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Which equipment for strength training is best?

With the variety of strength-training equipment, it can be intimidating to choose the best ones to meet your fitness goals and budget. Besides the traditional pieces, like dumbbells and barbells, there is a range of other gear like Bosu balls, resistance bands, and suspension trainers. 

Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle mass or tone up, the best strength-training equipment will help you find suitable matches. The initial purchase costs for equipment like the TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer will be well worth it because it will pay dividends in your health and well-being. 

How to choose strength-training equipment

Before purchasing strength-training equipment, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these popular options to figure out which ones could best meet your needs:

  • Dumbbells: A staple in weight rooms and the most recognizable equipment, dumbbells range from 1 to 100 pounds. Basic dumbbells are a good place for beginners to start.
  • Barbells: Barbells are great choices for heavy lifters like bodybuilders and those looking to do lower-body moves like deadlifts, squats and snatches. Some are fixed with weighted plates, while some have removable ones.
  • Kettlebells: Kettlebells are versatile. There are lots of exercises that you can do with them besides kettlebell swings and cleans. Before using them, it’s well worth getting tips on maintaining good form.
  • TRX: Hanging these straps on your ceiling or door will allow you to do a variety of power moves that will engage several muscle groups using dynamic movement.
  • Medicine balls: These basketball-looking weights can be used as resistance for core workouts like Russian twists and V-ups. They can also be used for plyometric exercises to build strength.
  • Resistance bands: Large, colored rubber bands that can be used for low-impact exercises easy on the joints. They come in different lengths, resistance levels and styles.
  • Stability Balls: Another versatile piece, stability balls are handy for several moves. Consider getting these large inflatable balls if you want to focus on your core muscles and increase your spine stability. 
  • ViPR: This hollow tube can give you a solid, full-body workout that builds stability, strength and mobility. Holding them while doing moves like lunges can create a more dynamic workout. ViPRs come in different weights and sizes.
  • Parallettes: These are favorites for CrossFit athletes and gymnasts, who use them for body weight training and developing definition and strength. Parallettes are great for pushups and leg kickbacks.
  • BOSU balls: Resembling a stability ball cut in half, one side is dome-shaped, and the other is flat. Both sides can be utilized for building strength and boosting dynamic balance.
  • Gliding discs: These unassuming discs can add power to your lunges and ab exercises like pikes and mountain lunges. They are best used on slippery surfaces.

What’s the best equipment to buy for strength training?

Top equipment for strength training

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

What you need to know: These adjustable dumbbells combine 15 sets of weights into one dial system for a variety of strength exercises, making them ideal for those with little space at home.

What you’ll love: The dial system in the dumbbells allows you to make them lighter or heavier in 2.5-pound increments, from 5 to 52.5 pounds. You can rapidly switch from one exercise to the next while getting a challenging workout with different ranges of motion. The purchase comes with a two-year warranty.

What you should consider: The handle may not fit all hand sizes. 

Sold by Amazon

TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer

TRX All-in-One Body Suspension Trainer

What you need to know: This training system is designed for all fitness levels and allows you to do strength moves that hit all your muscle groups.

What you’ll love: The TRX suspension trainer is portable and can be easily installed anywhere from doors, trees or outdoor posts. The training system comes with a suspension trainer and anchor, a door anchor, a starting guide and the TRX Training Club app. You can use these to do foundation moves that target resistance training and your core.

What you should consider: The manual provides a limited number of moves that you can do with the suspension trainer.

Sold by Amazon

FitCord X-Over Resistance Band

FitCord X-Over Resistance Bands

What you need to know: Made with the highest-quality materials, these durable resistance bands are designed for those who want to maximize their upper-body strength and tone up.

What you’ll love: The FitCord bands up to 55 pounds in resistance and is designed for several strength-training workouts like CrossFit, physical therapy and bodybuilding. Available in seven resistance levels, it can be used as a single band or be crossed over to form an X.  Made with weather-resistant latex, it has a scrunched nylon safety sleeve that offers protection in case the band snaps during use.

What you should consider: Some users may not find the cords long enough in the crossover symmetry.

Sold by Amazon

Top equipment for strength training for the money

Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Weights

Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Weights

What you need to know: This blue-hued kettlebell is well-priced and built for durability and longevity.

What you’ll love: The kettlebells are made with solid cast iron and have a coating that protects the weight from damage and scratches while training. The kettlebells are sold individually and are available in weights that range from 5 to 50 pounds. Designed for a softer landing, its flat bottom and smooth handle provide a comfortable workout experience. 

What you should consider: Some buyers found the bottom of the kettlebell to be wobbly and rounded and not flat, as indicated in the description.

Sold by Amazon

Black Mountain Products 2000lbs Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball

Black Mountain Products 2000-pound Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball

What you need to know: These stability balls can hold up to 200 pounds and will challenge anyone looking to strengthen and tone.

What you’ll love: The exercise ball is made with dense walls that provide plenty of support and durability. It comes in five different size options: 45 cm, 55 cm, 65 cm, 75 cm and 85 cm. The package includes a pump if you need to reinflate and a starter guide. 

What you should consider: The ball should be stored in a secure place, as the plastic can react with furniture and diminish the finish. 

Sold by Amazon

Zensufu Ankle Weights

Zensufu Ankle Weights

What you need to know: Use these well-made ankle weights for a variety of resistance lower-body training moves. 

What you’ll love: The ankle weights are made with soft and durable fabric and come with a black travel pouch. Each piece weighs 5 pounds and has an adjustable strap to make it fit around your ankles and wrists.

What you should consider: Some wearers did not find the material strong enough and said it could not withstand wear and tear. 

Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

CAP Barbell 6-Foot Solid Olympic Bar

CAP Barbell 6-foot Solid Olympic Bar

What you need to know: This smaller version of the full-sized Olympic bar won’t take up as much room but can still give you a full-body workout.

What you’ll love: The barbell is made with high-quality solid cold steel with a chrome finish. It has rotating sleeves that reduce pressure on forearms and wrists and a medium-depth diamond knurling for a secure grip. Compact yet effective, it’s 6 feet long and weighs 28 pounds.

What you should consider: Some buyers did not receive the barbell in good condition.

Sold by Amazon

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

What you need to know: This popular piece of workout equipment offers over 50 gym exercises for a full-body workout.

What you’ll love: The machine features a workout bench, cable pulley system and seated leg press. This durable and sturdy piece is made with a solid heavy-duty steel construction frame and offers between 5 to 210 pounds of resistance. Designed for flexibility and high performance, it has a multiuse hand grip and ankle cuffs. 

What you should consider: With its hefty price tag, the equipment may not suit every budget. 

Sold by Amazon

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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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