Most CrossFit athletes will agree that it’s not a sport that can be done part time. Of all the sports out there, CrossFit demands the most out of your day.
No other sport focuses on such a vast range of activities and types of conditioning.
In CrossFit, you're expected to display high levels of strength, power, endurance and even flexibility, which means that training for it is a full-time commitment. This is especially true if you want to perform well or don't want to be injured.
But this can be difficult, particularly for those with a busy schedule. The amount of time lost through traveling to and from the gym alone is significant. This is compounded by the time spent changing and chatting, before checking your program to begin your workout.
All of this can be avoided with a home gym. It offers a faster and easier means of getting in your workout. It can also be more cost-friendly over the long term.
With a home gym, you can easily create a completely customized environment that will suit your needs.
But, this can be a difficult task if you don't know what equipment to purchase. Knowing which equipment to buy can also be cheaper than just copying your usual gym’s layout too.
With this in mind, we decided to take a look at what gym equipment would be essential to building a high-quality home gym.
It should be noted that one common factor among all the items is versatility. This is because CrossFit training will require practicing a broad range of activities, and it’s more cost-efficient to have versatile equipment.
One quick consideration before looking at gym equipment is the layout of the room you're using.
The most common complaint of those opposing a home gym is a lack of space. But, even the most space-restricted room can usually suffice for most home gyms. It’s all about the layout.
One tip is to ensure there is space in the center of the room for floor exercises. These include ab work, jumping exercises, and even intervals.
Another helpful tip is to have an area used only for storing equipment. If the room is particularly small, using sturdy shelving is another option.
Now onto the actual pieces of equipment.
This item isn't just an important part of a CrossFit gym, but an important component of any gym. Why? Because they can be used to train any movement or muscle. In creating any gym, a sturdy Olympic barbell is key.
Durable brands include Jordan and Rogue or, for those with a little more money to spend, an Eleiko bar is the best pick of all.
These are essential for your home gym for the same reasons as a barbell. But, they also offer a bit more versatility and can challenge stability for beginners.
There are some different forms of dumbbells to choose from.
Those looking for added customization should opt for ‘loadable dumbbells,’ where you can load them with plates like a barbell. Those wanting to use them for only a few exercises, or who have more cash, can go for fixed dumbbell sets.
For most upper body and some lower body exercises, the bench is an important item. This allows you to support your upper body and work on developing upper body strength and power. An adjustable bench that can incline or decline is essential for versatility.
Brands like Jordan and York are also good options here, with durable benches that should last a while with no breakdown.
There's a reason you see a power rack in nearly every gym. Combining this with the above two items can provide a decent home gym alone. Almost any athletic move can be trained with them. It also means you won't need a spotter when lifting, since most peer racks offer frames that can catch barbells when dropped.
They also help save space. Overall, this is an essential piece of gym equipment for your home if you plan on doing any heavy lifting.
Because of the heavy emphasis on Olympic lifting, these items are a must-have. Their larger size and rubber coating protect floors against them when dropped. This makes them key for your home, which has weaker floors than a typical gym.
While these items are versatile, they also have a unique benefit: they can be thrown. This means they can be used to develop upper and lower body power.
They are also used in many moves in CrossFit competition. After the above items, these may be the next most important item on the list.
The kettlebell is another good item for developing power. They are also used in CrossFit competitions.
But, they stand out from medicine balls in that they are usually available at much higher weights. This makes them a compact item for developing both strength and power for CrossFit. They can also act as an alternative to dumbbells for those looking to save space.
These are similar to medicine balls but have one important distinction: they are larger and softer. This makes them slightly better for home gyms if they are going to be slammed or thrown a lot.
These are another staple in many gyms of all types since they can be used to train any movement. They are also readily usable for beginners of all strength levels. So, for beginner athletes, this item should be a priority.
This is an item for more experienced users. It can also be used by beginners with a bad back. This step-in type bar takes pressure off the lower back when performing leg exercises, which is a big plus considering that low back pain is one of the most common kinds of Crossfit injuries.
This means you can still get in a good leg workout, even when your back isn't feeling the best. It can also be adapted for a lot of upper body movements for added value.
This is another specialized type of barbell aimed at experienced lifters. Its parallel grips make it a better option for those with bad shoulders looking to press and a must-have for veteran CrossFit athletes seeking to keep their strength up.
For developing strength and power, these are one of the best tools available. Their elastic material makes you work right through the full movement.
These are an excellent choice for helping you break through a plateau in training and can also be taken with you and used wherever you go.
Box jumps are a very common exercise in both CrossFit training and competitions. This makes a plyometrics box a key item to have at home. This will help you prepare for competition and build lower body power.
Rope climbing is a tough but necessary move for CrossFit. A common mistake many rookies make is to think a pull-up bar will suffice for ropes. This couldn't be further from the truth. To be fully proficient at rope climbing, you'll need an actual rope.
They can also be used for lots of cardio movements as well through using them as battling ropes. This varied use makes it essential to buy good brands like Rogue or Jordan, as flimsier types can unravel with use.
This simple piece of equipment is good for developing speed, and it can also be very efficient for space. This is because it is easily folded away and set up. This makes it more preferable to items like cones, which can clutter a gym quickly.
If you're a person with a little more space in their room, a rowing machine is an excellent device. It's specific with CrossFit, and it's useful in strengthening the back to prevent injury. Both make it a good choice for cardio equipment.
For injury prevention, this is a great appliance. It is one of the few machines that can be used to work your entire posterior chain. This can help prevent hamstring injuries and keep you training longer. While this is one of the more expensive items on the list, it deserves a place among the essentials.
This is a small, yet powerful addition to your gym. A jump rope offers a space-friendly way to warm up. For beginners, it's also an effective means of cardio. Combining these benefits with a low cost, jump ropes a great addition to your home gym.
As mentioned, storing items is an important factor for your gym. A weight tree offers a great way to keep all your weights out of the way. This will make both your workouts quicker and your gym cleaner to allow for a better session at home.
Many people often overlook the more basic items when preparing a home gym. While not as glamorous as some of the above, an interval timer is just as essential.
Used correctly, this will make sure you're working the right amount and only resting as needed to get the most from your workouts.
For those who like music with their workout, this is another key item. Bluetooth speakers are particularly useful for hooking up your iPhone to play your favorite songs. This can then help you work harder and make the workout feel quicker.
Brands like Bose and Beats offer the best quality, while Sony can offer lower costing choices.
Even with bumper plates, your floor can risk being damaged. Rubber floor mats can help cushion your floor from impact and protect it against markings. If you purchase jigsaw mats, they can also be removed easily to allow reuse or resale.
These might not seem essential to most. However, mirrors are the only way to keep your technique in check throughout a session. This can help prevent injury and improve gains from each session, making mirrors a very valuable addition.
For those who do CrossFit competitively, bodyweight exercises are common. A weighted vest can help improve these moves by adding specific resistance to a movement.
But, it should be noted that these vests are not as easy to increase in weight as barbells or dumbbells.
To improve flexibility and prevent injury, a foam roller is a top choice. It can be easily transported and used anywhere. It can also be used on almost any muscle to help relieve pain and promote recovery.
For smaller muscles that are difficult to reach with a foam roller, a lacrosse ball is ideal. It's smaller size and harder surface allows full working of smaller and at-risk muscles to give you a complete warm up or cool down routine.
This is an understated addition to your gym that can make your workout a lot more comfortable. For exercises like the squat or hip thrust, the bar can wreak havoc on your back or hips.
A good bar pad can help relieve discomfort and allow you to put more into your exercise.
Whether doing dips or pull ups, the dipping belt makes it easy to add weight to your workout to boost strength. It's also a cheaper alternative than a weighted vest for athletes to choose.
When doing Olympic lifts, chalk is an important item to have. It can protect the hands and improve grip. This can again make a surprisingly significant difference to your lifting performance and fitness.
Like the jump rope, it's also a relatively cheap addition to make your home gym great.
For those who enjoy heavy lifting, a belt is also a wise option. It can increase support for the back and allow heavier lifting than would be possible without.
But, you should make sure to buy one with a lever strap. This is because of the greater security when compared to velcro straps for heavy lifts.
Finally, a pull-up bar or a rig can add another list of potential pulling exercises to your gym's capabilities. It also offers a supporting structure for other items, like the climbing rope. For those with limited space, they can also be attached directly to the wall for less clutter.