Exercising at home is a great way to avoid crowded gyms, sidestep inclement weather, and make progress toward fitness goals on your own schedule. And adding the right equipment to those at-home workouts can help keep your routine fresh and challenging. Whether you have an entire room to fill or just a corner to spare, you can find some highly effective gear to fit your home gym setup. We’ve broken down the best home workout equipment available—for weightlifters, runners, yoga lovers, and more—according to fitness experts and SELF Home Fitness Award judges.
The trusty treadmill is a staple of home gyms, so it makes sense that there are tons of models out there to choose from, from super-connected smart treadmills to portable folding treads with just the essential features. The NordicTrack 1705, for instance, is an extremely sturdy machine with techy bells and whistles like streamable classes and an HD touchscreen—and it comes highly recommended by multiple running coaches. Horizon’s T101 treadmill is another favorite among experts. It doesn’t have as many added features as NordicTrack, but it costs less and provides a reliable ride with several preset programs. Plus, both fold upright to save space when not in use.
Read more: Best Treadmills; Best Folding Treadmills
An indoor bike is a highly useful piece of equipment if you want to add low-impact cardio to your routine. While it’s a bit of a splurge, the SELF Certified Peloton Bike+ truly lives up to the hype. Our tester found it “super comfortable” and easy to use, and she noted that the classes were comparable to an in-studio experience—they were motivating, immersive, and fun. But you don’t have to spend a ton if your top priority is a straightforward workout, rather than virtual instruction. In that case, Echelon’s Connect Sport bike is beginner-friendly and recommended by cycling instructors for its impressive resistance range.
Read more: Best Exercise Bikes; Best Peloton Alternative Bikes
The workout you get from a rowing machine—part cardio, part strength-training—is certainly efficient. That’s why a rower is a great all-around piece of equipment to add to your home gym. For a high-tech option, the SELF-Certified Hydrow comes with hundreds of live and on-demand classes that should appeal to both beginners and more experienced users. Then there’s the longstanding industry standard, the Concept2’s Model D, which coaches and pros swear by for a solid, somewhat “old school” workout.
Read more: Best Rowing Machines; Best Foldable Rowing Machines
An elliptical is another great option for low-impact cardio, especially if you want to do something akin to running but easier on your knees. Both of the machines featured here are recommended by personal trainers and mainly differ in terms of price and features. Where the Schwinn 470 costs slightly more and comes with app and Bluetooth connectivity, Niceday’s machine lacks those add-ons but has 16 resistance levels and a lower price.
Read more: Best Ellipticals
Working a desk job doesn’t have to mean sitting still all day. From Sunny Health & Fitness’s expert-approved walking treadmill to DeskCycle’s Home Fitness Award–winning pedaler, there are some surprisingly high-quality cardio machines that you can use when you’re on the clock. The former is our top pick for standing desks, while you can use the latter while seated.
Read more: Best Cardio Machines; Best Walking Treadmills
What exactly is a smart home gym? This innovative piece of equipment usually features a tall mirror or screen that streams classes and fitness instruction. Some systems come with workout equipment like a mat and weights, and you can typically expect an all-in-one, metric-tracking, trainer-led home workout (that, admittedly, can cost a pretty penny). Our tester described the SELF Certified NordicTrack Vault as “perfect for anyone who’s trying to challenge their muscles with progressive, strength-based workout programs,” and noted that its main drawback was a lack of livestreaming classes. If that’s key for your motivation, consider the SELF Certified Mirror from Lululemon Studio, which comes with thousands of live and on-demand classes when you sign up for a Lululemon Studio membership (which costs $39 per month).
Read more: Best Smart Home Gym
Why waste precious space on a clunky rack of dumbbells when you can opt for an adjustable pair, like this expert-recommended set from Bowflex? It won a Home Fitness Award last year for its efficient design and ease of use: Just drop the dumbbells in their case, select your desired weight, and lift.
Read more: Best Dumbbells; Best Adjustable Dumbbells
In the same vein as Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbell, the SelectTech 840 Kettlebell prevents clutter with its wide selection of weight options, which range from eight to 40 pounds. No wonder it’s also a Home Fitness Award–winner.
Read more: Best Kettlebells
While light resistance bands can assist with active recovery and stretching, heavier ones can supplement your strength training. In other words, they’re super versatile—not to mention, travel- and apartment-friendly, especially if you’re low on space. A good set of mini bands (like Te-Rich’s Home Fitness Award–winning ones) can be a helpful workout buddy. And multiple trainers recommend the Better Band from Committed HP for larger bodies: It has four different fit categories and a hook attachment that makes it easier to loop.
Read more: Best Resistance Bands; Best Mini-Bands for Larger Bodies
David Harvey, CPT, a trainer and yoga instructor based in Texas, tells SELF that a medicine ball is a dependable piece of weight-training equipment to have on hand: It’s versatile enough to use for arms, legs, and core exercises. This Prosource ball is made to be easy to catch and grip, plus it’s available in several different weights.
Read more: Best Medicine Ball
Wrist and ankle weights can make various exercises a little more challenging (but still approachable). “I like to recommend them to my friends who are intimidated by weights, but still want to ramp up their workout routine,” Christine Choi, a certified personal trainer in Atlanta, tells SELF. This pair is available in one-, two-, and three-pound sizes.
Read more: Best Ankle Weights
If you want to get a challenging cardio workout in minimal space, you may want to try a jump rope. Sonic Boom’s speed rope won a 2022 Home Fitness Award for its adjustable length and comfortable, grippy handles.
Read more: Best Jump Ropes
A good yoga mat will cushion your joints while you stretch, provide a stable base during balance poses, and keep you from slipping and sliding when things get sweaty. Manduka’s Pro yoga mat—described as the “Rolls Royce of yoga mats” by one instructor—can do all that and more. It’s heavy-duty, easy to clean, and just thick enough.
Read more: Best Yoga Mats; Best Yoga Mats for Hot Yoga
We can’t stress the importance of workout recovery enough, and using a massager can help make those off-days from exercising feel especially restorative. The Home Fitness Award–winning Theragun Mini is small enough to operate with one hand, but it still has plenty of power for kneading out knots and breaking up tightened fascia around your muscles. Hyperice’s Normatec Go boots use air compression to massage your calves after a run, and come recommended by SELF’s director of fitness and food, Christa Sgobba, CPT.
Read more: Best Massage Guns
A foam roller is another recovery essential, and the Triggerpoint is a solid (and Home Fitness Award–winning) option. Its dense, textured grid has long, smooth sections for rolling out sensitive areas that need a gentler touch, as well as smaller spikes to dig into deeply-set knots.
Read more: Best Foam Rollers
“If used correctly, the all-in-one TRX system can be the only piece of equipment that you need,” Victoria Nolan, an ACSM–certified personal trainer based in Houston, tells SELF. She explains that it’s easy to store, and you can anchor it over a door or a tree in your backyard. For workout videos and tips on how to use the system, you can join the TRX Training Club and download the app.
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