While you don't have to have a high-tech home gym with all the equipment, if you do work out from home sometimes, it's good to have the basics on hand. A mat is a must-have—even if you don't do yoga—because you can use it for a bunch of different exercises and when you're stretching before and after a workout. (It's very important to do!) As for the rest of your gear, it really depends on the types of workouts you plan on doing, but I'd say the second most important essential is a dumbbell set.
You can use these sets for strength training, of course, but they can also be used for other exercises. And you can work out a number of muscle groups with them, not just your upper body and back but also your core and lower body. It can be a full-body workout if you use them accordingly.
The best part of a dumbbell set is that it really doesn't take up too much space, which is a bonus if you're living in a studio apartment or don't have very much free square footage in your home.
As for finding the perfect set for you, you can choose one pair of weights in a size that is challenging enough to you but not too heavy so that you won't ever touch them. Or you can go for a set that contains multiple weights or that is adjustable so you can vary your weights depending on the workout. The good news is that there are so many options at different price points, so there's a perfect one for you no matter your budget or fitness goals.
Take a look at some options below.
If you're going to start with one set, get this basic pair. I have these at home, and they're exactly what I need for all the at-home exercise programs I do.
These have contoured and ergonomic handles that are designed for comfort and so that you can get a firm grip. They come in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-pound options.
BalanceFrom's set comes with four 2.5-pound and four 7.5-pound vinyl cement plates, plus two dumbbell handles and four collar locks.
For a little bit more variety, this one from AmazonBasics has 2-pound, 3-pound, and 5-pound dumbbells. It even comes with a stand for easy storage.
Here's another pair that you can customize—it has four 3-pound plates and four 7.5-pound plates.
If you're really ready to invest, you can get this Bowflex dumbbell. It has a wide range of adjustment options from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Plus, think of how much space you'll save with it!
Get this set for your serious home gym (if you have the space). It contains dumbbells in weights of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds. There's also a helpful A-frame rack for storage included.
These may look like your average pair of dumbbells, but they're actually five in one. You can customize the weight since each dumbbell comes with four weight blocks. The lowest weight is 2.3 pounds, and the highest weight is 4.5 pounds.
More At-Home Workout Gear to Shop
You're going to need a mat for various at-home workouts, and I highly recommend this one from Alo. I like that it's kind of oversize, so I never feel cramped during my workouts.
If you've ever used sliders before in a workout, you know they can be super challenging. These lightweight ones from Megan Roup's The Sculpt Society come with a travel bag so you can take them when you're on the go.
You might be wondering why this jump rope is $80. Well, it's not your average jump rope; it's actually very high-tech. It has an LED display to show you your fitness data, and you can also sync it to the Smart Gym app to track jump count, calories burned, workout times, and more
If you want to challenge yourself a little bit more during workouts, wear these bangles on your wrists or ankles. You can also wear them while you're running errands or doing chores.
Yoga blocks are a great addition to your practice because they help with stability and alignment.
I have these resistance bands at home, and they really get the job done during strength-training exercises. They're also great for stretching.
You can use a kettlebell for a bunch of exercises, such as cardio, squats, lunges, and more. The vinyl coating will protect your floors.
For more comfort, you can try this extra-thick mat. It also comes with a knee pad for even more cushioning.
Stretching is so important, not just for workouts, but also it's good to do a few stretches if you've been sitting for hours. This strap is extra long and adjustable so you can get into some deep stretches and poses.
Foam rolling is great for recovering and stretching. This foam roller has a grid design, which helps relieve tight muscles and knots more effectively.