10 Must-Have Items for the Ultimate Home Gym

With social distancing, lockdowns, or the utter fear of sweating in front of strangers, sometimes the local gym isn’t an available option for fitness devotees. But today’s exercise buffs have a choice, and it’s as close as their TV remotes and snack trays. It’s called a home gym. With the right equipment, your living room can change from a lounging area for couch potatoes into an effective, powerful, perspiring fitness Mecca. Here are 10 devices, machines, and contraptions to do just that.

Jump to It | Everlast Adjustable Speed Rope Socket

Take your toning and conditioning to the next level with the humble jump-rope. Produced by the boxing fiends at Everlast, this speed rope is 11 feet of muscle-building, fat-shredding insanity. The rope length is fully adjustable to accommodate jumpers of all sizes. The handles come with removable weights. A steel ball joint makes it easy to keep consistent rotation at ridiculous speeds. Your cardio or strength-building workout will never be the same. Playground jump-rope chants are optional.

Block Party | Gaiam Essential Yoga Blocks

Yoga is a surefire technique for building strength and equilibrium. But it’s not always easy for yogis to achieve balance without toppling over. Gaiam Yoga Blocks can stave off that embarrassment. This double-pack of sturdy, non-slip blocks holds your hands, legs, or feet in place as the rest of your body contorts into a human pretzel. Available in four calming colors, these blocks of durable foam make stretching and extension safe, painless, and shame-free.

Step It Up | SKLZ Speed Agility Ladder

Flat ladders and hurdles are invaluable tools for exercise junkies trying to increase foot agility. Now they’re available in one single piece of equipment. The SKLZ Speed Agility ladder lies flat for quick motion exercises. Scrunch the sides in, and the rungs turn into 4-inch hurdles for jumping routines. When you’re finished shuffling or river-dancing, fold the SKLZ ladder into a compact size for easy storage. You’ll soon be flying through airports and supermarkets with the speed and grace of a gazelle.

The Smartest Dumbbells | Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

Dumbbells are common sights in hardcore gyms. But with all their varied weights and sizes, it’s impractical to bring them all home. (Technically, it’s also theft.) Bowflex has the solution. Their SelectTech dumbbells are adjustable in 2.5-pound increments and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Just turn a dial instead of wearily scanning equipment racks for the right weight. The Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells are perfect for a wide range of leg, back, chest, abdominal, arm, and shoulder exercises. They also look intimidating next to the end table.

You’ll Know Squat | Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride Trainer

To row or to squat — that is the question. Your arms, back, and glutes answer, “Why not both?” The Sunny Health & Fitness Row-N-Ride helps that cause. With three resistance bands, an adjustable saddle, and a digital monitor, this device will juice up your squats with rowing action. Your thighs and calves will turn into marble, or something close to it. The Row-N-Ride folds into almost a single pole, so it’s ideal for homes with limited storage space.

Rock the Plank | Stealth Core Trainer

Planking is the most powerful way to build up your core muscles. Unfortunately, it’s also as boring as being stuck in traffic. The Stealth Core Trainer dramatically changes that dynamic. This ultra-modern plank board connects via your smartphone to the Stealth Fitness app and four video game challenges. The Stealth app tracks your progress, issues challenges, and connects to competitive leaderboards. Instead of remaining stiff, straight, and unenthused, you’ll be chasing alien ships, gliding down valleys, and pursuing colored balls, all with your abs.

Bands on the Run | FITINDEX Portable Home Gym

This spiderweb of resistance bands and a sturdy platform may be the only home gym equipment you need. The FITINDEX portable unit features bars that hook or fasten onto resistance bands. They attach firmly to a flat base. Grip onto the handles or slide your feet through the ankle straps, adjust the band lengths, and start panting. The FITINDEX is compact enough to fit into the small spaces in your home. But it’s menacing enough to turn feebleness into a distant memory.

Carry That Weight | RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest

This is no ordinary urban hipster vest or rented tuxedo accessory. It carries a lot more weight. The RUNmax is strictly for working out. Available in five different weight sizes from 12 to 60 pounds, this vest maximizes your exercise routine with muscle-sculpting power. Slip it on before your physical drills and feel its heavy pressure while you work out. It’s even got a phone pocket and a water bottle holder in case you’re chatty or thirsty. You can also attach optional, weighted shoulder pads in case you’re stuck in the 80s.

One Small Step | Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper

Nothing turns your legs into rods of molten lava like a good step machine. But even the most unassuming one can take up a lot of floor space. Sunny Health & Fitness solves that fitness dilemma with this tiny unit that combines stair exercises with resistance bands. Adjust the height and resistance levels to your liking and start hiking. The Mini Stepper works against your body weight to sharpen your core. An attached LCD monitor charts your progress and calorie-melting. Best of all, it’s small enough to store in your closet, or place on your coffee table as a conversation piece.

The Door to Strength | Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar

Pull-ups are arguably the most challenging exercise of all. They’re almost impossible to do at home, unless your apartment has a pull-up bar built in somewhere, which is an interesting architectural choice. But if it doesn’t, get the Perfect Fitness Doorway unit. It attaches to any door frame, remaining in place while you hoist your body weight upward. If you want to mix things up, you can even use it on the ground for sit-ups and push-ups. The padded handles and grips ensure that you’re always in perfect, un-wimpy form.