen and stretch your muscles. You can also use them with other equipment to increase or reduce resistance. POWER GUIDANCE offers affordable, high-quality bands in a variety of strength levels. We recommend getting a few different ones to help you progress. Buyers praise the strong rubber, especially for assistance with pull-ups and dips. Some negative reviews mention a yellow secretion from the bands. On average, they give it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You’ll find these various bands for between $7 and $30.
What’s better than a full-body “plyo” cardio session that also releases your aggressions? Even if you’re not a fighter, a heavy bag belongs among your home gym essentials. This one from RDX costs between $65 and $75 and comes with all the mounts and accessories you need. In addition to wraps and gloves, you get a jump rope and a hand gripper. Furthermore, it’s suitable for outdoor use. Users give it 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon and say it’s great quality for the price. However, some wish the gloves were better.
Functional strength is a big buzz word these days, and the kettlebell is the prime tool for it. You can think of it as a dumbbell with extra emphasis on stability and micro-movements. If full-body resistance cardio workouts are your thing, these are key for your home gym. We recommend the vinyl-coated flat-bottom cast iron kettlebells from Yes4All. You can get them in a variety of weights for between $10 and $70. Buyers like the quality, compactness, and grip feel. As for negatives, there are rare reports of rough handles. Regardless, these home gym essentials have 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Dips are excellent for triceps and chest training. What’s more, you can train every muscle group with dip bars. These home gym essentials are ideal for gymnasts and calisthenics enthusiasts, in particular. The ProSource Dip Stand has padded grips and stable rubber feet, and you can adjust the width. Buyers find it easy to assemble and like the width adjustments. On the flip side, a few users say it could be more stable. Still, it has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It can be yours for $50 to $65.
Core stability is crucial to most exercises and to everyday life, but many neglect it. Whether you’re after washboard abs or want to avoid back pain, an ab wheel is ideal. A long range of motion and isometric capabilities make these home gym essentials perfect for core strength and posture improvements. It also works your back, shoulders, and arms. The Valeo Ab Roller Wheel is light and sturdy with an anti-slip surface on both handles and the wheel itself. According to Amazon customers, it’s comfortable and rolls smoothly but may not be suitable for people over 200 pounds. They give it 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can get it for between $10 and $20.
If you could only pick one simple exercise tool, a pull-up bar should be a top candidate. Your lats, rhomboids, and biceps are the hardest muscles to train without equipment. Pull-ups and chin-ups target them all with a good range of motion. These home gym essentials can also work many other muscles with exercises such as hanging leg raises, muscle-ups, and front levers. The Ultimate Body Press XL doorway pull-up bar provides many grip options and fits all normal door frames. It can handle up to 300 pounds and has sturdy, high-density foam grips. Users praise the versatile grips and the full range of motion. The main complaint is that the end padding isn’t always enough to protect your door frame, so you’ll want to apply some padding tape for extra protection. For these reasons, it gets 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. You can buy it for between $60 and $90 depending on the vendor and condition.
Home gym essentials aren’t all about muscle training. A foam roller helps with mobility and recovery by massaging tense muscles and pressure points. Myofascial release and increased blood flow can let you get more out of your workouts. You can use one before or after exercising or in between sets. LuxFit foam rollers come in four different sizes ranging from 12 to 36 inches. It consists of dense polypropylene with a smooth surface. Prices range from $9 to $40 and buying one also gets you a DVD that shows you how to use it, plus a three-year warranty. Amazon customers give it 4.6 out of 5 stars. They speak highly of the firmness, durability, and reasonable price. One user says it may sometimes slip.
Weight vests provide a quick and easy way to turn simple bodyweight exercises into effective muscle building workouts. Running, calisthenics, and plyometrics will all benefit from the added resistance. If you like walking a lot, a weight vest can turn that into a good leg workout. Moreover, this means you can always get a good workout even if you’re traveling. Cross101 adjustable weighted vests come in a one-size-fits-all design. There are a water bottle holder and a pocket for things like a phone or music player. Weight capacities range from 12 to 80 pounds, and each one uses several weight blocks so that you can adjust the resistance to your liking. Depending on the weight, you’ll get it for $25 to $110. Users like the secure fit, easy adjustments, and how it doesn’t restrict movement. Concerning downsides, some users say it can rub your shoulders raw during intense workouts. However, a few extra dollars will give you a pair of shoulder pads. Altogether, these home gym essentials get 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Rings are very underrated, but they’re home gym essentials nonetheless. They’re extremely versatile and let you do almost anything you could do with a pull-up bar and a dip stand. What’s more, they provide a better range of motion and put higher demands on stability and balance. Lowering them lets you do rows and pushups. You can train every muscle group in several ways. Furthermore, you can take them with you and throw them over any bar or strong tree branch for a workout on the go. Navoya Gymnastic Rings consist of durable PC plastic with a textured surface for better grip, and they can handle up to 2,000 pounds. The buckles make height adjustments quick and easy. Amazon customers give them 4.6 out of 5 stars. They say the quality is good for the price, but some users report problems with the buckles. You can buy them for between $25 and $35. If you want the most bang for the buck, Olympic rings are the way to go.
PICKING YOUR HOME GYM ESSENTIALS
In the end, your goals and preferred mode of training will determine your set of home gym essentials. Some of the simpler things like resistance bands, ab wheels, and foam rollers have a place in everyone’s home gym essentials arsenal. A power rack is only necessary for heavy weight lifters. If you’re into calisthenics, you can get far with a pair of rings and a weighted vest. Gathering your own home gym essentials can be fun, and it’s all about tailoring things to your needs. If you’re eager for new gains at home, now you know how to get them.