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- Best total body strength training home gym machine: Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym
- Best suspension training system: TRX HOME2 System
- Best rowing machine: Rogue Concept 2 Rowerg Rower
- Best smart home gym: Tonal
- Best personalized smart home gym: The Mirror
- Best indoor bike: Bowflex C6 Bike
- Best high-tech adjustable kettlebell: JAXJOX KettlebellConnect 2.0
- Best at-home boxing gym: FightCamp Personal
Gym still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Or maybe it’s open, but you aren’t sure you want to go back?
To help you get set up, we gathered some of the best home gym machines, so you can break a sweat without stepping foot in an actual gym.
First thing’s first: A home gym machine is a piece of equipment designed to give you a full body workout at home. There are different types, but they all have one thing in common: They can be used for multiple purposes, like strength training or cardio.
Here’s what we considered when creating this list:
- Reviews. We only included machines with mostly positive reviews.
- Space. We selected machines for both large and small spaces.
- Versatility. Each machine on our list can be used in a multiple ways.
Home gym machines vary in price, depending on their function, technology, and size. Here’s the breakdown for the equipment we included in this article.
- $ = under $500
- $$ = $500–$1,000
- $$$ = $1,001–$2,000
- $$$$ = over $2,000
Best total body strength training home gym machine
- Price: $$$
- Space needed: 8 feet L x 6 feet 5 inches W
- Weight: 210 pounds
The popular Bowflex cable machine is probably most commonly associated with its infomercials from the ’90s, but it’s come a long way since then.
One of the latest versions, the Blowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym, allows you to perform over 70 strength-training exercises from the comfort of your own home.
Based on online reviews, most customers were either already active or looking to lose some weight during the pandemic when they purchased this machine. They say it’s great for beginners and advanced athletes alike.
While there are many positive reviews, one customer points out that, once you reach the maximum weight resistance on the machine, it starts to shift. The reviewer says they had to anchor it down to prevent it from moving around.
The upside to this machine is that it’s a versatile piece of equipment if you have the room and don’t want to miss out on strength training routine at home.
- accommodates 70+ exercises on one machine
- provides 210 pounds of adjustable resistance, upgradable to 310 pounds
- easily transitions between exercises without changing cable pulley system
- includes 7 trainer-built workouts (circuit training, strength training, and aerobic exercises)
- comes with a 7-year warranty for the machine and a lifetime warranty for the Power Rod components
- requires a large space
- experienced weightlifters might not feel challenged by one machine
Best suspension strength training system
- Price: $
- Space needed: 8 L x 6 W feet
- Weight: 1.69 pounds
The TRX is a full bodyweight workout tool that can benefit both beginner and experienced exercisers. The straps can be adjusted for each exercise, whether you’re working on lower body or upper body, strengthening your core, or going through rehabilitation after an injury.
The suspension trainer is popular with physical therapists and personal trainers, but it can take some getting used to if you’ve never tried one before. Thankfully, the kit comes with an instructional guide, and how-to videos can be easily accessed online.
Some customers say they use the TRX in addition to their other workouts and appreciate that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. One customer who had two knee replacements used the TRX to rebuild strength and says the tool is a great transitional tool that helped her with squats and lunges.
- lightweight and compact
- less expensive than a large machine
- can be used indoors or outdoors
- portable and great for travel
- makes bodyweight exercises more challenging
- good for injury rehabilitation or modified exercises
- requires a door or a branch to anchor the straps
- only holds up to 200 pounds of weight
- there’s a limit to how strong you can get using the TRX
- requires adjusting the straps each time you use it
Best rowing machine
- Price: $$
- Space needed: 8 L x 2 W feet
- Weight: 57 pounds
Rowing has many health benefits and is a good way to get a full-body cardio workout at home.
The Rogue Concept 2 Rowerg Rower is a popular machine used in physical therapy, CrossFit, and other group fitness classes.
It comes with a Bluetooth-enabled performance monitor that can connect to a heart rate monitor to track your workouts. It also folds up, making it easy to store in a small space.
Customers who purchased this machine say they like being able to row at home, and they say they use it for their warm-ups or CrossFit workout of the day (WOD). Others say it’s well-made, runs smoothly, and they’ve become avid rowers since buying the machine.
- requires good rowing technique to get the most of the machine
- not a replacement for strength training
- some reviewers say the seat is uncomfortable
Best smart home gym
- Price: $$$$
- Space needed: 7 feet of wall and floor space
- Weight: 150 pounds
The Tonal is a smart home gym that resembles a vertical TV screen with a wall mount. It includes digital weights, attachments, and virtual coaches that add to a personalized workout experience. It also comes with 17 sensors that analyze and help correct your form.
Customers who purchased the Tonal say it lives up to the hype and replaced their gym membership. However, some reviewers that live in apartments say it’s loud enough to be a nuisance to neighbors.
Before you make your purchase, Tonal offers a test run at one of their showrooms or a video demo.
- replaces every machine in gym
- provides up to 200 pounds of digital weights
- has a space-saving wall-mounted design
- comes with hundreds of workout programs led by trainers
- pricey (nearly $3,000)
- must be professionally installed (and reinstalled for a fee if you move)
- requires a membership fee of $49 per month
Best personalized smart home gym
- Price: $$$
- Space needed: 52.6 H x 21.1 W x 1.7 D inches of wall space (Floor space varies by workout.)
- Weight: 70 pounds
The Mirror is an interactive home fitness machine that came onto the market in 2018. Its unique and sleek style has received a lot of attention from the fitness industry and active gym goers who switched to home workouts in 2020.
Reviewers enjoy that the Mirror offers classes for all different fitness levels. Many say it’s boosted their confidence, since they can follow along at their own pace. Others say the Mirror changed their exercise habits for the better, because their gym is now in their home.
- offers high-tech, personalized live and on-demand fitness classes
- space-saving design can be hung anywhere in your home
- membership provides unlimited access to classes for up to six people
- includes Bluetooth connectivity for heart rate monitors and other devices
- personal training offered for additional fee
- 30-day, risk-free trial
- pricey (almost $1,500)
- requires $250 delivery and installation fee
- requires minimum 1-year membership (after that, you can cancel or pay a $39 monthly membership fee to continue accessing classes)
- becomes a regular mirror if you don’t pay the membership fee
- some classes require extra equipment you have to buy separately (e.g., dumbbells, yoga mat, resistance bands)
Best indoor bike
- Price: $$
- Space needed: 97 L x 69 W inches
- Weight: 106 pounds
Indoor cycling has seen a boom with the popularity of the Peloton bike, but not everyone is comfortable with its price point.
With similar features and a sleek look, the Bowflex C6 Bike is a good alternative that won’t break the bank. The bike has 100 resistance levels and offers a smooth ride.
According to reviews, most customers stream the Peloton app while using this bike and are happy with the results. Other reviewers share that the bike accommodates diverse heights (from 4.5 feet to 6.5 feet) and weights (up to 330 pounds), and it remains quiet when in use.
- more affordable than other popular indoor bikes
- includes 100 resistance levels
- front rack holds the included dumbbells; device mount holds your phone or tablet
- comes with Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor
- 6 month trial of JRNY (Bowflex’s app) included with purchase
- can be used with other fitness apps, including Peloton
- only good for a cardio workout, not a replacement for strength training (though you can use the arm weights during your ride)
- doesn’t have a built-in tablet to access classes
- additional cost for app subscriptions, like Peloton, JRNY, or Zwift
Best high-tech adjustable kettlebell
- Price: $
- Space needed: Depends on workout
- Weight: 12–42 pounds
Kettlebells aren’t just for CrossFitters anymore. Anyone can benefit from the bell-shaped all-in-one tool that’s versatile enough to
The JaxJox adjustable kettlebell comes with all the frills that a regular kettlebell doesn’t have. You can take classes through the JaxJox app (for an additional cost). The kettlebell will keep track of all your reps and sets, so you don’t have to worry about losing count.
Reviewers appreciate how much space this kettlebell saves them, saying it’s the perfect addition to their home gym. Others don’t think it’s worth the investment if you don’t feel you need all the additional tech.
One reviewer points out that it’s important to gently set down the kettlebell to avoid ruining it. The base doesn’t have a protective buffer. Another negative aspect that some reviewers point out is that there are occasional connectivity issues with the app.
- weight can be adjusted in 6 pound increments from 12 to 42 pounds
- easily adjusts with the click of a button
- replaces the need for multiple kettlebells
- keeps track of reps, sets, and power
- charges quickly via USB
- can be used for both strength and cardio workouts
- includes free 30-day trial of JaxJox app
- can be an injury risk if you aren’t familiar with kettlebells
- pricier than a conventional kettlebell
- Additional $12.99 per month if you want access to classes through the JaxJox app
- might not be challenging enough for users used to lifting more weight
Best at-home boxing gym
- Price: $$$
- Space needed: 2 L x 2 W feet
- Weight: 30 pounds
Boxing is an all-around beneficial full-body workout, and FightCamp is a good alternative for those who miss getting their boxing classes in.
Real-life boxers guide you through the classes via the app. There’s also a leaderboard, which lets you get in on some friendly competition with others using FightCamp at home.
Customers who purchased FightCamp say they enjoy the unique boxing experience and that it’s replaced their own boxing gym memberships. Those newer to boxing say the program offers classes for beginners and advanced boxers, which helps as your form improves over time.
Some complaints include long delivery times and the app being out of sync.
If other members of your household are also interested in FightCamp, you can opt for FightCamp Tribe, which comes with extra gloves, wraps, and even kids boxing gloves.
- can be used with the FightCamp app, which includes thousands of on-demand boxing classes
- comes with a studio-quality free-standing bag, boxing gloves, workout mat, bag ring, punch trackers, and quick wraps
- high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts on the app can be done in as little as 15 minutes
- provides a unique way to work out at home that’s unlike other home gym products
- app is only available for iOS, not Android
- only unused products can be returned within 30 days
- price point may be steep if you aren’t an avid boxer
- extra cost for accessories
- additional $39 per month to access classes on the app
- work out in the privacy of your own home
- go at your own pace during workouts
- convenient; no need to travel to the gym
- no need to share or wait around for equipment (unlike at a gym)
- customized (choose a workout you’ll enjoy)
- requires self-motivation; can be easy to skip workouts
- no instructor to correct your form (unlike an in-person group fitness classes)
- may require monthly subscription to an app
- may get monotonous if the machine doesn’t provide diverse workouts
There are many home gym machines out there. Here’s how to narrow things down as you shop:
- Be realistic. Consider which types of exercise you like best and what you think you’ll do regularly. If you aren’t sure, see if you can purchase something that comes with a trial period, or try out a friend’s machine before you buy one for yourself.
- Set a budget. Many of these machines can cost well over $1,000. You’ll also want to factor in any monthly costs, like app subscriptions.
- Assess your space. Consider how much room you have in your home. Check space requirements before you buy.
- Check company policies. See if the manufacturer has a payment plan you can follow to make the cost more manageable. Also check to see if they have a fair warranty and return policy in case you’re unhappy with your purchase.
A home gym machine can be a great addition to your workout routine, no matter if you’re living through a pandemic or not.
When investing in a machine, it’s important to be realistic about how often you’ll be using it, if you have enough space for it, and if the manufacturer’s terms and conditions are customer-friendly.
Keep in mind that you’re more likely to stick to a workout if you enjoy it.
Giselle Castro is a freelance writer who lives in New York. She’s been published in Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health, and Hip Latina, among other sites. She is an avid runner and ran the New York City Marathon in 2019. She is passionate about wellness and fitness, and hopes to influence others through her writing.