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Furnishing a fully equipped home gym can easily snowball into a project that takes months (if not years) to finish — especially if you have the space for every machine under the sun. But, if you’re just getting started with your set-up or only have so much room to spare, certain items are far more necessary than others.Â
And, although shopping for such basic items as weights, resistance bands and yoga mats may seem relatively simple, you shouldn’t always order the first thing that you find. As too many of us have learned, it’s surprisingly easy to end up with a low-quality piece of equipment that ends up impeding your workout, rather than enhancing it.Â
Luckily, with the help of online customer reviews, we’ve found the best home fitness essentials that everyone should have and rounded them up below.Â
This pair of dumbbells is adjustable in increments of two and a half pounds, from a minimum weight of five pounds to a max weight of 52.5 pounds. An inexpensive (but similarly durable) alternative to Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbells, this set saves space and allows for quick and easy changes in weight throughout workout.Â
Reviewers noted the set’s high quality, rust-free finish, as well as the fact that additional weights stay in place while lifting, without wobbling around or shifting in place.
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The starter guide that comes with this handled set of resistance bands makes it friendly for beginners, while the wide range of resistance offered within the set makes it a great choice for more experienced users. The set comes with a door anchor and travel case, for those who want to take their workout on the road.Â
Reviewers were particularly happy with how versatile this set is, in that they could incorporate the bands into larger workouts or simply use them on their own. (They also make a great gift.)
For those who might balk at this mat’s price, we’d like to highlight the reviewer who described it as the “Cadillac” of yoga mats — grippy enough for fast-paced vinyasa flows and cushiony enough for floor-based stretching. That said, that aforementioned grippiness may have to come with some time and effort on your part.Â
Some reviewers noted that the mat can get slippery during hot yoga. Manduka’s care instructions recommend a salt scrub to “break in” the surface of the mat, which can help.
Check out our other yoga mat recommendations.
Not only can this system attach to pretty much any door, but you can anchor it to rafters, trees, or outdoor posts, as well. No matter where you set it up, you can use it to practice and master TRX’s seven “foundational moves” (pushing, pulling, lunging, hinging, squatting, planking, and rotating), all of which are meant to target core and full-body strength.Â
The system’s accompanying exercise guide and online workouts help make it appealing to newcomers to TRX and seasoned practitioners alike. And, as CNET previously reported, this particular system is fitness-trainer approved.
This simple (read: non-vibrating, untextured) foam roller may seem a little basic, but that actually makes it perfect for a home gym setting. Praised by reviewers for its durability, this foam roller is firm enough to target soreness in the shoulders, legs, neck, and back.Â
Some reviewers specifically noted that this roller was perfectly suited for chest-opening exercises, since they could choose between three lengths (12, 18, or 36 inches) to fit their height.
Reviewers were big fans of the price point for this set of six kettlebells (comparable sets can run for $100 more). But, this set’s best feature — and why it’s perfect for a home gym setting specifically — is its vinyl coating. Unlike cast iron kettlebells, these are designed for softer landings, in terms of both noise and impact, and with the weights’ longevity in mind, since the coating protects the weights from scratches and damage.
A notable “con” for this box is that it takes about 45 minutes to assemble out of the box — but a corresponding “pro” is the fact that, once it’s put together, adjusting its height to your needs is a quick and easy process. And speaking of this plyo box’s adjustable features, it can be set to stand 16, 20, or 24 inches high, depending on whether you want to it for steps, squats, or jumps.Â
Whatever your exercise of choice may be, you can rely on the box to feel stable and solid underfoot — one review described it as “trustworthy.”
This adjustable, tangle-resistant rope from Qwesen proves that something as essential as a jump rope doesn’t have to be boring. Its foam handles offer a comfortable grip while its steel wire rope provides enough momentum for a steady, smooth rhythm — in turn, reviewers write that it’s great for double- and triple-jumping. The rope comes coated with PVC for protection, ensuring long-term use.
This foldable bench is about as customizable as it gets, with six back positions, four seat positions and the option to lay completely flat. Reviewers praise the bench’s ease of adjustment, the fact that it’s foldable for storage and its sturdiness (its weight capacity stands at 500 pounds). Plus, the padded seat and foot holds make even longer workouts comfortable.
This doorway-mounted frame goes beyond the average pull-up bar to offer a whole bodyweight workout system, in which they can do dips, leg raises, rows, and push-up variations, in addition to pull-ups.Â
Many reviewers were drawn to this item for its versatility, and they write that it delivers: Not only does it feel sturdy and secure when in use, but it’s easy to assemble or take apart depending on the exercises they wish to do.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.