8 Tips for Buying At-Home Gym Equipment

  • Man running on treadmill in garage
    There’s a lot to think about when buying exercise equipment for your home.
    At-home exercise equipment has become increasingly popular as fitness centers have closed for stay-at-home orders or gym members have felt nervous being too close to others during the pandemic. Buying gym equipment for use at home can even be a cost-effective way of maintaining your physical fitness. It’s important to know what kind of at-home gym equipment is best suited for you before you start making purchases. Here are eight tips for shopping and buying exercise equipment for your home.
  • Active woman exercising on a rowing machine in her home garage gym
    1. Learn about your home gym equipment options.
    There are many kinds of home exercise equipment you can buy to keep your workout strong. Research all your options, including their benefits and their drawbacks. Among your many options, consider these pieces of equipment for your home gym:
    • Treadmill
    • Rowing machine
    • Elliptical trainer
    • Stationary bike
    • Weight machine
    • Cross-country ski simulator
    • Stair-climber machine
  • Senior woman on exercise bike
    2. Consider “smart” exercise equipment.
    Home gym equipment has come a long way in terms of technology. The options for incorporating wireless connectivity to monitor your heart rate and interactive touchscreens to browse preset workouts—sometimes even choosing your scenery as you exercise—are extensive. Depending on the type of equipment you choose, you may be able to stream online workout classes or even use Google Maps to simulate the terrain of a real-life course anywhere across the globe. Of course, these high-tech workout machines have a price tag to match, so if you want to invest in smart gym equipment, it may be best to visit a local retail fitness store to choose the right fit for you.
  • Woman lifting weights in garage
    3. Choose exercise equipment you will actually use—regularly.
    If you had a gym membership before the pandemic, consider which equipment you used most often. If you liked to lift weights, don’t shop around for a stationary bike. If you enjoyed jogging on a treadmill, don’t be tempted by a rowing machine. If you haven’t exercised regularly before, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what types of exercises are right for you. Then decide which kind of equipment you’re most likely to stick with for the long term.
  • Young Mother Using Exercise Bike in a Home
    4. Beware of advertising that claims you’ll get fit quickly and effortlessly.
    Don’t believe claims that any particular equipment will be the immediate solution for your problem areas. The truth is, you’ll have to exercise your whole body to notice weight loss in any particular area. However, you can figure out what your fitness goals are—building strength, improving flexibility, increasing your endurance—and focus your attention on equipment with features that will help you achieve those goals. Good physical fitness is never going to be effortless, but it helps to find at-home gym equipment you enjoy using.
  • Water bottle, Dumbbell, Exercise mat and Laptop On the Floor
    5. Read product descriptions and customer reviews.
    When you’ve decided what kind of home exercise equipment you want, check out customer reviews and fitness website ratings to see which brands perform best. Don’t simply rely on celebrity endorsements or before-and-after photos. If you feel comfortable, you can visit a brick-and-mortar store near you to get an expert recommendation and ask questions about product performance. At a store, you might be able to try the equipment to see whether it feels right to you.
  • Woman running on treadmill in apartment
    6. Set your budget, and shop around for the best price.
    Once you’ve decided what type and brand of home gym equipment is best for you, do some research about where to make your purchase. You might find the best price from an online retailer, but don’t forget to check out local stores. You could also consider buying gym equipment used. Many apps are available for browsing and buying used exercise equipment online, but be sure to check the condition before purchasing. It’s not a good idea to buy equipment with heavy wear and tear, even at a lower price. Wherever you decide to buy, be sure to ask about shipping or delivery costs.
  • Cleaning a treadmill with cloth
    7. Take proper care of your home gym equipment.
    Even before making your purchase, inquire about warranties. Exercise equipment is likely to come with a warranty, but the length and extent may vary from just a few months to as long as you own it. Extended warranties may come at an additional cost. Regardless of the warranty, it’s important to sanitize your exercise equipment regularly, just as you would sanitize high-touch surfaces in your home. Don’t neglect hard-to-reach spots—they can still harbor germs from sweaty hands. Be sure to use cleaners made specifically for gym equipment, as other types of cleaners may damage the parts of the machine.
  • Small weights, jump rope, foam blocks and water bottle on floor next to chair
    8. Don’t forget that simple, inexpensive equipment can also help keep you fit.
    Low-cost equipment such as a few hand or ankle weights, an exercise mat, a stability ball, a jump rope, or a resistance band can promote good fitness if you know how to use them properly. Add an exercise video or two, and you may be set. Even just a good pair of walking or running shoes could be all you need. Remember, the best home exercise equipment is the thing you’ll use consistently to keep yourself in shape.
8 Tips for Buying At-Home Gym Equipment

About The Author

Ashley Festa is a Greenville, S.C.-based freelance writer and editor who has been writing professionally for nearly two decades. In addition to Healthgrades, she also has written for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Fit Pregnancy magazine.
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Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 21
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