When gyms temporarily shuttered during the pandemic, there was an explosion in the demand for premium home workout equipment -- and it's a market that continues to flourish today. Working out at home has plenty of benefits. The sheer convenience makes it easier to stick to a consistent routine, and it allows you to skip the cost of a pricey gym membership. And there are plenty of compact machines and setups that allow you to get a proper workout without taking up an entire room in your house.
Smart fitness technology and equipment is transforming home fitness, and the best smart home gym options are helping to recreate gyms and fancy studio classes at home with vibrant touchscreen displays, built-in cameras and compact all-in-one systems. Not to mention options for classes and training sessions that help guide your exercises and take those workout-mat, resistance-band and stationary-bike home workouts to the next level as you work toward your fitness goals.
All that said, smart gym equipment is pricey -- typically costing a few thousand dollars -- so it's not yet accessible to everyone. But if you're truly ready to bring a fitness studio into your home, replacing your gym membership or weekly SoulCycle class with a smart exercise bike could pay for itself over time. It also ensures you always have access to your favorite workout equipment, weights and whatever else you need to complete your workout routine on a regular basis. Also, because you spent a pretty penny, there's a really good chance that your smart home gym equipment will not suffer the same fate as that exercise ball, kettlebell, dumbbell, squat rack, weight plates and yoga mat that are now taking up space in your closet.
As with any new technology, it can be expensive at first, but the costs can come down over time as more products hit the market. Whether you want to do resistance training, high-intensity interval training, a full body workout, indoor cycling or other workout routines, this is the best smart home gym equipment you can buy right now.
Lusting after the Peloton, but don't have the funds to get one for your home gym? Echelon's Connect Ex series starts at $800 and offers a similar experience, but you need to bring your own screen. There's a built-in tablet holder for it when you're exercising.
Like Peloton, you can participate in virtual cycling classes, both on-demand and live. And since you're using your own tablet with the bike, you can forgo those classes and watch Netflix instead, which you can't do with the Peloton.
Peloton's $1,445 Bike is a spin bike designed to mimic what it's like to ride on the road. This indoor bike has an adjustable seat and handlebars and features a 21.5-inch touchscreen display. Use the display to participate in live and on-demand classes from home -- this feature costs an additional $44 per month.
Peloton recently introduced its new Bike Plus spin bike, which has a movable touchscreen display and costs $1,995.
Want to pretend to be Rocky in your own home gym, but have no idea how to box? FightCamp's in-home boxing bag, guided workout classes and smart boxing gloves can help. FightCamp has sensors that you place inside the boxing wraps you wear on both hands, under the boxing gloves.
Those sensors can tell you how hard you're hitting and how many punches you land. Every workout tells you how many punches to throw and the sensors give you real-time info to see how you're progressing. Access to classes is $39 per month, and the basic Connect package with just the wraps and sensors will cost you $399. The full Tribe package with gloves, an exercise mat and a bag, is $1,299 at full price.
At first glance, the $1,495 Mirror is nothing more than a full-length mirror you'd use to check your outfit in the morning. But look closer and you see that it's also an LCD screen. With this workout mirror, you can watch instructor-lead live and on-demand fitness classes (with a required $39 per month membership) and check your form at the same time. Anyone who's worked out at home knows what it's like to wonder if their form is correct during each workout.
The smart fitness mirror offers classes in different disciplines -- including yoga, strength and cardio -- and with different workout lengths and fitness levels. It recently added one-on-one personal training to its repertoire, which takes advantage of the built-in camera so that your trainer can see your form and help correct it. It comes with the mirror, a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor and six fitness bands.
Yes, it's expensive, but the Mirror is still the best personal training system we've tested out (so far).
Editor's note, May 5, 2021: Peloton has issued a voluntary recall of its Tread Plus treadmill (formerly called the Tread) because of a potentially fatal risk to children and pets. You can no longer buy the older Tread Plus from Peloton, but the newer Tread is for sale. See the full details of the recall.
The $2,695 Peloton Tread is a smart treadmill for your home gym. Pay $39 per month to access Peloton's live and on-demand Tread classes. Train for a beginner 5K on the track or participate in an advanced high-intensity class alongside other seasoned runners and exercisers to boost your heart rate.
The Tread features a 32-inch touchscreen display, too, so you can easily follow along with whatever guided classes you select, access your profile settings and view your stats, including calories burned, from each workout.
Meet the $2,495 Tempo home gym. My colleague, Sarah Mitroff, describes it best in this hands-on article: "Similar to Mirror, Tempo's sleek design is meant to blend into your home -- it looks like an industrial bookcase and a TV had a baby, in a good way."
Complete with a 42-inch HD touchscreen display and storage for 16 plates (four each at 1.25 pounds, 2.5 pounds, 5 pounds and 10 pounds). The system also comes with two 7.5-pound dumbbells and one 25-pound barbell, collars for locking the plates in place, a heart rate monitor, a workout mat and a foam roller. Participate in live and on-demand classes ranging from high intensity interval training to strength training and more. The device uses 3D mapping and AI to give tips on your form in real-time. And, like most of its competition, classes cost $39 a month. The Tempo Studio tracks and records personal metrics to realize your strength and also has Apple Watch integration.
Can you really get a full weight room from a machine that's the size of a TV? Tonal thinks so. Tonal's "weight machine" uses digital weights to workout your muscles using a truly compact home gym. No weights, no metal plates, no weight stack, no dumbbells or kettlebells, the Tonal home gym consists of just two giant arms that extend outward from the sides of the screen at the push of a button, plus a built-in coach on its touch screen.
It offers up to 200 pounds of resistance and guided workouts. Much better for exercise and strength training than free weights. Oh and it has real-time feedback so it can automatically adjust the resistance during your workout if it senses the current weight is too easy or hard for you.
More fitness recommendations for 2023
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.