No matter your age, it’s important to stay active. For seniors, this is especially crucial in order to maintain muscle mass, bone density, and overall health.
There are plenty of activities that can be done at home without any special exercise equipment – things like walking, yoga, and dancing are all great options for seniors.
However, if you’re looking to create a more structured fitness routine without having to leave the comfort of your home, setting your own home gym may be the perfect solution for you!
According to research, the best home gym for seniors should consist of mostly strength training equipment and free weights. Strength training is low impact, helps minimize the risk of injury while working out and can help improve various issues associated with ageing.
In this article, we’ll discuss in detail, the benefits of working out in a home gym and provide some recommendations for products that are ideal for seniors.
How to Exercise at Home For Seniors
Before looking at specific equipment for your home gym it’s important to go over some general pointers about exercising as a senior.
IMPORTANT: If you are just starting out or getting back into exercise, it is always best to speak with your doctor or physical therapist first. They can guarantee that the exercises are safe for you and will help increase strength without making inflammation worse or irritating joint pain. They can also help to create a personalized workout plan that is safe and effective.
Exercising after age 50+ can come with its own set of challenges. After all, our bodies change as we get older, and what worked well for us in our 20s, 30s or 40s may not be as effective or as safe as we age.
When it comes to exercising in a home gym, seniors need to be mindful of a few things. First and foremost, it’s important to start slowly and build up your fitness level over time. If you’re not used to exercising, it’s easy to overdo it and end up injured.
Do Low Impact Exercise
Exercising after age 50+ can be tricky as many people start experiencing joint pain at this point in their lives. In order to reduce the risk of pain or injury, seniors should look to do to low-impact exercises and avoid doing anything that aggravates their joints.
Certain exercises – like high-impact cardio – can be more risky for those with joint pain or other health conditions.
Consider low-impact exercises that won’t put too much strain on your joints. Things like swimming, walking, strength and muscle training as well as stationary bikes are great options.
As we get older it’s increasingly important to focus on balance and flexibility when exercising. Exercises like Tai Chi or Pilates can help improve balance and prevent falls. And stretching is key for improving flexibility and mobility – try incorporating a few gentle stretches into your daily routine.
Finally, it’s important to stay hydrated when working out in your home gym, especially as you get older.
When you’re active, you lose more water than usual, so it’s important to make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout.
How to Choose the Right Home Gym Equipment For Seniors
When it comes to choosing the right equipment for your home gym, it’s important to consider your age and your fitness goals.
There are a few key things to look for.
Low Impact Equipment
First, choose exercise equipment for you home gym that is low impact. For strength training that means free weights that are adjustable.
For cardio, machines like elliptical or recumbent bikes are a great choice. As mentioned above, this will help minimize the risk of injury while working out.
Strength Training Equipment
Strength training exercises have an array of benefits that include building muscle strength and mass, preserving bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, and improving chronic health conditions such as arthritis.
One of the reasons why older adults can become weaker and lose muscle mass as they age is because the body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH) begins to slow down.
As HGH levels decrease, so does the body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. This can lead to a condition called sarcopenia, which is the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs as we get older.[reference]
Research has shown that regular strength training can help improve issues associated with ageing. Strength training exercises have been shown to build muscle strength and mass, preserve bone density, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and improve a variety of chronic health conditions including arthritis.
Additionally, choose equipment that is adjustable, so you can customize your workout to fit your needs. As we’ve already mentioned, free weights are the most flexible.
You can add and remove weights easily and you also have a wider range of motion and exercises available to you compared to fixed weight machines.
Fits Your Space
Finally, make sure you have adequate space to set up your home gym. There are many choices available these days that save space so there is always an option even if you have very limited space to exercise.
Ultimately, the best way to find the right workout equipment is to experiment until you find what works best for you. There are plenty of products on the market today, so there’s no need to feel limited in your choices. Just be sure to start slowly and build up your fitness level over time.
Here are some recommendations for products that are ideal for seniors:
Strength Training & Exercise Equipment For Seniors
For those looking to start weight training, there are a few pieces of equipment that are ideal for seniors.
In general, research recommends using free weights instead of machines for seniors as machines tend to isolate joints, tendons and ligaments in unnatural movement patterns.
Free weight exercises are more natural in their movement which means they don’t put unnecessary pressure on your joints, and are much less likely to damage older joints than machines.
Barbell exercises (squats, deadlifts and presses) are perhaps the best way to increase overall strength in seniors so you should definitely consider getting a barbell and weight plates for your home gym.
Barbells exercises work the largest amount of muscle tissue in the body, which leads to a larger systemic response and stronger muscles overall.
Additionally, barbell exercises mimic natural functional movement patterns like getting up, walking, standing, bending over and reaching. These are particularly important for seniors whose muscles have become weaker over time.
Mobility is another key benefit of barbell exercises for seniors. The squat, in particular, is a great exercise for improving range of motion in the hips and ankles. This improved mobility can help seniors stay active and independent later in life.
Lastly, barbell exercises are highly titratable, meaning they can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual senior. They are flexible so you can get a full body workout or choose to isolate specific muscle groups.
You can start with a small amount of weight plates and add as much weight as you like over time as you get stronger. This makes them a versatile choice for anyone looking to set up a home gym to improve their fitness level, regardless of their age or current condition.
Here are our recommendations for barbell equipment:
Best Barbell For Small Spaces
Best Overall Barbell Set
Rogue ECON BAR & PLATE SET –
This is the best barbell set we found and is great for beginners and experienced lifters alike.
Rogue Fitness makes top quality equipment that is always highly rated by customers
Best Budget Barbell Set
Pure Steel Adjustable Dumbbells – best budget barbell set
Although the Rogue equipment is great, if it’s more that you want to pay then this adjustable set is a great option if you want a budget barbell set.
Below are some other great options for you to check out:
Best Barbell for Men
Best Barbell for Women
Best Bumper Plates/ Weight Plates
Consider investing in a quality set of dumbbells for your home gym as they allow you to customize the weight to your own strength level.
When starting out with home gyms, dumbbells may be good choice for seniors. If you haven’t exercised in a while then you may have strength imbalances in your joints. With dumbbells you can work one arm or shoulder at once whereas both are required when using a barbell.
Like barbells, dumbbells are versatile. You can buy sets of different weights or you can buy dumbbell bars and add weight plates to them.
If you have a weak grip, there are also lots of wide grip neoprene type dumbbells like these which may help . Keep in mind however, there is a limited range of weights with these and you may be better using standard barbells with weightlifting hooks instead.
Below are some great dumbbell options for you to check out:
Best Overall Dumbbell Sets
Best Dumbbells for Small Spaces
Best Budget Dumbbell Set
Weight benches are a great choice for seniors who want to setup a basic home gym. They allow you to perform a variety of exercises with dumbbells, barbells and resistance bands to help you achieve your fitness goals.
If you want to do strength training at home a weight bench pretty much essential!
Best Overall Weight Bench
Best Folding Bench for Small Spaces
Best Budget Weight Bench
Stability balls are great to add a little bit of variety to your exercise options. They can be used for a wide variety of strength training exercises. It can also be used to provide support and balance during exercises like squats and lunges.
Additionally, stability balls can be used for stretching and pilates and can help improve balance and coordination.
One of the benefits of getting a stability ball for your home gym is that it changes shape to fit your own body shape. This makes it an ideal choice for seniors with limited mobility.
Below are some great choices for stability balls
Hi-Tech Home Gyms
Recently there has also been an increase in high-tech home gym equipment that really helps beginners and seniors alike to improve their fitness levels.
Below we’ve listed up our favourites.
Tempo was founded in 2015 by Moawia Eldeeb and Josh Augustin. Their goal was to make personal training more accessible and convenient for everyone.
Tempo unveiled its main product, Tempo Studio, in February 2020. This all-in-one home gym offers personal coaching, support, and instruction.
Tempo Move, a compact, lower priced solution, was launched the following year to help more people access personal training and realize their strength.
Both Tempo Studio and Temp Move utilise what Tempo call ‘3D Tempo Vision’, a proprietary technology that employs AI and a 3D sensor to offer real-time form and feedback. This is a lot more than your traditional workout videos. Not only can you watch the exercises, thanks to the latest camera technology this home gym can see and provide feedback on your form and movements!
All of this combined gives you a really unique and personalized workout routine.
If you want the benefits of working out with a personal trainer without leaving your house, then I would highly recommend checking out Tempo for your home gym.
It’s great for pretty much everyone from beginners to experienced fitness fanatics. With the real-time feedback, it will teach you how to lift weights properly, avoid injury, and really help you to take steps to reach your fitness goals.
The Mirror home gym is a smart home gym designed perfect for seniors who want to stay fit and have a piece of equipment that fits in with their home décor.
Similar to Tempo, Mirror is great if you are looking for quality home gym machine with a personal training aspect.
It offers 10,000+ classes across 50 fitness categories, with new live classes every day.
There is also a library of workouts to choose from, and the device can be personalized with 1-on-1 training sessions and performance metrics.
The Mirror home gym is also a great choice for families, with its Family Fun workout category. Tai Chi and Restorative Yoga are also great choices for seniors looking to improve their balance and flexibility.
This has to be the most stylish home gym we have ever seen! It’s made of carbon steel and has a mineral bronze powder coating. It can be wall-mounted or stand-alone and the cables are all hidden for a seamless look.
It includes a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, 4 x 15W high-fidelity speaker system, and LED display and similar to Tempo offers real-time feedback from instructors.
It’s so compact that and versatile. You’ll need only enough room for a yoga mat to transform any space into an entire exercise room.
These are a great way to add intensity to your workouts. They are low impact and can be used for strength training or cardio exercises.
“Resistance bands may put less stress through the small joints of fingers compared to dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells because they limit the extra forces from gravity,” Dr. Andonian says. “That can benefit people with hand arthritis.”
Bands are great for a home gym because you can use them to simulate cable machine and various other exercises where you don’t have the appropriate gym machine. For example I often use these for exercises that usually require a cable machine, like cable crunches etc.
Best Resistance Bands on Amazon US
Best Resistance Bands on Amazon UK
Best Quality Resistance Bands
Home Gym Equipment for Weak Grip
Many people start to suffer from arthritis and other conditions that weaken grip as they age. Using wider grip dumbbells (aff link) or weightlifting hooks (aff link) can be a great way to reduce the pain and inflammation because you don’t have to grip the weights as tightly.
Wrist and Ankle Weights
Wrist and ankle weights can also be used help to strengthen your muscles and joints, these can be especially useful if you have a weak grip as they are attached directly to your wrists or ankles so you don’t need to grip the weights at all!
If you have arthritis then this is particularly important. According to Chris Latchford, (St. Lukes University, Certified Hand Therapist)
“Typically, if you have arthritis in your hands, avoid really forceful tight grips,” Latchford tells LIVESTRONG.com. Larger handles are always better. If you’re making a fist and your knuckles are white, that’s not ideal.”
Here are some great options if you have a weak grip:
Top Rated on Amazon
Wide Grip Dumbbells
Seniors can also consider using wider grip dumbbells or adding Fat Grips to standard dumbbells. A wider grip will not only help reduce pain if you have arthritis but it will also target the muscles in the upper arms and shoulders, which are often the first to weaken as we age.
If you still have problems lifting weights with fatter grips then you could also consider using weightlifting hooks. Hooks help to distribute the weight around your wrist allowing you to use an open handed “hook” grip when holding on to dumbbells. They can also be used with barbells and any gym machine bar.
These are a great option:
These hooks fit around standard barbells, dumbbells, and machine attachments like lat pulldown bars.
The hooks are designed to distribute the weight around your wrist allowing you to use an open handed “hook” grip when holding on to dumbbells, barbells or machine bar attachment.
Although they are designed to primarily fit smaller wrists, the padded strap is fully adjustable to fit all wrist sizes. It uses neoprene padding for cushioning and extra grip strength.
They’re really useful if you have limited hand dexterity and / or weak grip strength.
Core Training Machines
Working out your core is important at any age, but it’s especially crucial as you get older. Core muscles help with balance and stability, both of which are crucial for aging adults.
There are a few different types of core training machines available, here are a few of our favorite machines for seniors:
Best Core and Full Body Workout Equipment for Seniors
The TRX system is versatile and can help you target both the upper and lower body muscles. The anchored straps make for a comprehensive workout that challenges your stabilizer muscles, making it an extremely effective core workout.
Whether you’re a fitness novice or experienced athlete, this is completely adaptable to you. By adjusting the straps and moving your body closer to or further from the anchor point, you can target different muscle groups and control how intense your workout is.
The All-In-One bundle includes anchors for use indoors and outside, as well as an introductory guide, an X mount, a shaker bottle, and four strength bands.
Core, Upper Body and Glutes Trainer
This simple machine is a great way to work your abs and core muscles. It’s easy to use and can be customized to fit your fitness level.
All in one machines
If you’re looking for an all-in-one home gym that can provide a full body workout, the Total Gym XLS is a great option. It’s a total-body workout machine with a sliding bench and a cable pulley system that works all of your major muscle groups.
With over 80 different exercises to choose from and a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds, this machine is perfect for seniors who are looking to get in shape.
The XLS is their most popular Total Gym model and it also comes with a number of attachments that allow you to customize your workout, making it easy to target any muscle group. And thanks to its lightweight and compact design, the XLS is easy to store when not in use, so if you don’t have a lot of space in your home gym this could be ideal for you!
Cardio Training For Seniors
Cardiovascular exercise is great for seniors. It helps keep your heart healthy, improves circulation, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
Cardio also helps us fight off fatigue and stress. In addition to the physical benefits, cardio has mental health benefits as well. It can help improve mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress levels.
There are lots of cardio equipment that can help seniors stay active and healthy. For example, an elliptical machine or exercise bike are great options for those who want a low-impact workout in their home gym.
Treadmills are a great choice for seniors who want to lose weight. They provide a great cardiovascular workout, and many models have incline settings that allow you to customize your workout.
If you want to run or jog to burn calories but don’t fancy facing the weather then a treadmill could be a great idea to add to your home gym.
Here are our top picks for treadmills
Best Budget Treadmill
Costway Goplus 1.0HP Folding Treadmill (Walmart)
Walking Treadmill, Under Desk Treadmill
Medium Budget Treadmill
High budget Treadmill
Elliptical machines are another great option for seniors who want to lose weight. They provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints, and many models have built-in monitors that track your progress.
These can be big though, so make sure you have enough space for one in your home gym.
Exercise bikes are a great choice for seniors because they provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints. Additionally, they are a great way to improve cardiovascular health and lose weight. Many exercise bikes come equipped with monitors that track your progress, so you can track your fitness goals and see your progress over time.
Best All Round Exercise Bike For Quality
Best Budget Exercise Bike/ Best Exercise Bike for Small Spaces
Mobility Training Equipment For Seniors
Mobility and flexibility training is essential for seniors. As we age, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose elasticity, which can lead to joint pain and restricted movement. By regularly stretching and practicing yoga or Pilates, seniors can improve their flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.
There are many types of equipment that seniors can add to their own home gym use for mobility and flexibility training.
Resistance bands are a great option because they are compact and portable. They can be used to perform a variety of exercises that target all areas of the body.
Foam rollers are another good choice for mobility training. They help to release tension in the muscles and improve flexibility.
Yoga mats are ideal for seniors who want to practice yoga or Pilates. They provide cushioning and support for the body, and many mats come with built-in traction to prevent slipping.
Mobility and flexibility training provide many benefits for seniors. By improving their flexibility, seniors can move more easily and with less pain. Increased mobility can help them stay active and independent longer.
Flexibility training can also improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls. Overall, mobility and flexibility training offer a wealth of health benefits that can improve the quality of life for seniors.
As we age, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose elasticity, which can lead to joint pain and restricted movement. Foam rollers help to release tension in the muscles and improve flexibility.
Additionally, foam rollers can help improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls. Overall, foam rollers offer a wealth of health benefits that can improve the quality of life for seniors.
The following are our top picks:
A yoga mat is a great addition to any home gym for seniors. Yoga helps improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. Additionally, it can help improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls.
Yoga is also a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It can help you feel more relaxed and centered, which can improve your overall wellbeing.
There are many different types of yoga, so you can find one that best suits your needs and interests. If you’re new to yoga, it’s a good idea to attend a class or workshop at a local studio to learn the basics. Once you have a basic understanding of the poses, you can practice at home with a yoga mat.
Yoga mats come in a variety of sizes and materials. You can find mats made of foam, rubber, or synthetic materials. Some mats are also coated with traction to prevent slipping. Choose the mat that best suits your needs preferences and the space you have in your home gym.
Here is our top pick:
Pilates machines are another great option for seniors who want to improve their flexibility and overall health. Like yoga mats, they can be used for a variety of Pilates exercises, and many machines come with built-in resistance bands for added resistance. They can be a very helpful addition to your home gym.
The Pilates ring is a popular machine among seniors because it helps build strength, flexibility, and stability. It’s also a great way to improve your posture.
Home Gym vs Gym membership
Pros of Working Out At Home For Seniors
The benefits of working out in a home gym vs a commercial gym are numerous. When you work out at home, you have total control over your environment, which can be helpful for those who are self-conscious about their appearance or who feel uncomfortable working out in public.
Seniors have a few factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right location for their weight training. Cost, accessibility, and comfort are all important considerations.
A commercial gym membership can be expensive in the long run, and although setting up your own home gym may need an initial large expenditure it will work out cheaper over several years.
In addition, commercial gyms can be difficult to get to, with long wait times for machines and crowded classes. For seniors who are uncomfortable working out in public, a home gym may be a better option.
Home gyms offer seniors privacy and comfort, and can be tailored specifically to meet your fitness goals. With so many different options available you can have a variety of equipment options that can accommodate a range of fitness levels.
Cons of Working Out At Home For Seniors
Although we fully recommend setting up a home gym, we want to provide balance and there are a few drawbacks to consider when it comes to home gyms for seniors.
1. Lack of Community and Accountability
When you work out in a home gym, you don’t have the benefit of a community of like-minded individuals to encourage and support you.
At a commercial gym, you can find people who are at a similar fitness level as you and who can help keep you accountable.
2. No Personal Trainers on Hand to Answer Questions
Second, if you have any questions or need help with your routine, it can be harder to get assistance when working out in a home gym. When you have a gym membership, there are usually trainers on staff who can give you advice and help with your form.
3. Not As Easy To Check Your Form
Third, if you’re not used to working out, it’s easy to injure yourself when trying to do too much too soon when exercising at home. This is because you may not be using the right form or technique, and you also don’t have someone there to correct you in a home gym.
4. No Classes
Many commercial gyms offer classes that cater to different fitness levels and interests. This isn’t typically an option with home gyms. Having said that, there are now several high tech bits of equipment companies like Tempo, Peloton and NordicTrack that that run interactive live classes over the internet (more on that later!).
5. Initial Setup Cost Can Be Expensive
Finally, the cost of setting up a home gym for seniors can be expensive in the short term, depending on the equipment that is selected. While some basic equipment, such as dumbbells or a resistance band, may be relatively affordable, more expensive machines, such as an elliptical or treadmill, can be costly.
In addition, a home gym often requires a designated space in the home, which may also add to the overall cost.
In contrast, joining a public gym can be relatively inexpensive, with most gyms costing around $50-75 per month. This price typically includes access to all of the gym’s equipment and classes.
5 Tips For Staying Active As You Age
As you age, it becomes increasingly important to stay active. Not only does activity help keep your body strong and healthy, but it can also improve your mood and cognitive function. Here are a few tips for staying active as you age:
1. Start small. If you’re not used to being active, start by gradually adding in more movement throughout your day. Take a quick walk around the block, do some light stretching or dance around to your favorite song.
2. Find an activity you enjoy. Whether it’s swimming, hiking, biking or playing golf, find an activity you enjoy and stick with it. Not only will you be more likely to stick with it, but you’ll also have fun while doing it!
3. Join a group. A great way to stay motivated is to join a group of people who share your interests. This could be a running club, hiking group or cycling team – whatever gets you moving!
4. Make time for exercise. It can be tough to fit exercise into a busy schedule, but if you make it a priority it can be done. Wake up a little earlier each morning to fit in a quick workout in your home gym or take a brisk walk after dinner instead of watching TV.
5. Use technology to your advantage. There are now many great fitness apps and wearable devices that can help you stay on track with your workouts – no excuses!
By following these tips, you can ensure that you stay active and healthy as you age!
If you’re looking for a way to stay fit and active as you get older, consider investing in a home gym. As we’ve detailed above, there are a number of products on the market that are designed specifically for older adults, such as resistance bands, balance trainers, and modified exercise bikes.
The right equipment in your home gym can help you stay active, build muscle, and improve your overall fitness level.
Remember, when setting up your home gym, it’s important to consider your fitness goals and age. By doing so, you’ll be sure to find the right products for your needs
Now that you know what to look for in a home gym, it’s time to get started on your fitness journey! Seniors can benefit greatly from regular exercise, so don’t wait any longer. Get out there and start working out!