If you love the idea of CrossFit but the thought of doing WODs (workouts of the day) in front of more experienced CrossFiters intimidates you, starting your journey with home gym equipment can be a great option.
We’ll break down the best equipment for beginners to CrossFit, starting with the biggest items and moving to those that’ll take up the least space in your home gym. Rest assured that you don’t need to purchase all of these items when embarking on your CrossFit journey. Instead, select the ones you like the most and go from there.
1. Squat Rack
Squat racks are invaluable for keeping you safe when lifting heavy equipment during CrossFit training. Indeed, they’re sturdy enough to hold hundreds of pounds worth of barbell weight.
By bringing a squat rack machine into your home, you’ll be able to perform moves such as:
- Barbell squats
- Bench presses
- Clean pulls
- Floor presses
The safety catches are what allow squat racks to prevent weight you can no longer bear from hurting you.
Depending on the model you purchase, it may or may not come with accessories such as the barbell and bumper plates. We’ll cover these items shortly, as they’re an essential part of many CrossFit workouts.
2. Power Rack With Pulley System
If you want a more versatile version of a squat rack, the Synergee Power Rack with a pulley system is an excellent choice. Not only does this power rack contain a barbell holder, but it has ten other muscle-building capabilities, like:
- J cups
- Foot bar
- Pull up bar
- Safety arms
- Pulley station
- T attachment
- Landmine attachment
- Dip station attachment
Even though the Synergee Power Rack has a 750-pound weight capacity, it has a compact design. Its relatively modest dimensions mean it is easy to fit into most home gyms as long as you have a 44.5” x 51” space on your floor.
Rowing machines are an effective way to build cardiovascular endurance while giving you a full-body strengthening workout.
Furthermore, rowers are a low-impact exercise—a quality that many other CrossFit moves don’t have. The repetitive motion and the machine’s consistent noise put many people into a calmer and almost meditative-like state.
Size matters when choosing a rowing machine. Some rowers are slender pieces of equipment, while others have bulkier features. It’s also possible to purchase a rowing machine that you can fold up and store.
Besides size, you should ensure you’re comfortable with the noise level of your rower-to-be. All rowing machines make some noise, but certain options are louder than others.
4. Barbells and Bumper Plates
Barbells are one of the most popular pieces of CrossFit equipment, making it ideal for beginners wanting to try CrossFit.
To mimic a CrossFit class, you should purchase an Olympic standard barbell, which weighs 45 pounds for men and 33 pounds for women. If it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, you’ll likely need to limit our CrossFit exercises to the barbell.
If you do need more weight—and the time will come if you stick with CrossFit long enough—you’ll want to add bumper plates to either end of the barbell.
You can purchase bumper plates ranging in heaviness, and most come with the two-inch hole that’s standard for placing at the end of barbells.
5. Flat Bench
As you embark on your CrossFit journey, you’ll learn that some of the simplest items can be powerful strength training tools, and the flat bench is the perfect example.
Some of the many moves that you can do using a flat bench include:
- Leg lowers
- Hammer bench press
- Triceps dip
- Single arm row
- Lateral bench hops
This piece of equipment is versatile, leading it to become a gold standard for home gym equipment. We bet you’ll soon encounter a CrossFitter boasting about a new move they did using a flat bench.
6. Plyo Boxes
Plyo boxes may make your CrossFit gym look like you’re storing files. But we assure you these boxes are a powerful way to get you started on your CrossFit journey.
Plyo boxes enable CrossFitters to perform numerous exercises, like:
- Box jumps
- Burpee box jump-overs
That last one is a killer, but it’ll get you in tip-top shape when you’re ready to try in-person CrossFit classes. Studies show that physical activity improves self-esteem, so you’ll have a double self-esteem whammy by getting fit and knowing how to use plyo boxes.
7. Pull-Up Bar
Yes, you can do pull-ups on a pull-up bar. But did you know that CrossFitters use pull-up bars to perform various other exercises?
If you can already do the standard pull-up as a beginner to CrossFit, we recommend giving the following other moves a shot:
- Toes above bar
- L-sit pull-up
- Around the world
And if you can’t do a pull-up, don’t worry. Hanging knee raises and the 90-degree hang are excellent options for building muscle.
Pull bars come in a few varieties, from ones you can hang from a wall or door to free-standing bars.
The kettlebell packs a lot of punch for their value when you’re starting with CrossFit, given that they target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and abs.
These dense balls with a handle come in various weights, allowing you to ease into heavier kettlebells as you build strength.
Some of the best CrossFit exercises involving kettlebells include:
- Kettlebell swing
- Sumo squat
- Kettlebell triceps extension
- Single-arm kettlebell row
If you outgrow your kettlebell weight and are on a budget, we recommend bringing your kettlebells to a used sports store. Doing so will get you some money for a heavier set.
9. Medicine Balls
If you’ve seen CrossFitters slam balls into the ground and want to try it out, get a medicine ball.
Medicine balls are excellent CrossFit home gym equipment because they don’t take up much space, and you can use them for many different moves.
Some of our favorite CrossFit activities utilizing medicine balls are:
- Medicine ball slam
- Overhead squat
- Single-leg deadlift
- Toe touch
Like the kettlebell, medicine balls come in various weights. But they also come in more varied sizes than kettlebells.
So, choose a medicine ball for your current strength #and work your way to a higher weight as you become more experienced in CrossFit.
10. Weighted Vest
As the name suggests, weighted vests add weight to your body to make resistance training exercises more challenging.
If you’ve already lost some weight, using weighted vests during your beginner CrossFit workouts can remind you how much your body used to carry.
Although the jury is still out on just how effective weighted vests are in improving CrossFit measurements like time to exhaustion and VO2max, many CrossFit athletes feel that they make you stronger and faster.
Using a vest is best for CrossFit moves that strictly involve body weight, and it’s one of the most space-saving methods to dip your toes in the CrossFit world.
The Bottom Line
Even if you only have the means to purchase one or two pieces of home gym equipment on this list when embarking as a beginner CrossFitter, don’t let it discourage you. You’ll be amazed by how much strength you can build using your body weight and some assistance from CrossFit equipment.