5 Workout Machines for Your Home Gym That Are Worth Every Penny

By , SparkPeople Blogger

There are lots of exercises you can do that don't cost a thing, like taking a walk around the block, doing squats while you brush your teeth or performing biceps curls with water bottles. However, sometimes you want more--more strenuous cardio, more options for lifting weights or more machines that can help you sculpt and grow your muscles better than your own body weight or pantry items will allow.

Unfortunately, that "more" often comes with a price tag. Whether you choose to pay gym fees, purchase a package at a boutique studio or take the plunge and invest in your own home gym equipment, sometimes to get what you want you have to be willing to pay for it. If you do decide to purchase exercise equipment for your home, you'll find there's something to be said for the convenience of getting in a full gym workout without leaving your house.

Although major pieces of exercise equipment aren't exactly cheap, remember these pieces are worth the investment if you want to invest in yourself. You'll be grateful for your treadmill or stationary bike when the weather is too cold, too hot or too rainy, and you'll thank yourself for purchasing that home gym system when you catch your first glimpse of muscle definition in the a mirror. Plus, with major fitness equipment only a few steps away, you'll finally find yourself out of excuses for not making fitness a priority.

Take the Dread Out of the Treadmill

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

We've reviewed our favorite treadmills before, but, newer models come out all the time. Built to be better and last longer with fun features (fan! iPod holder! lifetime warranty!) added all the time, it's worth doing new research every now and again to check out what's on the market.

This treadmill by ProForm has four stars on Amazon, and for good reason. With the ability to push your incline up to 12 percent and your mph up to 12, you can choose any combination from walking to running, flat roads to hills and everything in between for a custom workout suited to your needs.

You can also connect this treadmill to your favorite outside running and walking routes using its iFit-compatible linking to Google maps. If you are looking for another route to take, choose from one of ProForm's 22 built-in workout apps designed by a personal trainer.

With a 60-inch belt length, you can feel free to stretch those legs long, while proshox cushioning softens the noise so you won't have to worry about waking up others in your house during those early morning workouts. The treadmill is easy to lift, move and work out to your heart's content, and you can rest easy knowing you'll have a lifetime frame and motor warranty, two-year parts warranty and one-year labor warranty.

What: ProForm Performance 600i Treadmill
Price: $775.99 (+$18.82 for optional assembly)
Dimensions: 82.5 x 30 x 13.5 inches; 224 pounds
Purchase: Amazon

Crush It With Your Own Home Gym

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

If you roll your eyes even thinking about a Bowflex, you're not alone. It's hard to not recall their cheesy infomercials from the 1990s and believe they are still around and selling home gyms. But the truth is, the home gym is a great addition to any, well, home gym.

While barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, nautilus equipment and other tools that help you gain muscle and strength train are great, wouldn't it be nice to choose from among more than 65 full-body exercises in just one piece of equipment?

Your Bowflex home gym comes with up to 210 pounds of progressive resistance. And, if you need more, you can always upgrade to 310 or 410 pounds in the future. The Xceed also features a squat station, bench press, leg attachment and a lat tower, so you can move between arm day and leg day with ease.

What: Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Price: $699.99
Dimensions: 100 inches of side-by-side space required; 185 pounds
Purchase: Amazon

Love to Ride Your (Indoor) Bicycle

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

If you're looking for a more economical and low-impact machine to add to your home, then this recumbent exercise bike by Marcy might be the perfect fit.

Safe for those with back or knee issues, the step-through design allows for easy on and off from the bike and is heavy duty enough to hold up to 300 pounds with its sturdy construction and 14-gauge steel tubing.

This bike also offers eight levels of resistance, an LCD computer screen that displays your distance, time, speed and calories burned. The padded seat will keep you comfortable through rides of every length and the counterbalanced pedals are weighted to help you control your ride while supporting your feet. The pedals also come with adjustable foot straps to make your ride as comfortable as possible.

What: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Price: $139.00 (+ $73.69 for optional assembly)
Dimensions: 55.5 x 25 x 37.5 inches ; 60 pounds
Purchase: Amazon

Row, Row, Row Your Way Fit

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

A rowing machine is a perfect piece of fitness equipment to add to your home gym or as a standalone, full-body workout machine in its own right. It's also a mid-priced piece of equipment that is low-impact and provides both strength training and cardio in one workout.  

This magnetic rowing machine by Sunny Health & Fitness allows you to row through eight levels of resistance, so you can find the one that's perfect for you at every level. The LCD screen displays your calorie count, time spent on the machine and your strokes, and the padded seat and handlebars with non-slip grip ensure you'll enjoy your entire workout in comfort. If your workout space is small, you can easily move the machine from storage to your workout area and back again thanks to built-in wheels.

What: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower
Price: $209.99 (+ $81.03 for optional assembly)
Dimensions: 82 x 19 x 23 inches ; 59 pounds
Purchase: Amazon

Ski Your Way to Slim

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

If nothing compares to the elliptical for you, but you get tired of waiting in line for your turn at the gym, consider adding one of these popular machines to your home.

Sync up your Bluetooth device and move to your own grooves on this Nautilus elliptical trainer. Move among 25 levels of resistance to vary your workout intensity or choose from 29 program options: 12 profile, nine heart rate, four custom, two that test your fitness level, one quick start and one recovery.

You can also sync the RunSocial app to the elliptical, training through 27 preset routes and 19 locations with other people using the app all over the world. The inertia drive system in the Nautilus trainer is high-speed and has a perimeter-weighted flywheel to make the beginnings of your workouts run more smoothly and consistently. You can even charge your devices and enjoy a cool breeze as you sweat from the machine's adjustable fan.

What: Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer
Price: $999 (free assembly)
Dimensions: 20" precision stride path; 198 pounds
Purchase: Amazon

What kind of home gym equipment can you not live without?

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CECELW 12/20/2020
I don't use machines anymore Report
VHAYES04 12/5/2020
Ty Report
I need a rowing machine. Report
ARMSTRJE3 8/24/2020
For me, the safety equipment is the most important- Padded flooring tiles, a mirror to watch form. After that a few heavy weights and a step bench for all kinds of fun. Report
NIOMIW 7/8/2020
You can usually find a used machine in good shape. People get them and then don’t follow through with using them. Report
ETHELMERZ 7/8/2020
Ok people, you can make room for at least just one of these! There comes the time when the weather is stinking hot or ice and snow, out side, and you are reluctant, anyway, so use one of these! You can get some of these, used. Be honest, as you age, you need something like this as a reminder. And do not put it in a garage or bedroom! Report
thanks Report
we had a lot of those machines. Not worth the money at all. You can get in shape without all the hundreds of dollars. Report
Maybe in an ideal world, but who has the room or the $$ for most of these?
Thank you. Report
Very few people have the room for large equipment such as is illustrated in the blog. My preference is paying for my gym membership which has everything including a pool and Jacuzzi plus trainers if you have a question.
However, in winter months when the roads are icy I do have an aerodyne bicycle I and plenty of spark TV videos or Zumba videos. Report
I agree with the article but I don't have the room. Report
Good information. Thanks. Report
Our rowing machine is more expensive than the one shown here but totally worth it. Look around for one that can be tipped up, rolled away and and stored upright. Ours sits in a corner of a bedroom and is completely out of the way when not in use. Report
Exercise bike saved our lives, we have two, no waiting, keep them in your tv room, not some bedroom or basement! Would like a rowing machine someday. Report
Thanks but there are more affordable choices. Report
My treadmill & recumbent style stationery bike are all I really need. I also have resistance bands, a stretching strap, and the internet lol. Gotta love youtube for all those free videos! Report
I own a treadmill, from 2002, and free weights, bands and enough videos to do a different work out every day for a month. And of course there is the the equipment the good lord gave me. As far as I'm concerned that's all I need except enough room to keep it all in one place. Report
I'm going to check craigs list for an elliptical. big savings on someone else's coat rack Report
I have a Total Gym! Report
I'm surprised the rowing machine is relatively inexpensive. I've used many of the other types of machines at gyms, and have ended up with issues. Recumbant bikes etc are easy enough on the bike but one of my legs is just enough longer than the other that after awhile I start getting pains in the one leg that's too long (or short, depending on which way the pedals are adjusted - and they can't be adjusted for one side being longer than the other.). Same thing on dreadmills - there is no way to bank one side up lower or higher than the other side, the way residential roads are crowned at the top and lower at the sides. So walking on residential roads (the ones made with the softer materials) ends up what I do, with the longer leg hitting in the lower part of the road and the shorter leg up towards the center of road. But... the rowing machines.... I've read several other articles about the rowing machines on SparkPeople etc and that might be something I could actually use?? Report
They may be worth every penny but I don't have pennies hanging around like this. Free weights, bands and what nature provides is about all I can really afford. Report
My Body Flex 3 in 1 trainer from Sears Report
stepper Report
I too wish I had the room, great idea Report
Would love to have all of these, just no room or money! Report
Free weights. If I had the room and felt up to it I would set up some circuit training and do my cardio and strength training at once. As far as the other things as far as I am concerned if you have one of them (Bike, elliptical, rower) you can get along without having the others. Too much money tied up and clutter. Its only good if you use it otherwise it has the danger of becoming an expensive clothesline. Report
Currently have an ancient treadmill (it works and I wouldn't be without it!) a new rowing machine and an unused VERY old stationary bike. Used to like the recumbent bike at the gym so that would be a nice add and fortunately we have room. I also have small equipment (dumbbells, stability ball resistance band). Report
good info! Report
Exercise videos, hand weights, resistance bands, yoga mat are the only pieces of exercise equipment I now own. Many of us don't have the extra money or the room in our homes/apartments for equipment.

I used to have a Nordic skier, recumbent bike, and treadmill. Husband had a weight machine in the basement. After a few weeks, most of them were unused because we worked such long hours we didn't have time to use them. We sold all of the equipment. Report
Yoga mat, stability ball and hand weights. Report
I have an exercise bike. I love it. I especially love the feedback I get from it. How far I have ridden, how many calories I burned, how fast I went. The steepest hill I went up etc. Report
I workout at home five days a week, I have zero large pieces of cardio equipment. My ideal home gym would be actually having a physical space to use as my gym, for now I’m a stow and go girl. I workout in a 5x8 section in my family room, all equipment is tucked away after each workout. Where there’s a will, there’s a way... Report
I like my treadmill, elliptical and weights. Report
I like my exercise bike. Report
Thanks Report
thank you Report
thank you Report
Nice looking equipment but wayyyy out of my price range. Thanks for sharing! Report
My own rowing machine gets used 3-4 times a week; love it as a full body/low impact workout. I spent more than the rower shone here but it was worth it. Body Craft makes several models that not only wheel around but hinge in the middle. Mine tucks into a corner of our bedroom, completely out of the way between the wall and a bureau. Report
I have an eliptical in my living room, and use it 4 days a week while watching tv. Report
Thank you Report
Stretch-Out-Strap, TRX Suspension Trainer, Rebounder Mini Trampoline, Speed bag, Heavy Bag! Report
The gym equipment I can't live without is my own body. I don't have the income or the space for that stuff. Report
Cool Bike, Ellip & Row machine! Report
thanks Report
Very informative. Thanks. Report