The Best Equipment to Build Your Home Gym

By Carlen Oliveira

February 25, 2021

If there was ever a time to invest in some home gym equipment, it's now. COVID-19 has forced the closure of most gyms and athletic centres, and access to public parks and facilities have also been limited at times. That's why it's important to start building a home gym of your own. Just because they're closed doesn't mean you shouldn't stay on top of your routine right? Whether it's adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, or a yoga mat, you can start getting these items for your home so you can stay on top of your goals.

If you’re beginning to build your home gym, think about what kind of exercises you want to do. How much room do they need? Do you have the space for it? When building a home gym, a good life hack is to pick equipment that has multiple functions to give you the most use out of the equipment. Once you have an idea of what and where your exercises are going to take place, you can start to build your gym.

To help get you started, check out a list of some essential, multi-use equipment so that you can make the most out of your home gym. For tips on how to set up a home gym that fits your exercise demands, space and budgetary needs, head down to the bottom of the article.

1. Editor's Pick: BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Mat

ProsCons
  • Two-year warranty
  • Extra durable and thick
  • Great for bodyweight workouts
  • Soft material may stretch
  • Short shelf life

Key Specs

Item Weight: 1.36 kg
Item Dimensions: 61 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm
Item Material: High-density foam

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If you’re just starting to piece together your home gym, an exercise or yoga mat is an essential piece to add to your collection. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, can be easily stored after use, and isn't going to eat up a lot of your budget. BalanceForm’s all-purpose mat is slip-resistant, extra thick and comes with a carrying strap for easier storage. Great for stretching, yoga, pilates, core and bodyweight workouts, it can give you a soft surface to perform a variety of different workouts.

2. Comprehensive Mobile Option: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym Workout

ProsCons
  • Countless exercises
  • Compact and small
  • Great for beginners
  • Light resistance
  • Resistance bands too long for shorter people

Key Specs

Item Weight: 7.3 kg
Item Dimensions: 51.05 x 40.39 x 7.11 cm
Item Material: Latex

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The BodyBoss 2.0 replaces thousands of dollars’ worth of gym equipment in one portable system. Through a variety of detachable equipment, BodyBoss provides hundreds of different exercises for both your upper and lower body. Included in the kit is a Vector Fit base, two resistance bands, two handles (that simulate dumbbells), and two limb straps for boxing or cardio workouts. It also includes a collapsible workout bar and a door anchor, making this a great all-around home workout if you have limited space or want to work out on the go.

3. Best Large Equipment: Power Tower Multifunction Workout Station

ProsCons
  • Affordable
  • Has multiple uses and adjustable height
  • Includes one-year warranty
  • Assembly required
  • Dip handles may be too wide

Key Specs

Item Weight: 26.5 kg
Item Dimensions: 132 x 39.5 x 15.5 cm
Item Material: Steel
Max. User Weight: 330 lbs.

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Chances are you’ve probably come across a system like this in gyms or weight rooms over the years, and if you're looking to bring upper body strength training workouts home, the Power Tower is for you. Compatible with pull ups, push ups, chin ups, knee raises and dips, it provides a versatile workout for your abs, arms, chest, back, and shoulders. This multifunctional equipment is made out of steel and can be adjusted to eight different height levels, making it a great system for home use.

4. Best Resistance Bands: Fit Simplify Resistance Exercise Bands

ProsCons
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Easy storage, great for travel
  • Five different resistance levels
  • Strong initial smell
  • May roll up during some exercises

Key Specs

Item Weight: 100 g
Item Dimensions: 14.6 x 9 x 4 cm
Item Material: Latex

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Along with yoga or exercise mats, resistance bands are another great basic addition to your home gym. Resistance bands let your creative side shine with endless opportunities for upper body and lower body strengthening workouts without having to buy a big rig like the Power Tower. The Fit Simplify resistance loop bands can even be used for injury rehabilitation and physical therapy due to their stretchy material. It comes in a package with five different bands so you can change the level of resistance as needed.

5. Best Beginner Weights: Yes4All Single Vinyl Coated Kettlebell

ProsCons
  • Vinyl finish
  • Wide, easy to grip handle
  • Flat bottom allows for various exercises
  • Not sold in a set
  • Defects may cause bump on bottom

Key Specs

Item Weight: 4.5 kg
Item Dimensions: 20.32 x 17.78 x 10.16 cm
Item Material: Cast Iron/Vinyl Coated

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Adding a kettlebell to your home gym is a great beginner piece of equipment that helps build strength, stamina and coordination. Not only does it offer versatility in your workouts, but they'll end up saving you a significant amount of space in your home, not to mention money. If this kettlebell doesn’t give you enough of a workout, it's also available in weights ranging from five to 45 pounds.

6. Most Versatile Weights: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

ProsCons
  • Compact
  • Space efficient, easy to store
  • Expensive
  • Bulky with all weights on
  • May be too long for some users

Key Specs

Item Weight: 47.6 kg
Item Dimensions: 40.01 x 20.32 x 22.86 cm
Item Material: Other

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If you know you want to be lifting a lot of weights, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 is a piece of gym equipment that you can justify spending a good chunk of money on. If space is an issue in your home gym, this adjustable dumbbell will save you the effort of buying 15 different sets of dumbbells by using a dial to alter the amount of weight you want to have during your reps. With weights ranging from five to 52 pounds, this durable and space saving dumbbell is a great addition to your home gym.

7. Basic Essential: YZLSPORTS Professional Adjustable Steel Wire Jump Rope

ProsCons
  • Adjustable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Can be hard to adjust at times

Key Specs

Item Weight: 110 g
Item Dimensions: 300 x 3 x 3 cm
Item Material: Steel wire

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Yes, treadmills offer a great cardio workout. But for those who either don’t have the space or don’t have the budget for one, a jump rope is a simple and small alternative. The whole family can use this adjustable and lightweight rope made with steel wire and is coated in PVC to prevent wear and tear. YZLSPORTS also offers a lifetime warranty and a money back guarantee.

Tips to Help You Set Up Your Ideal Home Gym

Equipment: Start with a few basic, but essential pieces of equipment and build from there. Great go-to beginner items are yoga or exercise mats, resistance bands, kettlebells, adjustable dumbbells, weighted or unweighted jump rope, and a foam roller. Combined, these provide strength, cardio, stretching as well as recovery exercises that you can mix and match for a workout that best suits you.

Setup: When looking for an ideal workout space, try to set up in an area with lots of natural light or overhead lights. Adding a mirror is a great way to not only keep an eye on your form, but helps create the illusion that the room is actually bigger than it is. Carpets can be covered by gym flooring that is sold in puzzle piece shapes so you can avoid leaving sweat stains on your floor. Make sure to declutter your area. Having extra items hanging around in the room can distract you from your workout.

Storage: Storage is key for small spaces. A useful trick is to buy clear storage containers that can hold all your small items like yoga mats, resistance bands and jump rope that can be easily packed away, put in a closet or under a bed. An empty wall is also a useful storage spot by installing hanging organizers or a mass storage shelf.

Price: You don’t have to break the bank when shopping for exercise equipment. Start with one item at a time, and when you’ve saved up, invest in another. Buying used equipment is another great budget friendly and environmentally friendly way to save money. You could also throw a few items on your birthday or Christmas wish lists to convince your loved ones to invest in your wellbeing.

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