Staying active is important for your body and mind, especially when you're stressed. Regular exercise can improve your mood, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help control your weight. But between work, family obligations, and daily life chores, it can be hard to find time to hit the gym. Luckily, a home workout isn't as hard as you think if you have the right equipment to help you accomplish your goals.
We've poured a lot of research into the topic and picked the 10 best pieces of equipment to complete your home workout your way. A great starting place is Gaiam's Essentials Premium Yoga Mat, which can be used for balance and flexibility workouts, strength training, floor work, and more. We've also included a buying guide at the end of the article to help you choose the right equipment for you!
There are several things to consider when buying workout equipment. Aside from your budget, let's look at some other factors to help you choose the right products.
All exercise has benefits, but if you have specific goals in mind, think about those before deciding what equipment will help you get there.
There are a lot of cardio workouts that you can do at home. First, you need to ask yourself whether or not you want to use equipment to enhance your workouts. If your answer is no, you can do some basic exercises like jumping jacks, dancing, jogging in place, and so on.
However, if you want to add some portable equipment to your workout, a jump rope, a pair of light dumbbells, a hula hoop, or a boxing sandbag can be good options. These can all help take your cardio sessions to another level without taking up much space.
If you want something more substantial, then you can look at bigger equipment, like a punching bag stand, treadmill, elliptical machine, exercise bike, or rowing machine. We would suggest comparing multiple sources and checking both positive and negative reviews before making a decision.
While larger equipment can be an investment, it will last for many years. Treadmills have a lifespan of seven to 12 years, while ellipticals and exercise bikes can last up to 20. Of course, this requires regular maintenance, but most equipment also comes with a warranty.
You can absolutely do cardio with or without equipment! Cardio can look different in so many ways. This can include running, powerlifting, HIIT, and more. Some may choose to use equipment while others don't. Either way, you are still getting a great workout that is even better for your heart health.
If you’re more interested in improving your muscle mass, then strength training is your answer. You can use your own bodyweight or add some equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, or an ab wheel to your workout. Using your own body weight is the easiest way to start and can help you avoid injuries.
If you're a beginner, you can gain muscle without any equipment if you use the right techniques and exercises. A quick search online should you give you some pointers on where to start. However, gains will be limited for those who already have experience in weight training.
On the other hand, if you want to add equipment to your workout, there are several things to consider. In the case of dumbbells and kettlebells, you should know what skill level you're at, whether it's beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This can help you decide what weight is right for you.
Beginners should start with light weights and focus on form. If you start too heavy, you run the risk of injury. More experienced lifters can choose a weight that's more challenging and build on what has been lifted previously. It's also good to have multiple weights to use for different muscle groups, as some may be stronger than others.
In addition, muscle growth and strength building require progressive overload, which means increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your routine as you get stronger. Adjustable dumbbells are a great option for this and take up less space than having multiple pairs.
No matter what exercise level you are at, you can basically use the same equipment. Some who are more experienced or comfortable using equipment might use more than someone who has just begun working out, and that's okay! Use what you are comfortable with, when you are ready, and when you become familiar with a new piece of equipment.
Yoga and pilates are popular choices for at-home workouts. Aside from improving balance, flexibility, and posture, they can also help to reduce joint pain. These types of workouts suit everyone because they can be easily tailored to your skill level.
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey found that 94 percent of Americans who practice yoga do it for health reasons. Moreover, over 36 million Americans practiced yoga in 2016, which accounted for roughly 15 percent of American adults.
Barre is another good option that's inspired by a combination of yoga, pilates, strength training, and dance. Barre is perfect for pregnant women because it's full of low-impact, controlled movements. It can also help with weight loss as well as increasing muscle strength.
In general, you only need a yoga mat for this type of workout but a pair of light dumbbells, a resistance band, foam roller, yoga ball, or medicine ball can be good options if you want to add intensity. Beginners can get extra support by adding in yoga blocks to aid with stretches until your flexibility improves.
It is important for everyone to incorporate balance and flexibility exercises into their weekly workout routine, no matter what age or exercise level you are at. This will help you move better, live better, and be less sore on a day-to-day basis. This does not need to be very long though; I would recommend sticking to 10 minutes.
You can get a great HIIT workout with nothing but your own body weight. But if you want to take the intensity up a notch, try adding equipment, like dumbbells, kettlebells, a battle rope, or an exercise bike.
HIIT provides a lot of benefits to your health. First, it burns more calories in a shorter time. One study found that HIIT could burn 30 percent more calories than weight training and running for the same amount of time. You’ll also get the “afterburn effect,” which helps you burn even more calories after your workout is done, too!
Second, HIIT can help you lose body fat while maintaining muscle. You may even gain muscle mass in areas that you use a lot during your workout, like your legs and trunk. And third, HIIT can help reduce blood sugar in both healthy and diabetic people, as well as heart rate and blood pressure in overweight individuals.
Home workouts don't need to be too difficult. As long as you are moving, you are accomplishing something! One of my favorite home workouts is using mini bands.
These are super cheap bands that you can order online, but you can do so many exercises with them that make a huge difference! My favorite mini band exercises include triceps extensions, clamshells, and band walks. If you want a good burn, do mini walks for one minute.
This is one of the most important factors when you decide to work out at home. Take stock of where you're likely to exercise and how much space you have and keep this in mind when you choose any equipment.
If you have limited space, you want to choose a type of exercise where you don’t have to move around a lot such as yoga, lifting weights, or doing jumping jacks. You should also consider what equipment you have room for, both when you're exercising and when you're not. A yoga mat is easy to store when not in use and an adjustable set of dumbbells can fit in any small corner.
If you have a bigger space, then you will have more options. You may even have enough space for larger machines such as treadmills and exercise bikes, as well as a set of weights. However, be sure to pick equipment that you’ll enjoy using otherwise it will just take up room in your home for no reason.
Neighbors may not be an issue if you live in a big house. On the other hand, if you live in an apartment or condominium, your workouts can bother your neighbors if you make a lot of noise. Thankfully, there are a lot of apartment-friendly workouts such as strength training, balancing, and flexibility workouts.
Cardio isn’t a good choice, especially those exercises that include a lot of jumping like jump squats, burpees, jumping jacks, and lunge and switches. Any exercises that involve you lifting your feet from the floor and putting them back down at a high speed or energy level are likely to make noise. and this is also the case with running on a treadmill.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize the noise. An easy option is to restrict your cardio exercises to daylight hours when your neighbors are less likely to be annoyed by any noise. There are also accessories available, such as shock and noise absorbing mats, that can soften the sounds of your exercise.
You should make sure to read and follow all the safety instructions carefully before you begin to use any equipment. If you live with children or pets and use equipment like a treadmill or elliptical equipment, you should keep it unplugged when you’re not using it or not at home. Some of these machines can even be folded down for easy storage so you can ensure no small hands can get to them.
If you do have young children at home, you should also try to keep them away during your workout time. They can be a distraction or even try to interfere with your workout, potentially causing an injury risk. If you have older children or teens, you should educate them on how to use machines properly and tell them things they must do in case of an emergency situation.
If you have seniors at home who also like to work out, you should make sure to have someone with them in order to support them should the need arise. It's also important to know your limits when exercising and to not push yourself too hard. Exercising too frequently or for too long can also put your safety at risk.
A lot of people lack of motivation to exercise alone and some think that typical workouts are boring! So why don’t you and your family join in the same workout? This way, working out can be more fun and you can enjoy spending time together too.
Don’t underestimate video games for workouts. Even though they can’t replace traditional workouts, they can make you tired and sweat a lot too. There are many games on the market that have well-structured workouts and programs that are also fun.
Some examples are Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch or VR games such as Beat Saber on the PlayStation 4 and PC. These games offer a variety of types of workouts such as dancing, boxing, and sports. In addition, some offer adventure, fighting, and role-playing games that will get you on your feet.
In addition to exercise equipment, you can look into some other things that will help you get motivated, have fun, and stay on track with your goals.
Each person has different reasons to work out. Some people just want to have fun while others want to get healthy. However, some people are more serious and want to see results quickly. Thus, a DVD, app, or another kind of program may be a good choice.
If your goal is to gain muscle or lose weight, having a program will guide you in the right way to perform each exercise, target certain muscle groups, set a workout schedule, and sometimes even suggest or plan your daily meals too.
There are a variety of at-home programs you can do, including apps, DVDs, and YouTube videos. They cover a range of workout types and last anywhere from a couple of weeks to multiple months. A program is also a great idea for a beginner as you can follow instructions and a plan devised by an expert.
When it comes to exercise, a lot of people feel like they lack motivation. If you fall into this category, reading a book about fitness can help you understand why it's important and motivate you to take the first step.
Books are also good for those who are new to working out. If you have no idea where to start and what to buy, a book can advise you in the right direction. You can also combine reading with your workout by choosing a fitness book in audiobook format.
With so many people at home, many fitness instructors have begun livestreaming or recording classes that are uploaded to YouTube or Instagram. These are great free resources to take advantage of; the only financial investment you have to make is in the equipment!
These are both great resources. Nowadays, you can find almost any workout that you are looking for, for free! There is no excuse not to be working out these days. What is super easy on Instagram, is to save a video and make a separate folder named "workouts" that you can come to later on.
Here are some of our favorites to help you get your sweat on even if you can't go to the gym. Hopefully, you'll find something right for your lifestyle and living space!
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Gentry Washburn unless explicitly said so.
Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells
T Series 6.5 Treadmill
Speed Skipping Rope with Calorie Counter
Freestanding Punching Bag
Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance
Essentials Premium Yoga Mat with Carrier Sling
Ring Fit Adventure
Insanity Base Kit
Puzzle Exercise Mat
The Fitness Mindset
Best for Weight Training
Best for Improving Your Cardio
Best for the Entire Family
Best for Strength Training and Stress Relief
Best Cardio Equipment for the Elderly and Those With Weak Joints
Best for Flexibility
Best for Having Fun While You Exercise
Best High Intensity Program
Best for Protecting Your Floors and Reducing Noise
Best Introduction to Home Fitness and Nutrition
|Workout type||Weight, resistance||Cardio||Cardio||Strength training, cardio||Cardio||Flexibility||Cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility||HIIT, cardio, strength training||All||Mental training|
|Dimensions||Depends on weight||73 x 35.8 x 67.5 in.||7.7 x 1.3 in. (handles)||19.7 x 19.7 x 70 in.||58 x 20 x 38 in.||72 x 24 x 0.25 in.||-||-||Flexible||-|
|Space required||Little||73 x 35.8 x 67.5 in.||High ceilings||Around a five foot circle||58 x 20 x 38 in.||72 x 24 in.||Around a five foot circle||Moderate||Flexible||-|
|Noise level||Quiet||Noisy||Noisy||Noisy||Quiet||Quiet||Noisy||Noisy||Reduces noise||-|
|Safety features||Non-slip coating, hexagonal shape||Emergency stop, deck cushioning||Adjustable rope length, ergonomic grips||Boxing gloves included, suction cups on base, hollow base can be filled||Padded seat, solid base||Non-slip surface||Soft grip on ring||Simplified modifications||Non-slip, reduces noise||-|
|Workout type||Weight, resistance|
|Dimensions||Depends on weight|
|Safety features||Non-slip coating, hexagonal shape|
T 6.5 S Treadmill, 5 in. display
|Dimensions||73 x 35.8 x 67.5 in.|
|Space required||73 x 35.8 x 67.5 in.|
|Safety features||Emergency stop, deck cushioning|
|Dimensions||7.7 x 1.3 in. (handles)|
|Space required||High ceilings|
|Safety features||Adjustable rope length, ergonomic grips|
|Workout type||Strength training, cardio|
|Dimensions||19.7 x 19.7 x 70 in.|
|Space required||Around a five foot circle|
|Safety features||Boxing gloves included, suction cups on base, hollow base can be filled|
|Dimensions||58 x 20 x 38 in.|
|Space required||58 x 20 x 38 in.|
|Safety features||Padded seat, solid base|
|Dimensions||72 x 24 x 0.25 in.|
|Space required||72 x 24 in.|
|Safety features||Non-slip surface|
|Workout type||Cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility|
|Space required||Around a five foot circle|
|Safety features||Soft grip on ring|
|Workout type||HIIT, cardio, strength training|
|Safety features||Simplified modifications|
0.5 in. thick, 24 sq. ft.
|Noise level||Reduces noise|
|Safety features||Non-slip, reduces noise|
|Workout type||Mental training|
Get your sweat on with this high-intensity cardio workout from the folks at Self! They'll take you through scissor steps, jumping jacks, skaters, pop squats, and planks, with a warmup included. All you need is a yoga mat or soft surface for the planks.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to at-home workout equipment.
When choosing what kind of exercise to try at home, an important consideration is how effective it will be. This is especially a concern with low-impact exercise. Any exercise that doesn't put a strain on your joints, such as swimming, yoga, or cycling, is considered low impact and many people wonder how effective it is at losing weight or improving fitness levels.
The answer is that yes, low-impact exercise can be just as effective as other types of exercise and can offer just as many benefits. Low-impact exercise can also be intense, but it has the benefit of not putting strain on your joints.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week and this can easily be achieved with low-impact workouts.
If you live in an apartment building, then you'll already be aware of how sound can travel from apartment to apartment and floor to floor. One of the worst culprits for noise when it comes to exercise is treadmills, but there are some steps you can take to reduce the noise.
Some treadmills have specially designed decks to reduce the sounds of your feet as you run. This is usually seen in extra shock absorbers and is usually highlighted in the product description. If you want more information on how noisy a treadmill is compared to others, we would recommend checking the reviews to see what previous purchasers think of the noise levels.
Another option is to invest in a mat that can be placed underneath your treadmill to absorb some of the noise. We've included one in our 10 best list, but there are many more available. Shock and noise-absorbing mats are a great way to protect your floors and keep your neighbors happy.
Many workouts can be done without any equipment; however, added equipment can increase your workout intensity. Check out these other links for our suggestions!
If you're still unsure which equipment is best for you or just need some more ideas, why not check out Amazon's best sellers?
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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