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Best home gym equipment 2021: Get in shape at home with the finest exercise machines and equipment

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From treadmills to dumbbells, our roundup will help you find the very best home gym equipment

Whether you’ve had enough of the membership fees or you’re tired of waiting to use equipment that’s always in use, the best home gym equipment can provide the solution. Investing in your own personal gym at home can give you more freedom, control and privacy when it comes to getting a decent workout.

But which equipment is essential to get your home gym off the ground? How much are you willing to spend? These are questions that need addressing before you go ahead and splash out on a treadmill or an exercise bike. So, with this in mind, we’ve written a concise buying guide below to help you get started.

And after that, we’ve put together a list of our top picks of home gym equipment, including full exercise machines as well as some more affordable options. To do this, we’ve chosen some of our favourite products from across several best buy roundups here on Expert Reviews.

How to buy the best gym equipment for your home

What do I need for my home gym?

This isn’t really a straightforward question to answer. Exactly how packed your home gym needs to be depends on a variety of factors.

Desired workout: Depending on what you want to achieve from your workout, you can afford to pick and choose where you invest your money – to an extent. For example, if the focus of your workout is keeping fit through cardio, then you might want to make your biggest purchase a treadmill, rather than splashing out on loads of weights.

However, it’s a good idea to aim for a balanced workout, and a good home gym will reflect this. Your aim, for instance, might be to build muscle. But it’s paramount not to forget the importance of cardio when it comes to toning: this will help you to burn fat in areas that aren’t targeted by strength training, as well as to build leg muscles.

Ultimately, you should aim to stock your home gym with a variety of equipment that will allow you to achieve a well-rounded workout targeting cardio as well as strength training for the key muscle groups.

Budget: With that said, investing a small fortune into your home gym isn’t necessary. If you don’t have the budget for several exercise machines, there are more affordable options that can be just as effective. Resistance bands, for instance, can be used for strength training, HIIT, cardio workouts and even injury rehabilitation exercises.

Space: This is another key factor. A lot of people choose to set up their home gym in a garage or a spare room. But if you don’t have access to a dedicated space, you’re going to be limited in the amount of equipment you can buy, as well as the size of equipment.

1. JLL T350 Digital Folding Treadmill: Best treadmill for the space-efficient

Price: £540 | Buy now from Amazon

A treadmill is a popular go-to for those that want to get the heart pumping with a bit of cardiovascular exercise before they move onto anything else. This model from JLL has a maximum speed of 18km/h, with 20 automatic incline levels. The 20 preset running programmes, three of which are customisable, also provide you with guided runs for a more structured workout.

Some people might find the running area too small and constricting, though the compact size of the treadmill will be an advantage to others. What’s more, it can be folded up and stored by a wall if you need to get it out of the way.

Read our full roundup of the best treadmills to buy

Key features – Size: 158 x 70 x 128cm (LWH); Speed range: 0.3-18km/h; Incline range: 20 levels; Motor: 2.5HP continuous, 4.5HP peak

2. JTX Cyclo-6: Best exercise bike

Price: £529 | Buy now from JTX Fitness

Many high-end exercise bikes, such as the Apex Bike or Peloton, come with smart features such as performance stats and digital spin classes. But if you don’t need any of these, there’s no need to pay over £1,000.

At just over £500, the JTX Cyclo-6 has all you need in an exercise bike. The 22kg flywheel matches those on commercial exercise bikes you’ll find in gyms, and friction resistance can be easily adjusted via a knob to make your rides easier or more challenging. Plus you get access to basic stats such as time, distance and speed on the bike’s built-in computer. It’s not a budget option as such (check out the JLL JF100 for that), but the Cyclo-6 is a great exercise bike for the price.

Read our full roundup of the best exercise bikes to buy

Key features – Size: 124 x 54 x 122cm (LWH); Resistance: Friction; Max user weight: 160kg

Buy now from JTX Fitness


3. Domyos 500 Rowing Machine: Best rowing machine

Price: £400 | Buy now from Decathlon

When it comes to rowing machines, there are a number of different resistance types, including hydraulic, air and water resistance. The Domyos 500 uses magnetic resistance and a 7kg flywheel for a smooth rowing experience. The LCD screen has nine training programmes, as well as seven metrics including speed, stroke rate and heart rate, but you can also mount your own tablet or smartphone for use with training apps (via Bluetooth connectivity).

Of course, the Domyos 500 won’t feel quite as good to row as some of the more expensive air resistance machines such as the Concept2 Model D (which will set you back £995), but it’s a great-value option. Indeed, Decathlon is a very reliable retailer if you’re after exercise and fitness equipment that won’t break the bank. Like the JLL T350 folding treadmill above, the Domyos 500 can also be folded down to save on space when not in use.

Read our full roundup of the best rowing machines to buy

Key features – Dimensions: 184 x 65 x 51.5cm (LWD); Ant/Bluetooth support: Yes; USB workout upload: No; Warranty: Two years

Buy now from Decathlon


4. JTX Tri-Fit: Best cross trainer

Price: £799 | Buy now from JTX

The Tri-Fit occupies a middle ground between value and features. Just under £800 will get you a 17kg flywheel, adjustable stride and incline, 12 workout programmes and 16 resistance levels.

It’s not the most expensive cross trainer you can buy, nor is it the cheapest. If you’re after something more affordable, we recommend checking out the Strider-X7 (£449). Or, if you’re really on a budget, XS Sports’ 2-in-1 cross trainer and exercise bike is a decent choice.

Read our full roundup of the best cross trainers to buy

Key features – Size: 153 x 75 x 173cm (LWH); Flywheel: Rear drive 17kg; Stride length: 40-51cm; Max user weight: 135kg

Buy now from JTX


5. Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbell: Best dumbbells

Price: £249 | Buy now from Amazon

Admittedly, £249 for a dumbbell might sound steep, but an adjustable dumbbell is a brilliant investment if you’re serious about your weight training. This adjustable dumbbell from Bowflex combines 15 weights (ranging from 2kg to 24kg) into one, meaning you can vary your workout with just one dumbbell, rather than cluttering the floor of your home gym.

The SelectTech dumbbell is a selectorised dumbbell, meaning it can be easily adjusted via a dial system, doing away with the faff of adding or removing plates and screwing on collars. You can also get a heftier version of the dumbbell with a maximum weight of 41kg, as well as an adjustable kettlebell.

Read our full roundups of the best dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells to buy

Key features – Main material: Metal; Weight range: 2-24kg; Number of weights: 15 (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24kg)

6. Protone Resistance Bands Set: Best resistance bands

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

As we mentioned in our buying guide, resistance bands are an affordable way to complete a number of different exercises and workouts at home.

This set from Protone is very comprehensive, containing five different bands of varying resistance levels ranging from around 5kg to 20kg, which can then be attached to a pair of handles. The bands come with a door anchor attachment and ankle straps, as well as a “band guard” that can be used to protect the resistance bands from damage when you’re using them against a surface or under foot. You also get a handy travel bag to store your equipment for on-the-go workouts. All this for just £20 is not bad at all.

Read our full roundup of the best resistance bands to buy

Key features – Resistance range: Five levels, from yellow (approx 5kg) to black (20kg); Length: Not given; Accessories: Carry bag, door attachment, ankle straps

7. Mirafit Folding Exercise Mat: Best exercise mat: 

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

An exercise mat is another versatile piece of kit that will serve you well in your home gym, whether you’re using it for yoga, bodyweight exercises or stretching. This 6ft mat from Mirafit is 40mm thick, so you’ve got plenty of cushioning for a range of different workouts, including home gymnastics. 

It folds up neatly so you can store it in a cupboard or a spare corner of your home gym. It’s pretty heavy when folded up, though, so it’s perhaps not a great option if you’re after something portable.

Read our full roundup of the best exercise mats to buy

Key features – Size: 180 x 60cm; Thickness: 40mm; Material: PVC

8. Opti Multi Pull Up Bar: Best cheap pull-up bar 

Price: £20 | Buy now from Argos

The convenience of a hook-on pull up bar means you don’t need to worry about drilling any holes into your wall, as it will fit over most standard door frames. The positioning of its foam padding means it’s great for chin-ups and wide or narrow-grip pull ups, too. 

Not only that, but the Opti Multi Pull Up Bar also doubles as a bar for push ups and sit ups. And, for £20, it won’t break the bank either. 

Read our full roundup of the best pull up bars to buy

Key features – Dimensions: 26 x 43 x 95cm (HWD); Weight: 95kg; Guarantee: 1 year

Buy now from Argos

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