The Ultimate Gym Equipment List: 10 Items Every Gym Must Have

By Salon Gold on October 18th, 2020

Opening a successful gym involves more than choosing the right location.

You’ll also need to have the necessary equipment to give your gymgoers an experience worth the price of their membership.

While it may seem simple in theory, it can be difficult to know what exactly your gym needs in order for it to feel complete.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ll clue you in.

Let’s take a look at 10 items every facility should have on their gym equipment list.

1. Battle Ropes

Many people get intimidated by these long, unusual pieces of equipment in the gym. But, they’re actually one of the best ways to get a solid core, bicep, and back workout.

Battle ropes are also an alternative to conventional cardio methods due to the high amount of intensity involved in the workouts. You could choose to incorporate either low-intensity or high-intensity cardio, as well.

2. Kettlebells

For those looking to build more functional strength as opposed to just being strong in the gym, kettlebells are the answer.

Since kettlebells are not balanced like regular dumbbells and many workouts involve swinging, overhead motions, you’ll hit your shoulders in a way that’s difficult to replicate through other movements.

Furthermore, you only need one kettlebell of any given weight since you’ll only use one arm at a time, allowing you to save some cash when looking to purchase items on your gym equipment list.

3. Squat Rack

Squats are the king of all lower body movements. There’s no way around it.

But, it can be difficult (and often dangerous) to squat outside of a squat rack, especially if you’re loading up the bar with heavy weight.

Thus, a squat rack is the perfect answer. They even have ways to adjust the height of the safety pins (or simply have pegs at different heights to rack the weight).

This allows lifters of any height to squat and then put the bar back down without worrying about injury.

4. Dumbbells

Many lifters shy away from barbells not only because they’re intimidating, but because they’re afraid of muscle imbalances and injury.

Barbells lock your arms and shoulders into position. While this isn’t inherently bad, one wrong tilt of the bar when lifting heavy weight can cause too much strain on one side of the body over the other.

Furthermore, it’s recommended to have a spotter when lifting heavy weight with a barbell, which can make the lift more complicated.

Unlike barbells, dumbbells do not lock your shoulders and arms into position, allowing you to move freely on either side. You also don’t need a spotter, as you can easily guide/ditch the weight if worse comes to worst.

Thus, dumbbells make a great alternative to barbells for inexperienced lifters or those with previous injuries.

5. Cable Pulley Machines

Cable pulley machines are on the pricier side when it comes to gym equipment, but the cost is far worth it.

These machines offer lifters countless options for targeting different muscle groups. With different heights and attachment handles, you can have a thorough, full-body workout with one cable machine if you chose to.

Machines have a place among more hardcore lifters, too. They serve as an excellent cooldown option after heavy weightlifting that allows you to crank out a high number of reps with little risk of injury.

Cable machines are also a great option for lifters who avoid free weights due to joint pain. If your budget can handle it, this piece of equipment is a must-have for any serious gym owner.

6. Barbell + Free Weights

While we already mentioned that barbells can be dangerous, they’re also one of the best methods for strength and muscle development.

With a sturdy barbell and a few dozen kilograms of free weights, you’ll have all you need for benching, squatting, deadlifting, and overhead pressing.

These four movements alone provide a solid foundation for one’s strength and physique. In fact, many famous old-school lifters consider them as the only lifts you’ll ever need.

While not everyone will want to tackle barbell workouts, there are plenty of people who will.

7. Pull-Up Bar

There’s a reason that military training incorporates so many pull-ups: they’re one of the best exercises for building a broad, strong back.

But, pull-ups are a difficult movement to perform in a gym without a dedicated pull-up bar. Luckily, many cable machines come with one attached.

The average pull-up bar also has multiple different handles, allowing you to change your grip and instantly target a different area of your back.

8. Jump Rope

Warming up before a workout is important, and a jump rope is all you need to get your body primed for some serious lifting. Within minutes, you’ll get your heart racing and shoulders loosened so that you can work out more safely and efficiently.

Alternatively, you can use a jump rope as part of a cardio workout. Jumping rope can burn an average of 10 calories per minute, meaning it doesn’t take long to start losing weight if you’re serious!

9. Heavy Bag + Gloves

Like battle ropes, a heavy bag can seem daunting to many new lifters. The truth, however, is that all you need is a bag and a pair of gloves to get a great core, cardio, and shoulder workout.

If you’re unsure about how to throw a proper punch, you should seek assistance first, however. Even with gloves, it’s not difficult to sprain your wrist if you’re using improper form.

10. Adjustable Bench

A bench with different height settings will let lifters target muscle groups from different angles as opposed to lying flat on their back. For example, they could set the bench to a steep incline and press dumbbells to target their upper chest.

They could also use this same incline and do seated curls to hit their biceps from a different angle.

There are plenty of possibilities, and creativity can play a large role here when it comes to hitting muscles hard from unconventional directions.

Your Gym Equipment List Is Vital

So make sure that you take it seriously. With the above items on your gym equipment list, you’ll be sure that your members have everything they need to reach their goals.

Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your workouts? Check out our blog!

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