Discover Our List of Essential Gym Equipment

Those who are just starting out at the gym may feel intimidated by all of the equipment and training machines. That's why we've put together a list of essential gym equipment and we'll tell you everything you need to know about each machine.

Last update: 25 October, 2018

It’s possible that you’re not sure which gym machines are considered as essential gym equipment? For this reason, we’ve made a list to help you decide if you’d like to add them to your workout routine.

Of course, gym equipment should enhance your workouts and give them variety, so that you can make the most of them. As such, we’ve prepared a list of essential gym equipment. Keep reading and pick your favorites!

Here’s your guide to essential gym equipment

1.- Cardio machines

Firstly, you should know that cardio machines are indispensable for your workouts. Whether you want to lose weight, tone your legs, or just work out before hitting the weights, cardio machines are an excellent option to include in your training routine.

People at gym on exercise bikes
Using your arms on the exercise bike is one of the most common mistakes.

In addition, there are various other cardio options available in all gyms. These include: exercise bikes, treadmills, and rowing machines. We recommend that you alternate between them to get the best from your cardio exercise. This is because cardio plays an important role in your overall health and fitness.

2.- Weight machines

Weight machines are designed for strength training, and they guide your body through a controlled range of motions. Remember, all gym machines come with instructions. This will tell you what muscle groups are targeted, how they work, and where their adjustment points are.

If you’re not familiar with a machine, or you aren’t sure that you’ve made the right adjustments for your height, start with a lighter weight and test the range of motion. Then, make sure that your body is stable and comfortable.

To begin, choose a weight that seems right for you and try to do at least 10–12 repetitions in a row. If you can do 12 repetitions without any problem, increase the weight. Remember that the goal is to perform four or five repetitions. Keep your movements and breathing controlled. Exhale when you’re pushing yourself and inhale when you return to your starting position.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

–Khalil Gibran–

3.- Gym benches

Without a doubt, gym benches should also be included in your routine, when working out with essential gym equipment. It’s a high-performance piece of equipment that allows you to complete full body exercises. Among other things, you can use them for crunches and triceps push-ups. Moreover, it can help you to build a better physique, since you can use it for different exercises.

Woman on gym bench chest press

So, despite what you may think, gym benches are not for resting! The best-known exercise with the bench is the chest press. It’s great for toning and building your chest muscles.

4.- Free weights with bars and plates

Free weight exercises that use barbells and plates, (like weight machines), are ideal for strength training. Indeed, one of the reasons why many athletes prefer to use free weights, is because they require more balance, coordination, and a greater use of stabilizing muscles.

Free weight exercises are more versatile than machines, allowing for more variation and a greater range of motionOf course, you should always consider your fitness and ability, because there’s a much greater margin of error, than with the controlled motion of a machine. As such, you should avoid lifting too much weight at first. Remember, consistency, intensity, and variation are the keys to any successful workout.

5.- Medicine balls

Up next on our list of essential gym equipment, is the medicine ball. You can use this to perform a wide variety of exercises. From squats that incorporate throwing the ball into the air, to twists and rotations to tone your abs.

Essential gym equipment medicine balls

Medicine balls come in a variety of sizes and weights. Make sure they’re not too heavy. The goal is not to struggle to lift it, but rather, to move it repeatedly in multiple directions and work your entire body.

Finally, remember that the essential gym equipment we’ve mentioned in this list, is available in any gym. We hope that you’ll be able to identify all of these machines, and enjoy using them. What are you waiting for? Start training today!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.