Plenty of home exercise equipment is available for sale, but how do you know which piece of equipment is best for you? As LoveToKnow's Health & Fitness editor and a fitness professional, I was sent several home exercise equipment items to try out. I am happy to present my recommendations for the best home exercise equipment that is easy to store, innovative, and most importantly, very effective in helping you reach your fitness goals.
Featuring four compression springs between the base and the platform, The StrongBoard balance board is designed to engage your core and makes your movements challenging. Standing on the StrongBoard requires a great deal of balance at first, but then after you are accustomed to holding your balance on the board, you can start using this board for a large number of exercise routines. It is appropriate for strength work, yoga, or even just standing on the board while you watch television.
Cost: The StrongBoard Balance is available for $249.
Several enthusiastic recommendations from chiropractors and professional athletes can be found on the StrongBoard Balance Testimonial page. Additionally, GrindTV reports that when StrongBoards were first introduced in a California fitness club, the members raved about them.
This piece of equipment truly has the potential to take your fitness routines to a new level. I can feel my muscles engage just by standing on the StrongBoard, and when I add squats and other strength moves into the mix, I can feel the extra effort my body has to put forth to keep my upright. Since this equipment is lightweight, it is a great addition to a home gym because it can be stored easily. I recommend this equipment for people of all fitness levels.
Ugi Fitness at Home System
The Ugi Fitness at Home System includes a weighted ball, a workout guide, a DVD and a nutrition guide. The balls are available in 6, 8, 10 or 12 pounds and, unlike some other weighted ball systems, the Ugi ball feels like a beanbag. As a result, it has some "give" to it, but is still rigid enough to stand up to tough workouts.
The accompanying workout guide demonstrates a wide variety of easy-to-follow, yet challenging, moves. Users can pick and choose their workout from this guide, or follow the daily workouts provided within the guide. The DVD also provides challenging workout options.
Cost: The Ugi Fitness at Home System is available for $169.
Amazon reviewers praise this system for its durability and for the variety of workouts offered by this system. A reviewer on Thrive Style adds that the she enjoys the organized workouts provided within the guide and appreciates the effectiveness of the workout.
Four minutes into trying this workout I was already beginning to sweat, and as a group fitness instructor I consider myself to be in good shape. I am a big fan of strength work combined with cardio, and this equipment delivers. I found the workout guide to be easy to follow and liked how it is set up in a flipbook format. Easy to store and simple to use, this is a piece of equipment that should be in everyone's home gym. I recommend this equipment for moderate to advanced exercisers, although beginning exercisers will certainly benefit from it as long as they take it slow at first.
Fusion Fit Disc
The Fusion Fit Disc is a sand-filled, 7 pound weighted disc featuring easy-grip handles. The disc comes with a DVD that includes a 30 minute workout featuring both strength and cardio exercises. This disc is also appropriate for workouts traditionally done with kettlebells, hand weights, and medicine balls.
A study conducted at the Human Performance Lab at Auburn University concluded that the Fusion Fit Disc works key core muscles 50% more than other popular methods of the same weight.
Cost: The Fusion Fit Disc is available for around $30.
A reviewer on Emily Reviews says that her workout with the Fusion Fit Disc was so engaging and fast-paced that she lost track of time, and added that she loves the accompanying DVD. Another reviewer said the Fusion Disc workout is easy to learn and isn't boring.
I like the design of the disc because it is easy to grasp from any angle, even when my hands got sweaty. The accompanying DVD is good, but the disc alone is a good piece of equipment to have. Its flat design makes it easy to store; I simply slip mine underneath my couch when I'm finished with my workout. I recommend the disc for all fitness levels.
Natural Fitness Burst Resistant Exercise Ball
An exercise stability ball is a must-have for any home gym. The Burst Resistant Exercise Ball by Natural Fitness is appropriate for users up to 300 pounds. This particular ball stands out from the rest because of its eco-friendly production and its slow-deflate feature if punctured. This ball is appropriate for a wide variety of exercises.
The ball comes with a pump and extra replacement valves. It also includes a small chart of moves to try with the ball.
Cost: The Natural Fitness Burst Resistant Exercise Ball is available for around $25.
Amazon reviewers particularly enjoy the texture of the ball; it isn't slick, which makes it easier to get a good grip.
This exercise ball felt very stable, which is important when you're doing a challenging workout. Even when I was sweating, the ball did not get slippery at all throughout my workout. I also appreciated the dark plum color of this ball and also like that this ball is eco-friendly.
Natural Fitness Adjustable Resistance Tube
In addition to the ball above, Natural Fitness also offers an Adjustable Resistance Tube that is break-resistant and easily adjustable. Resistance tubes are an excellent choice for any home gym because they are easily storable and quite versatile, but Natural Fitness's version stands out among the rest because of the adjustable handles and the heavy resistance. The band comes with a door attachment and an exercise instruction chart.
Cost: The Natural Fitness Adjustable Resistance Tube is available for around $15.
I'm no stranger to resistance tubes, but I often worry that the tubes will snap during my workout. This wasn't the case with this band; it felt incredibly durable, and like other reviewers, I enjoyed the quick adjustability of the resistance. The Natural Fitness Adjustable Resistance Tube is appropriate for all fitness levels, although those new to resistance work may want to consider purchasing the light version.
Yoga Tune Up Massage Therapy Full Body Kit
Your home exercise arsenal should include equipment to help you recover from your workouts. The Yoga Tune Up Massage Therapy Full Body Kit comes with two massage balls and an instructional DVD that walks you through a variety of tension-relieving routines utilizing the balls, a wall, and the floor.
The massage provided by the kit is pinpointed toward muscle groups that can become sore, particularly after engaging in a challenging workout. Follow the instructions on the DVD or simply target the balls using the wall to whichever muscles need attention.
Cost: The Yoga Tune Up Massage Therapy Full Body Kit is available for around $45.
One reviewer recalls his first use of the massage therapy balls, saying the routine "hurts so good." Another reviewer praises the massage balls and routine as an excellent way of loosening up aching shoulders.
I'm a big fan of allowing your body to recover after a tough workout, so these massage balls are a perfect addition to my home gym equipment. I find them particularly useful after having engaged in a new workout, when my body feels achy and sore. I recommend this kit for all fitness (and age) levels.
Furnish Your Home Gym
If you have the space (and funds) to create a fully-furnished home gym and want to include some larger pieces of equipment, look for items that come highly recommended and have a proven track record of providing challenging workouts. Items you may want to consider include:
- An indoor cycling bike will blast calories without taking up too much room.
- Professional-grade strength equipment can help you build muscle mass.
- A Pilates reformer gives a challenging workout that will strengthen your core.
- Equipment for low impact workouts allow you to exercise without hurting your joints.
Try several options a firsthand before you decide which items you want to purchase.
You don't have to join a fitness center in order to get a great workout. Try a variety of equipment, consider adding a few exercise DVDs to switch up your routine occasionally, and get moving!
Be sure to consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.