You may be wondering what is the best exercise equipment to lose weight. We all know it isn’t the equipment that makes us lose extra weight, but what we actually do with our bodies. Getting the best nutrition for our bodies in conjunction with proper exercise is the healthiest way to lose weight. However, there are definitely some great pieces of exercise equipment that can help us reach our goals, and here I’m sharing my top recommendations for the best exercise equipment to lose weight so you can get started on the right track!
So many people think that you have to do tons of cardio to lose weight, but that isn’t true! While cardio can help, there are actually better ways to lose weight (even if you hate cardio). I have a whole list of recommendations below, and I won’t even make you wait for my top pick…
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My #1 Recommendation for Exercise Equipment to Lose Weight: Adjustable Dumbbells
When you have weight loss goals, the best way to see fat loss is by building muscle with resistance training (or strength training). Strength training increases muscle mass, increases metabolism, burns calories and fat, and changes your whole body shape and composition.
Circuit training with lighter weights can be as effective as cardio exercises for getting up the heart rate in a short workout time, resulting in a nice calorie burn. Weights are versatile and can be used in a large variety of workout styles for all the different muscle groups.
Adjustable dumbbells specifically are a wonderful investment because it simplifies the number of weights you have to buy. Instead of a steadily growing collection of dumbbells as you increase the amount of weight you lift, you only need the one pair and can increase the weight as you go. They save you space and money!
I personally have these adjustable dumbbells and have used them for 7 years. They have lasted through all of my workouts, as well as my husband’s, and have moved with me to 3 different homes! They are adjustable with weight as low as 5 pounds and as heavy as 52.5 pounds, with 2.5 to 5 pound increments in between. I love that they are what I need for weight lifting at home without taking up much space. They are definitely a great choice and a great investment.
This set of adjustable dumbbells seems to be a good alternative, but I haven’t personally tried them out.
Best Cardio Equipment to Lose Weight
As I mentioned, yes, cardio is one effective way to lose weight. The CDC recommends a combination of a nutritious diet and physical activity for weight loss, however the amount of physical activity or cardiovascular exercises that is needed will vary from person to person. You also have to burn more calories than you consume, in order for your body to lose weight.
The general recommendation is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise per week, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, or a combination of both.
Even if you’re like me and you’d rather go to the dentist than do cardio, it doesn’t have to suck! Here are the best cardio machines (and a few tips) that can help.
Stationary bikes are a great indoor alternative to outdoor biking. There are different types of exercise bikes – like a recumbent bike, upright stationary bikes, and bikes that range from very simple to so fancy they almost do the work for you.
I’d also recommend using a stationary exercise bike if you prefer low-impact cardio but still want to really get your heart rate up. You can up the resistance to make things more difficult, and many come with adjustable handlebars and seats so you can have a more comfortable bike.
You can get a smart bike if you choose, but even a simple stationary bike (I have this bike at home) will do!
Reduce the boredom by reading a book, bingeing a Netflix series, or using an app like Zwift or Peloton for a virtual spin class at home!
Like running but don’t like going outside? Hate the smell of cars while running by the road? Treadmills are an indoor alternative and can be a great way to get a cardio workout.
They can also be a good way to warmup for a strength workout, practice sprinting, or simply get a quick walk in without braving the outdoors.
While I don’t currently have a treadmill in my home gym, I have a list of the 5 best treadmills that don’t take up a ton of space in your home (and my eye is on the under-desk treadmill, if anyone wants to tell my husband!).
Ellipticals allow for you to run – more or less – without the impact. It’s a better option if you’re injury-prone or have a musculoskeletal condition. It’s less intense than a treadmill or a stationary bike, but it’s a good option if you want a low-impact workout.
If you don’t have a ton of room for big pieces of equipment, these compact ellipticals are a great option.
Small Equipment Like Cubii Under Your Desk
And speaking of compact ellipticals… they can get REALLY compact. There’s small cardio equipment you can get that will fit under your desk!
A Cubii is a small machine that allows you to pedal your feet like a bike while sitting at your desk. This way, you can get a little cardio done while working!
Get your hop on with a jump rope for a quick and intense workout! Or, if you’re not very coordinated like me, get a cordless jump rope.
These have the same handles as jump ropes but have weights attached at the end instead of being connected by a cord. This way, you can hop in place while swinging the short ropes and get the same arm workout without the injury risk!
Tennis Shoes for Walking or Running
The most important piece of exercise equipment of all is YOUR SHOES. Unless you really want to, you don’t need to get any fancy cardio equipment or a special weight loss machine other than your shoes!
Throw them on, get up, and get going already!
Some other great options for cardio machines are the stair climber (it’s like an endless set of stairs) and the rowing machine (it will work your entire body!). These aren’t machines I have at home, but you’ll likely find them in your local gym – or you can add them to your home gym too!
Honestly, there is no perfect machine that will get you better results than another. It’s all about finding the right equipment for your needs and goals, and getting the best results you can by staying motivated and putting in the work!
Strength Training Equipment for Resistance
Barbell and Plates
A barbell and plates are helpful for when you want to do deadlifts, bench presses, and a variety of other moves to build muscle. It’s not that you can’t do these moves using dumbbells, it’s more that it’s sometimes easier to use a barbell instead of dumbbells for certain moves.
Plus, you can usually lift heavier weights by using a barbell, with the plates achieving a weight that dumbbells can’t reach.
By the way – working those large muscle groups (like your leg muscles) is a super efficient way to burn calories! A lot of calories. Just saying.
Resistance Bands and Mini Bands
Resistance bands are a great option to up the – well, resistance to your moves. You can use resistance bands for upper body workouts, lower body workouts, and the mini bands are great to wrap around you legs for squat walks and other lower body moves. These mini bands are my favorite because they don’t slip!
Bands are a great alternative to dumbbells if you have less storage space, or if you just prefer resistance rather than weight.
Equipment to Make it Fun & Motivating
Plyo boxes are a fun way to make your workout more interesting! You can use it for jumps, as a tool for high-intensity interval training, and a general platform to use as a support for moves. The most popular move is box jumps, but you can get creative and include your box in other workout moves too.
Smart Medicine Ball
Smart medicine balls add a layer of fun to your workout. Perfect for beginners and advanced exercisers, smart medicine balls are able to track your progress and are compatible with your smartphone!
You can access workouts online and use your smart medicine ball in the workouts. Also perfect for running drills if you play!
Did you know you can get a full body workout using a punching bag? By punching and kicking the bag while keeping your core tight, you engage most of your muscle groups!
Spice up your workouts by trying out a routine that includes a punching bag (we have the one shown above) – also perfect for letting out steam or getting angry kids to let loose on their glass case of emotions.
Balance Board and Bosu Ball
These both challenge your stability and will really engage your core. Trying to squat on a balance board or bosu ball forces more muscles to engage in order to keep you balance, and practicing your workouts on these is a great way to improve your stability!
TRX suspension training is another very fun way to perform your workout. Suspension training may seem a little scary if you’ve never done it before, but it can be pretty fun if you do it properly!
It requires you to train with your own body weight, which can be challenging for all levels depending on the move. Plus, it’s compact and can be taken anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about storage when you’re done with it.
Instructors to Tell You What to Do
Now, this isn’t a piece of equipment, but instructors ARE a helpful tool!
Streaming Workout Videos
Finding an instructor is as easy as turning on your smart device and doing a google search! There’s YouTube, workouts on my site, or even Beachbody on Demand. The world of workout programs is literally at your fingertips – just find one you like and get started!
When it comes to virtual trainers, I personally recommend Future. When I did the program, my coach reached out to me daily to check in. I was given a personalized workout program, and the app showed me how to do each move as I did them.
If you don’t feel like going to a gym and paying for a trainer to teach you there, I highly recommend Future as a great alternative. You can read my full review of Future here!
Which Equipment is Best for You?
As I mentioned earlier, there’s no one perfect piece of equipment that will help you lose weight. If there was, we would all have it, right?
First decide what your goals are, then find out what kind of exercise you are more likely to stick with. Then get the equipment that will help you get there!
Leave me a comment below and let me know which is your favorite!