There’s no denying that exercise is vital for physical and mental health, but with our busy everyday lives, it can become difficult to allocate enough time to exercise. If you’re struggling to get to the gym, a great cost-effective, time-saving option is to invest in a home gym.
When it comes to choosing a home gym, the sky’s the limit.
From simple, relatively inexpensive, home gyms to state-of-the-art options, it can be hard to decide on the right one for your needs.
That’s where we come in — we’re here to help you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each, then make a decision that factors in the features and benefits within the budget you can afford.
What is a Home Gym?
A home gym is an all-in-one piece of exercise equipment that’s designed to be used at home.
In most cases, it will offer several different settings and exercise options for a full-body workout. Home gyms tend to be smaller in size and easy to store and come with comprehensive instructions and exercise manuals to help you get the most benefit from the equipment.
The design and manufacturing specifications vary from product to product, so it’s essential to do your homework to find one that offers the functionality and manufacturing quality that you need at a price you can afford.
Quick Home Gym Buying Guide
If you’re looking to get right into our top-picks on home gyms, you can find a quick list below. Each option we selected is the best-in-class for that specific category.
|Top-Rated Benefits||Home Gym Equipment|
|Best Overall||Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym|
|Best Price||Weider Ultimate Body Works|
|Best Complete Gym||Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym|
|Best Wall Mount||Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station|
|Best Mid-Level||Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station|
|Best Compact||Total Gym XLS|
|Best Gym Quality||Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine|
Why Should You Buy a Home Gym?
There are many benefits to owning a home gym. Let’s go over a handful of them.
- Cost Factor – While the initial investment of purchasing a home gym may seem like a lot of money, you’ll be delightfully surprised at how affordable it is to get started. And, if you compare it to the cost of a gym membership, a home gym quickly becomes a more cost-effective alternative.
- Equipment Quality – Most gyms have middle of the range equipment, but with a home gym, you can choose exactly what you want to spend your money on, and where you want to save.
- No More Excuses – You can’t blame the weather, the traffic, or your schedule, because there’s always time to fit in a quick workout at home. Get fit just got a whole lot easier!
- Privacy – For a lot of us, going to the gym can be a stressful experience because it feels like everyone is watching and judging. As many as 65% of women in the US avoid going to the gym because they’re worried about being judged. Wear any clothes you prefer.
- Control – Now there’s no need to worry about the gym being too busy, or too noisy, or dirty. You can set up your home gym, and you can choose how to train. Grunt all you want!
- Time – An average workout takes about 45 minutes to an hour. That’s the time that you spend actually exercising. But if you’re going to the gym, you’ll need to add in travel time, time to change and prepare, and any time that you spend waiting for machines during busy times.
Adding all these benefits up together makes for a highly efficient mode of getting in the ultimate shape.
How Do You Choose the Right Home Gym?
With so many different home gyms to choose from, and with each of them offering a unique set of features, it can be challenging to narrow down your options. The best choice will depend on the exercises and muscle groups that you want to target, and from there, you’ll need to narrow down the options that fit into your budget.
We’ve chosen the best home gyms on the market across a range of price points and design features.
Our top picks are based on the quality of the design, the number of exercises that can be performed using the equipment, the brand name, reviews, and online availability.
Our goal is to provide a comprehensive buying guide that makes the decision easier for you. In addition to the home gyms that we’ve reviewed here, there are several others that we’ve looked at, but they couldn’t match our best picks against features and benefits.
These home gyms will allow you to improve your physical and mental health from the comfort of your own home. They all offer a full-body workout that gives you the flexibility to set up your exercise routine to fit in with your life and fitness goals.
The buying guide breaks down the different options, looking at the pros and cons as well as the most important features to give you a good overview of the top options at various price points. Let’s get started!
Best Overall: Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
The Bowflex Xtreme offers over 70 different exercises so you can get a full-body workout without leaving home and includes seven free workout regimens designed by a personal trainer.
Using resistance technology, you can use the machine to smash your strength training and fitness goals with exercises that target the back, shoulders, chest, arms, abs, and legs. The Bowflex Xtreme offers the highest standards of design and manufacturing quality and has a 97% recommendation rate among their reviews and testimonials.
The Bowflex comes standard with 210lb. of power rod resistance that can be upgraded to 310lb, or 410 lb.
It features a sliding seat rail for rowing exercises and leg presses. It has a lat tower with an angled bar to help build shoulder and back strength quickly. It also comes with a squat bar to target your legs.
There are multiple pulley and cable positions so that you can customize your work out. The home gym is designed to fold away and store easily and has wheels so that it can be moved. There are also additional accessories, including instructions, triple-function hand-grips, and ankle cuffs.
Finally, you can add-on preacher curl or ab crunch attachments.
This home gym is, without a doubt, our top pick!
However, if you’re looking for more from Bowflex, they also have their Bowflex Revolution Home Gym model — it offers more standard features, a longer warranty, and 220 lbs of their SpiraFlex® technology.
Product Dimensions: 53″ x 49″ x 83.25″
Assembled Weight: 85 pounds
Warranty: 7 years
Best Price: Weider Ultimate Body Works
This compact home gym comes in at a great price, and its simplicity allows you to target the shoulders, back, arms, abs, hips, thighs, and calves.
The Weider Ultimate Body Works has some neat features, including a telescoping design so it can accommodate your height.
There are four different resistance bands so you can increase the difficulty of your workout beyond your own body weight, and the eight levels of incline allow you to fully customize your training. And, the innovative space saver design means that if you don’t have a lot of space, the equipment can be stored in a closet or under the bed between workouts.
The home gym is ideal for flexibility and strength training with an unrestricted cable and pulley system that allows for a greater range of motion and a wider variety of exercises.
This home gym is easy to assemble, and it’s built to last, made from steel tubing and featuring a pulley system, squat stand, nylon handles, four power bands, and a padded glide board.
Weider has been a trusted name in strength training for over 25 years, and the equipment is manufactured by the well-known ICON Health & Fitness brand.
The reviews number in the multiple thousands and rave at how effective this simple compact home gym is for its use.
Product Dimensions: 59″ x 27.5″ x 48″
Shipping Weight: 72 pounds
Warranty: 90 days
Best Complete Gym: Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Home Gym
Are you looking for a complete home gym solution? The EXM3000 is what you want — this top of the range home gym was voted the Best Buy Home Gym by Consumer Digest, and for good reason!
It’s a multi-station gym that comes with a 210-pound steel weight rack, extra-thick DuraFirm pads and a heavy-duty construction that is all protected by a Lifetime Warranty that Body-Solid offers.
For the price, this home gym over-delivers.
It has a separate Pec-Fly station with its own seat, 3 pulleys (high, mid and low) for close to unlimited exercise options such as tricep extensions and press downs, mid rows, leg abductions, lat pulldowns, crunches and more. Then there’s the Leg Developer for leg extensions and curls. The home gym also includes a lat bar, straight bar, utility strap, and an ab and triceps strap.
With its simple design that maximizes performance and minimizes price, the Body-Solid Strength Tech is loaded with 210 lbs. of resistance so you can build strength and definition quickly. The heavy-duty 2” x 4” 12-gauge high tensile strength steel provides the ultimate in strength and durability while the Disaffirm Pads offer back support and comfort.
Construction is finished off with 2 x 200lb. strength steel aircraft cables manufactured to military spec for durability and low maintenance. The powder coat finish offers enduring protection against chipping peeling and scratches.
Includes: Chest press, pectoral fly, leg extensions, rear delta, leg curl, upper pulley lat pull down, cable cross over, triceps extension and press down, ab crunch, lower pulley deltoid raise, shrug, bent-over row, standing curl, leg abduction, and seated row
Dimensions: 73″ x 83″ x 91″
Weight: 446 Pounds
Warranty: Lifetime (send in registration)
Best Wall Mount: Valor Fitness BD-62 Wall Mount Cable Station
The Valor Fitness BD-62 home gym features an adjustable dual pulley system with strap handles.
In terms of benefits, we liked that it maximizes your space as it’s small yet allows you to incorporate strength training with the included cable system for a full-body workout.
The Dual pulley system has 16 different positions for a wide range of unilateral and bilateral exercises, while the double bar track provides stability, smooth action, and ideal resistance.
The one thing that’s a bit different about this home gym is that it attaches to the wall at the top and bottom for maximum stability and support. It also includes strap handles that can be adjusted to 5 positions.
If you’re wondering what you can do on the machine, the short answer is — a lot!
It can be used for bicep curls, triceps extensions, reverse flys, shoulder presses, squats, ab crunches lunges, chest presses, rows, single-arm rows, pull-throughs, face pulls, and much, much more.
Dimensions: 80″ x 24.5″ x 25″
Max weight load: 250 lb.
Warranty: 3-years for the frame, 1-year for the cable
Best Mid-Level: Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station
Now you can train your whole body without leaving your home with over 30 strength training exercises courtesy of the Marcy 150-lb home gym.
This fitness equipment features press arms for chest press and pec fly exercises, and a leg developer for leg extensions and curls.
Then the high and low pulleys are connected to a 150lb adjustable weight stacking. And lastly, you can tone your abs and triceps with the adjustable curl pad — everything you need in one machine that’s built to last.
We really liked the quality and flexibility of the Marcy home gym that is made with heavy-duty steel tubing, reinforced with guard rods for a safe, stable workout experience.
The weight stack lock is customizable according to your strength and skill level and doesn’t have the stress of loading or removing weight plates.
The price point at just over $600 is great for a mid-level home gym machine. Give this one proper consideration.
Dimensions: 68″ x 36″ x 79″
Shipping Weight: 273 pounds
Warranty: Not listed
Best Compact: Total Gym XLS
No home gym review would be complete without the Total Gym. Remember those commercials with Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley? Well, maybe the younger generation might not remember — what an iconic duo in the fitness infomercial space.
The Total Gym XLS home gym works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously so you can strengthen and tone for real results. This compact home gym offers over 80 exercises.
Using the Workout DVD, you’ll quickly become familiar with the range of different exercises (over 60 of them!) that allow you to do cardio, strength training and stretching using only this machine.
The Total Gym XLS works by making you lift a percentage of your body weight against gravity, creating a smooth and fluid resistance. As your strength and conditioning improve, you increase the total resistance by boosting the incline, thus increasing the body weight lifted in the exercise.
We liked that it was great for all ages and abilities, delivering a total body workout in under 20 minutes. One of the major selling points is that it arrives fully assembled, so you don’t have to go through the stress of doing it yourself which is the principal disadvantage of most home gyms.
Some other useful points are that it’s really quiet. It folds away easily and is small to store, and for the price you pay, it has a lot of features.
Product Dimensions: 90″ x 119″ x 43″
Shipping Weight: 73.2 pounds
Warranty: Not listed
Best Gym Quality: Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine
This complete home gym allows for an incredible 100+ exercises. It’s built to last with a heavy-duty steel frame that has been reinforced with a powder coat finish. The sturdy aircraft cables are also built for durability with a tensile strength of 2,000 lb.
We found this to be a great all-in-one workout station as it combines various arm and leg stations that allow you to strengthen different muscle groups for a comprehensive full-body workout. The upside of this, of course, if that you don’t need to switch between gym equipment.
The 3 most important features are the multi-functional press arms for a variety of arm and chest exercises so you can work on your pec, tricep, and bicep muscles among others. Then, there’s the dual-action leg developer with it’s six oversize rocker pads and a row and curl bar.
It’s designed to ensure that you do the exercises with the proper form, so you get the maximum effects without the risk of injury. And the last important feature to take note of is the Olympic free-weight track for weightlifting or strength training.
It has 6 weight plate pegs that can be easily organized for accessibility.
Product Dimensions: 95″ x 79″ x 86″
Product Weight: 430 pounds
Shipping Weight: 437 pounds
Warranty: 2 Years
With the Bowflex, you’ll be getting over 70 exercise options in one machine, and the quality is unmatched.
The excellent quality Weider Ultimate Body Works punches above its weight. It’s low price and multi-functional capacity, make this home gym a top choice if the price is your primary consideration.
The other home gyms on our list are available at a range of different price points, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them. All offer excellent build quality and value for money.