If you’ve decided to get fit and want to set up a home gym, there are some pieces of equipment which are the essentials to ensuring a full body workout.

Dumbbells and a kettlebell

Dumbbells are perhaps one of the most versatile pieces of gym kit you can buy. The exercises and routines you can devise are endless. Buy 3 sets of different weights to vary the exercise type and to use as you gain strength.

Many kettlebell exercises can be carried out with dumbbells so if you’re on a budget then stick to just the one kind of weights. However there are movements unique to using a kettlebell and they are an excellent core strength item to have as well as being easy to store. Styles with large, smooth handles are the best for grip and safety.

Pull up bar and rings

A pull up bar offers more versatility than you may initially think. Other than straight forward pull ups there are gymnastic movements you can use a pull up bar for and add resistance bands for extra resistance options.

Rings are great in that they are portable and lightweight. They are usually easy to take with you when you’re travelling and offer extra levels of strength work.

Barbell and plate set

The core item for any home gym and will be the centre of the majority of your workouts. The barbell will mean you can work on your legs, back, shoulders, chest and arms to create a multitude of combinations. Buy professional level bumper plates to protect you and the floor if you have to make a drop.


The bench is the item you’ll need to use alongside your barbell sets. Choose one which can incline and decline for split body styling work. When looking at cost, buy the best quality you can afford as this is one piece of equipment which will really have heavy use and if you can afford a commercial one you’ll get years of service from it.


The rack will probably take up the most amount of space in your home gym. Along with the bench, buying a commercial grade one is advisable if you can afford it as it needs to be very robust. Essential for chest and shoulder workouts, they can also have extra features such as pull up bars added to make it even more useful.

Some added extras

If your budget stretches to it, there are many great additions you can make to a gym. Ones which will give you variation to workouts include:

  • Punchbag
  • Spin bike
  • Suspension trainer

Having the correct kind of flooring is very important in a home gym so whilst it’s not essentially equipment it’s something you’ll need to seriously consider buying. The equipment will last longer and the sound will be reduced.

It’s not vital that you buy everything all at the same time. Many people buy equipment to then find it isn’t really what they want and it gathers dust until sold second hand. Decide on what suits the workouts you enjoy or want to achieve and buy piece by piece until you have a home gym which gives you the body and stamina you strive for.