Best Home Gym Equipment of 2017
This year is exciting in home fitness. The best home gym equipment of 2017 shows off new technologies, and our favorites fit a wide range of shopping budgets. Below are introductions to six options including the best home treadmill and treadmill alternatives, the best home elliptical trainer and exercise bike, and the best home gym. These cardio and strength trainers stand out for allowing low-impact training with rapid results, and each provides an exceptional mix of features for the money.
Best Home Treadmill for 2017
Treadmills are the most popular fitness machines in North America, and year after year the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is a favorite choice for active households. This $1,499 home treadmill carries a long warranty, can power through any walk or run with its 3.8 CHP drive, and is tech-friendly to make exercise sessions more enjoyable. Updated for 2017, the Commercial 1750 Treadmill is more motivating than ever too: New this year is a 7″ high-def monitor for workout programs and surfing the web. An Android browser is included.
Great features from earlier years are still on board too. Most notable is electronic adjustability for the track’s slope: The settings range from a -3% decline to a 15% uphill challenge. Just a few benefits of using the power incline/decline are faster calorie burn, targeted muscle toning, and keeping your mind stimulated. Only a small minority of treadmills offer both uphill and downhill motion, and this feature helps seals the deal when we named the best home treadmill for 2017.
Training with the power ramp, you can control the incline yourself or let it be adjusted by any of 38 preset workout apps. The ramp can be controlled by iFit Coach programming too. With iFit Coach (subscription required) the Commercial 1750 can simulate the ups and downs of any Google Maps route. For many routes a Google Street View can be shown on the console’s 7″ HD screen.
Other specs to note are a long and extra wide track (22″ W x 60″ L); a quietly operating belt system; three-inch iPod-compatible console speakers; a secure ledge for adding your own tablet computer; and the commercial steel frame for which the Commercial 1750 is named.
A five-year parts and electronics warranty is included, plus there’s a two-year service agreement. Owners get a whole lot for the $1,499 sale price, which is why this machine shows up on “best home treadmill” lists year after year.
Best Home Elliptical for 2017
Elliptical trainers are closing in on treadmills as the most popular fitness machines for home gyms – and compared with treadmills they allow exercise that’s gentler on your joints. Most have moving arm bars as well, so your whole body is worked and calorie burn is higher. Some home ellipticals are disappointing compared with club trainers, but treating yourself to high quality elliptical workouts at home doesn’t need to break the bank. Our top recommended home elliptical for 2017 is the Sole E95. It goes for $1,799 on sale and carries a five-year parts warranty. Labor is provided for free in-home during the first two years of ownership.
We considered quite a few options before naming the E95 the best home elliptical of the year. Sole Fitness has long been a leader, popular more for its durability than its electronics, and for this year it’s made some strides in digital tech too. This machine now shows off a viewing screen just over 10 inches wide, giving a very easy-to-read look at your progress and stats in eight preloaded programs or two that are user-designed. Also new for Sole home ellipticals is Bluetooth data logging. With the E95’s Bluetooth connection, you can save data to the Sole Fitness app or export your stats to popular fitness apps such as FitBit, MapMyRun and Apple Health. You can easily bring other apps to the workout too by docking your tablet computer or smartphone on the console. iPod-compatible speakers are onboard as well, and the console has adjustable angle to accommodate trainees of different heights. Sole’s engineering also helps keep the user comfortable with a console-based cooling fan and easy-to-reach water bottle holder.
But again, Sole is respected primarily for its machines’ smooth performance. The E95 supports smooth rides with a 27-pound flywheel, and whether you’re a beginner or advanced elliptical trainee you can choose a comfortable level of resistance. This unit has a 20-inch stride, just like the typical health club elliptical machine. (If you care to spend more than $2K, you can bump up to the E95s with adjustable 18″ to 24″ stride.) The pedals have an inward tilt for good ergonomics, and they have adjustable angle for comfort.
Adding the benefit of beautiful lean muscle definition, the trainer has 20 levels of incline; you can power-adjust the incline to hone in on your calves, hamstrings or other muscle groups. And for even more workout diversity, Sole ellipticals allow both forward and reverse motion.
In sum, the new Sole E95 for 2017 is a top value for total body training that won’t put too much pressure on your joints. It’s the best home elliptical of 2017 under $2,000 for shoppers who prize durability, smooth performance and some modern electronics integration.
Best Home Exercise Bike for 2017
NordicTrack’s Commercial VR25 is our top-choice home exercise bike for 2017, and it’s sale priced at just $899 with a generous warranty. This bike is a recumbent ride with high-backed seat, so it’s very easy on your joints; you can lean back and pedal with less pressure on your back, hips, knees and ankles compared with riding a traditional upright bike. It outperforms the others in its price class too thanks to the 25-pound flywheel resistance system. And like NordicTrack’s Commercial Series treadmill above, the Commercial VR25 exercise bike is attractive not only for its commercial steel frame and high-quality performance, but also for electronic “bells and whistles.”
The centerpiece of the bike’s console is a 7″ touch screen. Here you can browse the web while any of 35 preset workouts control the pedal resistance and speed. The full-color display supports iFit integration too, so with iFit membership you can access pro workout videos, download unlimited personal training routines, and even simulate a ride along real-life paths you draw with Google Maps. (Transport yourself to the Tour de France route!) Other console features are wireless heart rate monitoring (chest strap included), a set of 2″ iPod-compatible speakers, and a workout fan that can automatically adjust with your training intensity.
In sum, the VR25 lets you lean back for comfortable rides with plenty of creature comforts. At its low sale price, which include a three-year parts warranty, this ride is one of the best exercise bikes under $1,000.
Best Home Gym for 2017
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE takes the honors for “Best Home Gym of 2017.” This multifunctional strength trainer supports more than 70 exercises as shown in its user guide, and it has a few advantages over traditional home gyms and free weights for strength training. First, to eliminate equipment bulkiness, the Xtreme 2 SE uses sleek Power Rods, a patented Bowflex innovation. Next, these rods are supported with an adjustable resistance system. This brings the advantage of weightlifting with less risk of joint injuries compared with using barbells. Plus, the adjustability is a timesaver; no cable changing is needed when you move from one exercise to another.
The Power Rods can be used with the unit’s versatile upper pulley system, two-position lat tower, and four-position lower pulley squat station. For the $1,599 sale price you can exercise with as little as five pounds of resistance or a maximum of 210 pounds. For extra challenge this unique home gym can be upgraded for up to 410 pounds of resistance; additional Power Rods are sold separately. Other attachments are built in and sold separately for exercise versatility.
In review, the Xtreme 2 SE is space-conscious and one of the best home gyms for the total body, allowing strength training with minimal impact on your sensitive joints and ligaments. With time-saving adjustable resistance it lets you strengthen your legs, flatten your abs, tone your glutes, and sculpt your arms and chest. Bowflex Power Rods carry a lifetime guarantee and the whole machine is under warranty for seven years.
Best TreadClimber for 2017
Bowflex TreadClimbers are favorite treadmill alternatives for walkers seeking serious calorie burn. These unique cardio trainers look like traditional treadmills, but they have steep incline settings and slight declines. In just half the time you’d spend walking on a regular treadmill at the same speed, a TreadClimber lets you burn up to 2.5 times the calories. Compared with standard treadmills, TreadClimbers can be lower impact on your joints as well because of how your body weight is shifted on an incline.
The TC200 ($3,299) is the top-of-the-line model of two TreadClimbers for 2017, and it’s easily a favorite home fitness machine overall. It carries a three-year residential warranty and has the feel of a light commercial trainer. Key specs include a slope range of -6% to 40%, wireless heart rate monitoring, five preset workouts, and G.O. Coach interactive programming.
G.O. Coach, a first-of-its-kind fitness program, can help you establish goals and monitor your progress with long-term comparisons. It also lets you virtually train at three landmarks (the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle and the Transamerica Tower) and gain access to additional world landmarks when you meet personalized goals.
Top speed for this unique cardio trainer is 4.5 mph, and again, a key advantage is burning the same calories as if you were running. If you prefer to train at higher speeds though (and still with low impact) then check out our final favorite of 2017 below.
Best Max Trainer for 2017
Built for runners seeking joint-friendly exercise, Bowflex Max Trainers are powerful and feature-rich alternatives to treadmills and elliptical trainers. They let you run with the support of smooth-moving pedals, plus they support upper body exercise with moving handlebars that are more effective than those of most elliptical trainers. As you train your whole body at high intensity yet without high impact, you can burn calories about twice as efficiently as with a traditional elliptical. The best-advertised Max Trainer workout is just 14 minutes long, and the M7 includes a seven-minute program too.
The Max Trainer M7 ($2,199 on sale) is the best Max Trainer for 2017, being the top machine in a three-model series. One advantage of the premium M7 is that it has the most programming of any Max Trainer. Trainees can choose from 11 preset workouts, including several that adapt to the user’s profile, and can access extra training guidance through a Bowflex mobile app. The M7 is also the only version to support four user profiles, making it the best Max Trainer for many family-oriented shoppers.
Other noteworthy features include stainless steel sport performance pedals, premium handlebars for comfort and body-sculpting, and a wireless pulse monitoring system with chest strap included.
Low impact motion, rapid calorie burn and a diverse, adaptive workout selection sum up the Bowflex Max Trainer M7. With 14-minute workouts every other day, you can expect to see results in the mirror within just a few weeks The purchase is protected by a three year “bumper to bumper” warranty, and like the Bowflex TreadClimbers above it’s sold with a six-week money back guarantee.