If you’re looking to build your first home gym setup, your biggest consideration will be the types of home fitness equipment you invest in.
Take a moment to close your eyes and picture your average gym. Professional gyms hold an almost overwhelming amount of fitness gear. You can use a ton of gym equipment to achieve your fitness goals , from weight racks to treadmills, cycling bikes, and rowing machines.
Trying to decide what the best home gym equipment for you is can be tricky. There’s a lot to choose from, depending on your workout preferences and how much you’re looking to invest into your setup. Shoppers may find themselves struggling when trying to decide what the best home gym equipment for them is.
In this guide, we will help you learn everything you need to know before investing in your home gym. Then we’ll look at some of the best types of home exercise equipment out there. Let’s go!
The best types of home exercise equipment
The right equipment can make all the difference when deciding what to purchase for your home gym setup. Let’s explore the six types of home exercise equipment to help you achieve your fitness goals, including:
Yoga mat and blocks
Let’s dive in!
1. Rowing machines
Rowing machines offer a full-body workout that engages 86% of the body’s muscles, according to a study from the English Institute of Sport. They are also excellent cardiovascular and strength training machines while being surprisingly low-impact. This allows you to get in a highly effective, high-intensity workout without causing undue stress to your body.
Rowing machines are also great for home gyms due to their size. They can be compact, and many rowing machines today can even fold upright for home storage, making them great in a smaller space.
If you’re looking for the first piece of equipment for a home gym, an indoor rower is a great choice. This machine is perfect for those looking for one machine to cover their cardio and work out many different muscle groups in one effective workout.
Our Recommendation: The Hydrow Rower
The Hydrow Rower is hands down our top pick for anyone looking for the best rowing machine.
This compact machine will guide you through low-impact, full-body workouts on its 22” display - all from the comfort of your own home. The Hydrow Rower works using a patented electromagnetic drag system, offering a very quiet recreation of the feeling of rowing on water.
You can row freely for a more relaxing session or sign up for a Hydrow membership, which will lead you through over 4,000 on-demand workouts taught by world-class Athletes to guide you through your fitness goals. And, with many of these workouts being done on the water with scenic views, you can bring the ease and meditative quality of a day on the water right into your own home.
If you love cardio or if running is your game, the classic treadmill is the home exercise equipment for you.
Treadmills are a staple of any gym, whether public or at home. And with treadmills being a lot more varied these days, it's never been easier to find the machine best suited for you.
You can purchase anything from smaller walking pads to higher-tech, full-sized treadmills. Either way, they offer a convenient way to get in a cardio workout at any intensity.
On a treadmill, you can engage in endurance running or some simple walking to get those steps in at the end of the day. Most treadmills also come with incline adjustments, preset programs, and built-in monitors to help track your progress. They’re also convenient for those inclement weather days when you might have otherwise canceled your morning run.
With such versatility, it can be hard to say no to getting a treadmill for your home exercise setup.
A staple of any workout routine is strength training, and weights are essential for this part of this form of exercise.
Most people don’t realize that time spent weight training doesn’t just build muscle. It is also beneficial for burning calories. According to Harvard Health, boosting your muscle mass through weight training can speed up your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories — even when you’re not exercising.
If you want to build muscle and burn calories for fat loss, some simple weights may be just what you need. They are classic gym equipment and lend themselves easily to a home gym setup.
There are tons of options for weights on the market. They’re often small, easy to store, versatile, and budget-friendly, making them a simple but essential piece of gear.
4. Cycling bikes
When you picture indoor bikes, you may imagine rows upon rows of bikes in a gym classroom and blasting pop music in a room packed with other gym goers. You can avoid all the commotion and take cycling back into your own hands when you invest in a home machine, instead.
Cycling bikes offer a great cardiovascular workout, effectively burning calories while strengthening your heart and leg muscles. They are also considered a low-impact workout, with the smooth movements helping get you moving while not putting too much pressure on the joints. This makes them a great gear option for someone wanting to get in a great cardiovascular workout that’s more gentle on the body than using a treadmill.
Another benefit of an indoor bike is that it’s not always possible to get the time to commit to cycling outside. Whether it be due to a packed schedule or seasonal weather where you live, exercise outside isn’t always an option.
That’s what makes indoor cycling bikes great. They give you the perfect opportunity to pedal your way into great health from the comfort of your own home.
5. Yoga mat and blocks
Not everybody's fitness goals include high-intensity exercise that gets the blood pumping. You may be looking for a more relaxed way to move your body with exercise that focuses more on flexibility, gentle movements, and mindfulness.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, investing in a yoga mat and blocks could be the perfect move for you.
A non-slip yoga mat will provide a comfortable surface as you work through guided poses and stretches. And the blocks can assist both beginners and yoga enthusiasts achieve proper form and even deeper stretches. This kind of exercise needs just a mat and your body. It doesn't get much better in terms of space saving!
Due to its popularity, there is a wealth of guided yoga sessions to find online and follow as you make yoga a part of your exercise routine. If you’re a beginner or looking to focus on breathing and stillness, try this 10-minute restorative yoga workout from Hydrow.
6. Workout mirrors
If you want to save as much space as possible when purchasing your home exercise equipment, a workout mirror may just be what you need. This high-tech product is surprisingly effective as workout equipment, saving you floor space and keeping your home’s aesthetic undisturbed by gym equipment.
It’s reflective display functions as a regular but stylish mirror while off. But when in use, the display guides you through workouts selected through a paired app. These mirrors often have pairable accessories like weights and mats, and they watch your form in real-time to correct you as you go.
Having a piece of equipment that can guide you through exercises while camouflaging itself in your space is a great option for folks who want home exercise equipment that doesn’t look like exercise equipment.
The benefits of a home gym
Why work out at home, anyhow? Some individuals may find it more worth it to access workout equipment in a public gym setting, but investing in a home gym setup has plenty of benefits. These include:
Exercising at any time
Try as we might, many of us struggle with an overpacked schedule, which can make a gym membership a hassle. Working eight hours a day, combined with the time needed for commuting there and back, can make it difficult to fit in a visit to the gym.
There are only so many hours in a day. That is what makes a home gym setup so great — it eliminates another place to trek to from your to-do list.
Your home gym setup will also always be open at any hour, even on holidays, unlike the public gym. With a home workout setup, the equipment is always yours. No more waiting for others to get off machines, free up weights, or even check in at a front desk. At home, you can work out on your own time, on your own terms.
Enjoying workout privacy
Working out at home on your own can also eliminate the more uncomfortable parts of visiting a public gym, giving you the privacy you want while you complete your workouts.
You can be as loud as you want and leave the headphones behind while you blast your workout playlist in the privacy of your own home. Being able to do your workout your way, without any shame, is the kind of joy only a home gym can bring.
Following your own rules
A home gym is a place where you make all the rules! Some public gyms have rules that hinder the flow of your workout (like no chalk or no dropping weights) or even limit what you can or can’t wear.
This can bring you down or even make working out annoying when it shouldn’t be. Your fitness routine should be a positive addition to your life and something you enjoy doing!
At home, you can leave all the negativity of public gym rules behind. With your own home exercise equipment, you will have true freedom while getting your reps in. It’s your workout, your way!
For those with a public gym membership, consider how much you spend a year on gym fees. Now think of the headache of trying to get out of that gym contract should you ever need to.
Some shoppers avoid buying their own equipment because of the cost but fail to consider the ongoing costs of gym memberships. Over time, the money you invest into your home gym equipment will equate to the fees you’ve already paid for years at the public gym. Building a home gym setup can be a worthwhile investment for lifelong fitness users.
Home exercise equipment buying guide: Things to consider
Before you hit purchase on that cart full of home exercise equipment for your next at-home workout, be sure to consider the following:
Your workout goals
When deciding what equipment to buy for your home setup, you must consider your goals first. You should ask yourself about your fitness goal: What are you looking to get out of your fitness routine?
Are you a beginner looking to get more casually into fitness? An athlete looking to train at home for a specific event? Are you working through injury at a slower pace, or are you looking for a high-intensity workout?
These goals will all speak to the kind of equipment you should be buying. You want to ensure you begin your investment with a piece of fitness equipment that will best serve you. After all, it’s your home setup and should be tailored specifically to your needs.
Home gym space
Before purchasing all that new gear, evaluate the space you have in your home.
The type of equipment you buy will vary depending on if you have a small space for equipment or a larger, dedicated room for your home gym. Before purchasing any major equipment, look at ground space and ceiling height in your workout space.
More compact equipment like folding rowing machines, yoga mats, and free weights may lend themselves well to smaller spaces. If you have more room to play with, exploring larger equipment like cycling machines, treadmills, and larger weight racks may work well for you.
Regardless of the space you have to work with, many options are available to get the most out of your space — and your future gym equipment.
Equipment with memberships
If you’re new to exercise, looking into equipment that also pairs with a membership may be just what you need.
Some types of workout equipment today will have membership options that give members content they can follow while using their fitness equipment.
For example, with a Hydrow rower and membership, you will have access to over 4,000 on-demand workouts and live classes done on the water with Hydrow Athletes, Olympians, and world-class rowers alike. There are also scenic rowing views, live classes, competitive leaderboards, and on-the-mat workouts for yoga, pilates, or strength and mobility training.
Finding a piece of home exercise equipment with membership content is a great option, especially for those newer to exercise. These on-demand workouts can keep you hitting your goals and motivate you to stick with fitness long-term.
An essential consideration before purchasing home exercise equipment is squaring away your budget.
Prices can vary significantly based on the type of equipment you’re looking to buy. If you have a lower budget to start, you may want to avoid getting bigger equipment like treadmills or an exercise bike at the beginning of your journey. As well as the upfront costs, you must factor in machine maintenance and other unexpected fees.
Be sure to prioritize purchasing equipment that aligns with your goals and budget. This is an investment in your lifestyle and health, after all. You can always start small and work your way up to those high-tech pieces of equipment eventually.
What is the best piece of home gym equipment overall?
After reviewing the options above, you may wonder what our thoughts are on the best home exercise equipment.
Keeping them all in mind, we have to hand it to a machine that guides you through a full-body workout, is good for cardio, and comes with space-saving options for most homes: the rowing machine.
As we’ve touched on above, there is a lot to love about rowing machines. With one piece of gear, you can accomplish a full-body workout, impacting 86% of the muscles in the body. It’s great for cardio, pumping the heart with each rowing stroke.
Rowing machines are surprisingly low impact, not putting strain on joints during use, unlike other machines like treadmills. And best of all, rowing machines are beautiful pieces of gear, typically compact and often able to be folded or stored in smaller sizes between uses.
We can’t speak highly enough of rowing machines as a great piece of home exercise equipment. You can engage in a fitness routine not found on other exercise gear with just one machine.
Get ready to row with Hydrow
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