When starting a new exercise routine, sport, or activity, you may need specific fitness gear to get the most out of your workout. This can include clothes, shoes, water bottles, personal care products, equipment, and more. What you need to get started largely depends on the workout you choose.
For example, runners may need sunscreen and running shoes while gym-goers may need a gym bag and headphones. To help you wade through the sea of options and narrow down the list of items you’ll need, here’s the best fitness gear equipment vetted by experts. Check out our articles on equipment, activewear, other fitness gear to help you reach your exercise goals.
Workout equipment is generally available online or in stores. Department stores, specialty retailers, and online marketplaces usually have a wide variety of options to choose from.
Different materials and types of activewear may have varying care instructions. To best care for the garments, follow the care instructions on the tag. Generally, you can wash activewear, like running shorts, in cold water with a gentle detergent and tumble dry with low heat.
Weight sets, dumbbells, kettlebells, and more are available for purchase online or in-store. You may avoid large shipping fees by purchasing in-store, though inventory may be more limited.
To clean your home workout equipment, you’ll need an all-purpose cleaning spray and a microfiber towel. Spray the equipment with the cleaning solution and wipe it down with a towel. Cleaning your equipment regularly can eliminate the bacteria that may be present on the surface as well as prevent the risk of infections, so you want to implement a regular cleaning routine.
There is a wide variety of fitness equipment to choose from, and the best options for you depend largely on your preferences and needs. Many workouts can be completed with a set of dumbbells or weights. But you also may choose to add other pieces of equipment, such as resistance bands, yoga mats and blocks, kettlebells, treadmill, exercise bike, and so on.
Dumbbells, which are free weights that are held in your hand, are staples when it comes to home or gym workout equipment. You can use dumbbells to perform a variety of upper and lower body strength training exercises.
If you experience a sports injury or have pain in your knees, a knee brace may be helpful. It can be used to prevent an injury or assist with an existing one. A knee brace also supports the fragile knee joint and the muscles surrounding the knee. One study found that wearing a knee brace reduced pain and improved stability.
Kettlebells are uniquely-shaped hand weights that are called kettlebells because they are shaped like tea kettles. Holding them by the handle helps increase grip strength. Kettlebells are very convenient and versatile. You can do entire workouts using just this one piece of equipment.
Activewear is a type of clothing designed specifically for exercise and usually is made with more breathable and sweat-wicking materials. Activewear also is designed for flexibility, support, and comfort and is available in shorts, leggings, shirts, socks, and more.
Yoga mats aren’t just for yoga. These thick but cushioned mats can be used for stretching, pilates, and floor exercises like crunches and pushups.
A weight bench is a bench that can be adjusted to accommodate various seated exercises. They are ideal for strength training. Look for a weight bench that can incline for more versatility.
A power rack is a piece of weight training equipment. It looks similar to a Smith machine or squat rack and functions as a spotter for free weight exercises. Use the power rack for exercises like squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, rows, and more.
Elba, Ilexis, and Jonathan W Ivy. Increasing the post-use cleaning of gym equipment using prompts and increased access to cleaning materials. Behavior analysis in practice vol. 11,4 390-394. 26 Feb. 2018, doi:10.1007/s40617-018-0217-0
Cudejko T, van der Esch M, van der Leeden M, et al. The immediate effect of a soft knee brace on pain, activity limitations, self-reported knee instability, and self-reported knee confidence in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017;19(1):260. Published 2017 Dec 1. doi:10.1186/s13075-017-1456-0