The gym for obvious reasons is one of the best places to get in incredible shape. However a point that’s not so obvious; the gym isn’t for everybody. Some people find the gym difficult to commute to, others feel uncomfortable training around other people- the list goes on. Regardless of the reasons for staying out of the gym, it’s not the only option available to us; all we need is the right exercise equipment. With all of the home workout equipment on the market, it’s become easier and more affordable than ever to get in the best shape of your life.
A well balanced fitness lifestyle should have a healthy dose of both strength training and cardio, and as a result should reflect the exercise equipment you use. Fortunately you have plenty of choices to fit your personal style. In this article we’ll take a look at 101 of the best, affordable pieces of exercise equipment to crush your fitness goals.
Top Pieces Of Exercise Equipment
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
Indoor bikes have come a long way- integrating technology in both design and workout experience. This exercise bike is incredibly smooth and quiet, comes compatible with the brand’s app, has up to 100 levels of resistance with magnetic resistance, dual-sided pedals, (2) 3 pound weights, and a Bluetooth enabled heart rate arm band monitor.
XTERRA Fitness ERG160 Rower
Row machines are excellent for an intense full body workout and improving ones VO2max . The XTERRA is a great example of quality epuipment for a good price. With a magnetic flywheel for smooth rowing, LED console display, and 8 different levels of manual resistance, it’s a great choice for the cardio enthusiast.
Sunny Health Eliptical
It doesn’t get simpler (or more affordable) than this. A built in stabilizer for smooth movement, easy assembly and magnetic resistance for added intensity? It doesn’t get much better than this.
On top of the cardio benefits of the stairmaster, there is the added lower body strength, core strength, bone density and calorie burning. Many such as the FitnessPlus stepmill offer multiple speeds for a brutal workout, a heart rate zone trainer, calorie burner and workout-to-workout comparison.
Another benefit of technology is that equipment has become space efficient as well. At just 46 by 24 inches, a treadmill like this can be stored virtually anywhere. With hydraulic adjustments, LED screen for tracking speed, heart rate, and workout tracking, you can have all the benefits of top of the line treadmills with half the size (and price).
While vibration plates are definitely under-utilized piece of equipment, advocates of this tool claim it is useful for a number of reasons. It’s said to enhance flexibility, improve blood flow, aid in weight loss and fat burning as well as build strength and reduce cortisol levels.
Aeroski Power Pro
Ever wanted to ski in the alps but never had the time or money (or coordination)? Aeroski Ski machines are an excellent way of bringing the excitement of steep mountainous terrain to the comfort of your home. Not to mention that this machine is a killer form of cardio that helps improve stabilization and coordination.
For those looking to improve mobility but lack the strength or conditioning to do much would benefit from a compact strider. Very space saving, portable, and adjustable for your chosen intensity level; it’s a simple and effective way to dip your toe back into fitness without the fear of injury.
The recumbent bike is a good upgrade from the compact strider, performing similar function with a little more to it. You can adjust the intensity by upping or lowering the resistance, along with measuring your vitals to track you cardiovascular health.
Conccept 2 Skierg
This beauty provides you with all the upper body work of actual skiing with the cardio benefits of a row machine. If you’re using this equipment correctly, you’re virtually guaranteed to have a brutal, full body cardio session (sweat definitely included).
If there was ever a hierarchy of cardio machines, the Assault bike would certainly be the mother of all cardio equipment. The proof is in the name, it is a physically (and sometimes emotionally) taxing full body experience that produces some of the most effective cardio sessions in the game- in practically half the time!
While not nearly as physically demanding as most of the fitness equipment on this list, it is very useful for numerous purposes- some of which help to actively improve fitness performance. It helps to relieve/ decompress pressure in the spine by shifting the body’s gravity. This can be advantageous for people with conditions as serious as sciatica or as mild as slight low back pain.
Pilate Reformer: If you’re looking for a more unorthodox form of fitness, look no further than pilate reformers. The pilate reformer activates the whole body with low impact movements, challenging your cardiovascular fitness as well as your strength and flexibility.
Core/Abdominal Crunch Machine
For those trying to sculpt that 8-pack just in time for summer, this device might be your first stop. The curved railing design creates smooth hip flexion during the actual movement- contracting the deep and superficial muscles of the core. With a model like Fitlaya, it also comes with a display screen that tells you the calories burned, reps performed, and overall workout time.
Adjustable Weight Stack
No home gym would be complete without a set of adjustable dumbbells. Ranging from as little as 2lbs to as much as 50, there is a near endless combination of exercises and levels of intensity you can perform them at to get the results you’re looking for.
Developed in Russia during the 17th century, this beautiful ball of iron has been a staple in the fitness industry for decades- and has no indications of going anywhere. Whether you’re a strongman, powerlifter or just looking to high intensity interval training, the kettlebell is a universal tool that any fitness enthusiast can use to get in incredible shape.
Resistance bands are another versatile piece of equipment for any level of fitness. It’s important to know the muscle group you’re working and whether to use bands with or without handles- however if you can get this down you’ll rarely find a tool as intense or effective as the resistance band.
Deep Squat Machine
Although quite basic in its design, I would only recommend this piece of equipment for advanced lifters. Trying to stabilize ones bodyweight to the depth the deep squat machine requires takes a level of strength and control most lifters are not ready for. Difficulty aside it is a solid choice for a great leg session.
Calf Raise Machine
A calf raise machine is another must have to complete any gym set (cus’ for some of us calves need extra love and affection). These bad boys are easy to assemble, cost efficient, and with rails for additional weight getting your calves up will be no problem at all.
A top line machine for working the posterior chain, the hyper-extension bench is both easy to use and effective.
The Ez bar is great for numerous compound movements and with it’s curved structure, performing exercises like bicep curls becomes noticeably easier (but no less intense). This allows for a more neutral grip and room to play with hand placement compared to the standard straight bar.
Preacher Curl Stand
While the preacher curl stand doesn’t offer a wide range of different exercises, it is peerless for working the biceps. Easy to assemble, adjustable, with a rack to rest light or heavy barbells? You couldn’t ask for more from a preacher curl stand.
Decline Adjustable Bench
Decline AdjustableWhether you’re training abs or you’re trying to hit your chest at a different angle, the decline bench helps to add variety to standard lifts. This bench is table and adjustable, and can be moved to provide a range of angles to simplify or intensify each exercise.
The Medicine ball is a versatile tool for all forms of exercise; high intensity interval training, core exercises, even some standard compound lifts. If you can imagine it there is no limit to the exercises you can perform with it, or the levels of difficulty you can experience while using it.
Ankle weights are an excellent free-weight lower body tool. Usually used for glute exercises, they take each movement to a level of intensity and discomfort. From weighted kickbacks to fire hydrants, expect some great glute results when incorporating ankle weights to your routine.
Dip stands are an excellent piece of exercise equipment to have; they are very inexpensive, simple to use, and all you need is your own body weight to perform exercises (no weight required).
The plyo-box is a top choice for everything high intensity. It can be purchased in various sizes and comes as simple (and inexpensive) as a wooden box or as contemporary as foam boxes. It’s also easily re-arranged for convenient transitions between exercises- and a nice bench to rest on in between sets!
Pec Deck Machine
This chest machine is excellent for performing classic chest flys. You can even mix it up and perform reverse pec decks to target the rear delts, sculpting a defined upper body. Fortunately the prices for this machine has plenty of range depending on how simple or complex you want it to be.
The hex bar is an excellent alternative to the traditional straight bar, offering the same range of exercises (deadlift, squat, etc) with different grip and hand placement. Most of these bad boys are very inexpensive and offer many different sizes for increased or diminished difficulty.
An essential for all floor exercises, yoga mats offer extra comfort while performing difficult movements and also protection from dirty gym floors.
Stability balls are excellent choices for balance, stability, pregnancy, physical therapy, core training and many other forms of exercise. A quality stability ball is generally anti burst, slip resistant and offers at least 2000-pounds of pressure to support you for any type of movement.
jump ropes are definitely making a comeback in the fitness community and it’s easy to see why. They’re a great form of cardio that helps develop rhythm, coordination, and add a little variety to your workout routine.
Weighted Jump Rope
What could be better than a jump rope? A weighted jump rope. If you thought skipping with a regular rope could work up a sweat, give a weighted jump rope a try. The weighted rope and handle help to strengthen the arms and forearm, at the same time upping the cardiovascular difficulty.
Most people would sleep on this fun piece of equipment as a tool for exercise, but don’t be fooled. Trampolines offer a great form of cardio, adding variety and excitement to each workout for those who are easily bored. The smaller ones specifically for working out are very inexpensive.
Foam Roller: After a harsh workout, one of the best ways to decompress is using a foam roller for some deep tissue massaging. They come in a variety of different texture and sizes to really dig into the hills and valleys of the muscle fibers.
If you’re looking for the most effective piece of ab equipment for the best price, look no further than the ab wheel. As your hands move further away from your body, the core fires on all cylinders to stabilize you. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for beginners, ab wheels are an effect
Dual Grip Medicine Ball
Unlike the standard medicine ball, the dual grip version has a solid, weighted core, two gripping handles on either side, and a rubber textured surface for greater friction. These are great for core exercises such as Russian twists and hollow holds.
Sand bags are an excellent weighted tool that can be used for a variety of explosive and challenging exercises like sandbag throws, shouldering, squats, deadlifts, etc. Many brands such as Rogue Fitness and Rep Fitness offer quality bags of different weights at very affordable prices.
Though TRX straps are unassuming in appearance, with a little imagination they can be used to work virtually any muscle group. By using a combination of bodyweight and angles, you can have a very effective workout using just the straps. All you need is a station to suspend them and you’re all set to go.
Doorway Pull-Up Bar
It doesn’t get more basic, simple, and effective than a doorway pullup bar. With just this and an ordinary doorway you can be on the fast track to building the cobra back/ v taper of your dreams. Most come with different hand placements in order to target different muscles of the back. And best of all they are very inexpensive!
Weight Exercise Belt
If you’re a mad lad that isn’t challenged enough by most gym equipment and exercises, try adding a weighted exercise belt to your arsenal. As it comfortably rests around your waist,
Hand Grip Strengthener
Admittedly the hand grip strengthener is an OG exercise tool, however it still has many benefits. Its ability to strengthen ones grip translates very well for overall strength as you begin gripping heavier weight during deadlifts, barbell rows, and similar exercises.
Figure 8 Resistance Tube
The Figure 8 resistance tube is a variation of the resistance band that provides different length-tension for exercises like the bent-over rear delt fly and plie squat.
Leg Extension Machine
The leg extension machine is definitely one of the best pieces of quadriceps equipment available, and as of 2023 is very accessible to the average consumer. While some versions require separate weighted plates, quality businesses provide built in weights for greater convenience and intensity.
Belt Squat Machine
There are so many positives to the belt squat machine; its lever system offers effortless racking and unracking (removing unnecessary effort from squatting). A wide platform allows for a wide range of different lower body exercises, and best of all the belt loads from the hips to relieve your back of virtually all stress.
If you have a barbell, landmines are an excellent attachment to incorporate to a wide range of full body exercises; from core to shoulder presses and much more. Adding these
It goes without saying that you don’t need all 101 pieces of exercise equipment, but choosing from this list is a good place to start. Remember not to overthink things; if you have a fitness goal in mind the best thing to do is begin and learn along the way. As you become more knowledgeable and consistent, you can add more fitness equipment to fuel your growth process- but start with few. If you’ve made it this far I wish you luck on your fitness journey and hope you stay tuned for more articles like these!
(list to be updated regularly)