It’s hard to believe that CrossFit has been around for over 20 years. What was once considered a fitness fad and a fringe workout is now a worldwide phenomenon, and there are CrossFit gyms, called boxes, in most major cities and towns.
CrossFit is a multi-discipline workout designed to develop a high level of all-around fitness. Workouts include elements from Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, powerlifting, calisthenics, and other types of training and are often done against the clock.
Because it develops all fitness components, CrossFit is immensely popular with members of the armed and security forces, first responders, and law enforcement.
As well as being a well-known workout, CrossFit is also a competitive sport, and the CrossFit Games is one of the most-watch sporting events of the year.
While many CrossFitters belong to a box, there are plenty of participants who prefer to work out at home. A lot of CrossFit workouts involve nothing but simply barbell or bodyweight exercises, making them ideal for home use.
That said, building your own CrossFit home gym will mean you’ll be able to do a wider variety of WODs – which is CrossFit-speak for the Workout of the Day.
In this article, we reveal the best equipment for a home CrossFit gym. What Equipment Do You Need to Do CrossFit At Home? Not sure where to start building your home CrossFit gym? Here are 12 essential pieces of equipment to get you started!
Best CrossFit Equipment for A Home Gym
Bodyweight training is a big part of CrossFit. Because of this, a lot of CrossFit workouts can be done almost anywhere, including parks and playgrounds.
As such, many CrossFit workouts involve push-ups, pull-ups, and/or dips. In fact, these exercises are CrossFit staples. A power tower is a combination pull-up/dip station, and many have raised push-up handles and a captain’s chair abs station, too.
You can also use a power tower with a TRX suspension trainer or gymnastic rings. Whether you want to build muscle, get stronger, improve your fitness, or burn fat, having a power tower means you can work out in the comfort of your own home.
While bodyweight training is a big part of CrossFit, there are plenty of WODs that involve weights, too. If you go to a gym, you’ll probably have access to racks of dumbbells in lots of different sizes.
But if you work out at home, you may not have space for 10-20 pairs of dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells are compact, versatile, and easy to use. Most have a twist-lock mechanism, so you can change the weight in a matter of seconds.
You can use adjustable dumbbells to overload your upper and lower body muscles, as well as your core. They can also be used in place of barbells and kettlebells in some CrossFit workouts.
The humble jump rope is one of the best cardio workouts around, which is why it’s a common feature in CrossFit workouts. Light, compact, and cheap, a jump rope is ideal for improving your fitness or burning fat.
You can also use a jump rope to warm up before your main CrossFit workout. There are lots of different types of jump rope available, and some are better than others. But, in terms of value for money, a PVC speed rope is hard to beat.
They’re long-lasting, and there is very little to go wrong with them.
CrossFit workouts often involve exercises from Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting, namely squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, cleans, and snatches. To do these exercises, you need an Olympic barbell and bumper plates.
Olympic barbells are 7-foot long and have a revolving sleeve with knurled handgrips. They’ve very strong and designed to bend slightly under heavyweights, making them more hardwearing and comfortable to use.
Bumper plates have a forgiving outer covering that will protect your floor and the weights themselves if you drop them. They’re all a uniform size, and that makes exercises like deadlifts and cleans easier and safer.
While an Olympic barbell and bumper plates are a significant investment, they should last a lifetime and will open up a whole new library of CrossFit workouts.
Squats and overhead presses are a lot easier and more convenient with a squat rack. Using a squat rack means you don’t have to lift your barbell off the floor each time, making it far easier to get into the correct starting position for your workout.
Most squat racks also have spotting arms that will catch the weight if you get stuck partway through a rep.
On the downside, squat racks can be big and heavy, not to mention expensive. However, there are also plenty of compact, budget-friendly options that are perfect for home CrossFit gyms.
Plyo is short for plyometrics, which is a form of athletic jumping training that increases muscle power. High rep plyo training also provides an intense cardiovascular workout.
Most CrossFit gyms have several plyo boxes. They’re used for exercises like box jumps, decline push-ups, box squats, and step-ups. The best plyo boxes are adjustable and can be rolled one way or the other to provide a different surface height, e.g., 16, 20, and 24 inches.
Plyo boxes are usually made of wood, but some are made from high-density foam. These foam boxes are lighter, easier to use, and provide a small amount of shock absorbency.
Medicine balls are a very versatile CrossFit training tool. They’re used during warm-ups and workouts for a variety of exercises, including thrusters, slams, wall-ball, and overhead throws.
They’re also a helpful teaching tool for the Olympic lifts and are perfect for core training. The best medicine balls for CrossFit don’t bounce and won’t split when thrown or slammed. That means lightweight gel-filled balls are not a good idea!
Instead, go for solid rubber balls. It’s also usually best to buy a range of sizes, so you aren’t forced to use a ball that’s too light or too heavy.
Kettlebells have been around for hundreds of years, but it was CrossFit that made them famous again. Kettlebells are spherical weights that look a bit like a cannonball with a handle on top.
They can be used for various exercises, including swings, goblet squats, overhead presses, snatches, and cleans. Many CrossFit workouts involve kettlebell exercises, and while you can sometimes use dumbbells instead, kettlebells are invariably more comfortable.
While you can get adjustable kettlebells, the top weight is usually pretty low, so it’s best to buy several kettlebells in a set, so you have all the weights you need for your workouts.
If you’ve got the space, a battle rope will make a great addition to your CrossFit home gym. Battle ropes often feature in CrossFit workouts and are an excellent low-impact strength and conditioning tool.
There are lots of exercises you can do with a battle rope, and all of them are challenging and fun. On the downside, you will need plenty of space for a battle rope, as they’re pretty long.
As an added advantage, and if you’ve got somewhere suitable to hang your rope, you can also use it for climbing, which is an excellent upper body exercise.
CrossFit workouts don’t tend to involve a lot of traditional cardio equipment like ellipticals, steppers, or treadmills. The main exceptions to this no cardio machine rule are Assault Bikes and Concept II Rowers.
They’ve both got programmable performance monitors so you can customize your workout and won’t need to keep looking at your watch to see if you’ve been working for long enough or burned enough calories.
You probably don’t need an Assault Bike AND a Concept II Rower but installing one or the other in your home CrossFit gym will add an extra dimension to all your WODs.
Core strength is a big part of CrossFit training, and a lot of CrossFit workouts involve abs exercises. So while you can do things like sit-ups, crunches, and leg raises on the floor, you’ll be more comfortable and get a better workout if you use an abs mat.
Abs mats are curved to provide support for your lower back and maximize your range of motion. Abs mat sit-ups are a staple of many CrossFit workouts.
If you find abs exercises hurt your back or are fed up with getting friction burns on your tailbone when you do sit-ups and crunches, an abs mat will definitely help.
Lifting weights on a bare tiled or wooden floor may not be a good idea. For example, if you drop a dumbbell or kettlebell, you could end up damaging your floor or even break the equipment you are using.
Sweating can also make your workout area slippery, which would be very dangerous. Rubber matting protects your floor and your training equipment. You can create a dedicated workout space that absorbs shock and noise.
Most gym floor matting is also non-slip and easy to clean. Protective floor matting usually comes as interlocking tiles, making it easy to lay. This also means you can cover as much or as little of your training area as you wish.
Benefits of Doing CrossFit At Home
Setting up a home CrossFit gym takes time, space, and money, so you may be wondering if it’s really worth the bother. So, consider these benefits and then decide!
Long-term financial savings
Joining a gym costs money, and whether you pay monthly or yearly, there is an ongoing cost that can add up to a significant amount. Alternatively, you can set up a home CrossFit gym for less than $2000, and once that money is spent, you won’t need to pay any more.
So, while there is an initial expenditure when setting up a home CrossFit gym, you will actually end up saving money in the long term.
Work out at your convenience
If you’ve got your own gym, you can work out at whatever time suits you best. Your gym is never closed, so you can do your WOD early in the morning, late at night, and even on public holidays when most commercial gyms are closed.
Plus, you won’t have to wait in line for the equipment you want to use to become free and have complete control over things like the music being played and the temperature of your gym.
Modify your CrossFit workout more easily
If you join a CrossFit class, you’ll have to do the workout that’s scheduled for the day.
But, if you work out in your own gym, you’re free to modify your program and the workouts as you see fit.
Don’t want to do rope climbs? Do pull-ups instead. Hate jumping rope? Why not do box jumps. It’s your gym, so you’re the boss!
Building a home gym is an excellent investment in your health and fitness, and CrossFit is one of the most effective, all-encompassing workouts around. So, creating your own home CrossFit gym makes nothing but sense!
It’ll save you money in the long run, means you can work out at whatever time suits you best, and you’re free to modify your WODs whenever you want or need to.
While setting up a home gym does mean investing some money, you don’t have to buy a whole lot of equipment to get started. In fact, you can do a huge number of CrossFit workouts with just a power tower, some kettlebells, and a jump rope.
You can then gradually add more equipment to your gym as your finances allow.
So, while there is nothing wrong with joining a CrossFit box, many people prefer the flexibility and convenience of doing CrossFit at home, and, as it turns out, setting up a home CrossFit gym is pretty easy! Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert product reviews.
Here are 12 essential pieces of equipment to get you started!