The last year or so has been rather interesting. Many things have changed, and none perhaps quite so much as how people exercise.
Gym memberships had been on a slow decline already, but recent events have accelerated the departure from big box gyms even more so.
That means that more people are exercising at home than ever before. With this rise in at-home workouts, there's been an explosion in the cost and variety of home gym equipment.
As with most things, not all options are equal. Some are better quality than others, and some you may or may not need depending on your fitness and physique goals.
That’s where this guide comes in -- to help you figure out the best home equipment items for 2022 based on your needs (and budget).
Your Goals and Your Space
Before you start investigating the best home fitness equipment, you need to be realistic about your goals, finances, and space.
You may want to have the same equipment as your favorite Globo gym had, replete with the booty blaster 9000 and all, but if you don't have the space in your home or the finances, then it won't matter how many versions of glute kickbacks you can do -- the option is off the table.
So, when setting out to build out your home gym, be honest with yourself (and your significant other, if you’re not living by yourself) about what your goals are, how much space you have available to store equipment, and how much money you are comfortable spending on equipment (meaning, how much can you spend and still meet all of your other financial requirements).
The good news is that even if you're limited on space and cash, you can still achieve excellent results with little or no equipment!
Best Home Workout Equipment
Resistance bands offer a fantastic way to train at home for those limited on both space and budget. This way, you can always get in a great workout, whether you're at home in a small apartment, in a hotel room, or even staying with family for the holidays and don't have access to a fully decked-out gym! Even better, resistance bands take up very little space, meaning they can travel well, too!
Beyond affordability and easy storage, resistance bands also typically include various accessories, such as handles and door anchors, which allow you to perform multiple exercises and target the muscles from an array of angles, ultimately helping you get better results.
This is because bands allow you to work muscles from angles you may not typically hit with bodyweight, dumbbell, or barbell movements. Moreover, bands have an ascending resistance curve, which means the more stretched out they become, the higher the tension is. And, if you're not used to using resistance bands, this could be a great way to tap into some potential "newbie gains."
Lastly, bands are also easy on the joints, making them an excellent option for those coming back from injury or who have a history of joint pain.
Now, when choosing the best resistance bands, you need to decide what type of bands you're looking for.
Do you want/need the kind with handles that attach so you can do exercises like chest presses, shoulder presses, rows, etc., or are you looking for loop bands, such as the kind you can wrap around your hips, knees, or ankles?
Both can be effective and help you take your workouts to the next level. It’s really up to what you want to use in your training program.
If you’re interested in the loop-style resistance bands, SteelFit offers a hip band to help activate and challenge the glutes, hips, and thighs, as well as Mini Loop Bands that come in FIVE different levels of resistance to help you train, tone, and tighten. Our resistance bands are made with durable, high-quality rubber latex and come with a travel-sized polyester bag for easy storage.
Best Jump Rope
Love it or hate it, cardio is a necessary component of fitness, if not for physique purposes, then most certainly for cardiovascular health. Besides supporting your heart and circulatory system, cardio also helps increase daily energy expenditure, which is beneficial if you're dieting (and if you're not, it helps minimize fat gain if you're maintaining or massing).
The problem with most forms of cardio is that they utilize machines, which are both costly and cumbersome.
Fortunately, you don’t need a ton of space or cash to get your cardio in.
Jumping rope is an effective, affordable, and space-saving means to get your cardio in. It’s been used by combat athletes for decades to burn calories, improve conditioning, and boost cardio.
Moreover, jumping rope activates your core, increases agility, and improves balance and coordination, helping you not only torch fat and calories but become more functionally fit!
Our high-quality jump rope can be adjusted in length to accommodate your body as well as your training environments (e.g., low ceilings). Like the resistance bands, jump ropes also easily fit into a travel bag so you can get your cardio workouts in no matter where you are!
Stepping up in price (as well as space accommodations) are adjustable dumbbells.
Having a set of adjustable dumbbells can help expand the variety and intensity of your workouts as they allow you to do hundreds of exercises from the basics like presses, curls, kickbacks to Russian twists, reverse lunges, and skier swings.
Suspension trainers allow you to take your bodyweight workouts to the next level! It's easy to store and can be used anytime, anywhere to intensify basic resistance training moves like push-ups, knee tucks, single-leg squats, and bodyweight rows.
Suspension trainers also allow you to train your back easier utilizing a mix of pulling-focused movements like pull-ups, inverted rows, back flys, and curls.
For those with a lot of space (and money to spend), a power rack is a no-brainer, especially if you’re a barbell enthusiast.
As a bonus, most power racks also can be outfitted with dip bars, pull-up bars, and pulleys so that you can expand your exercise repertoire beyond the standard barbell lifts.
Cardio and Weight Machines
Suppose you've already got dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and suspension trainers and are still looking to build the ultimate home gym. In that case, you can look at the hundreds of different cardio and weight machines available.
Some great machines are available, but they also cost a pretty penny and take up a decent amount of space.
Also, when seeking home exercise equipment (especially machines) -- do your homework! Read customer reviews as they give insight into a product's design, durability, and functionality. Even better, see if you can find the same model (or a comparable one) to the kind you typically use at the gym!
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of options available to help you build the home gym of your dreams. What equipment you buy depends on your budget, space, and fitness goals.
Use the tips and pointers above to help create a training environment that entices you to show up and push hard every day! And, if you're looking for added support with pushing hard in your workouts, make sure to check out our line of best-selling pre-workouts, including Steel Sweat® and Steel Pump®!