8 Ultimate Home-Gym Essentials

Dragging yourself all the way to the gym sure can be a slog. But with the right setup, you can hit all your fitness goals without ever stepping foot out of your house. No more excuses, gents.

R-3 Power Rack from Rogue Fitness photo

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Rogue Fitness R-3 Power Rack

Moving a loaded barbell around—squatting it, picking it up and putting it down, pushing it around—is at the foundation of functional strength, and no home gym would be complete without one. But you also won't be able to lift heavy weights safely without a solid, industrial-grade power rack. The R-3 is a classic rack, made in Ohio with heavy-gauge American steel, plus it comes with a dip and pull-up setup, which is a smart way to save space. While you're at it, tack on the high-quality Ohio Bar Olympic barbell and a 260-pound HG 2.0 Bumper Plate Set to round out the setup, and save a boatload on consolidated shipping. ($695 for rack, $282 for bar, $425 for plates; roguefitness.com)

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CAP Barbell black puzzle-piece style floor mat. photo

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CAP Barbell Antimicrobial Treated Puzzle Mat

Keep your equipment in mint condition—and save your floors a mauling—with these cheap, interlocking high-density foam mat squares from CAP Barbell. They're all-business gray, but they get the job done with hardwearing 3/4-inch-thick padding (also helpful if you, say, have downstairs neighbors) and a funk-fighting antimicrobial treatment that'll help keep your pain cave fresh. A pack of six squares covers 24 square feet, or just about enough space to pad beneath your power rack. ($35 per pack; capbarbell.com)

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Black adjustable Bowflex dumbbells. photo

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Bowflex Selecttech 552 Dumbbells

You could squeak by without dumbbells, but they're super handy for working the chest, shoulders, and arms. Rather than get a space-hogging traditional set, opt instead for adjustable dumbbells, like these ones by Bowflex. They're pricey, but also incredibly easy to use—just twist the dial to set the resistance—and they stand in for 15 sets of weights, from 5 pounds on up to 52 pounds. Gradually increase your strength without changing equipment. You can upgrade to a 90-pound-max system for an additional $300. ($299; bowflex.com)

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Orange, purple, and yellow-gold jump ropes. photo

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Crossrope Plus Set

Whether you're a CrossFitter, climbing into the MMA ring, or looking to meld full-body strength and conditioning into a single workout, a jump rope set like this one with speed and weighted ropes is great for improving strength, agility and endurance while putting your coordination to the test. These stainless steel, PVC-coated jump ropes look good in the gym, but are rugged enough to use anywhere, and the kit includes four easily interchangeable weighted strands: Use the 4-ounce cable for double-unders, the 8-ounce cable for building endurance, the 1-pound cable to engage your core, and the monster 2-pound cable for an even deeper burn. ($128; crossrope.com)

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Wooden box with the words Titan Fitness on it. photo

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Titan Fitness 3-in-1 Wooden Plyometric Box

Plyo boxes are great for building explosive power and quickness, and they can also be used for non-jumping exercises like squatting, step-ups and bench dips. This sturdy space-saver from Titan is three boxes—12", 14", and 16"—in one, since all you have to do to adjust the height is rotate the box. ($51; titan.fitness)

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Black and yellow TRX bands. photo

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TRX Pro 4

There's good reason more than half of America's gyms now stock some version of this space-saving suspension training system: It's an amazing bodyweight workout, based on seven basic, foundational movements—push, pull, plank, rotate, hinge, lunge, and squat. First developed by Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick using a jiu-jitsu belt and parachute webbing, the system has come a long way since then, and this latest version includes commercial-grade hardware, antimicrobial rubber handles, three anchor mounting solutions for max versatility and a one-year subscription to the app (where personalized workout programs are piped straight into your headphones). ($250; trxtraining.com)

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Purple, blue, and yellow kettlebells. photo

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Kettlebell Kings The Knight Competition Kettlebells Set

Some people will tell you that kettlebells aren't essential, because many of the movements can be mimicked with a dumbbell. But explosive movements, like kettlebell wwings and cleans, work better with the proper equipment, and exercises like Turkish get-ups are unique to kettlebells. Each one from this handsome set—12kg, 16kg, and 20kg—was precision-cast as a solid piece of steel, making it more durable than its welded competitors. Its smaller window and smooth, polished handle make it more comfortable to hold overhead and in the rack position without tearing up your hands. This rainbow set contains all the weights you need to tackle our favorite kettlebell workouts, and they look good in your home. ($290; kettlebellkings.com)

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Black and white Dynamax medicine ball. photo

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Dynamax Standard Medicine Ball

Whether you're throwing it, carrying it, or doing ab exercises with it, a medicine ball is a great tool for plyometric exercises, as well as core strength movements. The Dynamax Standard Ball, which has been manufactured in Austin, Texas, for the past three decades, is as close to a medicine ball national standard as you can get—a 14-inch diameter, moisture-resistant ball that has a soft, forgiving feel when throwing or catching, and remains dimensionally stable and balanced no matter how many times you slam it down. Dynamax makes the ball in increments from 4 pounds up to 40 (and, to match any home setup, in 24 different colors). If you're not sure where you should be starting out, err on the light side for speed and power. ($80-$170; medicineballs.com)

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