As good as our intentions may be, there are some (read: plenty!) of days that we just can’t get to the gym. Maybe it’s frigid or raining outside and you’d rather stay inside where it’s warm, maybe your gym is closed, or maybe you simply prefer not to exercise in public. Or perhaps it’s the cost of a gym membership that you’re balking at — after all, they don’t always come cheap! Luckily, there’s plenty of fitness equipment available to help you stay fit, toned, and healthy without setting a foot outside (or paying a fee).
It’s easy to get in a quick workout in at home — if you have the right fitness equipment available!
What fitness equipment do I need at home?
Just like there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to working out, there’s also no one piece of fitness equipment that’s right for everyone. So, how do you know what to look for when choosing the best gear for you?
That all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Exercise enthusiasts seeking to lose weight or build muscle mass may require a completely different set of accessories than those looking to strengthen joints after an injury, increase strength, stamina, and energy levels, or simply get a much-needed endorphin-boost. We’ve found a selection that includes something for everyone.
The Best At-Home Workout Accessories
You don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer to reach your fitness goals. From ankle weights that will offer up resistance as you move (from $11.99, Amazon) to weighted balls you can use to enhance your balance and flexibility ($41.52, Amazon), we’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best at-home fitness equipment for women over 40!
Best Dumbbell Set
Where to buy: $69.99, Amazon
When you think of home exercise gears, dumbbells are usually the first thing that comes to mind. But you can use these handy little weights for a whole lot more than pumping iron. In fact, you can incorporate them into almost any exercise to amp up the intensity — think dumbbell squats, lunges, twisted sit-ups, and, of course, back exercises. This set comes with its own stand and features three pairs of dumbbells weighing in at three, five, and eight pounds.
“These dumbbells are great, exactly what I was looking for," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "Perfect size, and the holder is an extra bonus to keep them organized!”
Best Ankle Weights
Where to buy: From $14.79, Amazon
For an easy and affordable workout, ankle weights are a great option. Whether you choose to wear them around the house as you go about your daily tasks, or strap them on for an amped-up walk or jog, these cute padded pink ones can really help you tone your lower half and build up strength. (They also come in purple, yellow, green, red, gray, black, and orange.) Choose from one- to ten-pound versions and wear them on either your ankles or your wrists!
Amazon customers are also plenty pleased with these weights: “I purchased these to give a little more burn to my leg workout. I recently gained a lot of weight due to a new medication, and I keep all my weight in my inner thighs. I added these into my leg workout a week ago and I've already lost five pounds! They're super comfortable with soft athletic-type fabric, and they're the perfect weight to give a little bit more burn without turning your exercise into strength-training only. Highly recommend if you're looking for a little extra boost to your regime!"
Best Weighted Hula Hoop
Where to buy: $33.80, Amazon
Remember hula-hooping on the playground as a kid? Refresh your hip-swiveling skills with this weighted hula hoop, which raises your heart rate within just a few minutes of use! A favorite exercise of Marisa Tomei and Michelle Obama, hula-hooping is one of the best and most fun ways to whittle your waist and get your blood pumping. This rainbow-hued hoop is a favorite with many because its patented wavy-ridged design stimulates your core while toning your glutes and hips as well. A weighted hoop is actually easier to keep around your waist than a kids' model, and swiveling slowly makes the exercise even more intense.
"I was very surprised at how my heart rate increased and what a good exercise piece this is to my workout," one Amazon buyer wrote."The hoop itself is made well, padded well, and three pounds is just right. I thought a three-pound hoop wouldn't be heavy enough, but once you start and continue, it's just enough weight."
Best Vibration Platform Machine
Where to buy: $199.99, Amazon
For a slightly more advanced workout with surefire results, check out LifePro's vibration platform machine. This clever invention works by transmitting energy to your whole body via vibrations that force your muscles to contract and relax repeatedly. With all that targeted movement, even simple exercises, such as a squat, will feel way more intense.
This particular platform is the No. 1 best-selling machine on Amazon, and one of its many 5-star reviews, reads, “The LifePro is an absolute game changer . … I can exercise without leaving my house or even my office! After just a few minutes on the machine, I literally feel like I just got finished with a huge workout."
Best Exercise Ball
Where to buy: $39.99, Amazon
Exercise balls are a really enjoyable way to not only stay fit, but work on your flexibility, too. This ball from RGGD& RGGL has resistance straps, so you can easily get a good full-body workout in. Better yet, when you're through, you can use your new accessory as a relaxation device: Simply place it under your back and gently rock back and forth for the most enjoyable back stretch!
One of the many positive reviews reads, “[This ball] comes with all the illustrated exercises you can do. It was so easy to put together and comes with a pump. Great value and excellent quality.”
Best Exercise Bands
Where to buy: $13.71, Amazon
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a less intrusive piece of exercise equipment than an exercise band. So small it can be rolled up for storage in practically any nook or cranny, these convenient accessories can even be thrown into your purse for a quick workout away from home. They're also plenty versatile, allowing you to work out any part of your body, including your arms, legs, and butt, with ease, and come in 10 difference resistance levels to ensure a custom sweat session that's just right for you. Exercise bands are also a top piece of gear for those who suffer from shoulder issues, helping to strengthen the muscles around the area and subsequently eliminate pain.
“During the winter months I won’t be able to attend the gym as much as I'd like or go running on the track, so… I was extremely happy to be able to add this resistance exercise band to my home gym collection," one customer raved.
Best Ab Roller
Where to buy: $16.97 (Originally $34.97), Amazon
If your midsection is your main concern, an ab roller can help bring you one step closer to the toned six-pack of your dreams. With one simple sliding motion that sees you move from a kneeling to a plank position, you’ll be able to feel your core working immediately. This one comes equipped with a mat to protect your knees from any pain, plus three health and e-fitness books. It’s also small enough to tuck away under the bed when it's not in use.
“I started slow, not wanting to overdo, and I can quickly feel those abs being targeted,” wrote one buyer of this No. 1 Amazon core strength and abdominal trainer bestseller. “You feel the burn almost immediately, even with minimal extension ... This one's a keeper. Washboard stomach, here I come.”
Best Aerobics Stepper
Where to buy: $32.99, Amazon
Aerobic steppers may give you flashbacks of your favorite '80s workout videos, but they’re just as popular, useful, and effective today as they were back then. You could also use this No. 1 best-selling step platform as a bench to do other exercises, such as tricep dips and hip thrusts. It comes with lifts for an adjustable height, and when it comes time to store it, you'll find it fits rather nicely under most non-divan beds.
One buyer wrote, “This product is ready to use straight out of the box. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to add the lifts (which store beneath the stepper). Just set it on the floor, turn on some music or a workout vid, and go. ... 10/10 would buy this again, although I don’t see it wearing out anytime soon.”
Best Mini Stepper
Where to buy: $41.52, Amazon
At the same time as you're working out your legs and butt on this mini-stepper, you can also work your back, arms, and shoulders with its handy, built-in removable resistance bands. There’s a digital LCD monitor that counts your steps and calories burned, plus a height adjustor, so you can change the intensity of your steps.
According to purchaser Anna, it packs a real punch. “When I first got the stepper, I was only able to use it for 10 minutes before I felt like I was going to die ... in a good way. I worked my way up to an hour and a half, and it's a great way to burn calories and get a sweat on. I now use it just about every day as a warm up before the rest of my workout."
Best Balance Ball
Where to buy: $39.99, Amazon
This half-ball looks a lot easier to balance on than it actually is. Just standing on this piece of equipment is enough to give you a workout as all your muscles work together to try and keep you steady. Add in a few simple exercises into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a surprisingly challenging workout regimen. Better yet, this ball's built-in resistance straps will allow you to target specific areas.
Those that have suffered injuries or undergone operations will also find this accessory of use, as half balance balls are often recommended by physicians for physical therapy exercises. “Therapy for my knee had me balancing on a half ball,” wrote Suzzie. “When therapy was over I knew I needed to get one. Balance is declining in my 60s and falling is beginning to scare me so I purchased this one so that I could continue a balancing/strengthening routine."
Best Mini Trampoline
Where to buy: $52.49, Amazon
Trampolines aren't just for kids! These devices can also offer up a hardcore, sweaty workout as you jump around and have fun for at least 10 minutes a day — just long enough to get your heart rate up. They also provide a great way to strengthen muscle groups by building mass and strengthening. Marcy's portable version is just the right size for your home and supports jumpers up to 250 pounds.
“I love this rebounder, I found it to be very strong and sturdy,” wrote one satisfied customer. “I have to admit, when I first got on it I expected to fall right through it; after all it supports up to 250 pounds and I weigh every bit of 220 pounds. .... I can jump up and down on it and feel completely safe. I would definitely recommend it to family and friends.”