The Best Home Fitness Equipment (Starting at $9!), According to People Who Stick to Workouts

published Jan 8, 2020
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Gym memberships aren’t always cheap, and trekking to get a workout in isn’t always convenient. That’s part of what makes home exercise equipment so appealing: You can accomplish the same quality of workout in the comfort of your own living room, for a fraction of the cost. 

Still, it can be overwhelming to figure out which home exercise equipment is worth the investment. To help you navigate the process of choosing cost-effective and workout-efficient exercise equipment for your home, we talked to some personal trainers and at-home workout aficionados. Here’s what they recommend.

Credit: Amazon

A Twist Stepper

Want to get more steps in but have no plans to leave the house? Professional organizer Annie Draddy says she gets a lot of use out of her twist stepper, which allows her to easily work out at home between clients. The twisting action makes for a great cardio workout, while the attached resistance bands strengthen the upper body.

Credit: Amazon

Loop Resistance Bands

Sarah Adler, a personal trainer at DIAKADI in San Francisco, is a fan of loop resistance bands for a cost-effective and ultra-versatile workout option. Not only are resistance bands easy to store; they’re also great for a number of workouts, including rows, presses, and glute exercises. At home, Adler likes to use them as an add-on to dumbbells for a tougher workout. “I only have dumbells up to 50 pounds, so sometimes to increase resistance I’ll attach a band to the weight,” she says.

Credit: Amazon

Adjustable Dumbbells

Jennifer Fidder, a personal trainer with Jennifer Alice Training & Coaching, says when she works out at home, she uses adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex for several different kinds of workouts. “They’re a bit pricey, but they can pretty much be considered a one-time investment that will last a lifetime,” she says. “With a range from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds they can be used for a variety of exercises and every fitness level.”

Buy: Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells, $279 on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

A Pelvic Clock 

If you work at a desk for hours every day, you might know the havoc prolonged sitting can wreak on your lower back. Melanie Breitman’s friend recommended the Pelvic Clock, which she uses for lower back strengthening, stretching, and even massaging her feet. “It’s also super portable and compact, so I can use it in my small Brooklyn apartment and take it with me when I travel,” Breitman says. “Its design is so cool that it looks like it’s from the MoMA shop,” she says. 

Buy: Pelvic Clock, $79.99 on Amazon


Kettlebells are like a one-stop strength and cardio workout. According to Tyler Sellers, a personal trainer and CEO of Total Shape, almost every muscle in the body is active when you workout with kettlebells—plus, you’ll boost your heart rate in the process. For maximum effect, Sellers suggests squats and presses with a set of at-home kettlebells.

Buy: Yes4All Vinyl-Coated Kettlebells, $22.50 on Amazon

Credit: XBAR

An XBAR 9-Piece Workout System

For an elevated resistance workout, personal trainer Christel Oerum swears by the XBAR, a 9-piece kit that comes with resistance bands and is simple to set up in your home gym or living room. “This is a surprisingly versatile piece of equipment—you can do a full-body workout in your living room using just this,” she says. 

BUY: XBAR 9-Piece Workout System, $149 from XBAR

A Personalized Yoga Mat 

Whether you want to sculpt and tone or reap the mental health benefits of a mind-body practice, yoga is an easy way to make it happen at home. When she practices at home, Oerum uses a custom yoga mat. An upgraded essential like this one—you choose your mat color and name or monogram—will make it all the more motivating to get going and get moving.

And if you have a little more space…
An Indoor Rowing Machine

DIAKADI trainer Megan Musnicki recommends a rowing machine for the most bang for your buck. “No other piece of cardio equipment works upper body, lower body, and core as well as the rowing machine,” she says. “It’s not the cheapest, but for $900 you can have a quality piece of equipment that can be used for more than just running or biking as on a treadmill or spin bike.”

Buy: Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine, $900 from Rogue Fitness