The importance of weight training goes way beyond just a better physique, greater strength, and helping you with everyday physical tasks. It’s also a crucial activity to improve your health, reduce fat, and even improve your mental health. But life doesn’t always allow you time to go to the gym regularly, especially on busy days. Just the thought of having to go to the gym can be a mental obstacle for weight training. And that’s why having the best weight training equipment for home is so important.
By having a home gym, you have the flexibility to train any day, every day if you so choose. No matter the weather, or how busy you are, it becomes a lot easier to squeeze a training session into your schedule.
To help you create the best possible home gym, we’ve put together a complete strength training equipment list to help you shop!
When looking at what gym equipment to include in your home gym, there are many options to consider. From a simple jump rope to a cable machine, suspension training system, Nordictrack commercial treadmill or full on Bowflex Xtreme Home Gym! It can be a little overwhelming looking at all of the options out there but hopefully after reading my suggested strength training equipment list you’ll have a good idea of what to buy.
For a comparison of the best cardio gym machines to get your heart rate up and which one you should buy for your unique needs, see my article on the best cardio machines for home.
You might think that all you need is a couple of free weights, a smith machine or a bar to do weightlifting. But, if you want to be as efficient (and secure) as possible, there are a few supporting items that will revolutionize the way you train. These are…
These helpful belts can be braced against, increasing your intra-abdominal pressure when lifting weight. They help by working your core and providing stability.
Belts are ideal when lifting heavy weights, like powerlifting, and help prevent spinal and core injuries.
Weightlifting shoes generally have a flatter sole and are a lot more rigid. This provides better stability and a better feel during training.
This is particularly helpful for exercises like deadlifts and squats, since the extra stability allows you to more easily position or lift your feet and ankles into beneficial positions while performing the exercise.
They will also prevent injuries in said exercises since they’ll reduce the chance of slipping.
Another advantage of weightlifting comes from the fact that shoe cushioning absorbs some of the force that you apply during an exercise. Weightlifting shoes typically are “leaner”, having less cushioning, so that more of your strength gets applied to the exercise.
Gloves for weightlifting significantly improve your grip by helping to deal with palm sweat. They can reduce calluses, blisters, and hand damage, as well as reduce friction pains.
Since you have a better grip, you’ll generally be able to lift heavier weights when you’re wearing weightlifting gloves.
Fingerless gloves cover half of the length of your fingers and will give you more flexibility and ventilation. Full-finger gloves will give you better protect your hands and provide a more stable grip.
Wrist straps are pieces of fabric you wrap around your wrist and the bar to improve your grip on it.
Since you’re putting some of the weight away from your hands and distributing it to other parts of your arm and body, you can generally lift heavier weights when wearing wrist straps.
Weightlifting wrist straps also help work the forearms since they take more of the weight. In doing so, this also severely reduce the risk of wrist injuries.
Another big advantage of wrist straps is that they allow you to train for longer when doing exercises like deadlifts.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise that works multiple muscles at once. This includes the back and hip muscles, which means sometimes hands or forearms may tire out before other muscles do. Using straps allows a more balanced load on the arms, thereby allowing a longer workout and the opportunity to work more muscles.
Dumbbells are one of the most iconic and common pieces of equipments for weightlifting. And for good reason! Adjustable dumbbells is essential weight training equipment for home as they can be used for a wide range of different exercises and work many different muscles. Not only that, they take up little space, are easy to move around and store at home.
Adjustable dumbbells are also great at motivating you to keep exercising since you’ll feel yourself improving every time you increase the weight load.
Weight benches are another important addition to your home gym. They provide support for correct posture while lifting weights, can help increase the speed of reps, and help with balance.
Benches make a weightlifting sessions a lot more comfortable, and open up new possibilities for different types of exercises and specific variations that are only possible with a bench (like a chest press).
Exercise sandbags are exactly what they sound like – bags of sand. They’re highly accessible items with plenty of flexibility as they can be used in just about any exercise involving weights!
One of their advantages over traditional equipment is the handle. This provides multiple grabbing points that can make it a lot more comfortable and customizable.
Another trait of sandbags is dynamic balance. Traditional weights will have perfect balance, but as the sand in the sandbag shifts, it changes the balance, incentivising you to constantly use different parts of your body during the workout.
And Brute Force’s sandbags are without a doubt the best sandbags you can get. Incredibly durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, it’s easy to see why Brute Force is your best choice for sandbags.
If you want to get those perfect ripped abs, then ab rollers are the choice for you. They’re a wheel with grips on either side that you can use to aid in ab-focused workouts.
Weight training equipment for home is best when it isn’t space-consuming, and ab rollers are a perfect example of this. They occupy almost no space and can be taken with you almost anywhere you go.
And while ab rollers are best for abdominal workouts, don’t think that it’s all they do. Ab rollers can also work other parts of your body, like your upper back and shoulders.
Pull up bars are an incredibly popular piece of equipment and for good reason. A good pull up will work the shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs, and grip strength. A truly compound exercise that can help grow muscles in almost the entire upper body.
On top of that, they’re an incredibly easy-to-use piece of equipment that you can take anywhere. Even when you’re travelling – just install in a door frame.
A power rack is a type of safety equipment where a barbell is attached to a bar just above the chest to prevent the barbell from falling. They can also be used for squats and other exercises involving a barbell.
The squat rack is about half the size of a power rack. It allows more space for mobility and to perform different exercises that are harder or impossible with a power rack.
They’re particularly useful for heavy weight training, and pushing your limits on weights you’re not entirely confident you can lift. Since they provide safety in case of a slip or fatigue, causing you to drop the barbell.
Do you want to get eye-catching biceps? Then arm blasters are the choice for you!
An arm blaster is a harness that slides over the neck and attached to a curved metal plate just below the chest. The metal plate has curved ends that you rest your arms on. By forcing your arms to stay in place, you can ensure the correct posture on each rep you do. This allows you to easily focus on your biceps.
Since working in your home gym generally means working out alone, you won’t have a friend watching out for your form or posture. But with arm blasters, you can guarantee you have the proper form to target your biceps.
One of the most underrated items in this strength training list are resistance bands. Resistance bands are elastic bands that are commonly used in fitness and bodybuilding. They’re incredibly affordable, and should not be underestimated.
Resistance bands are highly versatile and can be used for pre-workout warmups, doing stretches, low-intensity exercises, or used together with bodyweight exercises.
They’re even useful for physical therapy in case you’ve suffered an injury.
Yoga Mat and Foam Roller
Although not essential, a yoga or pilates mat is a great versatile piece of equipment to include in your home gym. Use during a warm up or cool down, or during a workout routine to prevent pressure on your joints.
For a fantastic pilates programme, check out my review of Lindywell Pilates.
Why Women Should Weight Train
So, you’ve just read this entire article, and you’re ready to set up your own home gym, but a little nagging thought at the back of your mind gives you hesitation: “Am I going to look too bulky for a woman if I do weight training?”
And the answer is: no.
It is incredibly difficult for women to get “really bulky” because of biological differences. Women simply do not have enough testosterone to grow a lot of muscle. And they don’t have enough testosterone to do it quickly.
That’s where the first reason for women to weight train comes in. Even while you’re getting stronger, you’re likely to get a toned, shaped look, rather than getting bulkier.
Another big reason to do weight training (which is shared with cardio training too) is the fact that it reduces the risk of heart disease – the most common cause of death in the world. As well as reducing the risk of diabetes and a wide variety of other diseases.
Weight training also greatly improves mood and reduces the chance of becoming depressed. This is because it releases a large number of different chemicals, like endorphins, that make you happier and more resistant to pain.
But, of course, it’s not just women that should weight train. It is equally as important for men.
Not only can men benefit from most of the previously mentioned upsides of weight training, but it also increases testosterone levels and strength.
There you go, a complete strength training equipment list to help you choose the best equipment for your home gym.
Now you know that by acquiring weight training equipment for home is a great choice to create a habit of exercising. Plus you’re fully ready to pick the best equipment that fits your particular training style and start getting ripped or shed those pounds!