The 24 best pieces of fitness equipment we tested this year

Notable features: Total footprint less than 5.1 square feet; accessories included; free lifetime membership on the Speediance platform with purchase

Small equipment

Best Adjustable Dumbbells: Bowflex SelecTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells


SelecTech 552 adjustable dumbbells

Three of our expert judges highlighted these as a must-have in their home gym, and for good reason: even though they’re a pretty big investment, they can replace 15 pairs of dumbbells. (Each dumbbell is adjustable from 5 to 52.5 pounds.) We especially recommend them if you share your home gym with multiple exercisers at different fitness levels.

Best Dumbbells: Ergo Hex Rubberized Dumbbells

Rep Fitness

Ergo Hek rubber coated dumbbells

Parker has been using rubber coated hex dumbbells for over 14 years. And of all the ones he’s tried, Rep Fitness pairs consistently come out on top. He now owns his own set and trains with them three to five times a week. These dumbbells are sturdy and the rubber coating is durable with minimal odor out of the box, Parker says. A rubber coating is also handy for anyone who is careful not to damage their floors. (Though it’s still generally recommended that you throw them on a rug or at least some type of carpet.)

Best Kettlebell: BovFlek SelectTech 840 Kettlebell


SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

This adjustable kettlebell is so good that we’ve crowned it the winner two years in a row. Kettlebells can get expensive quickly, take up a lot of space, be heavy to carry around the house, you get the idea. So if you’re building a home gym, we don’t think you can do better than this: with just a quick spin of the dial, you can take this kettlebell from 8 to 40 pounds in literally seconds. The best part is that you can have it for a long time even as you increase the weight and get stronger, said one tester.

Best Resistance Band Set: Bodilastics 5 Band Set

This five-band set from Bodylastics features traditional resistance bands, large, elastic bands that, unlike the mini bands you put around your thighs or ankles, don’t have loops. They’re great for a number of reasons: they take up minimal space in your home gym, they’re generally inexpensive, and they challenge your body differently than dumbbells or kettlebells. Expert judge Asher Freeman says this set is usually the first thing they recommend customers buy to keep at home. The five bands provide enough variability for exercisers of any level to complete a challenging full-body workout.

The Best Resistance Band for Big and Tall People: Dedicated HP The Better Band Plus

Two of our expert judges Francine Delgado-Lugo and Lauren Leavells said the Better Band Plus is exceptional in the field of inclusive fitness equipment. With an adjustable hook, easier to put on and take off, adapts to your body, comfortable (no painful digging into the skin), and gives you more control over tension. Whether you find standard mini straps too small to move your legs, too tight when on, or just plain uncomfortable for whatever reason, give these a try. Another plus size trainer introduced me to this band, says Leavell. It’s perfect for home workouts and really adds resistance. I have also used it with clients of various fitness levels.

Best Resistance Band Set: The Center by Chris Hemsworth

You, too, can now do Thorusing with your own reasonably priced, good quality mini bands! Yes, Chris Hemsworth has a line of fitness accessories (complete with his own app), and our testers say the mini bands are actually pretty good. With three soothing colors each corresponding to a different level of tension and internal hold, the thick fabric bands stretch beautifully, feel comfortable and stay in place. One tester said it best: I would definitely ditch my tires for these.

Best Jump Rope: BCG Sprint Rope

Jump Rope: Not just for the schoolyard, folks! It’s super effective cardio and strength exercises combined into one. The perfect combination of lightweight and durable, this basic BCG jump rope received high marks from our lifelong jumper tester as well as her two teenage sons. This rope is 9 feet long and is not adjustable, but should be a working length for anyone 5’3″ to 6 feet.

Best Yoga Mat: Manduka X Yoga Mat 5mm

We tested a handful of Manduka yoga mats for this year’s Home Fitness Awards, and while they all performed extremely well, we recommend the X model for its nicely affordable price. Yoga mats should be comfortably padded to support your joints while still keeping you in contact with the ground; the grippy surface is also crucial to prevent slipping and sliding as well as any erratic movement on the floor. This Manduka rug uses a criss-cross texture to help it (and you) stay in place.

Best mat for big and tall people: Lululemon The Big Mat

Everyone deserves a mat that supports the whole body, so it can avoid contact with the cold, hard and sometimes rough floor. Many gyms and studios don’t take this into account, but your home setup can! Delgado-Lugo uses the Big Mat for weight training, bodyweight exercises and yoga moves. So basically, this thing does it all. Because it’s wider, longer, and thicker than other yoga mats, it protects your body (and the floors!) really well, says Delgado-Lugo. Plus, despite its larger size (28″ x 84″ and 7.05 pounds, while Lululemon’s standard yoga mat is 26″ x 71″ and 5.24 pounds), it doesn’t feel significantly heavier to roll, store, clean, or transport .

Best Gym Mat: Technogim Exercise Mat

After a few disappointing experiences where pieces of the yoga mat ended up around her apartment, one tester told us she was eager to find a more durable, all-around gym mat. So we sent her a Technogim exercise mat and she was delighted to report that it met all her home exercise needs and then some. I’m 5’8″, so I like how long it is (70.9 inches), she says. It’s really grippy (both to the floor and to my hands and feet) and, at 4mm thick, it’s cushioned enough that I don’t feel pressure on the knees or elbows, but not so thick that it’s bulky and difficult to store. It’s not cheap, but thanks to the quality construction, it should last you and your home gym a long time.

The Best Low-Tech Gym System: The TRX Home2 System

All of our expert judges love the TRX Suspension Trainer, and let one of them tell you why: First of all, it’s effective for both helping and increasing bodyweight strength, flexibility and mobility, says Harrison. This means you can use it to make some moves more intense and others more accessible. Don’t be intimidated by its configuration: TRX has an expansive library of free videos, demos, and user training that’s in addition to everything you’ll find on YouTube and social media. You can easily slide it over the door and use it anywhere in your home, even in the park, gym or other public spaces.

#pieces #fitness #equipment #tested #year
Image Source :

Leave a Comment