The 9 Best Home Gyms of 2021, According to a Certified Personal Trainer

Shape up without leaving the house

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Best Home Gyms

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Our Top Picks
An option that does it all, it allows for 50 different strength training exercises and is compact enough for small spaces.
Affordable without compromising its versatility, it's complete with a foot board, a pull-up bar, and sit-up station attachments.
Though a splurge, it gets it all done with its full set of accessories and functions that allow for hundreds of exercises.
The comprehensive pick gives you the benefits of strength training from the comfort of your home, promising at least 25 exercises.
If you don't have a lot of space to spare, this machine ensures easy assembly and is foldable when not in use.
If you're motivated by different settings, enable your workout to follow you wherever you go with BodyBoss' lightweight pick.
Best for Full-Body Workouts:
NordicTrack Fusion CST at Best Buy
If you prefer full-body workouts, this pick's touchscreen streams workouts while adjusting the resistance level on its own.
Best Suspension Trainer:
TRX HOME2 System at Amazon
Simply anchor it to your wall of choice and allow your body to become the machine as you customize the intensity with your weight.
Best High-Tech:
Tonal System at Tonal.com
Ideal if you prioritize smart technology, this wall-mounted home gym broadcasts hundreds of programs so you can follow along.

When your workout depends on your gym’s hours, sticking to a fitness plan can be difficult. With a home gym, you can have workout privacy, planning flexibility, and customized training that a regular gym can’t offer. 

For strength training, you’ll want to look for a home gym unit that can accommodate resistance and offer room for progress, says Parker Oliver, CFSC and Chief Operating Officer of BRX Performance. “Over time, you must progressively do more and more for the body to adapt and get stronger.” He says to be aware of home gyms that may be physically limiting. 

Another key characteristic of a home gym should be ease of use. “You’re working out at home because it’s cost-effective and easier than daily gym commuting,” Oliver says. "If your home gym is complicated, hard to set up, or requires daily adjusting, then the chances you stay consistent drop rapidly. Keep it simple."

Here are the best home gyms on the market.

Best Overall: Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym
Pros
  • Quick transitions between exercises

  • Appropriate for all fitness levels

  • Built to last

Cons
  • Lighter resistance than other options

This reasonably-priced Bowflex design really does it all. The total-body home gym can be used to perform more than 50 different strength training exercises, and it uses a power rod resistance system in lieu of cables and pulleys to make transition time between moves quicker and more efficient. Use as little resistance as 5 pounds or as much as 210 as you navigate from exercise to exercise. And if you need a little more, you can upgrade the resistance on the machine to up to 310 pounds.

For such a versatile piece of equipment, its overall footprint is surprisingly small, making it a great option for compact home gym spaces. Meanwhile, its size doesn’t impact its durability. The heavy-duty steel frame construction is built to last.

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 157 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 210 pounds | Size: 64 x 41 x 83 inches | Style: Cable pulley-based home gym

Best Budget: Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench

Weider Ultimate Body Works Bench
Pros
  • Easy to assemble

  • Takes up little space

  • Safe for all fitness levels

Cons
  • Lower weight capacity

  • Smaller exercise range than other options

This piece of equipment helps strengthen and tone your entire body at an affordable price. The glide board-based home gym uses an incline bench to add challenging resistance to your workouts. It’s less aggressive than the number of resistance levels offered by other systems, but it does provide a maximum weight resistance of 50 pounds, plus the use of four resistance band levels. Home gym newcomers and seniors are likely to benefit more from this equipment than more advanced weight lifters.

The compact design makes it an excellent solution for smaller workout spaces, and it has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. It’s sturdy and silent when in use, and it accommodates a solid variety of exercises, thanks to the foot board, pull-up bar, and sit-up station attachments.

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 50.7 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 50 pounds, plus resistance bands and your bodyweight | Size: 71 x 25.5 x 49.5 inches | Style: Universal cable pulley- and bodyweight-based home gym

Best Splurge: MiM USA Commercial Hercules 1001 Jumbo Trainer

MiM USA Commercial Hercules 1001 Jumbo Trainer
Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction

  • Ideal for heavy lifters

  • Comes with everything except weight plates

Cons
  • Takes up tons of space

This all-in-one weight lifting rig truly leaves nothing out. It combines both cable and pulley systems with weight plates to give you the heavyweight capacity you need. It includes a smith machine, functional trainer, power cage, vertical leg press, dip and chip-up station, and adjustable weight bench, giving you the ability to perform hundreds of exercises in this single giant setup.

What’s more, it includes a full set of accessories: a V handle, a strap handle, ankle straps, a triceps pull-down rope, a push bar, grips, leg press attachments, push-up and sit-up attachments, an arm workout tube, a knurl barbell, a straight barbell, a functional training barbell, a triceps barbell, crossover handles, bar storage, and all necessary hooks. The only thing you have to buy separately is the weight plates of your choice.

This tough, durable machine is perfect for full-body workouts of all intensities, and is also ideal for bodybuilders, thanks to the range of exercises offered.

Versatility Rating: A | Product Weight: 579 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 335 pounds | Size: 60 x 80 x 87 inches | Style: All-in-one weightlifting machine

Best Design: Technogym Unica

Technogym Unica
Pros
  • Efficient use of space

  • Smart combination of top strength machines

  • Weight stack resistance

Cons
  • Limited number of exercises

  • Lower weight capacity for heavy lifters

  • Very heavy

Made in Italy, this multi-functional machine really does give you all the benefits of gym strength training in your own home. The unit fits in approximately 16 square feet of space and helps you work your arms, legs, chest, and more with at least 25 different exercises. It supports moves like the leg and hip extension, chest press, arm curl, and pulldown.

Meanwhile, the sleek weight stack core provides up to 180 pounds of resistance in 10-pound intervals, and the seat cushions are plush enough to feel comfortable yet sturdy enough to support you while you exercise.

This top-of-the-line pick also comes with a handful of accessories, including but not limited to a stretching mat, a workout ankle band, a workout handgrip, a workout pulley bar, and a DVD guide for all of the exercises you can perform on the machine.

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 640 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 180 pounds | Size: 72 x 47 x 81 inches | Style: Multifunctional bench

Best for Small Spaces: Total Gym XLS Workout Machine

Total Gym XLS Workout Machine
Pros
  • Easy to set up, take down, and store

  • Great weight capacity

  • Safe for all fitness levels

Cons
  • Takes time to adjust for different exercises

This pick, popularized by none other than Chuck Norris, provides an excellent full-body home workout in minimal space. While the equipment can handle a weight capacity of 400 pounds, it can also be folded to fit under your bed when it’s not in use. It’s also simple to set up and take down, unlike larger, more cumbersome models.

The glide board can be set at six different incline options, allowing you to increase resistance with your own bodyweight instead of a bulky weight stack, and the cable pulley mechanism makes it easy to incorporate challenging exercises for your upper body.

Ideal for seniors and young fit folks alike, this Total Gym model supports more than 80 different exercise movements, ensuring that you can get your blood pumping and work your muscles without getting bored.

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 90 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 400 pounds | Size: 19 x 90 x 43 inches | Style: Universal cable pulley- and bodyweight-based home gym

Best Portable: BodyBoss 2.0 Full Portable Home Gym

BodyBoss 2.0 - Full Portable Home Gym
Pros
  • Best for travel

  • Multifunctional

Cons
  • Limited resistance capability

  • Not as durable as other options

If you want to be able to take your workout with you on-the-go, consider this crafty setup from BodyBoss. When in use, it’s no bigger than a yoga mat, and when stored, it can be carried like a lightweight suitcase. Meanwhile, its exercise versatility is impressive. The resistance band-based system enables you to complete tough upper body workouts, lower body workouts, cardio resistance boxing workouts, and more.

Simply attach the cloth-covered resistance bands to the fold-up platform and either the handles, the collapsible workout bar, or the wrist/ankle straps, and get to sweating.

You can perform more than 300 exercises with this home gym, and you can make the moves easier or more difficult quickly by lengthening or shortening the resistance bands. The truly portable design of the BodyBoss Gym helps users remain consistent with their workouts and reach their goals more effectively. 

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 16.1 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: n/a | Size: 15.9 x 2.8 x 20.1 inches | Style: Portable, resistance-band based home gym kit

Best for Full-Body Workouts: NordicTrack Fusion CST

NordicTrack Fusion CST
Pros
  • Both cardio and strength training workout capabilities

  • Interactive with a personal trainer

  • Includes 1-year iFit membership

Cons
  • Pulleys aren't adjustable

  • Not suited for heavier strength training

The sleek tower base of this NordicTrack model houses a 10-inch tablet screen that enables you to follow along with trainer-guided total-body workouts without even thinking about it, and the 20 resistance levels are manipulated via a nearby digital display so you don’t waste extra seconds adjusting the machine between each exercise. Each movement uses the pulley system powered by the silent flywheel in the center of the machine.

What’s more, during the workouts, the trainers automatically adjust your resistance levels in the machine to ensure that you get the most out of your exercises—the machine comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor to power these personalized sweat sessions.

The home gym purchase includes one year of a NordicTrack iFit membership, so you have plenty of time to experiment with these features and see how well they work for you.

Versatility Rating: A | Product Weight: 378 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: n/a | Size: 41.5 x 59.4 x 73.7 inches | Style: Smart cardio and strength training with cable pulley resistance system

Best Suspension Trainer: TRX HOME2 System

TRX HOME2 System
Pros
  • Can take it anywhere

  • Teaches body awareness and proper form

  • 1-year free TRX app access

Cons
  • Not ideal for traditional weightlifters

  • Adjustments between exercises take time

When looking at this set of black and yellow straps, you probably wouldn’t consider this workout tool to be a “home gym.” However, once anchored on your wall of choice, these smart straps enable you to strength train every part of your body, customizing the intensity with your body weight as you position yourself closer to or further away from the anchor point.

The maximum weight resistance depends on the weight of the person using the straps, so it’s probably not the best fit for traditional weightlifters. With that said, this suspension trainer promotes a strong sense of body awareness as you learn how to perform exercises with the correct form and muscle engagement. In a sense, your body becomes the machine with this home gym.

The TRX system comes with free access to the TRX app for one year, which showcases the wide variety of exercises you can perform with these straps. It also includes a door anchor, a suspension anchor, and a mesh carry bag.

Versatility Rating: B | Product Weight: 1.7 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: Your bodyweight | Size: 53 x 1.5 x 6 inches | Style: Suspension trainer

Best High-Tech: Tonal System

Tonal System
Pros
  • Mounts flat against a wall

  • Sleek, modern design

  • Tracks your workouts for you

Cons
  • Cables can rub against your skin

  • No live class options

This super-sleek wall-mounted technology certainly doesn’t look like a home gym at first glance, but its resistance arm extensions quickly transform it into an effective, total-body workout rig. Meanwhile, the center screen broadcasts hundreds of expert-led programs for you to follow.

The digitally-controlled weighted arms give you up to 200 pounds to lift, and the programs learn from your workout and adjust to your body as you exercise. Tonal accurately measures your reps, sets, range of motion in various exercises, weightlifting volume, power, and time spent under tension to help you grow stronger over time.

This tool makes it easy and motivating to work out without ever leaving your living room. And because it tailors to your body and your fitness goals, you can feel really good about the results you achieve.

Versatility Rating: A | Product Weight: 135 pounds | Maximum Weight Resistance: 200 pounds | Size: 21.5 x 5.25 x 50.9 inches | Style: Smart mirror with resistance arm extensions

Final Verdict

If we had to pick just one home gym unit, we’d go with the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym (view at Amazon). It’s really tough to beat its exercise versatility, overall size, and affordable point.

But if we were to veer from the traditional rig setup, we would definitely go with the TRX HOME2 System (view at Amazon). It’s amazing how effective your workout can be when you know how to use your body weight to your advantage. Plus, you can set up the straps in seconds and use them no matter where your life takes you, providing the ultimate flexibility in home strength training.

What to Look for in a Home Gym

Versatility

Some home gyms can be used to perform 20 different exercises, and some can be used to perform more than 60. Typically, the more comprehensive the machine, the higher the price tag. But this level of versatility can make a significant impact on your ability to keep your muscles guessing as to what move you’ll challenge them with next.

“If you’re a beginner, I recommend finding a piece of equipment that isn’t too complicated,” says Adrien Deffes, CPT. He says that often, beginners will perform a lot of exercises with their bodyweight alone, so a home gym with less versatility might be a good option.

Maximum Weight Resistance

Many home gyms enable you to lift heavy without purchasing individual weight plates, a free weight bench, and a rack. They have maximum resistance settings that are typically challenging enough for most exercisers, but if you’re a “go big or go home” type of lifter, pay close attention to the max weight plate and cable resistance settings when shopping for a home gym.

Size

Since your workout space could be a section of your garage, an entire bonus room, or a tiny corner of your apartment, the size of the home gym machine you pick really matters. That’s why the options on this list range from hundred-pound, commercial-style rigs to simple, foldable setups that can be used virtually anywhere.

Style

Strength training is a good way to describe any exercise intended to build muscle, but the term is still vague. A senior looking to improve their joint strength likely doesn’t need a massive, multi-tool home gym with 300-pound maximum weight resistance, whereas a bodybuilder likely needs more features and versatility. 

“If you want to completely replace your gym membership, I would look for a giant rig with all of the bells and whistles,” notes Deffes. He recommends looking for an option with a rack to perform fundamental lifts such as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, and more. Other features he recommends are attachments for lat pulldowns and chest flies.”

In the end, go with a home gym style that will help you best achieve your specific fitness goals.

FAQs

Who can benefit from a home gym?

Anyone interested in improving their muscular strength and endurance from the comfort of their own home can benefit from a home gym. With that said, there are many different styles of home gyms to suit the specific needs of different people. Before buying one, ask yourself if you would use a heavyweight bench and squat rack rig, a high-tech reflective mirror screen projecting strength training fitness classes, or a solution somewhere in between.

What is the best flooring for a home gym?

The ideal home gym flooring solution prevents heavy equipment from damaging the permanent flooring in your home and gives your joints a more forgiving surface to exercise on. Home gym flooring is available in a range of materials, from rubber to foam to wood. Ultimately, the flooring option you pick should be easy to assemble, and durable against more aggressive use, and attractive in its aesthetic.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a former personal trainer, seasoned health writer, and avid exerciser, Alena Hall understands how important it is to pick the right home gym equipment for you. She is always exploring the latest and greatest wellness tools, machines, and gadgets. But more importantly, Alena carefully considers the quality and various features that make these fitness products worthwhile investments.

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