Health

The 2023 Men’s Health Home Gym Awards

Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.

man lifting weight in home gym

MALIKE SIDIBE

YOU’VE NEVER needed a gym membership to build muscle and strength. All you need is a few feet of space in the comfort of your own home (or you garage or your basement).

And it’s never been easier to build out that home space than it is these days. We’re in the midst of a home gym boom, fueled by two key components. First, there’s the tech fitness revolution that gave us Peloton and brought fitness apps home to your TV and made home training fun. Blend that with a resurgence of venerable brands building quality home gym gear (think Kabuki Strength’s Transformer Bar) and you have more options than ever to build out your home space.

It’s an exciting universe, but one that isn’t easy to decipher. But our step-by-step guide will help you build out your ideal home training space.

start with the basics

Before you load up on next-gen tech, focus on the fundamentals, says Eric Sung, C.S.C.S., a member of Men’s Health’s Strength in Diversity Initiative. “You’ll get your best workouts with core gear, like dumbbells and kettlebells,” he says. So start your home gym with these muscle-building basics.

Best Adjustable Dumbbell

NÜOBELL 80lb Classic Dumbbells

SMRTFT NÜOBELL 80lb Classic Dumbbells

SMRTFT’s Nüobell is the perfect ultra-durable adjustable dumbbell I need. It can easily be five pounds, perfect for warmup work, or 80 pounds, enough to challenge me on heavy leg moves.” — ERIC SUNG, C.S.C.S.

Best Unconventional Fitness Tool

Thor Kettlebell Series

Tribe-Wod Thor Kettlebell Series

Get your superhero on while forging muscle with this hammer inspired by Marvel’s god of thunder. It’s designed to be swung from its handle like a kettlebell—and can be used in other workouts, too.

Best Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands

Living.Fit Resistance Bands

Now 25% Off

These steady, sturdy resistance bands, made of durable latex, can lighten the load on challenging bodyweight exercises like pullups or add more challenge to squats and bench presses.

Best Kettlebell

Powder Coat Kettlebell

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell

Now 10% Off

“The solid, no-frills bells from Kettlebell Kings are my top choice. Whether I’m repping through a set of swings or snatches, I know I can depend on the durable, powder-coated weights.” —BRETT WILLIAMS, NASM, MH FITNESS EDITOR

Best Adjustable Weight Bench

AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench

Rep Fitness AB-3100 Adjustable Weight Bench

Few weight benches combine sturdiness, comfort, and versatility like this one from Rep Fitness, which offers six different incline angles and a three-post design, anchoring it to the floor no matter the exercise.

Best Full Weight Rack

Base Camp Series Power Rack

Sorinex Base Camp Series Power Rack

This super-customizable power rack sets you up to do everything from squats and bench presses to pullups. And with a series of attachments, it can grow as your workout evolves.

Best All-Around Climate Control

12K BTU Mini Split

MRCOOL 12K BTU Mini Split

The ultimate in climate control for your garage gym, Mr. Cool’s mini-split is easy to install and features wireless controls. Perfect for any home gym space.

Best Fan

AirEye Directional Fan

Big Ass Fans AirEye Directional Fan

A perfect fan that can mount anywhere in your home gym and easily cool you off between sets.

Best Budget Leg Day

MonkeyFeet

Animalhouse Fitness MonkeyFeet

These simple boots attach to your feet and allow you to load weights onto your ankles–big ones. That’s perfect for home leg curl and leg extension ideas.

Best Trap Bar

Trap Bar

Prime Fitness Trap Bar

An ultra-customizable open trap bar that can easily shift to accommodate different heights and grip styles–all for under $1000.

Best Way to Squat

The Transformer Bar

Kabuki Strength The Transformer Bar

Now 10% Off

A specialty bar that lets you shift the position of the load to simulate goblet squats, front squats, and other variations, all while staying extra-friendly to your shoulders.

Best Biceps Blast

Rackable Curl Bar

Rep Fitness Rackable Curl Bar

The comfort of an EZ curl bar with the length of a bar that can fit in any rack, making for extra-easy heavyweight biceps curls.

Best Running Assistant

ProPulse® Speed Trainers

Weck Method ProPulse® Speed Trainers

The latest innovation from the company that gave you the BOSU ball helps you hone your running stride with rhythm.

Best Budget Garage/Basement Warmer

Pro Ceramic Utility Heater

Lasko Pro Ceramic Utility Heater

Super basic, but surprisingly powerful, this 1,500-watt space heater (good enough for 300-square feet) has a high and low setting (and fan only) and an adjustable thermostat. Aim it at your weights and kettlebells and at least your hands won’t freeze on polar training days.

breaker

amp your recovery

Once your muscle-building gear is set, focus on recovering from every sweat. “You have to be able to bounce back from sessions,” says trainer J. Malik, who joined the Strength in Diversity Initiative last year. Choose one or two items, and work them into your routine at least once a week.

Most Convenient Massage Gun

Theragun mini (2nd generation)

Therabody Theragun mini (2nd generation)

“It’s small, weighing just a pound. It fits into a roomy coat pocket—and still delivers three speeds of massage and up to 120 minutes of battery life.” — J. MALIK, TRAINER.

Most Innovative Compression Massage

Normatec Go

Hyperice Normatec Go

Now 18% Off

“Out with big, bulky air-compression boots and in with these ultra-slim sleeves. They still stimulate the lower body blood flow I need, but they store more easily—and travel great, too.” —EBENEZER SAMUEL, C.S.C.S., MH FITNESS DIRECTOR.

Best Recovery Shoes

Revive Active Recovery Shoe

Kane Revive Active Recovery Shoe

Done training? Time to don the Revive, a comfortable shoe with footbed nodes for blood flow and holes throughout its surface to enhance airflow and let your feet breathe.

Best Lower-Back Relaxer

Venom 2 Back

Hyperice Venom 2 Back

Attack lower-back pain and soreness with a blend of heat and vibration from the Venom 2, which weighs only two pounds and provides three levels of heat to relax your lumbar.

Most User-Friendly Sled

XT3+ PLUS Sled

Xebex Fitness XT3+ PLUS Sled

Easy to assemble and super versatile, the Xebex sled uses magnetic resistance—which increases as you exert more force—and you can also boost the weight with plates, kettlebells, or sandbags. Bonus: You’ll get to know your neighbors better because they’ll see you grinding on the road and either ask in for some reps or if you’re OK and need help.

man using theragun

MALIKE SIDIBE

breaker

build out your backyard

If you have a yard, use it! “Getting outdoors to push a sled or run challenges your body in new ways,” says trainer and Strength in Diversity member Jerry St. Louis.

Best Weight Vest

G-VEST+ Weighted Vest

Omorpho G-VEST+ Weighted Vest

Add up to ten pounds of resistance without the bulk and bounce that come with a typical weight vest. Omorpho’s GVest+ fits tightly to your body while still letting you move, whether you’re running sprints or doing pushups and burpees.

Best Changeup Leg Pump

TANK M1 Push Sled

Torque Fitness TANK M1 Push Sled

“I’ve pushed sleds on turf, and the Tank M1 matches up with that experience. I can push this on sidewalks, blacktop, or backyard grass and still get a crazy quad, glute, and hamstring pump.” — JERRY ST. LOUIS, TRAINER AND KETTLEBELL SPECIALIST.

Best Unstable Training Tool

TRX Tactical Gym

TRX Training TRX Tactical Gym

“TRX’s Tactical Gym makes basic bodyweight moves like pushups and mountain climbers that much more challenging because of instability. It’s changed my workouts and helped me add serious core strength.” — BEN COURT, MH EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Best Cardio Tool

Hyper Rope Battle Ropes

Hyperwear Hyper Rope Battle Ropes

Now 10% Off

Unlike most battle ropes, Hyperwear’s does not need to be anchored to a post, but it still lets you attack battle-rope moves like slams, waves, and shuffles.

Best Heavyweight Vest

Hyper Vest Tactical Weighted Vest

Hyperwear Hyper Vest Tactical Weighted Vest

Now 10% Off

There are multipurpose weight vests and then there’s this heavy-duty unit from Hyperwear, which gets you nearly a full weight plate (up to 42 pounds) of resistance.

Your final move: Plug into the web. Grabbing a connected piece of cardio gear adds variety to your workouts—and injects community into your training, too.

Best New Rower

Row

Peloton Row

“Peloton’s take on the rower delivers the smooth rowing experience I want, while offering a massive library of workouts. The Peloton Row has helped make rowing exciting.” — DAVID OTEY, C.S.C.S., MH ADVISOR.

Best Group Fitness Simulator

Mirror

Lululemon Studio Mirror

Now 47% Off

The venerable 43-inch, full-HD-display unit has evolved: You can now take part in 10,000-plus workouts from eight fitness studios, including Rumble, Dogpound, and Pure Barre, all from the comfort of your own home.

Best Beginner Home Gym

Move Compact Gym

Tempo Move Compact Gym

Now 20% Off

Tempo’s tiny unit fits in the corner of any living room or family room. Open it and you instantly get enough weight to get started on your fitness journey–and access to a host of beginner-friendly workout classes.

Best New Fitness Mirror

Studio Fitness Mirror

Forme Studio Fitness Mirror

Now 20% Off

This fitness mirror is all about aesthetic, meant to look beautiful in your living room (or any room really), yet it delivers the cable resistance of a Tonal, and one of the best triceps pressdown ropes you’ve ever used.

Fitness

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