What Equipment is Needed for a Personal Home Gym

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A personal home gym can be as fancy as one equipped with all the latest equipment and shining sets of matched dumbbells, or as simple as some secondhand weights, a floor mat and a cardiovascular machine. When selecting equipment for your home gym, keep your personal fitness goals, budget and space restrictions in mind, recommends the American Council on Exercise.


Setting up a personal home gym gives you the ability to exercise any time of the day or night without leaving your house. If you are unable to get to the gym, or do not like working out in a crowded room, having a gym in your house allows you to have a complete workout in privacy. Additionally, you can tailor the equipment, the look and the selection of workout machines to your personal needs and abilities. Use your home gym equipment three to five days a week to stay fit and keep your weight under control.

Cardiovascular Equipment

Although not necessary, owning one or two cardiovascular machines can help you contain your workout to an indoor room rather than running or biking outdoors. If you only invest in one machine, consider an elliptical trainer. The trainer allows you to work your upper and lower body and places little stress on your joints. If you enjoy running or desire to participate in fitness events, choose a treadmill for running or walking workouts. Recumbent or upright stationary bicycles, rowing machines and stairclimbers are all good cardiovascular machines.

Weight Training Equipment

Part of a well-rounded workout schedule includes strength training. When you equip your personal home gym, include at least one barbell and a beginning set of plate weights. Purchase a set you can expand later as you get stronger and need more weight. Add either a set of dumbbells or a single dumbbell set with weight plates that screw on and off. Adjustable dumbbells save room and are less expensive than an entire dumbbell set with a rack. Invest in a weight bench that has an incline and decline feature to support you as you lift weights and work your abdominal muscles. If you have plenty of space, consider purchasing a home-gym system that allows you to do a wide variety of strength-building exercises by adjusting cables, adding weights or using your body weight.

Needed Extras

Small extra pieces of equipment to round out your personal home gym include an adjustable step bench for calf raises and leg toning, a jump rope for warm-ups and cardiovascular workouts and a workout mat to lay on while performing floor exercises. Purchase a small mini-trampoline for a fun, quick workout. Consider adding both kettlebells and medicine balls to your personal home gym. The kettlebell and medicine ball increase your core and limb strength, flexibility and give you a cardiovascular workout.