The Best Home Workout Equipment in 2022: Dumbbells, Resistance Bands, Kettlebells, Yoga Mats, Jump RopesStephanie February 5, 2022
If you’re avoiding gyms because of COVID-19 or simply prefer fitness in your own house, it’s helpful to find the best home workout equipment to suit your space. Whether you’re stocking up to build an affordable home gym or looking for smart home gym equipment, finding the right gear can be daunting. Luckily, there are many great options for all types of workouts on the market that are budget-friendly and easy to store.
There are many advantages to working out from home. With an at-home gym you can easily exercise without losing momentum when it comes to your fitness goals. You can save money on gym-membership fees, save time on commuting, avoid crowds and waiting for machines, and forgo dealing with extreme weather. Your biggest challenge may come down to where to store the equipment. If you don’t have room for a serious home gym, you’re likely to use a small space like your living, bedroom, or office as your workout room, and you might not have room for a full-size treadmill, exercise bike, or rowing machine.
We tapped personal trainers from across the country to share their picks for the best home gym equipment for bodyweight training, resistance training, cardio training, circuit training, stability training, and recovery. We sourced the best compact equipment, from the best jump ropes, foam rollers, resistance bands, and yoga mats to bigger equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and punching bags. These pieces of home workout equipment below will ensure you’ve got everything you need for your gym.
For Bodyweight Training
YogaAccessories Non-Slip Exercise Mat
A yoga mat isn’t just for yoga; it can make bodyweight exercises like stretching and core work more comfortable, says Elizabeth Corkum, a certified personal trainer and running coach in New York City. (Plus, it can provide a good surface for strength training too.) Most basic yoga mats are affordable and get the job done just fine without breaking the bank. This one, however, is longer than most other mats out there, which is a plus if you’re on the tall side.
Manduka Pro Yoga
If you’re willing to spend a little more on a yoga mat (especially if you’re going to use it for a variety of exercises), this Manduka Pro option is one that’s beloved by yogis. Holly Perkins, CSCS, a celebrity trainer and author of Lift to Get Lean, calls it the Rolls Royce of mats, and the best she’s ever tried: “It’s a super heavy-duty mat that is stable. I like that it’s thicker than most yoga mats, so it’s great for strength exercises, but not too thick that your feet stick in.”
FEIERDUN Doorway Pull-Up Bar
“Doorway pull-up bars are my go-to piece of equipment to help maintain and gain upper body strength, all without any added weight,” says Elizabeth Murphy, a certified personal trainer in Boston. Pull-ups recruit muscles in your back, shoulders, chest, and arms, and you can easily isolate muscle groups by changing your hand position on the bar. (If you want to hammer your biceps with a bicep dumbbell workout, the chin-up variation—palms toward your body—just might be the variation for you.) Plus, you can also add resistance bands for a pull-up assist (and we’ve got recommendations for those below).
AZURELIFE Exercise Core Sliders
Core sliders, or gliding discs, will take your planks and core routine to a whole new level, says Karisa Curtis, a certified personal trainer in Ventura, California. These discs, which look like Frisbees, offer options for both carpet and hardwood floors, making for endless options for low-impact movement during an intense core-slider workouts. You can use them to strengthen major muscle groups throughout your body, like your inner and outer thighs, legs, and butt.
“Gliding discs can be used to increase the intensity of a ton of different exercises, without adding any impact—a win for your joints,” Murphy adds. A few of the moves you can add a boost to with gliding disks are plank jacks, side-lunges, mountain climbers, speed skaters, and push-up variations.
TRX Suspension Trainer
The TRX suspension training system allows you to work both your upper and lower body, while helping you develop core stability. If you don’t have access to a trainer to walk you through it, TRX’s website has instructional videos, as well as 30-minute video workouts that are updated daily. (Or you can try this TRX core workout from SELF too.)
“Although it’s a bit more expensive than other pieces of equipment, if used correctly, the all-in-one TRX system can be the only piece of equipment that you need,” says Victoria Nolan, a certified personal trainer at Suite Time Fitness in Houston. “It’s easy to set up and store, as it can be hooked up over a door or even a good backyard tree.”
Lifeline Power Wheel
Celebrity trainer Erin Oprea considers an ab wheel a more advanced piece of equipment that’s not just great for core training, but can also completely smoke your hamstrings too. (Thanks to the foot straps on this one, you can use it for moves like hamstring curls).
For Resistance Training
Zensufu Ankle Weights
Oprea considers ankle weights a helpful piece of equipment to diversify your at-home workout. Using ankle weights can add extra resistance to lower-body moves like donkey kicks, as well as core exercises like V-ups.
TheraBand Resistance Band Loop Set
“These resistance bands have become my go-to item for home and travel workouts,” says Jen Temperley, a certified personal trainer and owner of Climb Fitness in Los Angeles. The bands are portable, come in a range of sizes and tension levels, and work for all levels of athletic ability.
“I love resistance bands because they’re travel-friendly and you can easily switch between working your arms, core, and legs without changing equipment,” adds Sarah Periman, a certified personal trainer in Houston.
SPRI Xertube Resistance Bands
These resistance bands with handles come in a variety of resistances and tend to hold up better than many other brands, says Art Sherry, a certified personal trainer in Houston. They can be used to work essentially every muscle group and provide even more exercise options when anchored to a door or wrapped around a post.
Fit Simplify Resistance Bands
There are so many moves you can do with these “booty bands,” which are great for strengthening your hips and glutes, says Holly Roser, a certified personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studio in San Francisco. They’re also excellent for injury prevention because they fire up one of the harder-to-target glute muscles, the gluteus medius. As an added bonus, these bands come with an e-book and access to online workout videos.
JFIT Dumbbell Set
If your goal is to build muscle, dumbbells (or free weights) for weight lighting are a must-have. “Dumbbells can be one of the most important pieces of equipment in any home gym, as they are both versatile and durable, and are very space efficient for apartments and small spaces,” says Luke Milton, a certified personal trainer and founder of TrainingMate in Los Angeles. “There are hundreds of exercises you can do with a pair of dumbbells, including clean and press, bicep curls, chest presses, squats, deadlifts, renegade rows, and tricep kickbacks.”
Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weight
Kettlebells work your entire body while getting your heart rate up, says Holly Roser, a certified personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studio in San Francisco. A kettlebell allows you to perform a variety of moves, including swings, deadlifts, lunges and squats, all of which elevate your heart rate for an instant HIIT workout at home. “I love how this kettlebell adjusts to your personal fitness level, and it’s also great for small spaces since you don’t have to buy multiple weights,” she says.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell
Here’s another strength builder from Bowflex: the adjustable dumbbell, recommended by Alicia Jamison, C.P.T. at Body Space Fitness, which is based in New York City. “The Bowflex goes from five to 55 pounds, which is perfect for every fitness level, and probably takes up only a yard—which is great if you’re trying to save space.”
Amazon Basics Vinyl Kettlebell
A basic 15- to 25-pound kettlebell weight is one of the most versatile and affordable pieces of strength training equipment you can own, as it can target and tone everything from your arms to your abs. “You can use this one item extensively for the lower body, giving enough resistance to tone even glutes,” says Morgan Rees, a certified personal trainer in Los Angeles.
ProsourceFit Soft Medicine Ball
A medicine ball is one of the most durable and functional pieces of equipment you can include in your home gym, says David Harvey, a certified personal trainer and registered yoga instructor in Houston. With a soft medicine ball, you can do a variety of movements to work your arms, legs, and core, as well as anti-rotational and physical therapy exercises to prevent injuries.
TOSAMC Durable Wrist Weights
Don’t underestimate the use of two- to five-pound wrist/ankle weights in a workout for an added challenge, says Maddison Rotner, a certified personal trainer at Box + Flow in New York City.
These are great to add a little extra challenge to bodyweight, yoga, or Pilates workouts, Christine Choi, a certified personal trainer in Atlanta tells SELF. “These are great to wear around the house and on neighborhood walks too,” she says. “I like to recommend them to my friends who are intimidated by weights, but still want to ramp up their workout routine.” Added bonus: The weights are also easy to transport and take up minimal space when not in use.
Rubberbanditz Workout Sandbag
For those who want an economical and convenient way to get a solid workout at home, this “sand” bag is an option for added resistance that uses water instead of sand, making it easy to fill or adjust the weight if you live in an apartment (not to mention store), says Lynn Montoya, a certified personal trainer and owner of Lynn Montoya Fitness in Tustin, California. Depending on the weight, you can use it to perform standard strength training-type exercises such as chest presses, rows, bicep curls, squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
RAGE Fitness Slam Ball
A slam ball is weighted with sand to prevent it from bouncing—and to allow you to get your heart rate up while performing various exercises that you would traditionally use dumbbells for, such as lunges, squats, and overhead presses, says Blake Rogers, a certified personal trainer and certified yoga instructor in Blenheim, South Carolina. You can also use them for partner work.
FitStyleVIP Adjustable Resistance Bands
These adjustable resistance bands are a favorite of Sivan Fagan, an ACE-certified personal trainer based in Baltimore and founder of Strong with Sivan. “It’s like having four different bands in one,” he says. “We use these bands for exercises such as lateral walks, seated abductions, glute bridges, and more—basically any glute exercise where we want to add tension.” Additionally, he likes that the bands are made of fabric, which is tougher than elastic, that the hook makes adjustment easier for anyone who has trouble lifting their feet and placing bands, and that you’re able to quickly change the intensity throughout a set without having to change to an entirely new band.
Committed HP Move Bands
Morit Summers, CPT, a strength coach and founder of FORM Fitness Brooklyn, says these stretchy resistance bands (sometimes referred to as “hip circles”) are “amazing” for hip and glute work. “They’re so much easier to get on by design and can be adjusted to fit and add resistance,” Summers says. “As a woman with big thighs, this is a game changer. It’s also a product that the elderly or people with disabilities can more easily maneuver into.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Lebert Equalizer Bars
Equalizer bars are highly functional pieces of workout equipment, says Noam Tamir, CSCS, founder of TS Fitness in New York City: “They’re very light, easy to store, really can incorporate strength, stability, speed, endurance, and they can be used for a lot of levels, from beginner to advanced.” With the two gymnastics-inspired bars, which weigh eight pounds, you can do dips, pull-ups, push-ups, pulling motions, and more.
Quiet Punch Smart Punching Bag
If you’re a fan of boxing for a full-body workout, the Quiet Punch is shaped like a square and fits into a door frame. It’s a lot less bulky than a traditional punching bag, and according to Summers: “It really is quiet. It’s not a heavy bag, so you can hit it as hard as you want, but it’s a great option for working on speed and to just have fun.”
Fitness Reality SuperMax Weight Bench
An adjustable weight bench (coupled with dumbbells and resistance bands) should be a “staple of any at-home workouts,” says Fagan. Weight benches can provide support during strength training and reduce your range of motion (since you’ll use the bench instead of the floor if you do, say, a push-up). “This bench is an affordable one that you can adjust for different exercises,” says Fagan. “I love using it for bench-supported rows, one-arm rows, chest presses, hip thrusts, and more.”
For Circuit Training
Seconds Pro Interval Timer
One of the most important elements of a successful home workout is having a plan, especially when you aren’t at the gym or your favorite studio where a trainer is providing that for you, Curtis says. She writes her workout plan beforehand and uses this interval timer app to push her through her warm-up, circuits, and finishers. “This app motivates me to get through the workout plan because it’s broken down into doable segments,” she says. “Having a plan and a tool to help execute and keep you in the right mindset can often be much more effective than a fancy piece of equipment.”
For Cardio Training
WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
A top-notch jump rope provides an easy, yet challenging workout with a significant cardio punch, says Corey Phelps, a certified personal trainer and owner of Cultivate by Corey in Washington, D.C. “A bonus is that it takes up no space, and you can easily travel with it.”
Plus, for those who aren’t huge fans of running or cycling, jumping rope has great benefits. It’s a good way to get a cardio workout in, says Choi. It’s easy to grab and head outside if you would like to avoid annoying your downstairs neighbors. (Try one of these three jump rope workouts to get started.)
JumpSport 250 In Home Cardio Fitness Rebounder
Remember jumping on the trampoline as a kid? This is the adult equivalent: The rebounder, or mini-trampoline, challenges your core and tons of other muscles in your body. It’s also just plain fun, which can definitely be a motivator when it comes to wanting to do a solo workout, Phelps says.
The Peloton exercise bike offers the best full-service at-home indoor cycling experience, says Emily Collins, a Los Angeles-based indoor cycling instructor at VERVE Studios. Peloton streams live classes weekly, and you also have access to an on-demand library of workouts ranging from 5 to 90 minutes. Thanks to its real-time metrics display, you can track your progress with heart rate, resistance, cadence, and power output. See our Peloton Bike+ review of the latest Peloton model.
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower
Rowing machines are known for giving you a full-body workout, targeting your back, legs, arms, and abs, says Lynell Ross, a certified personal trainer and founder of Zivadream in Auburn, California. This Sunny Health rower also has a digital monitor to track your progress, a knob to adjust your resistance level, and a padded seat for added comfort. It also folds up for easy home storage.
ProForm Smart Pro 9000
For someone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a treadmill, but still wants to have a few bells and whistles, trainer and Fitbit head coach Adrian Richardson, recommends trying out a ProForm smart treadmill. Richardson describes this ProForm model as a “top-of-the-line runner at a fraction of the cost.” The ProForm has a top speed of 12 mph, a touchscreen, and several incline/decline settings. One of the most handy features of the ProForm Smart Pro 9000 is how it folds up when it’s not in use, which is ideal for those who live in small spaces.
For Stability Training
URBNFit Exercise Ball
“What I Iove about stability balls is that they are so versatile,” says Murphy. There are tons of options to target your core, upper body, lower body, or even get some cardio in with one of these handy pieces of equipment, she adds. Because these balls really work on your core stabilization, they can make any core workout more difficult. This one comes with an air pump, which is a plus because it’s important to make sure your stability ball is properly inflated when you’re using it. A bonus: If you need a break from sitting in a stiff chair while working from home, you can always use a stability ball as a seat.
BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
A BOSU ball not only helps with stability and balance, but it can also be used as a stretching tool to intensify a workout, says Rotner. It’s super versatile in that it offers flat and rounded sides for different exercises, including for strength and plyometric training. “You can even use the BOSU in sequence as a weight by doing a BOSU burpee and pressing the base overhead at the top of the exercise,” she says.
Champion Sports Rhino Playground Ball
A playground ball, which looks like a kickball, is excellent to squeeze for isolated inner thigh work, says Crystal Widmann, a certified personal trainer and owner of Y2B Fit in Philadelphia. “It’s also great for stabilization when doing glute bridges or to squeeze between your hands in a forearm plank.”
Recovery tools are a key part of any home gym, and this vibrating ball is just the ticket for loosening tight muscles and relieving pain, says Shana Hogg, a certified personal trainer at Way Beyond Fitness in Bozeman, Montana. Consider it the budget-friendly option for when you’re hankering for a sports massage.
TriggerPoint GRID Textured Foam Roller
According to Lyuda Bouzinova, a certified personal trainer and co-founder of Mission Lean in Boca Raton, Florida, a foam roller is an important component of any home gym, as it helps to soothe sore muscles while keeping your whole body loose and limber.
“A lot of at-home workouts seem to be lower-body dominant, so it’s important to give particular attention to these muscle groups during recovery,” Milton adds. Pay special attention to your calves, hamstrings, and quads.
Therabody Theragun Mini
Fitness experts are big fans of the Theragun (made by Therabody), including this Theragun Mini, a small, handheld percussive massager with three different speed settings that’s great for working out muscle kinks on the go. “The Theragun prevents delayed onset muscle soreness and increases blood flow—similar to the benefits of a post-workout massage, minus the time and cost,” says Julia Stern, a certified personal trainer based out of New York City. “It’s perfect for rest day and in between workouts.”
OPTP PRO-Roller Standard Density Foam Roller
Perkins likes this medium-density foam roller for its versatility. She says it’s firm enough to give you some deeper tissue work without being painful. “Some foam rollers collapse so easily that they are not effective or are too intense,” she says. “I find somewhere in the middle is ideal for most people because you need it to be deep and therapeutic but not uncomfortable or pain-inducing.”
Hyperice Normatec 2.0 Leg System Massager
Think of the Normatec leg massager boots as giant compression socks. The boots connect to an air pressurizer that inflates into five different segments of the boot, restricting blood flow, and then decompressing so that blood rushes back in, helping recovery after a tough workout. “They feel amazing,” says Jamison, who owns the boot. “Athletes use them a lot in playoff season, when they have to be ready to play on multiple nights. But it’s great for people even with zero athleticism, too, as the boots have similar benefits to a massage.”
5Billion Peanut Massage Ball
Massage balls are affordable and extremely portable. “Essentially, you can use this Peanut ball for all kinds of soft tissue work as a self-myofascial release tool,” Fagan says. “I like to use it for neck tension reduction and deep hip rotator muscles release.”