If you struggle to go to the gym, then the easiest way to strength train is from the comfort of your own home. The pieces of kit in this blog are considered the best home gym equipment essentials for runners.
If you’re new to strength training, check out my essential strength training guide for runners.
Strength training is essential for becoming and staying a stronger and less injury-prone runner.
However, for some people it’s not always possible to go to a gym every week.
Whether you prefer to workout at home or you don’t want the commitment or cost of attending a gym, then these home gym equipment essentials are great for all types of runners.
Also, in times of concern when you may not want to go to a gym, it’s probably best to spend time working out at home rather than using a public space.
It can be overwhelming to know what gear to buy considering the best home gym equipment for runners.
There is so much to choose from and you don’t always know what to buy as a runner.
So in this blog I’ve put together a list of equipment essentials that runners need for a home gym.
All of these pieces of kit are affordable, compact and mobile so they won’t take up too much space in your home.
How to select home gym equipment
The best advice I can give when choosing home gym equipment for runners is to select gear that is versatile, high quality and durable.
Equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls can be used in many different ways for various exercises.
There are also other essentials like yoga/exercise mats and foam rollers which are also good pieces of gear to have in your armoury.
Wondering what the foam rolling benefits are for runners? Check out on my blog on how to foam roll properly for runners.
Scroll down to view my top picks for home gym equipment for runners.
Where to buy home gym equipment
With online shopping offering many options, there are plenty of places from which to buy home gym equipment.
Remember to choose equipment that is versatile, high quality and durable.
Best home gym equipment for runners: What to buy
A good gym mat is important when exercising at home because it provides a cushioned, non-slip surface to do your moves.
I like to workout in my kitchen which has a hard floor, so it’s good to have a thick gym mat to lie on.
Even if you have carpets or rugs, it’s better to sweat on a gym mat than on your floor.
A good gym mat will last years, so it’s best to invest in one that you can use time and time again.
I suggest you buy one that is at least 5mm thick and that is non-slip.
My top picks include:
- Oak & Reed Purple Thick Texture Fitness Mat (£14.99) – TK Maxx
- Domyos Gentle Yoga Mat 8mm (£19.99) – Decathlon
- Fitbeast 6mm Non-Slip 6mm Thick Yoga/Exercise Mat (£21.99) – Amazon
- Gaiam Be Free Reversible 6mm Yoga Mat (£33) – John Lewis
Dumbbells are small and portable and are great for adding difficulty to simple strength exercises like squats, lunges and hip bridges.
They can also be used to work on your core muscles and upper body, which are also key parts of the body for runners.
For these reasons, dumbbells are at the top of my list when it comes to picking the best home gym equipment for runners.
When selecting dumbbells, there are different styles to choose from depending on how you intend to use them.
If you’re opting for lower weights (between 1kg and 5kg), soft touch, neoprene hand weights are an ideal solution.
For heavier weights (6kg and above), I suggest you opt for hexagonal dumbbells with grip handles as these are easier and safer to handle.
Hexagonal dumbbells are also great for floor work.
My top dumbbell picks include:
- Proiron Neoprene 5kg Dumbbells (£24.99) – Amazon
- Domyos Tone Dumbbells Twin Pack 5kg (£17.99) – Decathlon
- Domyos Hex 10kg Dumbbell (£19.99) – Decathlon
- Mirafit Soft Touch Mini Hex Dumbbells (£3.99-£37.99) – Amazon
- Bodypower Rubber Hex Ergo 10kg x 2 Dumbbells (£44.99) – Amazon
Medicine balls are affordable and versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises.
I like to use medicine balls to target my core, abs and arms. Check out these essential core exercises for runners.
They are also great to improve muscular power and performance.
Medicine balls can be thrown and caught making them the best home gym equipment for runners for explosive movements.
When choosing a weight, pick a medicine ball that’s heavy enough to slow the motion, slower than if you weren’t using any weight at all.
Make sure it’s not so heavy that your control, accuracy and range of motion takes a hit.
My top medicine ball picks include:
- Bodyrip No Bounce Medicine Slam Ball (£10.99-£25.99) – Amazon
- Domyos Weighted Tone Ball 3kg (£19.99) – Decathlon
- TRENAS Professional Double Handle Medicine Ball (£30.49-£55.99) – Amazon
Resistance bands are fantastic for making workouts harder without adding more weight.
They are also essential for injury prevention and injury recovery and rehab as they help with mobility.
Even better, resistance bands don’t take up much space and they can be bought fairly inexpensively, making them a versatile piece of home gym equipment for runners.
Resistance bands are normally made of rubber and come in different strengths and lengths so it’s advisable to buy a set of bands to increase and decrease resistance.
The colour and thickness of the bands will vary by brand. In general, a thicker band equals more resistance.
Typically, the darker the colour the more resistance you can expect.
A good way to use a resistance band is around both of your legs above your knees for glute bridges, clams and squats.
You can also utilise them in cardiovascular exercises, like high knees and side skaters.
Stuck for resistance band exercises? Check out my blog on some of the best resistance band exercises for runners.
My top resistance band picks include:
- Domyos Mini Rubber Resistance Bands Pack (£3.99) – Decathlon
- Domyos Strength Training Resistance Band Glute Band (£5.99) – Decathlon
- Hybrid Resistance Band Set (£6.95) – Amazon
- Theraband (£6.94) – Amazon
- Fitness Mad Figure 8 Resistance Tube (£4.00-£10.49) – Amazon
There are so many benefits to foam rolling, especially for runners who regularly experience tight or sore muscles after a long run.
A good foam roller is essential for recovery after a long run and rehab and is therefore an important piece of home gym equipment for many runners.
Here are my top foam roller picks: