The best home gyms in the market will allow you to maximize the gains you make from each workout session, whether you are a complete beginner or advanced expert in the fitness world and are looking for equipment you can use to challenge yourself.
All the best home gyms have something in common: they allow you to achieve a full body workout that involves weight training. Even though some of them require a large space to occupy in your home, others are thankfully compact enough to function in smaller spaces. Also referred to in the fitness community as multi-gyms, they are meant to provide you with ways to build and strengthen your muscles while improving flexibility.
Some of the models that we feature here are compact and easy to fold away when you are not using them, so they mainly use your body weight as the resistance source. Others are better at giving you an upper body workout, while others target all your muscle groups.
In a general sense, home gyms use a variety of weights, which include pulleys and bodyweight. Therefore, as you push and pull different handles and work various muscles, you are relying on the same weight source. This is also a reason why home gyms are great choices for your garage or most home sizes.
Why is it important to choose the best home gym options?
It is easier for us to pick out the best options when choosing home gyms because of our experience in using them. Choosing one is a challenge because these machines are significant investments, particularly if you want to purchase a pro-level multi station that accommodates multiple people.
When you take your time to choose a worthwhile machine, you will eventually save your money in the long term, since you do not need to spend on gym memberships. These machines aim to make use of strength training techniques, which consequently improve your stamina, muscle tone, and overall health.
Best home gyms – Comparison table
Best home gyms comparison overview
This home gym is the latest in a long line of Total Gym equipment that stretches back to the mid-1970s, and is notable for its use of your own body weight as the resistance source, rather than using its own set of weights to do so. All you need to do is lay down on it and move a variety of cuffs and handles that are connected to the backrest, and you can change the resistance levels by changing the angle of the backrest.
The backrest is much wider and well-cushioned to aid in your comfort as you work out, and it slides vertically along the steel frame thanks to its glide board design – similar to a high quality gym machine. You can set the machine itself to 12 different resistance levels which vary between 6 and 63% of your body weight.
Even though most home gyms can help to strengthen and tone your muscles, this machine is best at giving you a unique cross-training exercise regime that strengthens your cardiovascular health. It may be among the more expensive equipment, but it carries a 2-year guarantee on its parts and a lifetime warranty.
- It is a great choice for people that want whole-body resistance workouts from one machine
- Consistent source of new workouts
- The package includes plenty of instructions to help you in your workout routines
- Very safe to use
- Quite expensive
- Not ideal for people that want to increase their muscle mass or engage in cardio
- No assembly required
- Upgraded Squat Stand
- 2-Piece Wing Attachment for wider range of motion
- Leg Pull Accessory with detachable Bracket
This home gym is very strong and built entirely from steel, but its price is surprisingly affordable and remains a great option if you have the space to accommodate a full system.
It allows you to access more than 36 exercises with a maximum weight of 150 pounds without leaving your home. However, it does require quite some time to assemble, even though it has a compact structure compared to most home gyms. It is disappointing that you cannot adjust the seat in its height, though the maximum user weight it accommodates is quite high (300 pounds).
Its weights use a protective stack shielding to increase their safety, so that also leads to its mechanism being quieter compared to most home gyms. Its accessories will include a leg attachment, chest press, pec fly, curl pad, as well as low and high pulleys. Additionally, the inclusion of a separate dual function arm press is great if you want to perform chest and butterfly presses while avoiding muscular imbalances.
- Very strong steel construction
- Relatively affordable
- Great for beginners
- Dual-function leg developer allows for easy leg workouts
- Compact design
- You cannot increase its weight stack
- Seat is non-adjustable
- Challenging to assemble
- PREMIUM STEEL CONSTRUCTION – This home gym system is made with heavy-duty steel tubing and reinforced with guard rods that hold weight in place during workouts.
- WEIGHT STACK LOCK – This gear comes with a 150-pound selectorized weight stack that can be customized according to your skill level to avoid the stresses of...
- DUAL ACTION PRESS ARMS-Designed with dual action press arms, this versatile equipment allows you to perform chest press and vertical butterfly exercises to develop...
- REMOVEABLE CURL PAD – This home gym machine features ergonomically designed seats with high-density boxed upholstery to reduce tension and impact. The preacher...
This home gym is a fully functional cable and gym machine that has everything you require to achieve a full-body workout. When looking at it from a starting point, you can adjust it in 19 ways thanks to the accessories and settings, making it great for families that want to stay in shape.
Its highlights include a triceps rope that includes dual 200-pound weight stacks, long and short bars, a revolving seated row triangle, and so much more. If you want to do some upper body exercises, you can do so through its split-grip pull-up bar, and its accessories are easy to change when you need to do so. The only thing that we did not like was its difficulties when setting up the unit initially, as the instructions its manual provides are unclear.
Regardless of the specific weight limits you are using, the steel frame build of the machine allows it to stay put. Its commercial-grade pulley system will also ensure you can carry out your workouts without experiencing hitches. Even though it lacks a bench, you can add a weight bench to complete it.
- Includes a wide range of interchangeable accessories
- Very strong 11-gauge construction
- Quick adjust pulleys with a variety of settings
- Its setup can be frustrating
- Does not include a weight bench
- ALL-AROUND ADJUSTABLE USE: Dual 200 lb. weight stacks with 19 settings spaced at 3.5” each, adaptable for the whole family
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL: 2:1 stack to resistance ratio for true isolateral based movements. Use the split grip pull up bar to perform pull-up and chin-ups
- UNLIMITED EXERCISES: Perform rows (low, mid, high), incline press, chest press, pec fly, bicep curls, triceps press down, golf swing, leg extension, leg curls, and...
- EASILY INTERCHANGEABLE ACCESSORIES: 8" hand straps (2), 17" long strap handles (2), 23" triceps rope, two bars (8” and 17’), leg extension leg curl strap and...
This machine is slightly different compared to most home gyms on this list. The difference is its reliance on a glide board, which allows it to create resistance through your body weight.
This approach has several advantages, notably the compact size of the entire unit. Additionally, it is lightweight and easy to fold away when you are not using it, minus its weight plates. The whole unit only weighs 66 pounds, and can support a maximum user weight of 450 pounds – about 150 pounds more than most home gyms.
Since it is a glide board in its design, it can be useful when carrying out a variety of exercises – in fact, more than 85 varieties. That allows you to achieve a full body workout, as well as cross-training exercises that boost your overall cardiovascular health. Even though the unit is quite pricey, it has a lifetime warranty and the parts carry a 2-year guarantee.
- More than 85 exercise options available
- Package includes instructional videos
- Compact and lightweight design
- Quite expensive
- CHOOSE FROM 80 ROUTINES: Equipped to handle more than 80 exercises with 6 levels of resistance in 1 machine for a total body workout; Maximum weight capacity of 400...
- FULL BODY WORKOUT: Concentrates on all the major muscle groups: cardio, strength training, and stretching
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDE: Comes complete with ribbed squat stand, wing attachment, leg pull accessory with 2 ankle cuffs, exercise wall chart, training deck, and...
- FREE VIDEO ACCESS: Includes access to stream workouts from Total Gym TV for free for extra guidance and training; perfect for all fitness levels
The history behind this unit is interesting – it traces its origins to a former Navy Seal commander who improvised a rudimentary system involving parachute webbing and belt. It is well-known by its signature yellow straps, and is popular among pro athletes and the military. It works through using your body weight as the resistance source, and targets specific muscle groups particularly in your back.
Setting the unit up is very easy, and the instructions are quite clear. The best aspect about it is its easy fold ability – good news if you are short on space and need to store it away after you are done using it. It also supports a maximum user weight of 400 pounds, which is great for heavier users.
Its squat stand is quite efficient and gives you plenty of grip to increase your stability, as long as you take some time to figure out which moves you will use in your workouts.
- Very easy to setup and use
- Portable and compact
- Supports more than 80 exercise routines
- Fewer resistance levels compared to other home gyms
- The maximum user height it accommodates is 6’2”
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: This TRX suspension training system comes with a TRX GO rope for suspension training, indoor and outdoor anchors, a mesh carrying bag, and access...
- 30-DAY FREE TRIAL TO TRX TRAINING CLUB: Get unlimited access to 500+ on-demand workout videos, with new workouts added weekly, and daily LIVE classes from world...
- AS SEEN IN WOMEN'S HEALTH: A perfect gift for those beginning their fitness journey or for busy parents and professionals who need a workout solution that fits into...
- TOTAL-BODY TRAINING SYSTEM: The Go's carabiner, safety tested for up to 700 lbs, has locking loops to prevent slipping, adjusters to quickly change length during...
This is among several equipment in the Bowflex Home Gym series, which include bundles that cater to beginners to the more advanced home gym options for experienced athletes.
The PR3000 unit utilizes the trademark Bowflex Power Rod system of resistance, which provides you with the same fell when using free weights, but eliminates the potential risks of injuries. As you do your exercise routines, you will feel the resistance in your movements – the maximum resistance is 310 pounds.
Interestingly, the unit gives you a no-pulley system design, which allows you to perform your routines without realigning the machine’s cable movements. This will let you switch up your regimen easily, resulting in great benefits to your progress.
- It has a power rod resistance of 210 pounds
- Includes a media rack
- Includes more than 26 exercise plans
- Lacks a Quick Change system
- Cannot increase the resistance level
- Offers over 50 gym quality exercises to work out your entire body
- Provides as little as 5 or as many as 210 pounds of power rod resistance
- Multi use hand grip or ankle cuffs designed to add flexibility and performance to any workout using the quick change power rod system
- Upgradable resistance to 310 pounds
This is an excellent choice for an entry-level home gym, since it is well-known for its versatility. It will allow you to perform multiple exercises on both your lower and upper body parts, thanks to its pulley system – so it should be among your considerations if you want to target specific body parts.
One major cool feature we noted was the resistance it provides. It creates a maximum of 280 pounds of resistance, thanks to its 112 pound vinyl weight stack. For plenty of gym enthusiasts, this is a good amount to challenge you, and a beginner will definitely not max out the machine as easily. Additionally, it includes a useful exercise guide that helps you as you perform multiple exercises.
The price is also something impressive to note, especially for a casual gym goer. It also comes with a 90-day warranty and plenty of insurance plans that give you the assurance that it will last.
- Low and high pulley systems
- Includes a chest press and fly station
- Includes an exercise chart designed by personal trainers
- The leg developer includes padded rollers that give extra comfort to your ankles and knees
- Its weight pin system is not as smooth as other options
- Cannot accommodate more weight
- Seat is not adjustable
- 112 lb. Vinyl Weight Stack, 112 lbs. of weight, 280 lbs. of resistance, Durable, built to last
- Combination Chest Press/Fly Station, 4-Roll Leg Developer; High Pulley to sculpt lats and back muscles, Low Pulley tone glutes and leg muscles
- Multi-grip lat bar, Sewn vinyl seats with durable & comfortable material
- Exercise Chart designed by a Certified Personal Trainer
Which is better between commercial gyms and home gyms?
If you are unsure of whether you should bother investing in a home gym or just opt for an annual gym membership, the answer will depend on your frequency of hitting the gym.
The main benefit of owning a home gym is you make the choices that suit your budget, and you have the freedom to choose what you want to include. You will not need to wait for other people to finish using them either or cleaning up someone else’s sweat.
There is plenty of freedom as well – you work out at any time you want, and there are no random distractions. Even though they require a significant investment, they will prove more cost-efficient as time goes on.
The best advantage of having a gym membership is your access to all kinds of exercise classes, amenities, equipment, and accessories, as long as you pay the monthly fees. The burden of maintaining the equipment yourself is also non-existent, as you only go to work out and finish.
You will have access to a personal trainer as well, and become part of a fitness community. Unlike home gyms though, you will need to set aside money for memberships, so it can be expensive in the long term.
What to look for in a home gym
It is no secret that a home gym is quite heavy and can take up a lot of space – so this is an important consideration. That is also why we outline the dimensions of each home gym in the comparison table. Alongside accounting for the footprint of the machine, you will also require some additional space to cater for movement ranges, since you will extend your legs and arms as you do your workout routines.
If you select a multi-station gym system, you will require space to allow for smooth and easy movements around the machine. You will also need to account for the space between your doors, walls, and the machine to increase your workout comfort and ensure you can leave and enter the room easily.
The resistance technology
Any free weights such as barbells and dumbbells that you use when doing independent weight training exercises will not need machines. However, most home gyms will either use weight plates or weight stacks, which will create the resistance you need in strength training. Some of them will also use your body weight as the resistance source.
For instance, a weight stack machine permits you to choose your levels of resistance through adjusting a weight that is in-built into the frame of the equipment. To allow you to release and lift the weight, the system relies on a cable and pulley setup. The weight plates are weights that you will fasten manually to the workout components of the home gym, and they will allow you to increase the weight as you increase your muscle strength.
At the end of the day, it is important to know the resistance style you prefer using, as well as one that will challenge you continuously over a long time. The more flexible the home gym is in allowing you to add weight to it, the better it is in catering to your goals as they become more ambitious.
Both your body and health are significant investments, and the last thing you want is spending your money on short-term equipment that risks falling apart or injuring you. When buying a home gym, ensure you check for materials like multiple steel layers, anodized aluminum, titanium, non-odorous rubber capping, and cast iron – these are durable and ensure the machine lasts for many years.
In conclusion, knowing the location to place your home gym is important once you know the equipment you want to use. Regardless of your choices, ensure they are comfortable to work with, as well as being durable and fulfill your exercise requirements.
Last update on 2021-12-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API