Types of Exercise Equipment for Home and Their Uses

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types of exercises equipment for home

So you are thinking about purchasing something to train at home. It is not easy, I know. There are so many types of exercise equipment to choose from. If you browse Amazon, there are millions of items. If you are new to workout, it is hard to decide which one is the best workout equipment for you.

Should I buy a home gym? Or free weights? Or purchase a cardio machine such as a treadmill or a stationary bike?

For a newbie, it is hard to decide.

That is why I write this guide to help the average person to find the most suitable product for training . After reading this guide, I’m sure you will be able to decide what is the best home fitness equipment for you.

But before jumping into the details, I would like to congratulate for you because you have made the first step towards a healthier and fitter life. It is a fact that regular exercising is vital to a healthy lifestyle. And if you have something to work out with at home you can train whenever you want. You do not need to go to the gym wasting time and money.

Well-chosen exercise tools for home will provide you years of training. I can say you that for sure because I have been working out at home for about four years having the same results, or even better ones, as if I went to a gym.

Ok, now let’s see the different kinds of exercise equipment you can get to train at home.

Different Types of Exercise Equipment and Their Benefits

home gym with machines

To pick the right type of equipment, you have to decide how you want to work out and what your aims are.

There are two basic sorts of exercises: aerobic (cardio) and strength training (lifting weights).

Types of Workout Machines for Cardio to Burn Fat

Do you want to lose weight, so you need something to burn calories? Do you wish to enhance the capacity of your lung and strengthen your heart? Would you like to increase the metabolism of you body naturally? Do you need an alternative to running?

Then, you need something that allows you to do cardiovascular training (aerobic exercises.) You should choose from trainers like:

  • Exercise bikes or recumbent bikes
  • Rowing machines
  • Treadmills
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Stair steppers or tread climbers
  • Cross trainers
  • Pedal exercisers

Of course there are a few more, but these are the best gym equipment for cardio.

Now let’s get into details of the mentioned fitness equipment.

1. Treadmills - Enjoy the Benefits of Running or Walking Whenever You Want

types of fitness machines for running

There are two kinds of treadmills, the manual and the powered.

The manual treadmills are simple and more affordable than powered ones. The belt on the manual treadmill moves as you walk on it. So, there is not an engine that drives the belt, but you do it with the pressure of your feet.

The problem with manual treadmills is that they provide limited usage. They are not suitable for running, just walking. If you exercise regularly, you are going to outgrow it sooner or later as your endurance develops.

Powered treadmills are very popular these days, and there are hundreds of models out there with different functions.

Why are they better than the manual ones? Firstly, because there is a motor that moves the belt, so you have to run or walk at a constant speed. By setting it, you can choose from various programs to run faster or slower. And most of the models lets you change the angle of the working area making your workout more challenging as if you run uphill.

And there are so many other functions they provide such as the display panel that shows you all sort of information about your training such as calories burned, the speed, distance, etc.

2. Elliptical Trainers

Another typical cardio equipment that sculptures several muscle groups at once are the elliptical trainers. These machines have adjustable resistance as well. The better models can be used in reverse mode, and their display panel shows you detailed information about your workout. The high-quality machines provide smooth and natural motion, and they are quiet.

3. Rowing Machines - The Total Body Cardio

types of workout machines for rowing

Well, I have to say that after running I think rowing machine is the best fitness machine for cardio. I love it, but unfortunately, I have not been able to buy a professional one such as the Concept 2.

Rowing machines are perfect since during the use almost all the muscles are engaged and that is why it boosts the heart rate and burns fat efficiently. The better models provide smooth and steady motion. You feel as if you row in a boat, especially if you buy a water rower.

I have tried both cheaper, and more expensive models and the difference is huge between them.

4. Exercise Bikes - Best Types of Fitness Machines for Low Impact Cardio

Bikes are great to strengthen and tone your leg muscles. And of course, to improve your cardiovascular system. They can be used while you are in the living room watching TV.

There are a few types of exercise bikes out there. You can choose from traditional ones, recumbent bikes, and pedal trainers. What is the difference between them?

Ordinary stationary bikes are almost the same as a bike, but you can increase or decrease the resistance, and they show you details about your workout such as the distance, burnt calories, etc.

The recumbent bike is better for those who have lower back or spine problems since they put less stress on these areas. Simply, you pedal in a supine position.

And the simplest equipment is the pedal trainer that you can use if you have problems with sitting on a bike. Also, it is ideal for those who sit too much every day since it can be put under the table.

Which is the best? If you have no joints or other problems, a traditional quality bike is the best option.

5. Step Fitness Machines - Tough Workout But Boost Endurance

stair stepper

If you use the stairs instead of the elevator, you know how tiring it can be, and that is what a stair steppers imitate. They perfect for shaping your legs.

They come with adjustable resistance so you can do your workouts harder as your endurance and strength develop. The better models come with unique hydraulic systems that provide smooth motion.

And if you want the real stair climb feeling you can purchase a tread climber which is the combination of a treadmill and a stair stepper.

Watch the video to learn more about stair steppers and its benefits.

Types of Gym Equipment for Strength Training

1. Home Gym Machines

weight training machines

Home gyms are maybe the most popular pieces of home exercise equipment since they are very versatile. The better models such as the Bowflex Revolution or the Marcy Diamond Elite home gyms come with all the features to have total body strength training at home.

Since there are a wide variety of models, I have already written a detailed guide about how to buy a home gym here.

Home gyms are maybe better for beginners since while you do the exercises, the motion is controlled by the machine. That is good until you get used to training with weights. However, I believe free weights are also vital for proper strength training.

2. Workout Benches, Barbells & Dumbbells - Free Weights for Effective Muscle Building


If you cannot afford to buy a professional home gym, then free weights can be a better choice for you.

Dumbbells are versatile and heavy duty kinds of exercise equipment since there are many drills you can do with them for all the muscles at home. You can choose from various sizes and if you can afford you can buy a set of adjustable dumbbells that combine multiple dumbbells into one.

A barbell with weight is another powerful tool to do compound exercises such as deadlift, presses, curls, etc. but to get the most of it, for example, to do bench press or squats, you will need a sturdy adjustable weight bench or a squat rack.

Adjustable weight benches are perfect for chest training since you can increase and decrease the angle of the board hitting your pectoralis muscles from different angles. And, of course, you can use it for several other exercises.

3. Power Rack - Lift Weight Without Spotter Safely

power rack

If you have a barbell and weights, a squat rack is the piece of equipment you consider to buy. The squat is one of the most beneficial exercises that has an effect on the entire body, but you can use the squat rack for many other exercises.

For example, for deadlift which is another powerful compound exercise, or for shoulder presses, or with a simple bench you can use it for bench presses.

4. Abs Workout Equipment to Shape Your Stomach

One of the biggest dreams of most of us is to get six pack abs. And there are many types of workout equipment out there that you can use to strengthen your abs and to get rid of the belly fat. I think the best two tools are the adjustable sit up bench and the ab wheel. Which is the best for you? Read the following post.

5. Calisthenics Equipment for Bodyweight Training


Let me finish the strength training equipment section with equipment that requires your bodyweight. If you have read other posts on this site, you may have discovered that I combine bodyweight training with lifting weights. And it works for me extraordinarily well seeing my strength, endurance, and muscle mass. Bodyweight workouts or calisthenics has many benefits.


Now you can decide what is the best equipment for you depending on your aims. If your primary goal is to lose fat than buy a cardio machine if you want to put on muscle, then get a strength training equipment. However, to get superb results, getting both is the best option (in case you can afford).

But be careful! Avoid buying low-quality and ultra cheap pieces of equipment that broke after few usage or do not work smoothly. Always check the customer reviews and the length of the warranty. If an elliptical trainer comes with a 30-day guarantee, I’m sure it is not the model we want to buy.

Pick a little bit more expensive products with a long warranty and, at least, 4-star reviews. A well-working equipment is going to make your home workouts enjoyable and efficient for long years.

In case you have more questions on the types of home exercise equipment, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.


  1. Sammie

    I’m been trying to decide whether to purchase a bike or an elliptical machine. I really want to target and lose weight and tone my legs, especially my upper thighs. What would you suggest on purchasing.

    1. James

      I believe the elliptical is a better choice because the move you do on it trains more muscles at once. This way you will be able to burn more calories. And it also works your legs.

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