Here’s a quick n’ dirty guide to Functional Fitness Equipment! Formatted into a list, because everybody likes lists.
Whether you’re trying to start your own gym, turn your garage into a home box, or if you just what to know what the heck a kettlebell is before you walk into your first session, this Equipment List is your go-to guide.
Functional Fitness Equipment List:
The bare minimum:
- Mats: Mats for when you fall on your a– I mean, well, you know what I mean.
- Weightlifting bar + plates: Crucial for numerous exercises such as squats, cleans, jerks, presses, snatches, deadlifts, thrusters, and more.
- Jump rope: AKA, the cheapest, greatest piece of cardio equipment ever.
- Pull up & dip bar: Compact, affordable, and essential for all types of fitness.
Really useful, but not essential:
- Squat rack: A squat rack and weightlifting bar go together like PB & J. In a perfect world, the squat rack would be considered part of the “bare minimum”. But squat racks are expensive, and I’m realistic, so it got bumped down the list.
- Flat bench: For all manners of presses, as well as push ups, one-legged squats, or whenever you need a bench-like thing around.
- Plyo Box: For box jumps, although anyone can fashion a sturdy box with just about anything heavy, flat, and 20″ tall.
- Kettlebells: Kettlebell swings are quite popular in WODs. Kettlebells are worth investing in.
- Dumbbells: A basic piece of gym equipment, dumbbells are nice, but not necessarily a functional fitness must.
- Med ball: Great for wall balls and ball slams.
The fancy stuff:
- Gymnastics rings: The rings are actually pretty essential for signature functional moves such as ring dips and muscle ups. However, these are hard to come by and even harder to install on your own.
- Climbing rope: Rope climbing is a great strength building exercise, but it’s also hard to install, and you can really only do one thing with it… climb.
- Tires: Tire flips are pretty impressive, and great for building strength, but these also take up a lot of space and can be a pretty inconvenient piece of equipment.
- Rowing machine: Rowing is also one of the greatest, full-body cardio and conditioning exercises out there. A rowing machine is also relatively cheap compared to other types of cardio equipment.
I would also recommend that you check out this issue of the CFJournal (PDF format). This Journal article covers all things functional fitness equipment. It goes into detail about great brands for equipment, how to start turning your garage into a gym, what to look for (and avoid!) when purchasing a piece of equipment, and more.