What exercise equipment for the exercise?

Exercise equipment for a home gym

Home gym

Equipment for the types of exercises – exercise choices

List of exercise equipment that is used for the type of exercise choices. There may be alternatives to that equipment listed as well. Spoiler: Total Gym falls under every category…big reason why I love it so much. Maybe this will give you ideas for types of exercise you had not thought of too.

Strengthening joints

I hold this in very high importance. If you can strengthen your joints, you are less vulnerable to injury. When you have weak ankles or easily roll them or sprain them, this means that it would be advantageous to strengthen them. The shoulder is the most unstable joint in the body and that is a good one to strengthen as well. Working with your hands is much safer if your wrists are strong.

I had an accident where I popped a ligament in my wrist. It took years to fully heal. This injury threw out the alignment of my wrist network, which gave me “Tennis elbow” and the pain associated with that too. When you have a shoulder injury, you can end up with “Tennis elbow” from that too. We want to prevent all these types of problems.


The best equipment for this is the Bosu or Balance Trainer
Wobble cushion is a cheaper alternative to the Bosu
Another great choice is resistance bands
Rocker planks
Weight stack and pulley system can also be utilized.

These are options I do not like because they are, to me, needlessly risky for accidents: For example, the surfer exercise equipment that has you stand on a board while rolling on a post/log (Balance board log). It does look fun, but I look at it, and KNOW I would get myself hurt. Use safe exercise!


The best exercise equipment for this is small weight dumbbells (1 to 5 lbs range).
Another great choice is resistance bands.

With wrists, you want to build strength, but not push them too hard. They have a limited range that you should not stress.


Weight stack & pulley system

I recommend range of motion type exercises with or without weights. Exercise like push ups are also valuable. This is the most unstable joint in your body. Strengthening the support is hugely valuable. If a movement is stressing this joint too much, DON’T DO IT. There are always alternatives.


Knees are protected while you exercise your leg well and make it strong. We want them to last a lifetime, so we need to be kind to them. 

Isometric exercises

Moves that require the holding of a position to work the muscles. Examples of this type are wall sit, plank poses, overhead hold, glute bridge, hollow body hold, arch body hold, and yoga poses.


Pilates ranges from floor exercises to the use of Reformer equipment.

Reformer equipment

Early models are horizontal and cannot be placed at an angle. Now, there are models that are very, very similar to Total Gym equipment.

Total Gym

This equipment is very comparable to the Reformer, but it can be put to a desired angle. It is very versatile and helps you do most any type of exercise. The total Gym should have the toe bar attachment instead of the standard squat stand (foot platform) to be more comparable to the Reformer. If you don’t have the toe bar, you can just remove the squat stand as needed.

Pilates Ring

This is a flexible ring with two padded locations. The ThighMaster is a good alternative for this piece of equipment for the thigh work.

Resistance bands

These can be used to add resistance in strategic ways during movement in a similar category as weights, but different in usage. They can be used in place of weights and are far more easy to travel with you.

Barre/Ballet exercise choices

Mainly these are floor moves, ballet, and Barre exercises. There is equipment that can add to your fitness program.

Parallel bars or high-backed chair

Equipment for using like the ballet bar that is attached to the wall for the hand or foot to rest upon for many ballet moves.

Dip station

A metal framework that you can use for resting your hand or foot while doing the ballet exercises. You can also hang inside by your forearms while you do leg lifts. It is possible to do dips and pull ups as well.

Exercise ball and medicine ball

There are lots of great exercise that can be done with both of these balls.
I also use my exercise ball for stretches that feel great as well as a bench while weight-lifting to engage core muscles of balancing at the same time.
My favorite medicine ball exercise is called the Russian Twist. You have your legs up with knee bent and pass the medicine ball side to side. This works a lot of core muscles very nicely.

Total Gym

I have a page telling more about Total Gym equipment (see link above)

Weight stack with pulley

Resistance bands

These travel VERY well with you. They can be used for doing the gym pulley exercises.

Total Gym

The total gym has this same pulley system, only it is using your body-weight instead of a weight stack. You can set whatever angle you like for the ratio of your weight you want to use for the workout. There are models that can have additional weight added.


If you use the proper position, you can do the same exercises using free weights.


Total Gym

You can do many exercises using weight attachment or pulley system work that works like the pulley and weight stack system at the gym. There is plenty of information about this equipment here on this site

Dumbbells & chair or exercise ball

Body weight exercise choices

There are many floor moves that utilize body weight as the weight for resistance in muscle building. Moves like pull ups and dips, you can do hanging from rafters and workout stations or playground equipment.

Exercise ball

There are many of these that can be done on the exercise ball and even add in the muscle work required to keep your balance while performing them.

Parallel bars

You can do work like dip bar moves.

Dip Station

This is a metal framework that you can hang inside by your forearms while you do leg lifts. You can also do dip bar exercises and pull ups.

Total Gym

Body weight exercises (calisthenics) are even more fun when you are using a sliding track system to do them. In many cases you can roll your position and load the muscles through a whole system… like the core muscles. I have a whole article devoted to Total Gym on my site…

Low Impact Cardio exercise choices

These are the moves that are easy on your joints, yet give you good cardiovascular benefits. Cardio is good for circulation and heart health. These are also important to weight loss. Do activity like this where you raise your heart rate for 20 minutes, 3 times a week for weight loss benefits. Activity where you are jumping or bouncing have the additional benefit of improving lymph system circulation.

Step aerobics – stepper block

This can be a no-brainer workout while you watch TV! Just use this rule “last foot down is first foot up”. You don’t have to worry about your footwork with this method. To make it higher intensity, do more activity with your arms and or lift your knees.

Stair Climber machine

This has great intensity, yet is low impact.


Make sure that you have the height necessary if you want to use this indoors! Ladies, you REALLY NEED to have the proper sports wear SUPPORT to do this exercise without painful problems… it is different than when you were a kid.


This is wonderfully low impact. I also do 90 degree improper position on the pedals to do more focused thigh work with legs going sideways out and in… this is very awkward, but I like it. This awkward position exercise that the machine is not designed for is easier to do on a Total Gym, Slide Board or Lateral exerciser, and floor exercises.

Side to side skating simulation – Lateral exerciser

These machines employ a side to side motion for the legs.

Exercise Bicycle

This is a machine to ride bicycle safely in your home. It is easy to do while watching TV.


An exercise machine where you can run in place easily in your home. You can do whatever speed and the terrain resistance program you like with either slope or a program.


If you have a big enough pool you can use, you can swim laps. This is wonderfully low impact exercise for all your joints when you are in water. This removes a lot of your weight in a way that can be more therapeutic as well.

Cardio exercise choices

These are valuable forms of cardio work that are not necessarily low impact.

Playing sports

There are plenty of options here… examples are Tennis, Soccer, Football, etc.


I am in favor of using a road, local track, or park with paved paths. I see many people using rough trails with tree roots, sticks, rocks… this has a lot of chance for injury while running.

Jumping rope

The equipment is simple and cheap…just a rope.

Marching in place – no exercise equipment needed

You can start small and start raising your tempo and or raising your knees… also increase activity of your arms.

Jumping jacks – no exercise equipment needed

Wonderful, intense exercise.

Burpees – no exercise equipment needed

This could be your next level after jumping jacks. It is more intense cardio work.


High Intensity Training and High Intensity Interval Training use one session of very intense, heart rate raising activity or multiple sessions with a brief rest interval. This is up to you and the type of exercise you like. It could be a yoga mat, dumbbells, jumping rope, or maybe nothing at all….

Cross Fit Exercise choices

These are high intensity workouts that incorporate the fitness moves from many disciplines. It is usually a technique employed by athletes to build strength, balance, and skills from other fitness disciplines in order to make themselves more physically well-rounded. The equipment most popular here does not work for the home gym… huge, heavy ropes and tractor tires. But this is up to your choices really.


There are so many that are specifically geared towards fitness and weight loss…Zumba for example. There are Hip Hop workouts and new hybrid fitness dance workouts being created all the time.

Total Gym

This can be used to do exercise much like a rowing machine.

If you would like to learn more about the home gym exercise equipment with the best “bang for your buck”…

This includes home gym equipment that is a low cost alternative to particular Total Gym functions and equipment that is DIY or something you may already have around.



Valuable To Know