11 Exercise Gadgets For The Home That Really Work

There's always another excuse to avoid showing up at the gym. The commute is too long, the place is way too crowded, and the monthly membership prices are eating into your beer budget.

But let's face it, modern women aren't exactly going ga-ga over man boobs and beer bellies. You want respect in today's world, from men or women, then you need to maintain your physique. And if the gym just ain't working for you, maybe it's time to stop giving yourself excuses and just change the venue...

These days it's easy and cheap to pull together all the tools you need to build a manly, muscular body in the comfort of our own home (you'll still need to get off the couch, though). So, we put our crack staff to work to find the 21 most cost-effective, easy-to-use fitness gadgets.

How about it? Avoid the frustration and hassle of the gym and feel the burn without ever stepping out the door!

Iron Gym Upper Body Workout Bar
fave 3 Faves
  • 323 bought

4.20 stars

Attach this workout bar to your door frame, and get an effective total upper body workout.

  • Pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, crunches...
  • Three grip positions
  • No screws and no damage to door

You can use this bar for pull-ups, sit-ups, dips and so much more. Easy, effective and economical!

What Reviewers Say:

  • The Iron Gym is a great chin-up bar; it works exactly as advertised. It is very easy to assemble, use, and attach and remove from a doorway. It seems extremely stable, and I have no problem believing it could support the claimed 300 lbs.
  • The video I saw on youtube used a bar similar to this and because of the reviews, I got this one. Im not dissappointed, I understood that I needed to have a door that had trim on it to place this on, which I had. For less than 30 bucks you can buy this. You dont need to go get yourself a 500$ machine. This is all you need. Now i can do 15 pullups after just a month of weight loss + assisted pull up training. Ive gone from 225lbs to 200 in a MONTH, and im seeing a huge difference in muscle definition on my arms. I can lift myself easily now.
  • Assembly was a breeze and took about 10 minutes. The piece that mounts to the back of the door jam is plastic so I was a little weary of whether it would hold up well or not. I did a couple slow pullups using the various positions to make sure it wouldn't fall apart on me and then did some reps and it feels pretty solid. I'm 180 lbs and it held fine, and supposedly can hold up to 300 lbs. It has grips and handles for the different various of pullups and chinups, which is what drew me to it over the other types I looked at. It can also be used for pushups, dips (although not very effective as you can't get very low), and situps using the doorway. Overall, it does was it claims and feels like a pretty good piece of equipment. After a week of regular use it remains solid and hasn't done any damage to the door or wall. I would recommend this product for those who don't want to, or can't, mount a bar.


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Elevated Urban Rebounder
fave 1 Fave
  • 349 bought

3.70 stars

Bounce off your fat, because it's just so much more fun.

  • Folds for easy storage
  • Strengthens your core
  • 300-pound capacity

With the rebounder, you don't have to walk or run, but you can jump, jog and use this mini-trampoline for a great workout!

What Reviewers Say:

  • This is my 3rd rebounder. This is probably the best quality version. I weigh 220 plus pounds. People buy equip like this and expect miracle results in 2-3 sessions. It doesn't work like that. But if you work out every other day for 2-3 weeks, you will see results in the mirror. I work out with 2-5 lb freeweights. The cut(s) you get from this you can't get anywhere. I've been rebounding off/on since 1995.
  • Bought this 2nd Urban Rebounder for my son with autism. He weighs 200 pounds. He loves to bounce, hard. This so far lasted more than the other ones he had.
  • It took less than 15 minutes to put it entirely together. Essentially that is snapping the legs in place, locking it open and putting on the stabilizing bar - thus it would be QUICKER without adding the stabilizing bar. This product feels quite sturdy with use. I am no twiggy - so my weight was well supported throughout the motions. I even did AB work my first day.
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Desktop Punching Bag
fave 3 Faves
  • 443 bought

A punching bag that suctions to a desktop to provide stress relief and brief arm workout.

  • Attaches to wood or metal via suction
  • Withstands serious hits
  • Synthetic leather of the highest quality

What Reviewers Say:

  • Hours of Fun
  • When I saw this item in the HS catalog I just knew I had to buy it for my husband. Its a Christmas present so I haven't given it to him yet but I did open it to check the quality, etc, and was very happy with it. I know he will definitely put it on his desk at work. A great stress buster.
  • Bought this as a fun thing for the office. The quality -- of the leather bag and the spring and the suction base -- is really high. I am both a little surprised (given the price) and pleased. Will probably get this for us to play with at home, too, now that I know it's strong enough to withstand children. Highly recommend.
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PowerBlock Kettle Block
fave 4 Faves
  • 453 bought

4.40 stars

Adjustable Kettlebell for whole body training.

  • Weight range of 8 to 40 pounds
  • Replaces 8 different kettle bells
  • Lifetime home use warranty

For the home-gym rat, this is the perfect gift! With this single device, he can get in a complete kettlebell workout with just ONE piece of equipment. The weight ranges between 5 and 20 pounds, giving him total control over his workout.

What Reviewers Say: 

  • The Powerblock website is weak for workouts but I found a couple good routines on fitness blender's youtube page and I am also reading the Kettlebell RX book. I would defiantly suggest this product to anyone who is limited space and wants a nice in between gym day’s workout. There is also an expansion pack that increases the weight to 55 pounds.
  • I have been using the Kettle Block now for a couple of weeks and am really happy with my purchase. I have converted a single car garage into my home gym, so space is a concern for me. The fact that 8 different size weights occupy the same space as a single large kettle bell is a fantastic feature for me! The handle is large and has ample room if you have large hands. There are also no seems on the handle, very smooth and has a heavy-duty feel to it. It's very quick to change weights and the sizes an color coordination is very easy to ready. My wife and her friends also love using the Kettle Block! Shipping was double boxed and flawless. I am so happy with this purchase that I plan on buying a second, one for each hand!
  • Just what you'd expect from PowerBlock-- a little pricey, but high quality and functionality. I have a PB dumbbell set from many, many years ago and it's still working like a champ; I just wish I were. I expect nothing less from the Kettle Bel...er...Block. I thought the maximum weight might be a little light, but if you use it for a kettle bell cardio workout (lots of them on YouTube), it should be plenty. I made the mistake of buying one solid bell that's 80lbs, which I've found in application has rather limited utility, and I'm 6'3" 255.
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Briefcase Fitness Center
fave 2 Faves
  • 387 bought

Portable gym that provides a full-body workout, but folds into the size of a briefcase. Includes adjustable bands and exercise DVDs.

  • Go anywhere (fits carry-on requirements)
  • Sets up on legs to become a raised platform for cardio exercises
  • Supports users up to 350 pounds


Hideaway Elliptical Trainer
fave 1 Fave
  • 470 bought

Small elliptical trainer that provides an incredible workout for your lower legs.

  • Non-slip foot pads
  • Adjustable tension
  • LCD shows strides, time, and calories burned

What Reviewers Say:

  • I bought this machine so I won't have to dress up and go down to our gym, while watching my own preferred TV shows. The idea was very good and the machine proved to be useful for this purpose. But like previous review, the motion is small (which is good since it makes you work out more I suppose) and if you're balance challenged like me, you would need to have something to hold on to from time to time.
  • Great little work out for hot or rainy days.
  • I bought this to use it as described (as an elliptical trainer) and was delighted to find out that it can be used in the reverse position as a recumbent bicycle, giving me a number of workouts in one small machine.
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Power Rope Balls
fave 1 Fave
  • 184 bought

4.20 stars

Develop rotational strength and power with this training tool that combines a medicine ball with a rope handle.

  • Work quick rotational movements
  • Develop strength
  • Increase muscle tone

What Reviewers Say:

  • Power rope ball was a great buy it works a treat for the core and side obliques but is for more advanced people as it can sometimes be tricky getting the momentum
  • Just another great tool to use in your core workout. You will love this medicine ball. The quality appears to be good so far. I have a small gym at my house and several friends and my teenage boys are using it on a regular basis. We will see how long it will last but it is holding up to date.
  • Power systems equipment is high quality. the power rope medicine ball enables core exercises not possible with regular medicine balls
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TRX Home Suspension Training Kit
fave 6 Faves
  • 334 bought

4.60 stars

TRX Home Kit gives you everything you need to build a better body at home or on the go!

  • Includes TRX suspension training P2 Model
  • TRX Door anchor
  • 30-Day, 100% satisfaction guarantee

This suspension kit uses nylon straps, which you can hook onto anywhere, and uses your own body weight to build strength, balance and cores stability. Created by a Navy SEAL and will kick your butt!

What Reviewers Say:

  • In the few short weeks I've owned it, I have been able to take the TRX Home Training Bundle on a camping trip, on a business trip, and to work with me for a 2-day IT system crash event. While camping I was able to use trees and the rafters in a pavilion to support the TRX system, and found both made easy platforms for great workouts. At hotels and while trapped at work for two days, I was able to use the door mount to sneak in some workouts, and I found that platform to be stable as well.
  • I really like TRX. It is a good work out.
  • I heard of this system, seen it, now I've tried it and it is awesome.... can take it anywhere with you!!! Its fantastic !!!
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Isometric Resistance Upper Body Strengthener
fave 1 Fave
  • 532 bought

This isometric resistance trainer gives you a muscle-strengthening workout, focusing on your upper body.

  • Simply pull or push on the static handlebars
  • Integrated backlit LCD to set goals
  • 23 exercises to tone the arms, shoulders, chest, and back

The device has 23 exercises, and creates the same strength resistance as using free weights, but less strain.

What Reviewers Say:

  • I have only been using the Grip for a short time and have already noticed increased muscle tone. I have used free weights most of my life, but because of increased joint pain I have had to stop. The Grip allows me to maintain and increase my upper body muscles without the joint pain.
  • I have been working out for over 20 years. I've tried almost everything and never got muscular. After 2 to 3 weeks of using the isometric strenthener, I am getting bigger biceps, chest and shoulders and I'm much stronger than I used to be. I highly remommend this product to anyone who wants to get bigger muscles and strong without the backache of lifting free weights. I am totally amazed by the results.
  • I noticed I was losing the power of my forehand tennis stroke - due to being avoided in doubles play.
    After using item three times a day for two days my power shot began to return. I should be up to speed within a week.
    This would help older players like myself to keep their upper body strength.
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Bongo Balance Board
fave 2 Faves
  • 289 bought

4.60 stars

This Bongo Balance Board effectively trains balance, stability, coordination, ankle and knee strength, and core power.

  • Enhances core strength
  • Increases coordination
  • Heightens body awareness and sports performance

This baby also helps with stretching and strengthening ligaments and tendons.

What Reviewers Say:

  • If you are a runner or cyclist and have not done much in the way of improving your lower body balance, this Bongo Board will make a huge difference! I had to stop running marathons 5 years ago due to an imbalance in my hip muscles. (If I had known about this board 5 years ago, I would have saved myself many trips to physical therapy and my massage therapist!)
  • It is best if you begin using the bongo board on the carpet since it is easier to use and is slower that way.
    Once you are used to using the bongo board on the carpet and you want a challenge, try using it on a harder surface.
  • I've had the Bongo board for a few days now and am very happy so far. Very solid construction! One great feature is that the axis of the roller stays connected to the board by a stretchy cord that runs along the length of the bottom of the board. This prevents the roller from dangerously flying off across the room if you lose your balance. (I have seen other balance boards where the roller is not connected and this could be very dangerous, since it could fly off and break something inside your home.) The roller is stopped on either end of the board by two trucks so it won't roll completely out from under you. It is very difficult to do at first! Beginners definitely need some chairs or something to hang onto, or a spotter. My friend who is a long time skateboarder tried it and thought it was also pretty tricky to balance - it is a different feeling from skateboarding.
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AmazonBasics Resistance Band Set
fave 1 Fave
  • 58 bought

4.00 stars

Resistance bands play a major part of LeBron James' endurance workouts.

  • Varying resistance
  • Super durable with foam handles
  • Includes carrying case

Whether he's working out at the gym, at home, or on the beach, James always has a resistance band set with him! This set comes with 5 resistance bands of varying difficulty, making it ideal for any workout!

What Reviewers Say:

When you buy resistance bands, you want to know they work. Here's what real users have to say about this product:

  • First part, the handles are comfortable. I'm still at the beginning of returning to work outs, so I'm spending only a few minutes on the lowest bands. I was also impressed to find out that you can combine bands with the same set up. I very much appreciate the ankle straps as they are very useful to my physical therapy of a rolled ankle I am still recovering from.
  • The attachments are solidly made with comfort in mind. The handles are a significant improvement over the naked plastic tube grips attached to thin nylon straps I’d grown accustomed to. These handles are very solid, with a rugged, thicker nylon strap and a thick tubed grip covered with a spongy sleeve. They provide a comfortable yet sure grip.
  • This is a great, basic resistance band workout kit for starters. The kit includes 5 color coded bands of varying resistance, 2 handles, 2 ankle straps, and a door anchor, plus a zipper carrying case for organizing and transporting the items. Despite the affordable price, the kit is very well made and the quality is excellent. It is well suited to people who want to have a basic kit to start exercising with resistance bands.
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11 Exercise Gadgets For The Home That Really Work
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