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The 13 best home gym equipment machines: For all budgets

It's never too late to get into the shape you want to be in. Here is a selection of top-notch fitness gear -- most of which are smart or internet-connected -- to help build out your dream home gym.

Have you fallen into some unhealthy habits that you'd like to break this year? It's never too late to start making changes. Now that you've got a goal, all you need is the equipment. That's where a home gym comes in.

Those of you who want to maintain a healthy work-life balance should create a dedicated space in your house that serves as an at-home gym. Yes, it's an investment. But, rather than continually rotating between couches and screens all day long, you can break up the hours at home by squeezing in some much-needed cardio or weight training. In the end, you'll be able to live, work, exercise, and stay healthy, all without leaving your home. 

Here is a selection of top-notch fitness equipment to consider, many of which are smart or internet-connected. We've also included some accessories to help build out your home gym in ways both traditional and innovative.

Peloton Bike

Iconic indoor spin bike with live and on-demand classes

Peloton Bike
Peloton

Did you really think we would start this guide with anything else? Peloton's indoor spin bike features an adjustable seat, handlebars, and a 21.5-inch touchscreen display. You use the display to participate in live and on-demand cycling classes from your own home -- a subscription feature that costs an extra $39 per month. Peloton's app offers other workout classes as well including yoga, bootcamp, running, stretching, and meditation. 

If you love to cycle or simply want the hottest, trendiest piece of equipment you can buy right now, look no further than Peloton's exercise bike. The best part is it's great for all fitness levels, so if you're a total newbie to spin bikes, you'll catch on quickly and be able to burn a ton of calories in a relatively short amount of time for a true full-body workout. This makes it easy for you to jump into any routine with your smart home gym equipment -- without having to make time for live classes or a personal trainer. The optional leaderboard allows you to work out with your Peloton community and match that tempo, no studio required.

If you'd like a similar experience for a lower upfront and monthly cost, or if you just want to buck the trendy option, check out our list of the best Peloton alternatives

Pros

  • Brand recognition can't be beat
  • Live classes and on-demand workout selection are some of the biggest and best
  • Solid, minimalistic design that defined an entire category of imitators

Cons

  • That brand recognition comes at a cost
  • Connected features are extremely limited without $39/month subscription

Bowflex VeloCore

True Peloton alternative that also leans

Bowflex VeloCore
  • The VeloCore indoor cycling bike is a true Peloton alternative -- especially if you get the model with the 22-inch screen, although this brings your cost up to $2,200. If you're interested in buying a competitor to Peloton but want something closer to a virtual reality cycling experience, the VeloCore might be the solution for you.

The added touch of realism in your rides comes from the VeloCore's ability to let you lean side to side. The bike chassis tilts left and right to simulate turns during a workout. As an added fitness bonus, the realistic leaning brings your abs and other muscles into the cycling mix that would sit dormant on any other stationary bike ride. The bike itself also has magnetic resistance and looks premium, with pedals that support both regular and clip-in shoes. 

The VeloCore's accompanying platform is Bowflex's JRNY software and service, which offers trainer-led and recorded virtual coach classes. There are scenic virtual ride and streaming radio stations, too. Plus, it includes the ability to sign into streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. JRNY even supports syncing ride data with other apps, like Peloton.

The service costs $20 a month or $149 annually. It's worth noting that, if you'd rather avoid the monthly fee, you can use your VeloCore without it. 

Pros

  • Leaning Mode increases immersion and adds core muscles to workouts
  • First year of required service and free weights are both included
  • Included Bluetooth HR armband allows tracking of off-bike workouts as well
  • JRNY companion app is about half the price of Peloton's after the first year at $19.99 per month

Cons

  • Screen resolution isn't as high Peloton's 
  • No live workouts, only on-demand and virtual rides
  • Smaller number of available workouts and exercise types than some competing services like Peloton and Echelon

Bowflex Treadmill 22

Top-of-the-line treadmill with guided training

Bowflex Treadmill 22
Bowflex

While Peloton remains dominant in the connected stationary bike market, its forays into the treadmill game have had mixed success. Fortunately, other established makers have stepped up to provide all of the same features as the Peloton Tread line and more. 

The first of these is Bowflex's Treadmill 22. This unit features a huge 22-inch display, as the name would suggest, offering a lot of screen real estate to display the massive library of on-demand and adaptive workouts made available through the JRNY app. It can also let the runners needing some distraction watch content from Netflix and Disney+.

Even without all of these advanced, connected features taken into account, the Tread 22 is still an excellent treadmill from a construction and hardware standpoint, offering a top speed of 12MPH, maximum weight capacity of 400lbs, and inclines of up to a grueling 20%. 

Pros

  • Commercial-grade build quality
  • Built-in streaming support means you can skip the tablet for content consumption
  • Built-in streaming services to keep boredom away 

Cons

  • Pricey
  • JRNY subscription required for connected running programs
  • Takes up considerable floor space

NordicTrack X32i

Another Peloton Tread alternative with a 40% incline

NordicTrack X32i
NordicTrack

At almost $4,000, the NordickTrack X32i needs to offer the best of the best among treadmills. Thankfully, it does so in just about every area. From sporting one of the largest touchscreens we've ever seen on an exercise machine to providing an almost absurd 40% incline, this unit takes its features to the extreme.

Comfort features like NordicTrack's Reflex Cushioning and built-in Bluetooth connectivity for your favorite workout headphones make this unit a complete. albeit pricey, package. 

If you want something cheaper, but with a smaller screen, the Nordictrack X22i is $2,799 and offers the majority of the same features. 

Pros

  • 40% incline does an excellent job of simulating mountain hikes and supporting HIIT workouts

  • 4.25HP motor is one of the most powerful we've seen 

  • Massive screen provides immersive virtual running experiences

Cons

  • That $4,000 price tag

  • Only a single month of iFit included while less expensive models offer a year

  • Requires ample floor space

Hydrow

High-end rower with Olympian-level classes

Hydrow
Hydrow

Indoor rowing is a great way to improve your core and add upper body strength training while engaging in low-impact, high-intensity cardio. It's truly a fantastic, holistic exercise that does not get the same level of attention as running or cycling.

The Hydrow is a high-end smart rower. It features a 22-inch full HD screen, electromagnetic resistance, a cushioned seat, and adjustable pedals. It also works with a $38-per-month (or $456 for a year) subscription that offers on-demand and live workouts, including classes with "Olympians and world-class rowers." Even better, a single membership works for your entire family, allowing multiple members of the household to make use of the device and its companion app. 

Pros

  • Live and on-demand workouts with real trainers in real watercraft
  • Relatively lightweight and easy to move, compared to larger machines on the list
  • Strava support for tracking fitness goals, heart rate, etc.

Cons

  • Laser-focused with no support for non-rowing workouts
  • Takes up considerable floor space

NordicTrack RW900 rower

Smart rower with some compromises for a lower price

NordicTrack RW900 rower
NordicTrack

The NordicTrack RW900 rower is cheaper than the Hydrow and has just as many positive reviews. Plus, it works with the iFit platform, which you can use with other workout equipment (unlike Hydrow's app and service). On the downside, it only has a 250-pound weight limit, whereas the Hydrow supports 375 pounds.

Still, NordicTrack is an established name. Its RW900 rower offers a 22-inch HD screen with access to the iFit live and on-demand rowing and other classes. The rowing machine itself offers 26 digital resistance levels, an inertia-enhanced flywheel, pivoting pedals, and the entire machine is foldable from the get-go. 

Pros

  • Cheaper than the Hydrow with similar build quality
  • Companion iFit platform offers comprehensive fitness content for other exercises
  • Folds for easier storage

Cons

  • Lower maximum resistance weight than Hydrow
  • iFit subscription required for most advanced features. 

Mirror

Real-time personal training via an LCD screen

Mirror

While many of the machines on this list offer access to a variety of live and on-demand fitness classes, they all have the downside of taking up ample floor space and only offering a single form of mechanized exercise. If you're looking for something that's far more discrete, works in a small apartment, or simply focuses on bodyweight and free-weight training, the Mirror may be right for you.

The literal, full-length mirror includes a 43-inch LCD screen to display stats and content. It lives behind the reflective cover that you can use to check your form while taking live and on-demand fitness classes ($39-per-month membership required). There are classes for a broad range of activities, such as yoga, strength, and cardio -- all with different lengths and fitness levels. 

The service even offers one-on-one personal training, which takes advantage of the built-in camera so that your trainer can interact with you to provide real-time feedback. The mirror comes with a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor and six fitness bands, too.

Pros

  • One-on-one interactivity with live trainers offers an experience most machines on this list can't match
  • Takes up no floor space
  • Minimalist design would be at home in nearly any bedroom or home gym

Cons

  • Installation is a bit more complex than most alternatives on this list
  • Some might find the live trainer and connected webcam more of a privacy risk than feature
  • Some supported exercise programs require additional equipment

Tonal

A more comprehensive, wall-mounted personal training solution

Tonal
Tonal

Tonal's form factor closely mirrors, well, Mirror's. However, where that device provides guidance for use with bodyweight and free-weight exercises, this includes an entire resistance weight machine as part of its construction. The unit's dual arms provide digital weights to strengthen your muscles, with resistance controlled either by the user or by on-screen coaching and workout programs. 

Offering up to 200 pounds of resistance, Tonal can provide the user with serious weights for a variety of lifting workouts thanks to its highly positionable arms. Combined with guided workouts, real-time feedback, and on-the-fly resistance adjustment, the unit offers a comprehensive home gym experience for those wanting the most connected workout possible.

Pros

  • Compact alternative to massive, weight-based home gyms
  • Supports a variety of traditional weight training exercises
  • On-handle controls provide access to weight changes without dropping them

Cons

  • A pricey way to replace weights and resistance devices
  • Workouts require $49 per month membership
  • Built-in resistance requires sturdy, possibly professional installation

Tempo Studio

Best free weight machine

Tempo Studio
Tempo

The Tempo Studio is another take on the "home gym in a mirror" product model, with this one particularly focusing on free-weight exercise. It offers a 42-inch HD touchscreen display and storage for 16 plates (four each at 1.25 pounds, 2.5 pounds, 5 pounds, and 10 pounds) totaling 75 pounds. It also comes with two 7.5-pound dumbbells and one 25-pound barbell, as well as collars for locking plates in place.

Other bonus accessories include a heart rate monitor, a workout mat, and a foam roller. Like other smart exercise equipment in this guide, you can use the Tempo to participate in live and on-demand classes for $39 a month. Workouts range from high-intensity interval training to strength training. It also uses AI and its built-in camera to watch you workout and give tips on your form and progress. 

Tempo also now offers its Tempo Move alternative, a small cabinet unit that still includes a set of free weights and dumbbells. But it relies on your television and iPhone for the display and connectivity required for its workouts. It uses the same $39 a month membership to provide workouts as its more comprehensive cousin. 

Pros

  • Compact design offers a small, one-stop solution for free weight and bodyweight workouts
  • Clear color coding and simplistic setup offer stress free ways to vary your routine
  • Freestanding unit doesn't require professional installation
  • Built-in AI can correct bad form and improve workout effectiveness

Cons

  • Takes up more floorspace than similar, wall-mounted solutions
  • Still requires a $39/month membership for full functionality

FightCamp

Unleash your inner Rocky

FightCamp
FightCamp
  • FightCamp's boxing bag is perfect for those who want to unleash their inner Rocky (or just work out some aggression) while they get in their cardio. 

The system relies on sensors integrated into the boxing wraps that users wear under their gloves. The sensors allow the FightCamp platform to track how hard you're hitting and how many punches you've thrown or landed in real-time. It also provides long-term tracking to help you see your improvements and where your form needs some work.

The base FightCamp package, which includes the wraps and required sensors, costs $399. Adding a free-standing punching bag to the mix raises the cost to $999. As for FightCamp's classes, those are part of a $39-per-month subscription. For that price, you gain access to hundreds of on-demand sessions with guided boxing techniques. Since there's no screen included, you'll have to use your own TV or mobile device to interface with the systems' sensor data.

Pros

  • Low buy-in cost if you've already got a heavy bag available
  • Unique offering allows for stress-relieving boxing workouts at home or in the gym
  • Optional live and in-person coaching services are available with monthly subscription package

Cons

  • Requires you to provide a mobile device for all functionality
  • Required hand wraps will eventually need to be replaced

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Best traditional elliptical overall

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9
NordicTrack

The NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 frequently tops lists as the best traditional elliptical. It features an adjustable stride length, a 14-inch color touchscreen, oversized pedals with cushioning, auto-adjustment capabilities, and Bluetooth compatibility. The flywheel is 32 pounds with magnetic resistance, resulting in a quiet, smooth movement.

The elliptical is fully integrated with iFit, providing access to elite personal trainers and guided workouts where you're taken through terrain in places like the Canary Islands. The simulated workout experience automatically adjusts both incline and resistance on your machine as you go.

You get one month of iFit for free with the NordicTrack Commercial 14.9, and then it's $180 for the annual individual plan, $39 per month for a family plan, or $396 for a full year of the family plan (iFit no longer offers a monthly subscription for the individual plan). The machine will work without iFit, but you won't have access to guided workouts without it.

 Pros

  • High level of adjustability makes strides feel right for any size user
  • Workout fan provides simulated breezes and keeps you cool
  • Included Bluetooth support pairs with your favorite earbuds

Cons

  • Screen is on the smaller side, which isn't great for immersion
  • Stationary screen makes it hard to use iFit's "total body" training courses 

NordicTrack FS10i

FreeStride trainer with adjustable stride and incline

NordicTrack FS10i
NordicTrack

The NordicTrack FS10i is described as a "FreeStride trainer." It uses a similar swing/rotational motion to an elliptical trainer but offers a hybridized experience thanks to its unique mechanism. NordicTrack claims it was designed to take the place of an elliptical, a treadmill, and a stepper. This flexibility offers you a range of workout options with adjustable stride and incline. 

Whichever type of machine you're looking to replace, this model offers a low-impact piece of home fitness equipment that can help you stay in shape without stressing your joints. While the unusual mechanism doesn't come cheaply, that price also buys you a 10-inch HD touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as connectivity with the iFit platform of live and on-demand classes.

Pros

  • Unique stride motion can't be duplicated by any other machine
  • Offers some of the most varied exercises available in a single unit 
  • Automated incline and resistance adjustments allow for more realistic virtual runs

Cons

  • Stride adjustment levels are somewhat narrow
  • Hybrid design takes up considerable floor space
  • Smaller screen than many similarly-priced machines

Bowflex M8

Exceptionally built stepper machine

Bowflex M8
Boflex

The Bowflex M8 Max Trainer combines the classic climb of a stair stepper with the smooth stride of an elliptical. It's a sturdy machine offering 20 different resistance levels and heart rate-tracking grips. You can pair it with a JRNY membership, which costs $19.99 a month, to access live and on-demand workouts where the trainer will automatically adjust your resistance and other variables. 

If you're looking for a high-tech, dynamic stair stepper that's relatively compact and provides access to virtual classes, this is the machine for you. It also has a built-in device holder that allows you to use a smartphone or tablet for more advanced JRNY features while relying on its built-in backlit display for other workout metrics. 

Pros

  • Provides a similar low-impact workout to an elliptical while taking up far less floor space
  • Can track heart rate via built-in handles or compatible Bluetooth devices
  • Stepper/elliptical design offers a more complete workout than a bike or treadmill 

Cons

  • Quite pricey for a machine without a large, built-in display for classes
  • Requires fairly extensive assembly 

Which home gym machines should you buy?

There are 13 pieces of equipment on our list, but some of them are alternate choices for you to consider. Obviously, you need to set a budget and think about your space and the types of workouts you want before making a final purchase. 

Here is your decision tree:

Category

Price

Peloton Bike 

Indoor exercise bike

$1,495

Alternate option: Bowflex VeloCore

Indoor exercise bike

$1,700

Bowflex Treadmill 22 

Treadmill

$2,699

Alternate option: NordicTrack X32i

Treadmill

$3,999

Hydrow

Rower

$2,295

Alternate option: NordicTrack RW900

Rower

$1,699

Mirror

Personal training

$995

Tonal

Resistance weight training

$2,995

Tempo Studio

Free weight training

$1,899

FightCamp

Stride trainer

$999

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Elliptical

$1,599

Alternate option: NordicTrack FS10i

Elliptical

$1,995

Bowflex M8

Stepper

$2,995

At the bare minimum, we'd say a cardio machine such as an indoor bike or treadmill is a safe choice, but you could also consider a specialty machine for a more varied way to get your heart rate up. Options like the Mirror will also offer you at-home personal training, while the Tempo Studio and Tonal can help with strengthening your muscles. The most important thing is that you set your goals and use this list to help you find the right products, within your budget, to meet them. 

Should you buy home gym accessories?

OK, so now that we've discussed the core equipment you could buy, let's talk about accessories. These are products that really transform your workout space into a full-fledged gym. They're not necessary, but they're handy, and they're perfect for those of you who prefer to do body workouts without the aid of bulky machinery. 

  • Resistance bands: Black Mountain set for $30 at Black Mountain
  • Yoga mat: Manduka Pro for $110 at Amazon
  • Suspension training system: TRX for $170 at Amazon
  • High-density roller: AmazonBasics roller for $10+ at Amazon
  • Vinyl-coated kettlebells: Yes4All bells start at $37 at Amazon
  • Pull-up bar station: Citybirds for $199 at Amazon
  • Adjustable bench with barbell: Bowflex SelectTech for $599 at Bowflex
  • Adjustable dumbbells: Bowflex SelectTech 552 for $399 at Bowflex
  • Jump rope set: Crossrope for $99 at Amazon
  • Gym mats: BalanceForm mats start at $28 at Amazon
  • Punching bag: CenturyOriginal for $180 at Amazon
  • Fitness tracker: Fitbit Versa 3 for $180 at Amazon

If you're looking to set up a complete home gym, we recommend starting with a fitness or yoga mat. From there, pick up a "dumb" exercise kit, such as resistance bands, pull-up bars, jump ropes, punching bags, or free weights. Finally, get yourself a roller to soothe your sore muscles, and a fitness tracker like the Versa 3 to track your fitness goals.

Of course, your priorities here depend on which of the featured machines, if any, you selected. Its entirely possible to get an excellent workout in with just the lower-cost items included in this section. However, it will require more work on your part to seek out and track workout routines. But, for many athletes, that extra challenge might actually be attractive. 

Is it cheaper to just join a gym?

According to our sister site Healthline, the average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58. Over 30 years, that can equal over $20,000 (not including inflation). If you're serious about making a life change and want to transform your physical health, investing in a home gym is an easy decision to make. 

If you went all in and purchased one of each of the machines and products we featured here, you won't save much money. But, you will save time on your commute to the gym and will gain the convenience of being able to work out whenever you want, however you want, wearing whatever you want. Not to mention, never have to worry about fielding unwanted comments on your form. All in all, deciding to set up a home gym shouldn't be about cost alone, though we understand it is a big piece of the pie. That's why we provided you with a range of options across different price points. Feel free to buy in as much or as little as you feel comfortable with based on your personal goals and commitments. 

What are the benefits of a home gym?

There are a number of benefits to a home gym; primary among them is the convenience of being able to work out in your own home. As the pandemic has taught us, the gym won't always be available. Your home gym can be accessed any time and at any hour, letting you set your routine and work out when it's convenient.

On top of convenience, a home gym offers you additional privacy. You get to work out in a way that is most comfortable to you.

Over time, a home gym can also save you money. If you work out regularly and use your equipment often, you'll be able to squeeze additional value out of your home gym by skipping the monthly fee that a gym requires. 

How often should gym equipment be serviced

You should service your gym equipment regularly, since broken equipment can be a danger to you and your health. Check your equipment as often as once a week to ensure everything is in working condition and check with your device's manufacturer for any required maintenance or service options, in the event of a malfunction.

What is the best flooring for a home gym?

This depends largely on the scenario. For most machines on this list, essentially any floor will do, with a fitness mat providing extra protection for hardwoods and floors that can easily be scratched. 

For free weight, yoga, and bodyweight resistance exercises where you'll be standing directly on the floor, a fitness or yoga mat is ideal at the very least. Foam and rubber panels that snap together are relatively cheap, and they will also protect your joints as well as your floor. 

How did we choose these workout machines?

We put hours of research into compiling this buyer's guide. We've also owned and used several of the machines and accessories we mentioned, and we poured over reviews at CNET, our sister site. Finally, we scoured online retailers to find the best deals and learn what consumers think. 

Any "best list" is subjective, but we can confidently say our picks are among the highest quality, most cost-effective options available. They cover a range of prices, needs, and wants. Everything we chose above is also well-reviewed across Amazon and elsewhere.

The best smart home gym equipment
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