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12 Must-Haves for Your Home Gym

WriterKelsy Kim
11 min read
Wood pegboard storing resistance bands, weights, yoga blocks, and motivational message board.

Whether you're a seasoned fitness buff or just beginning your wellness journey, having a well-equipped home gym can be a game-changer. Let’s explore the essential must-have home gym equipment for setting up a functional and inspiring workout space in the comfort of your own home.

Key Takeaways

  • Is a Home Gym Worth It? Home gyms offer convenience, flexibility, privacy, customization, cost savings, improved hygiene, and opportunities for family bonding. These benefits contribute to more fulfilling and sustainable fitness experiences.
  • Must-Have Home Gym Equipment: Our top home gym must-haves include resistance bands, dumbbells, exercise mats, jump ropes, stability balls, kettlebells, weight benches, treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and suspension trainers.
  • Nice-to-Haves: Accessory equipment includes barbells, bumper plates, portable gym systems, and ab wheels, which can add variety to your workouts.

Is a Home Gym Worth It?

Looking for ways to ditch your gym membership? Home gyms offer many benefits that can enhance your fitness journey and well-being, including:

  • No Commute, More Workout Time: With a home gym, there's no need to factor in travel time, giving you more time to workout.

  • Flexibility in Timing: One of the perks of a home gym is being able to work out any time. Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, you can fit exercise into your daily routine. You don’t have to squeeze your workouts into a class schedule or wait in line to use fitness equipment.

  • Privacy and Comfort: Enjoy the freedom of exercising at your ability level without the worry of being seen by others. You’ll have all the comforts of home.

  • Customization: Set up your space exactly how you like it. You can create an environment and organize your equipment in a way that motivates and inspires you to reach your fitness goals.

  • Long-Term Savings: While initial setup costs may seem high, home gyms lead to significant savings over time compared to gym memberships and travel costs.

  • Health and Hygiene: Minimize your exposure to germs and illnesses by using your own equipment, shower, and restroom in a clean environment.

  • Family Fitness: Home gyms are an excellent opportunity for family members to exercise together. Whether it's a fun group workout or individual sessions, promoting a healthy lifestyle for everyone is easier than ever.

A home gym with equipment like a stationary bike, stability ball, dumbbells, and power rack.

Must-Have Home Gym Equipment

You need the right equipment for your home gym to be truly useful, but it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you, we’ve put together a list of essential home gym equipment that will help you target every muscle group.

Resistance Bands

Not only are resistance bands portable and affordable but they can be easily adjusted to match your fitness level. With resistance bands, you can target every muscle group, making them great for full-body workouts. They're gentle on the joints, making them suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Resistance bands are also small and flexible, making them perfect for home gyms with limited space.

PRCTZ Essential Latex 4ft Stretch Band 3-Pack

  • Why we chose it: This durable 3-pack of resistance bands offers multiple levels of resistance to match your abilities at a low price.
  • How to use this: Use these for your glutes, legs, arms, and abs with various workouts.
  • Key Features:
    • Long-lasting latex
    • 3 bands with different resistance levels


Dumbbells cater to all fitness levels. Their versatility allows you to use them in multiple types of strength training workouts. Dumbbells come in many different weights, allowing you to gradually increase the weight as you improve. Although they are heavy, dumbbells are small and easy to store, making them a great space-saving piece of equipment.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell Set

  • Why we chose it: This dumbbell set is adjustable, meaning you only have to buy one set of weights to exercise with 5 to 52.5 lbs.
  • How to use this: Turn the selection dial to your desired weight. Use the dumbbells in your upper or lower body strength training routine.
  • Key Features:
    • Adjustable weight (5 to 52.5 lbs)
    • Metal plates surrounded by durable molding
    • On-demand, full-body strength classes available on the JRNY app
    • Motion tracking technology in the JRNY app that counts your reps and checks your form

Exercise Mat

Exercise mats provide a cushioned surface that absorbs impact, reducing strain on joints and minimizing the risk of injuries during high-impact exercises like jumping jacks or burpees. They also offer stability and cushion during low-impact exercises like pilates or yoga. Exercise mats are easy to clean and store, making them a convenient and practical addition to any home gym.

BCG Deluxe 4-Fold Mat

  • Why we chose it: This mat’s 4-fold design makes it easily storable and transportable without reducing its performance. It can also be connected to other mats to create a larger workout space.
  • How to use this: Unfold the exercise mat and place it directly on your floor. You can use it for sitting, standing, stationary, or moving stretches and exercises.
  • Key Features:
    • Foam mat
    • Vinyl, antimicrobial materials
    • 4-fold design

Jump Rope

Jump ropes are an effective piece of equipment for improving heart health, increasing stamina, and burning calories quickly. They target multiple muscle groups including the legs, core, and arms, making them a fantastic full-body workout option. They’re compact, versatile, easily transportable, fun, and can be used indoors or outdoors.

Everlast® EverGrip™ Weighted Jump Rope

  • Why we chose it: This jump rope can be adjusted up to 9 feet long and has removable 1.5 lb weights, making it perfect for all fitness levels.
  • How to use this: Adjust the jump rope’s length, add or remove the weights, and start jumping.
  • Key Features:
    • Plastic rope
    • Precision ball-bearing rotation for greater speed
    • EverGrip™ handles for a secure grip
    • Adjustable length up to 9ft
    • Removable 1.5 lb weights

Stability Ball

Stability balls, also known as exercise balls, improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. By engaging stabilizing muscles, stability balls help to enhance overall stability, posture, and core strength. They can also be used for stretching and rehabilitation exercises, making them suitable for individuals of all fitness levels and ages. Stability balls add an extra challenge to many other exercises by engaging the core muscles for balance.

BCG 65 cm Weighted Stability Ball

  • Why we chose it: This stability ball is weighted to help it stay in place and add resistance to your workout.
  • How to use this: Use the included pump to blow up the stability ball and use it for an exercise depicted in the diagrams on the side of the ball, or incorporate it into your own routine.
  • Key Features:
    • 2 lbs weighted filling
    • Durable PVC materials
    • Diagrams of potential uses printed on the ball


Kettlebells allow for smooth movements and use multiple muscle groups. This makes them ideal for full-body workouts with more emphasis on stabilizing core muscles and agility. Kettlebell exercises improve strength and balance while quickly burning calories. They can be used for exercises including the kettlebell swing, farmer’s carry, overhead press, and in place of dumbbells for many exercises.

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

  • Why we chose it: This kettlebell can be adjusted from 8 lbs to 40 lbs, keeping you from having to buy multiple kettlebells as you improve.
  • How to use this: Adjust the dial to the desired weight and follow a workout in the JRNY app or add it to your own workout.
  • Key Features:
    • Adjustable weight from 8 lbs to 40 lbs
    • Comfortable handle
    • Compact - multiple weights in one

Weight Bench

Weight benches provide a stable space for free-weight exercises, allowing you to target various muscle groups. This promotes balanced strength development throughout the body. Many benches can be adjusted to different angles, including incline and decline positions. Weight benches also offer proper support during heavy lifting, reducing the risk of injury by ensuring correct posture and form.

Marcy Atk Olympic Weight Bench

  • Why we chose it: This weight bench has comfortable, adjustable pads for different exercises. It also has 2 Olympic pegs for storing weights when not in use.
  • How to use this: Adjust the seat and pads to your preferred positions, grab your weights, and get started.
  • Key Features:
    • 14 gauge tubular steel frame
    • Adjustable seat and pads
    • High-density foam roller pads
    • Rubber grips
    • 2 Olympic pegs

Cage Home Gym

Cage home gyms offer a transformative fitness experience that brings the benefits of a traditional gym right into the comfort and convenience of your own home. At the heart of this setup is the versatile weight bench. If you are not needing the bench, you can look into purchasing a squat rack or power tower. A cage home gym offers the most functionality and similarity to the gym at home.

Marcy Smith Cage Home Gym

  • Why we chose it: This cage home gym includes a multi-functional weight bench, power tower, and pull-up bar to accommodate full-body workouts and includes multiple attachments to change up your routine.
  • How to use this: Choose your workout, adjust your seat and pads, grab your weights, and get started. Be sure to follow instructions for safe use.
  • Key Features:
    • Adjustable seat and pads
    • Guided barbell
    • Adjustable pulley system
    • Bale-routed pectoral fly system
    • Total leg developer
    • Bicep preacher curl
    • 7ft Olympic bars
    • Shiver bar


Treadmills can track and modify speed, incline, and duration, allowing you to customize your cardio. Rain or shine, treadmills provide a consistent and convenient workout option. Treadmills support various training programs, including interval or HIIT training, hill workouts, and endurance runs, allowing you to change up your workouts and continuously challenge yourself.

NordicTrack T 6.5 Series Treadmill

  • Why we chose it: This treadmill is easy to store and has 20 preset workouts to choose from.
  • How to use this: Choose a preset workout and get stepping! You can also choose the speed and incline to use this treadmill at your own pace.
  • Key Features:
    • 20 preset workouts
    • Wide tread belt
    • Heart rate monitor
    • Power-adjustable incline
    • SpaceSaver EasyLift™design for easy storage and transport
    • OneTouch™ speed and incline controls
    • Music port and 2-inch speakers

Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes are great for low-impact cardio workouts and injury recovery. With adjustable resistance levels, you can tailor your workouts to strengthen lower body muscles including legs, hips, and glutes, while improving cardiovascular endurance. Stationary bikes provide a safe environment for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or steady-state cardio, eliminating outdoor bike risks like traffic and rough terrain.

adidas Ultra Series C-21X Bluetooth Bike

  • Why we chose it: This bike has 8 adjustable resistance levels and a screen that provides real-time feedback.
  • How to use this: Adjust the seat and handle position, hop on, strap in your feet, choose your resistance level, and start peddling.
  • Key Features:
    • Bluetooth
    • 8 levels of resistance
    • Wheels and handles for easy transport
    • Time, distance, calories, pulse, and rpm tracking
    • Adjustable handlebars and foot straps
    • Peloton and Zwift compatible
    • Phone and water bottle holders

Rowing Machine

Rowing machines target both upper and lower body muscles, providing a balanced workout that promotes overall fitness and strength. Rowing machines excel at calorie burning and improving cardiovascular fitness in a short amount of time, making them a go-to choice for time-efficient workouts. Rowing machines are a low-impact option for high-intensity exercise, reducing stress on the joints.

ProForm 750 R Rower with 30-day iFit Subscription

  • Why we chose it: This rowing machine has 24 digital resistance levels and wheels for easy transport.
  • How to use this: Sit down, strap in your feet, grab the handles, straighten your back, and extend your legs. Bend your knees and repeat the process.
  • Key Features:
    • Wheels for easy transport
    • 8 iFit Coach enabled
    • 24 digital SMR™resistance levels
    • Adjustable toe straps
    • 5-inch screen
    • Aux port and 2-inch speakers

Suspension Trainer

Every exercise on suspension trainers or TRX bands actively engages your core to improve your strength, stability, flexibility, and balance. They are lightweight and easy to set up, making them perfect for home gyms. Suspension trainers can be used for many types of exercises at varying levels of intensity depending on the length of the strap. For upper-body workouts, the longer the strap, the more difficult the exercise.

TRX Strong System Suspension Trainer

  • Why we chose it: This suspension trainer can give you an effective full-body workout in as little as 15 minutes a day and comes with a free 30-day trial to TRX Training Club.
  • How to use this: Attach the system to an anchor point, grab the handles or place your feet in the loops, and use it for as much or as little support as you need throughout your body-weight exercises.
  • Key Features:
    • Supports up to 350 lbs
    • Mesh carry bag
    • Durable foam handles
    • Padded foot cradles
    • Get started guide
    • 30-day free trial to TRX Training Club


The following pieces of equipment including barbells, weight plates, pull-up bars and ab wheels are nice additions to have for your home gym and provide amazing accessory support and opportunities to mix up your workout routine and keep you motivated.

CAP Barbell Solid 7 ft Bar

Lift up to 300 pounds with the CAP Barbell Solid 7-foot Bar. This Olympic bar is precisely engineered for balance and long-lasting performance. You can use it alone or with plates for added weight for exercises like the overhead press, hip thrust, barbell row, and more. It includes swivel sleeves to reduce pressure on the wrists.

CAP Barbell Olympic Rubber Competition Bumper Plates with Steel Inserts

Mix up your routine with bumper plates! Weighted with steel inserts, these plates are compatible with 2" Olympic bars, allowing you to test the limits of your strength. The plates can also be used alone instead of dumbbells for various exercises.

Harbinger Multi-Gym Elite Portable Gym System

Get a full upper-body calisthenics workout with this portable Harbinger system. It can be hooked onto your door frame and used as a pull-up bar or left on the ground for dips, sit-ups, and pushups. The padded handles offer comfort and four grip styles, while the curved, ergonomic design encourages maximum muscle engagement.

Harbinger AB Carver Sport Ab Wheel

Take your core workout to the next level with an ab wheel. The wide wheel with a nonslip rubber tread offers stability and safety on different surfaces. The ergonomic angled handles activate the shoulders and arms for an effective upper-body and abdominal training session.

Have Fun Out There!

Ready to start getting your home gym must-haves? Explore the wide selection of exercise and fitness equipment at Academy Sports + Outdoors today. From treadmills to dumbbells, suspension trainers to rowing machines, we've got everything you need to crush your fitness goals. Shop today and start your journey to a healthier, stronger you!