21 Best Home Exercise Equipment For Strength and Cardio Workouts

Don’t you have time, energy or money to go to the gym? Here you will find information about the best home exercise equipment that do not cost a lot of money, but they can help you to train your entire body, develop your cardio and endurance.

I listed those tools that I have in my home gym, so I know they are useful. I use them almost every day and I’m really happy that I have bought them. I can work out whenever I want. I do not have to wait for anybody, so my workouts more efficient and continuous.

You can invest into more or just one to start with. No matter which you choose, you will get home workout equipment that will help perform efficient exercises to lose weight, build muscle and improve your cardiovascular system.


Best Workout Equipment for Strength Training

1. Dumbbells – The Best Overall Exercise Equipment for Home

dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are essential and versatile home gym weights since they can be used many ways. You can train all the major muscle groups with them.

Dumbbells are necessary for full body training and isolating muscles. Moreover, they help to improve your coordination and balance since dumbbell exercises need more control. They are the best buy best gym equipment for both men and women to get stronger and build muscles.

Also, with the help of them you can have advanced level cardio training as well. For example, dumbbell burpees which is a very tough activity but a real physique booster.

We can purchase dumbbell sets that include many different weight pieces. We can also get adjustable dumbbells such as Bowflex SelectTech that are the most comfortable solution but a bit more expensive.

Strengthen every parts of your body with hand weights

Keep in mind that if you buy separate weights you will need quite a lot of space to store them or you will need to purchase a rack. That is why adjustable ones are better since they combine 10-20 sets of weights in one.


2. Weight Benches – For More Versatile Weight Training

weight bench workout

Well, you can hardly have effective home gym workouts with weights without the help of a workout bench. Such beneficial workouts, like the bench press with dumbbells, chest flyes, or other sitting exercises like biceps curls are cannot be done without it. Plus, you can use it for various bodyweight exercises like decline push-ups or dips.

Flat benches are simple and cheap, but typically very robust gym equipment with high maximum weight capacity. Perfect for weight lifting exercises but for cardio as well since you may do jumps with it.

Adjustable weight benches can be set into the incline, decline, and flat levels. This way you can perform a wide range of variations of the regular exercises to focus on one particular muscle group better. For example, you can do the incline bench press that targets the upper pecks. So, it is a more versatile piece of strength training equipment than a flat one.


3. Power Rack – For Lifting Heavy Weight Safely Without a Spotter

power cage bench press

If you go to the gym, there is always someone who helps you when you want to lift heavy weights to see your limits. But, when you are alone at your home gym, it is not a good idea to challenge yourself to see your maximum bench press or squat without a spotter. You can quickly run into a dangerous situation.

The power rack or cage gives you an environment that lets you perform the most beneficial barbell exercises safely. They have safety spotters that with very high maximum loads so you do not have to be afraid of being “killed” by the bar. They also have barbell drops that you can set to the best height for particular activities.

Also, racks usually come with extras like pull up bar, dip stand, or even a pulley system. So, you can perform even more types of exercises.

While a quality cage is quite an investment, it is a must if you want to lift heavy weights safely and it provides a great workout experience.


4. Barbell With Weights – For Muscle Building Compound Exercises

barbell deadlift

If your primary goal is building muscles and develop your strength, a bar with weights is essential gym equipment. With the help of a barbell, you can do such compound exercises like deadlift, bench press, squad or military press. But, of course, you can use it for many types of isolation exercises such as biceps curls.

The best buy without a doubt is an Olympic weight set since that is the standard for weight lifting and compatible with other equipment like benches or power cages.

You can choose from bumper plates, covered with rubber, or iron weight plates. Both versions are OK, but I prefer bumper ones since they are easier to catch and rustless.

An Olympic free weight set with a barbell is not cheap but lasts forever, and it is a must have for a home gym set.

On the other hand, if you can buy cheap non-Olympic sets if you not so serious about lifting.


5. Power Towers – For Bodyweight Workouts

power tower exercises

I think the pull up towers are the best home workout equipment for developing strength that enable to do numerous dynamic bodyweight moves.

If you have read other posts on this blog, you may know that I do calisthenics that is only about strengthening the entire body with different bodyweight activities. I built my tower with a pull-up bar and dip station, but it is just a basic one.

A power tower offers far more than that, although it depends on the quality and price. The best workout stations come with several extra features that help to perform a lot of exercises, for example, with adjustable bars, sling straps, cushioned back pads, and many others.

With this kind of at-home gym equipment, you will be able to do all the best bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, dips, ab workouts, etc. more efficiently. If you prefer bodyweight training and you need a tool, then a power tower station is the way to go. It also great gym stuff to strengthen your abs since you can do vertical knee and leg raises which are very effective workouts. 

Buy one that is stable, sturdy and offers the most functions. They are maybe a bit more pricey, but in the long term they will give their price back.


6. Kettlebells – Combine Cardio with Resistance Training

kettlebells

Kettlebells have similar benefits as dumbbells, but since they have a unique shape, they are maybe more efficient. Plus we can perform unusual exercises with them. A lot of people think it is the best small exercise tool.

They are very popular these days recommended by the qualified fitness trainers. There are a lot of kettlebell workouts for full-body training.

Some benefits are:

  • Enjoyable training to boost the heart rate.
  • Build functional strength.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Have a combination of resistance and cardio training.

You can buy kettlebells in various sizes, and there are even adjustable ones.


7. Stability Ball – Add Hardness to Regular Exercises

fitness ball

A fitness ball is especially useful for working abs, but it can be used for upper and lower body workouts, as well. It is also beneficial home gym equipment for rehabilitation, to perform stretching exercises, or even to sit on it that helps to improve your posture.

Most of the activities done by using an exercise ball improve the posture and work several muscles at once since we have to keep the balance. With the help of it, you can better standard moves like push-ups. It is also the best at home exercise equipment for seniors at home.


8. Doorway Chin Up Bars – Affordable & Compact

chin up bar

If you do not have enough money or space for a tower, a chin-up bar is a solution for you. Chin up bars can be fixed by using the frame of the door, or there are mounted versions. It is the best exercise equipment for small apartments for bodyweight training.

With the help of it, you can do different pull-ups, chin-ups, and many abdominal exercises such as hanging leg raise.

There are cheap ones with no extra functions, but the better ones do not cost so much as well.

Better option: Best power racks with pull up bar


9. TRX Suspension Trainer – Endless Bodyweight Moves for the Whole Body

TRX Suspension Trainer

TRX is a rather new system that lets us perform a lot of types of bodyweight exercises. This commercial home gym equipment has been developed by the Navy Seals, and the famous fitness trainers recommend it.

TRX suspension training system is extremely beneficial as it combines the stability and strengths motions. For instance, it is particularly useful for core training. You can strengthen and tone each muscles groups with the help of this portable exercise equipment. The TRX Rip Trainer is also an exciting way to exercise at home.


10. Resistance Bands – Versatile & Cheap

resistance bands

After watching a video how boxers use resistance bands to improve their punching power, I purchased one. There are various types from simple, cheaper ones to more complex that offer almost the some benefits as TRX.

By using this lightweight fitness equipment, you can enhance traditional practices since you can add extra resistance to movements. There are so many ways you can use it. For example, to enhance your abs workouts, but you can have a total body workout with it.


11. Roman Chair – For Healthy Lower Back

roman chair hyperextension

A hyperextension bench is the best home gym equipment to train lower back and to avoid lower back pain. Besides, we can use it for abdominal conditioning, for dips, and other moves. There are some models that can be used as an ab bench, too.

Did you know that most of the back injuries come from the weak lower back? With the help of it, you can do back extension which is the best exercise for low back muscles.


12. Ab Wheels – Compact Device for Total Core Training

ab wheel training

The ab wheel is the best home gym equipment to strengthen your abs. It is an extremely efficient tool to work core muscles. Besides, it trains back, arms, chest, and shoulders. It is also compact, but existing core strength is required to use it. Hence, it is not the best option for beginners.

The top two models are Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro and Lifeline Power Wheel.


13. Medicine Balls – Add Extra Resistance to Your Home Workout

medicine ball

Medicine balls seem to be not so important equipment for a home gym, but they are very useful to enhance various trainings, mainly for the upper body. Medicine balls come in different sizes and weights, so you can surely find the one that fits your fitness level. They are suitable for both cardio and strength training.

They are good for:

  • Developing explosive power.
  • Rehabilitation activities.
  • Full body workout.
  • Versatile – even useful for cardio to increase heart rate.
  • Portable & cheap.

BEST HOME WORKOUT MACHINES FOR CARDIO

14. Treadmills – Run Whenever You Want

Running is unquestionably the most effective sort of cardio training that works your entire body, improves your cardiovascular system and supports weight loss. In my opinion the treadmill is the best exercise machine for weight loss.

Regular running, jogging or even walking is vital for a healthy lifestyle. There is no question that doing these activities outside in the fresh air have the most benefits, but you can also use a treadmill.

There are hundreds of models with different prices and features. In my opinion, there is no need to buy the most expensive one since lower priced ones can be suitable for an average user. However, always read the reviews before investing into one to avoid future problems.

treadmill benefits
Credit: trainfora5k.com

15. Jump Rope – Cheap Device to Boost Your Condition

jump rope

There is a reason why boxers use the jumping rope so much. This simple fitness equipment is one of the best ways for conditioning. Jumping helps to burn calories, improves your cardiovascular system, and strengthens almost all of your muscles. It is cheap, and you can use it and take it anywhere.

I do jump roping regularly since I started boxing, and it has a positive impact on my endurance and speed. I can punch the heavy bag longer than ever before.

It is a cheap home gym equipment. The basic models cost only some bucks. The weighted ones cost a little bit more, but you can maximize the speed with the help of them making your workouts even more efficient.

The only thing you need to keep in mind when your want to purchase one is to have enough space to use it comfortably.


16. Rowing Machine – For Total Body Cardio Training

benefits of rowing machine

This home gym tool list would not be complete without mentioning the rowing machines. I think, among the cardio machines it is the most beneficial ones since it works all the muscle groups at once and perfect for developing the cardiovascular system. This way we can burn more calories in a shorter time so it great for losing weight. It also boost your endurance very effectively as well.

I believe it is the best exercise machine for home if you want to burn fat.


17. Punching Bags – Enjoyable Training that Boosts Your Endurance 

heavy punching bag for home

Boxing is unquestionably the best cardio workout that trains the entire body, boost the heart rate up and helps to burn fat. It is also one of the most efficient practices to release stress and develop your endurance.

There are two kinds of punching bags you can buy. Smaller and lighter ones (speed bag) which help to improve the accuracy of punches, and heavy bags for harder punches and for kicking.

Since your aim is not being a professional fighter, I recommend you the heavy bag.

I perform heavy bag training 2-3 times a week for 45-50 minutes. I’m sure that this sort of training, besides my diet, is the main reason I lost over 35 pounds in less than half a year.

Furthermore, my fitness level is better than ever before. I studied the punch types by watching the videos on Youtube where I also found many routines. After learning the basic punches and some simpler combinations, I have increased the time slowly. Now I can hit the heavy bag for 10×3 minutes.

A punching bag is maybe not the cheapest exercise equipment for home, and you may need other accessories such as gloves, but it is worth every penny. It is a complete indoor cardio workout.

Before buying one do not forget that you will need enough space to use it, and you will have to install it.


18. Exercise Bikes – If Running is Not For You

exercise bike

If you do not like running then, an exercise bike is a solution for home cardio workouts. It is small footprint machine that is great to have a high and low impact cardio workout. Plus, it works the lower body efficiently as well.

The basic models are affordable and perfect for any average user. Although, the more expensive ones provide far more functions. It is maybe the most suitable cardio home workout equipment for small rooms.


OTHER USEFUL GYM ACCESSORIES

19. Foam Roller – Helps to Recover From Workouts

The foam roller is a small exercise equipment that has a lot of health benefits. Training with it increases the range of motion, decrease muscle soreness and pain, increase muscle length and flexibility. It is a great way to prevent workout injuries or helps rehabilitation.

foam roller

20. Yoga Mat

yoga mat

A good stretching yoga mat is essential if you want to do yoga or other workouts on the floor. They do not cost so much but help to perform the movements more comfortably and safely. For instance, it is useful for doing ab workouts on the floor.


21. Gym Rubber Mats

A rubber mat helps not only to protect your floor from dropping weights or moving equipment but also gives a safe environment to work out. Your bench or rack will not tilt and shift under usage.

Finally, here is a great video about how to turn an unused room too an awesome home gym with wide range of equipment.


Conclusion

As you see, there are a lot of types of gear and exercise machines for home you can purchase. I have almost all the mentioned products, and I use them. Of course, you can buy compact home gym systems or other cardio equipment such as an elliptical trainer, but you can have good home workouts with the mention equipment above.

However, none of these items will help you to get stronger, slimmer or lose weight if you do not use them. Do not buy anything until you determine that you are going to change your body.

Have you got any questions related to home gym essentials? Feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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Walter M. Forbes

Hi! I'm Walter, a 36-years old gym owner. I've been working out since I was 15. Now I do calisthenics and boxing. On this website, I'd like to share my workout and home workout equipment tips.