The great thing about fitness is you can do it anywhere. If you do not want a gym membership you probably will never use but still want to work out, a home gym is a great option to go for.
There is quite a lot of fitness equipment you can buy to create a full-fledged gym right at your home too. And this buyer’s guide will tell you everything you need to know about buying fitness machines.
Whether you are revamping your home gym or looking to buy equipment for a new gym, this is the place to be. We will look at some of the major categories of fitness equipment. There are also some product reviews to help you pick the right ones. So, let us get started!
Stationary Bike Buyer’s Guide
Stationary bikes are great if you want to get a bike workout done without leaving the house. Let us be honest: as great as the outside can be, there are sometimes when you would rather just stay inside.
Maybe it is raining, or the weather is not looking too good. What do you do? Not work out? Of course not. If you have a stationary bike, you can ride a bike and stay at home.
Stationary bikes thus make a fantastic addition to any home gym. They are also one of the must-have fitness machines in a gym. So, what are the things you need to consider when trying to buy a stationary bike?
There are two types of stationary bikes you can get: a standard stationary bike and a spin stationary bike. If you want to get the feel of riding a real bike, getting a spin stationary bike is the way to go.
They provide excellent variable resistance training. They are perfect for cardio and improving your metabolism.
Standard stationary bikes are not bad either. But if you want the best – a spin stationary bike is preferable.
Depending on the model of the bike, the resistance will vary. Most stationary bikes will give you some level of control over the resistance. You can either reduce it or increase it.
However, the way they do it is different. Magnetic resistance control is available in most bikes. They offer a smooth riding experience.
You can also find ones where you need to change the resistance manually. Although these can be cheaper, they can be a hassle to use.
High-end models offer electronic resistance. These are the most convenient to use. You can change the level of resistance on the fly. That means, while you are riding, you do not need to interrupt your ride to change the resistance level.
The comfort will mostly depend on the seating of the bike. There are two different seating styles.
Traditionally, stationary bikes have had an upright seating position. This offers the most familiarity with normal bikes. A more recent addition to the seating style is the recumbent style.
Recumbent stationary bikes tend to have more back support, and some find that these are more comfortable to ride as well. This will depend on the type of style you want, though. Pick the one you are comfortable with.
Comfort is important when it comes to a stationary bike. You do not want to ride on for hours sitting on a very uncomfortable stationary bike.
Screens and Heart Monitors
Many stationary bikes nowadays come with HD screens and even heart rate monitors. If you want something a little advanced with a splash of tech, you can go with this type.
However, even if you are not too fond of the extra tech and want a vanilla experience, we do recommend buying a stationary bike with a screen and a heart rate monitor. The accuracy of these monitors is pretty good. Besides, it is always a plus to have some form of data about your heart rate when you are exercising.
Screens come in handy as well. You can use it to follow a training video. Some even come with their own content as well.
When shopping for a resistance bike, you can easily find many bikes that offer a ton of functionality on their control panels. There are preloaded workouts, metrics for calories burnt, and more.
While these are nice to have, they can be expensive. So, evaluate your needs carefully. If you think it will be helpful to have those displayed on your stationary bike, go for it.
Elliptical Machines Buyer’s Guide
Elliptical machines are another popular fitness machine you can get. They can be used for both a home gym and a professional one.
Many people who want to buy an elliptical machine do so for low impact workout. You can mimic the motion of running or walking with elliptical machines. But you have lowered constant impact on your feet and joints.
This can be healthy for your bones. They are actually great for cardio regimens. If you want a solid and effective upper body or lower body workout, elliptical machines are quite good for it.
Here is what to look out for when buying an elliptical machine:
The first thing to look out for is the stride of the machine. The taller you are, the longer stride you want to have. Shorter stride elliptical machines can be uncomfortable for tall people. They can end up restricting your range of motion.
However, if you are on the shorter side, you can go with a shorter stride and pedal size. The usual stride is usually 17 inches - this works for most people. But if you feel that this might be too short for you, it is worth double-checking the stride length.
Pedal sizes are also a consideration alongside the stride. Try looking for slightly oversized pedals. This makes it accessible and comfortable for anyone who wants to use the machine.
You will find elliptical machines that have either manual and automatic resistance. We recommend going with an automatic resistance model. These machines are easier to work out on and, frankly, more convenient.
The resistance can increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. You are sure to change the resistance often depending on the type of workout you want to do. And you can do so while you are using it, meaning that you do not have to interrupt your workout. Automatic resistance levels are better for most people when it comes to ellipticals.
The incline is also an important factor to consider although this is more important for treadmills (more on that a bit later). Incline adjustments also make it easier to change how intense of a workout you want.
There are manual incline change options and also electrical ones. As you can tell, an electrical incline option is the best. The electrical incline helps you easily change the level of incline on the fly. It is convenient and faster overall.
Type of Body Workout
Ellipticals are some of the fitness machines that can provide both upper and lower body workout at the same time. Not all ellipticals have this feature, though. If you want an upper body workout as well as the lower body, you need to buy one that offers both.
These, of course, do cost more. You get the two-in-one benefit and a more complete workout session for the price.
Some models have HD touch screens. You can watch training videos on these while you are working out. They even have stats about your workout like calories burnt and more. If that is something you care about, you should get one with a touch screen display.
Heart Rate Sensors
Ellipticals measure your heart rate through grip pulse sensors. They can offer you real-time monitoring of your heart rate. You can use this information to adjust your workouts as you go. This is actually a very cool and convenient feature to have. So, we most definitely recommend going with an elliptical machine that has a grip pulse heart rate sensor.
Material Quality and Build
Not all ellipticals are made the same. They have a lot of moving parts. So, if your elliptical does not have a good build quality, they might not last that long.
Fitness machines are an investment. You want them to last a long time and provide value all throughout its life cycle. So, make sure that you check the build quality and overall sturdiness of the machines you buy.
Home Gym Buyer’s Guide
Home gyms offer a more holistic workout setting. They are great if you want a gym experience right at your home. Because of their size, they are not right for everyone, though. Here are some things you need to look into:
With home gyms, you can have more than one station. This can allow one or more people to work out simultaneously. Depending on what type of setup you want and the space available, you can get 1, 2, or even 3 stations.
Home gyms can provide a different number of exercises. This is pretty easy to find and will most likely be on the description of the equipment as well. Check to see if the one you want to buy offers the exercises you want to do.
Most of them do have the most common exercises covered. So, there really isn’t much worry in this regard. Some may offer many more exercises than others but end up costing more. It is up to you to decide if you need the exercise options or not.
Treadmill Buyer’s Guide
Treadmills are the most common home gym equipment. They are some of the most used fitness machines in any gym as well. They can provide a great cardio workout. This is what makes them popular.
You can run miles without even having to leave your spot. This is why it is convenient and effective. If you like running and want to do it indoors, treadmills are a must. They can make your home gym set up complete.
Here is what to look for in a treadmill if you are buying a new one:
Type of Treadmill
There are quite a few types of treadmills. You have your standard treadmill. Then there are folding treadmills.
Folding treadmills are great since they can be stored away when you are not using them. They easily fold up without much hassle. Some people are under the notion that folding treadmills are not as well-built. That is a complete myth, though. A good folding treadmill will be just as well-built as a traditional treadmill.
There are also desk treadmills. If you are working from home or want to work while you run, you can get these. They offer a small workplace right at the front. You can put your laptop and other things on the desk and work away while you are walking - it is quite the nifty little concept if you ask us
Speed and Incline
Speed and incline are two of the most important factors in a treadmill. They can either make or break a treadmill’s performance. There are a lot of options you can go for here.
When it comes to speeds, it will depend on your performance. Do you want an intense running routine? What are your goals? Many treadmills can provide speeds up to 10mph. However, that might not be enough for the more serious runner. If you want more speed, you should buy one which offers a higher max speed - since you cannot change it later on.
So, depending on your ability, your goals, and your commitment to running, speed is very important for a treadmill.
There are some defining features you might also want to keep in mind. Some of the more advanced treadmills offer one-button speed adjustments on the fly. This makes it so much easier and more convenient to use.
You can change the speed easily with a single button push. This way, you can quickly and easily increase the speed of your runs.
The incline is another thing to look into. High inclines can help you increase the intensity of your workout. Some treadmills offer up to 15% incline. But most treadmills will offer up to 12% incline.
It depends on the type of intensity you want. Try to get a treadmill with button incline adjustment. With button adjustments, you can just press a button and increase or decrease the incline.
Some treadmills have manual button incline adjustment options. These are frankly a hassle to use. That’s because you need to get off the treadmill and manually adjust it. They do cost less, though. So, if you are on a tight budget, these can be a great option.
After incline and speed, the thing you need to look out for is the motor of the treadmill. The motor is quite important since it is the component that is providing the power to keep things running – no pun intended.
When buying treadmills, a good quality treadmill should have a continuous power rating. That is the rating that matters. The continuous power rating is essentially the effective power rating of the motor.
Many motors will only advertise peak power. This can easily mislead some people. Peak power rating is the power the motor can produce in ideal conditions, which is not really helpful to you as a buyer.
A continuous power rating of above 1.5 HP is recommended. You can find many treadmills with more horsepower. Be keen to check if it is a peak or continuous rating.
Treadmills come in different belt sizes. This is an important thing to consider if you are tall. You want to make sure that the belt is long enough for your longest strides.
Shorter belt sizes might cause you to step off the machine. This can be quite dangerous, especially if you are running at full speed.
For comfort, we also advise looking into the width. The wider the treadmill's belt and deck, the more comfortable it will be to run on. Of course, you do not want it to exceed the size of your workout area.
Shock Absorption Features
Shock absorption is a very important feature for your long-term health. When you are running or walking, it puts a certain amount of impact on your knees and ankle joints. During running, the impact is greater.
So, it’s important that you shop for a treadmill that has a decent shock absorption feature to protect your ankles and knee in the long run. Many treadmills will have this feature built right into the belt.
The belt can be made from shock-absorbing material that provides some level of cushioning.
Others have cushioning built under the belt. Be mindful, though - not all treadmills have the same quality of shock absorption. You should read some user reviews on the treadmill you want to buy.
Treadmills can be quite large. If you are buying one for home use, it is advisable to make sure that you have enough room for a treadmill. You can measure your workout space to know exactly how much area you have to work with.
Almost all treadmills will have their dimensions listed. You can then check these to see if the specific treadmill will fit or not. The last thing you want is to buy a treadmill only to find out that it does not fit in your workout area.
If you cannot find any information about the size online, you can try contacting the manufacturer.
All treadmills will have some form of handrail for you to hold on to when running. They usually come in different types. Which one you go for is up to you as it is a matter of personal preference.
Neither one of them objectively provide any benefit over the other. You can get a treadmill that may have handlebars to hold on to or side rails. Both of these are equally effective.
Who ever said running on a treadmill has to be boring? You can find high-end treadmills with HD touch screen displays. These screens, just like other fitness machines with screens, can be used to watch training videos and more.
They even display key workout metrics as distance, calories burnt, and more. If you want a high-tech experience, a treadmill with a digital screen is a great option to go for.
Heart Rate Monitors
When you are running - or doing any form of cardio for that matter - it can increase your heart rate. Buying a treadmill with heart rate monitors is good for real-time tracking of your heart rate. You can then adjust your workout as you go.
Treadmills that offer chest straps are the most precise. But they also cost more. Other alternatives are thumb sensors. These are less accurate but do come at a lower price.
6 Cool Fitness Machines
Here are 6 cool fitness machines you can buy. All of these have great functionalities and provide some kind of benefit that is worth checking out!
6. Foreverlily 3D Electric Massager
Product Description: This portable massager is great for targeting a specific muscle. You can use it to relieve some soreness or muscle pain on the fly.
We quite love how small it is. You can use it with a single hand, which makes it quite ergonomic to hold. The vibration produced is tight and firm. You can target specific areas, thanks to its compact size.
You can massage your neck, hips, thighs, legs, arms, or even feet. It goes deep into the muscle and works like a charm really.
Design and Quality: The build quality of it is quite impressive. For how small it is, it is surprisingly well-made. The design is minimal, though. No crazy gimmicks are going on here. And we like it that way. You can get it in different colors too!
- Very durable design.
- Portable and easy to carry.
- Ergonomic and can be used with one hand.
- Great for muscle pain and soreness relief.
5. NEWLLEXX Electric EMS Foot Massager
Product Description: There is nothing as relaxing as sitting down after a stressful day and getting a foot massage. However, not everyone can go to a spa every time they want a foot massage. That is where this product comes in.
This electric foot massager from NEWLLEXX gives you a relaxing massage right in the comfort of your own home. If you have been having slight pain or aching in your feet, this massager should help. It is also great for improving blood circulation.
Design and Quality: The quality of the massager is very sturdy and durable. It is made from a composite material that was comfortable to use.
The design is minimal and understated. We quite like the toned look of the massager. You can get it in two colors too – ivory and black.
- Relieves pain and aches
- Improve blood circulation
- Well designed and durable
4. SPZ 8000R Massage Gun
Product Description: SPZ has been one of the most consistent brands we tested. All of their fitness machines are of high quality and very durable. They offer exactly what they are advertised to. This massage gun from SPZ is no different.
You can use it to deep massage arms, thighs, backs, or necks. It is portable, and the handle also makes it easy to use. With proper massaging, you can relieve some aching and muscle soreness on targeted spots. There are four different head attachments too. You can choose what type of massage you want.
All in all, this is one of the better massage guns out there.
Design and Quality: The design of this massage gun is very stylish. Starting right from the box, it impressed us with its construction. It is made from a composite material. But the build quality held up pretty well during our testing. We are confident that this will last you a long time.
The design is modern and chic. You will find smooth curves and bold hard edges. Coupled with the different color options, this is quite a stylish massage gun.
- Goes deep in muscle and massages.
- Helps relieve soreness and pain.
- 4 different head attachments.
- Good sharp design.
- Durable construction.
- Color options.
3. SPZ 4000R Massage Gun
Product Description: If you want a low intensity massage gun, you can go with this one. While our previous one offers 8000R/minute, this one offers 4000R/minute. It has all the features that made our previous massage such a stand out. We might just say we like the design of this one slightly better.
It has a 3-gear system. You can use it to treat any pain or soreness you might feel. During our testing, it worked fantastically. The vibrations are quick and tight. If you need to be quiet during the massages, get this model. There is also a 26000mAH battery. This is plenty of juice for a massage gun.
The shape of the gun also makes it super easy to target specific areas of the body as well. All in all, this is a pretty great muscle massage gun.
Design and Quality: The designs of the 4000R and 8000R models are quite similar. The 4000R is rounder, though. Some might prefer a rounder design. Compared to the 8000R model, it is slightly more comfortable to hold. But that is a personal preference.
The design might be different, but the quality is the same. This massage gun has the same SPZ quality we expected. It is well built, and the material feels premium. And you can easily tell how premium the build is when you pick it up.
- Comfortable design
- Low noise motor
- Relieves pain and aching
- Comes in different color options
2. Yosyo Neck Massager
Product Description: Yosyo’s neck massager is a high-tech piece of equipment. The precise and relaxing vibrations give you a relaxing massage. The fit is also great. It sits snug around your neck, and you can use it anytime anywhere. Thanks to its small and compact size, packing it easy too.
It is a wireless massager that charges with a USB cable. It is made from a breathable material, which is comfortable to wear. So, you should not have much problem wearing it for long periods of time.
Design and Quality: The design is quite good too. It looks futuristic and high-tech. It isn’t all just for show either. The quality and build are superb as well. All in all, this is one of the most useful fitness machines you can buy.
- Durable and well designed
- Provides relaxing neck massage
- Easy to use
1. Electric Massage Ball
Product Description: This electric massage ball is quite a fun little device. It massages your muscles and helps you relax after a long stressful day.
The vibrations were tight and precise. There are four levels of intensity as well. Each level of intensity is distinguishable and gives you a different experience. You can choose the level of vibration based on the intensity of the massage you want.
The great thing about this product is the portability. It is small and fits in one hand, which makes it perfect for massaging targeted areas like thighs, shoulders, or neck. It is even great for rotator cuff and foot massage.
Design and Quality: The design is quite sleek. The materials used in it make it comfortable to use. It has small bumps all over it. Those were a great design touch as they go deep into the muscle. You can, of course, choose from different colors as well – pink, red, blue, and classic black.
- Small and compact
- Very high-quality materials
- Comfortable and portable
- Helps with muscle pain and soreness
- Loads of color options
Fitness machines are great for helping you achieve the workout results you want. Keep in mind, though - having the right machine is not enough. To achieve your health goals, you need to be consistent and follow proper guidelines.
If you can work with a trainer, that is even better. At the very least, having a friend to work out with is great too. No matter who you work out with, make sure to follow the proper form and the best practices.