22 Essential Crossfit Home Gym Items for Every Budget

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22 Essential Crossfit Home Gym Items for Every Budget

If you’re into Crossfit, then you know that having the right equipment is essential. Not only does it make your workouts more effective, but it also prevents injuries. In this article, we want to give you recommendations for the best Crossfit home gym equipment for every budget. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned Crossfitter, we’ve got you covered!

Doing Crossfit doesn´t necessarily mean that you have to have a full-fledged Crossfit Box with all the bells and whistles. Yes, there are exercises and workouts that require the right equipment, but the great thing about Crossfit – or HIIT workouts if you will – can also be done with your body weight only.

Myriads of people who started out on their quest for the perfect home gym have dumped large amounts of money into purchases that they don´t quite need (to phrase it diplomatically) or which were outright wrong.

So, before we get started with our list of essential Crossfit home gym items, let´s look at a few DON´Ts:

      • DON´T buy a lot of equipment right away. Start small and grow your home gym as you progress in your skills and abilities. There is no need to spend a fortune right from the start. You can always buy more equipment later on.
      • DON´T be afraid of used equipment. If you find something that´s in good condition and at a reasonable price, go for it!
      • DON´T forget about your budget. Stick to it and don’t overspend! But:
      • DON´T buy cheap! Cheap equipment isn´t just annoying, it might even put your health at risk!

Can I do CrossFit at home as a beginner?

Yes, you can! But: if you have never done Crossfit before, don´t get into complex exercises that require coach instructions right away! Many Crossfit workouts include weightlifting movements that – when done incorrectly – can do more harm than good.

Crossfit in general is a sport that benefits enormously from good coaching! Not only does a good coach constantly remind you to stick to proper form during your CrossFit training, but they will also motivate you to keep on pushing further.

If you are unsure about starting Crossfit and you want to give the HIIT / Crossfit concept a try without investing tons of money right away, then try Crossfit body weight workouts first.

We have a list of 55 Crossfit body weight workouts right here in this article to get you started.

fit female crossfit athlete with kettlebell
Crossfit athlete with weight vest
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Is it possible to do CrossFit at home?

Of course, it is! And you can start with zero equipment. As you make progress, you can start to add simple and cheap equipment like a jump rope, a plyometric box for box jumps or box step-overs, a pull-up bar, or a slam ball.

Very soon as your fitness and skill level grow you will find out that you will be longing for more – more weight and more possibilities for different exercises.

This should be the point where I definitely urge you to hit the local CrossFit box! Simply because you are now stepping into terrain where you will need coaching.

As said before, Crossfit benefits from good coaching and so do you!

I can tell you from my own experience that there are so many tips and tricks that come from a good coach! You will have so many “aha moments” that will help you in your Crossfit workouts!

So, you might ask: why should I then even build my Crossfit garage gym at all?

There are several answers to this:

      1. HIIT and Crossfit workouts can be done anywhere and everywhere – even in rather confined spaces
      2. You will soon find yourself in a situation where you just have “this one hour” and you want to squeeze a workout in
      3. Crossfit training is so efficient and rewarding that you will want to have easy access to that dopamine dose that you get after finishing a workout
      4. You simply save time that you would otherwise need for traveling back and forth to your Crossfit box

I know quite a few fellow Crossfitters who built their Crossfit garage gym although they regularly hit their local CrossFit gyms as well.

Plus, those who seriously train for competitions like the Crossfit Games will not get around to setting up their own Crossfit Garage Gym, simply because their lives revolve around working out, eating clean, and living a healthy lifestyle.

And honestly, this is exactly what we want too, but maybe on a smaller scale!

post its with healthy lifestyle tips

What equipment do I need to do CrossFit at home?

So let´s dive into our Crossfit home gym equipment categories.

We have put together a garage gym equipment guide for any budget that provides the biggest bang for the buck.

We will also list a price next to each item which is meant to give you some guidance. Crossfit equipment doesn´t necessarily have to be extremely expensive, but you should invest in quality.

Category 1 – Zero Investment Needed!

As we have already pointed out above: you can start doing Crossfit at home without the need for any Crossfit garage gym equipment at all!

Starting out with bodyweight exercises will definitely get you in serious shape and help you melt fat away like a candle in the sun.

Assuming you got shorts, shirts and shoes we consider this category zero investment.

Nothing more than that is needed to get you started. Well – you will need workouts, but we also have a solution for that: you either head over to the “Bodyweight Workout of the Day” section on our home page, or you chose from one of our 55 Best Crossfit Bodyweight Workouts in this article over here.

Bodyweight drop sets
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Category 2 – 0-100 U$

We consider these five items as the start of “equipment supported Crossfit training”:

#1 A Doorway-Mounted Pull-Up Bar (~ 80 U$)

#2 Resistance Bands (~30 U$)

#3 A Jump Rope (~25 U$)

#4 One Kettlebell (~ 70-80 U$ for a 40lbs kettlebell)

#5 A Plyometric Box (aka plyo box) (~80 U$)

#6 Battle Ropes (~ 60 U$)

#7 Abmat (~35 U$)

#8 Lifting Straps (~20 U$)

#9 3-Hole Hand Grips (~45 U$)

#10 Shin Guards (~30 U$))

We already said it before: don´t buy cheap! You can get about four or five items out of our list above new for under 100 U$, but experience has shown that you will not be happy with what you get.

That is why we say that you should choose one, or maybe two of these items.

Our experience has shown that very soon after starting to work out at home, you will want to challenge yourself with more difficult exercises in more diversified workouts.

For most home athletes this means doing pull-ups and lifting weights.

That said, our listing of items in ascending order regarding versatility is:

Doorway-mounted pull-up bar

Pull-up bars give you a whole new set of possibilities for your workouts. A door-mounted pull-up bar is the simplest form of pull-up bar, but it already lets you do a number of different pull-up exercises.

To learn more about pull-up and dip-bars head over to our article about this topic here.

doorway mounted pull-up bars

Resistance Bands

Many people smile when they hear “resistance bands” and think of soccer mums’ 20-minute evening home workouts.

But don´t underestimate resistance bands! You can use them for your warm-up session, during your workout to add resistance where needed, and also after your workout for stretching.

You will also get resistance bands that add some really heavy resistance.

Another big pro for resistance bands is their size – you can take them anywhere you go. This makes them also perfect for vacation and business trips.

For many people, resistance bands are perfect for their transition from bodyweight to weighted exercises.

For example, a squat against a resistance band is right in the middle between a normal squat and a weighted squat.

And the same applies to a lot of other exercises.

resistance bands
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Kettlebell

Kettlebells are excellent tools for your workouts! With a kettlebell in your inventory, you will be able to perform full-body workouts at home in extremely confined spaces.

For your garage gym, you don´t need a whole set of different kettlebells and you also do not need two kettlebells with the same weight.

Male athletes should aim for one kettlebell with 16kg/35lbs or 20kg/44lbs.

Female athletes could go with 12kg/26lbs or 16kg/35lbs maximum.

If you do a combined kettlebell workout that consists of different exercises including cleans, snatches, presses, squats, and swings you will get a full body challenge with only one tool.

a kettlebell

Plyo box

The Plyo box – or plyometric box – is also one of those pieces of equipment that only a few people think about right away.

However, box jumps, box step-ups, and step-overs, or burpees over the box are extremely effective ways to skyrocket your heart rate during a workout and set your legs on fire.

Rogue Fitness calls their plyometric box “Glute Ham Developer” for a reason because this is exactly what the plyo box does: target your glutes and thighs.

There are countless DIY plyo box tutorials on Youtube if you want to build your own.

But in fact, these boxes are not that expensive to buy. So you might want to consider if putting the work in is really worth the effort.

The dimensions of a plyo box are usually 50 x 60 x 75 cm sides which are equal to 20 x 24 x 30 inches.

There are also soft plyo boxes filled with durable foam material out there which are more expensive than the wooden versions, but their big advantage is their way lower risk of injury.

Once you are quite exhausted during one of your home workouts, the chance of missing the box on one of your jumps and scraping your shins on the edge of the box is pretty high.

Then you will be glad for the softbox…

a plyometric box

Battle Ropes

One word: Iconic! We have all seen photos of athletes battling the rope. Few things are as versatile as a battle rope and it should not be missed in a properly equipped garage gym.

This piece of CrossFit equipment can be used for a wide variety of exercises, making them perfect for both beginner and experienced athletes alike. And because they come in different sizes and weights, you can find the perfect battle rope for your individual needs.

Battle ropes strengthen your core, upper body, glutes and legs, and improve grip strength. They also improve your coordination skills, because you have to use both arms simultaneously while keeping perfect form.

You are looking to build muscle, burn calories – or even more calories – or lose fat?

Then exercising with the battle rope several times per week for a pretty short period of time is already a great workout for most people!

battle ropes

Jump rope

The jump rope is one of the cheapest basic items you can get. Once you have dived into the Crossfit world, you will quickly find out that one very important movement that only few can really perform is “double unders”.

A double under is simply two revolutions of the jump rope around your body during only one jump.

I have seen not only one jump rope fly through our Crossfit box because of its frustrated owner trying to do double unders.

The jump rope is one piece of CrossFit equipment that every Crossfitter should own sooner or later.

You will need a jump rope not only during your home workouts but also during warm-up sessions or skill training sessions.

jump ropes

Abmat

An Abmat is one of those rather inexpensive home gym essentials that you will most probably buy together with a few other items.

Ab exercises like situps and crunches are basic crossfit exercises that are part of quite a few workout routines.

However, you will work your core during most workouts anyway as most movements can´t be done properly without holding your core and back muscles tight.

And as you might have bought a pull-up bar already, you can perfectly do hard ab exercises like knee raises already.

That said, we consider the purchase of an Abmat to be rather one of the lesser necessary items on the shopping list.

It is nice to have and you might want to consider buying one, but other items make more sense.

Abmat
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Lifting Straps

These are the straps that wrap around your wrist and around the barbell  – sort of binding the two together. Usually, these are made out of leather or durable fabric and they are mostly needed for deadlifting.

You might not need those right away – as long as the weights you use can be easily held by the strength of your hand grip you are fine.

We were a little hesitant to list lifting straps already up here, as we haven´t talked about barbells yet. But hey – these are pretty inexpensive items and if somebody asks you what you would like to have for your next birthday then this would be a nice gift.

lifting straps

3-Hole Hand Grips

Again, made out of leather or durable fabric 3-hole hand grips are meant to protect your hand palms from being torn open while doing exercises like pull-ups, toes-to-bar, or muscle-ups.

Torn skin on the inside of your hands is a big nuisance. It hurts and it prevents you from working out for at least two days.

Additionally, you could catch an infection or your injured palm inflames.

Using 3-hole hand grips might not prevent these injuries at all, but they help a lot!

protective 3-hole hand grips
protective 3-hole hand grips

Shin Guards

When doing Crossfit, there are three excellent ways to damage your shins:

      1. during rope climbs as you wrap the rope around your legs. Just come back down quickly only once, your shins are already bleeding.
      2. when doing deadlifts – the knurling of the barbell can easily rip open the skin on your shins
      3. while doing box jumps – miss the box and rub your shin over the edge of your plyo box! That is when you wish you had shin guards!

So shin guards are one of the most sensible things to have. You can avoid bad injuries by spending only a few dollars. You will need them and you will be thankful once you need them!

shin guards used during rope climbs

Our prioritized shopping list for home gym items below 100 U$

Sorted by usefulness

      1. Doorway-mounted pull-up bar
      2. Resistance bands
      3. Kettlebells
      4. Battle Ropes
      5. 3-Hole Hand Grips
      6. Shin Guards
      7. Plyo box
      8. Jump Rope
      9. Abmat
      10. Lifting Straps

Category 3 – 100-500 U$

#11 Wall-Mounted Pull-up Bar (~150 U$)

#12 Weighted Vest (~150 U$)

#13 Sand Bag (~120 U$)

#14 Dumbbells (~180 U$ for three sets – read below why three sets)

#15 Barbell & Plates (~ 360 U$ for a starter set – read below)

#16 Dog Sled & Pulling Rope (~420 U$)

Wall Mounted Pull-up Bar

The wall-mounted pull-up bar gives you a more stable device when compared to the doorway-mounted version, plus you get to do more exercises on the wall-mounted version.

Usually, wall-mounted pull-up bars also provide more different grip variations.

Pull-ups are an important part of Crossfit workouts and Crossfit boxes are packed with pull-up bars all over the place.

If you have the space and the mounting possibilities, then a wall-mounted pull-up bar is a must-have piece of CrossFit equipment in your garage gym.

If you mount this device in the right place, you can even do muscle-ups on them!

wall mounted pull-up bar

Weighted Vest

Simple and very effective! Adding weight to your body through a weighted vest will give any bodyweight exercise the extra edge.

For a selection of the best weighted vests for Crossfit check out our article over here.

What you should look out for when choosing the right vest for your Crossfit workouts:

Fit

It must be comfortable and it must fit your body like a glove! Believe me – when you are already struggling through a very tough workout like “Murph” and your mental state already reflects your physical appearance (broken, sweaty, dirty, close to collapsing…) the last thing you need is an uncomfortable weight vest.

Weight vests aren´t comfortable from the get-go anyways – so at least invest in the best version you can get.

For Crossfit, the plate carrier version has established itself as the best choice.

Weight Increments

Stay away from pre-loaded versions where you have no or only very limited possibilities to adjust the weight.

Also, weighted vests that use sand or iron sand as weight aren´t very convenient for adjusting the overall weight of your vest.

You don´t need 0,25lbs weight increments to adjust your vest – the best weighted vests for our purpose are loaded either with weight plates or simple weights.

The adjustability of a weighted vest lets both – the beginner as well as the advanced athlete – use the same weighted vest.

If you purchase a version that is comfortable and can hold more than 20 – 30lbs when fully loaded this vest will be your workout companion for a long time!

a weighted vest

Sand Bag

Strong man / strong woman workouts are a big part of Crossfit programming. Therefore one piece of equipment that will let you do some strong-man exercises at home is the sandbag.

Crossfit itself is a workout regime that is meant to prepare you for everyday movements. One important movement is picking up and carrying rather more than less weight. A sandbag mimics any weight that you might encounter in your daily life.

So doing squats with a heavy sandbag or carrying a sandbag over a certain distance makes absolute sense.

Sandbag carries are also excellent “finishers” – meaning you can do a sandbag carry after finishing your workout to drain that last little bit of power that remained in your body and get the most out of your workout.

Plus, sandbags are easy to store and can be taken anywhere – just empty out your sand at home and refill your sandbag again at the beach of the vacation destination of your choice. For me, the sandbag is one of those pieces of equipment I wouldn´t want to miss anymore.

sand bag

Dumbbells

Who doesn´t know dumbbells? Found in all commercial gyms and about any CrossFit gym alike, dumbbells are essential pieces of equipment and should not be missed in a good garage gym.

Just like kettlebells, dumbbells are “free weights” and will require you to use a large number of muscles for stabilization during an exercise.

That is why dumbbells are way more effective than they look.

When used as Crossfit equipment, you should look out for fixed-weight, hex-shaped, rubberized versions like the “Rogue Rubber Hex Dumbbells” for three reasons:

      1. during a Crossfit workout, you will do a high number of reps and you will get tired while doing all those reps. So dropping your dumbbells will happen unavoidably!
      2. You won´t have time to add or remove weight plates during a workout. That is why we mentioned above that you will need two or three pairs of dumbbells for your garage gym.
      3. The Hex-shaped dumbbell – contrary to a classic round version – has a safe standing on the ground. This is particularly nice when doing exercises where a dumbbell acts as a push-up grip for example.

Average-fit male athletes should add one pair of 12,5lbs, one pair of 15lbs, and one pair of 17,5lbs dumbbells to their home gym. This will have you covered for a wide range of exercises.

Our recommendation for female athletes is one pair of 7,5lbs, one pair of 10lbs, and one pair of 12,5lbs respectively.

dumbbells

Barbell and Bumper Plates

Rather expensive, but definitely some of the best Crossfit equipment to have are barbells and bumper plates.

There will come a point in time when you will have acquired the necessary skills for cleans, snatches, deadlifts, front and back squats, and thrusters. And you will not want to miss these exercises when working out in your home gym.

That is the time when you will need at least one barbell and the appropriate amount of bumper plates. We will list below what the appropriate set of bumper plates looks like…

When I started out, I thought to myself “How much could a piece of iron and a few plates cost? Maybe a few bucks…?”

Oh boy, was I wrong! The cost of setting up my home gym with a good barbell and a wide range of bumper plates was quite startling.

You can spend a ton of money by buying the wrong bumper plates as usually we tend to overestimate our abilities in the beginning.

That said, we want to save you from making the same mistake we made and also help you save money so that you can stay well within a reasonable budget with this set:

Barbell

You don´t need several olympic bars – one good-quality olympic bar will do. Why olympic bars? They are stronger, have a wider bar shaft, hold more weight, and have longer ends to add bumper plates.

Olympic bars have a standardized weight of 20kg/44lbs.

Make sure to get a barbell that has no knurling in the center area! The knurling has a very abrasive effect on your skin and can hurt your chest and the rear of your neck really badly once you start to do cleans and front and back squats.

barbell

Bumper Plates

Male athletes will be well served with one pair of 10lbs plates (10lbs each plate) and one pair of 25lbs plates to begin with.

If you put all this weight on your barbell, you already got a 114lbs setup in your home gym to train with. For most Crossfit athletes, doing 25 Thrusters with 94lbs will get their heart rate going quite well already.

Female athletes start with one pair of 10lbs and one pair of 15lbs bumper plates.

This assortment of bumper plates is perfect for a starter home gym setup.

Finally don´t forget collars to secure your plates on your barbell! These will cost around 15 U$ for simple spring collars which will be absolutely sufficient. Safety comes first!

bumper plate

Dog Sled & Pulling Rope

As you should already own a few bumper plates by now, you might want to consider buying a dog sled.

A dog sled is a wonderful tool for push-and-pull workouts. For us, this is one of those items that can be considered “best CrossFit equipment”.

With a dog sled, you will not only build upper body strength but you will also target your core, back, glutes and legs.

The slight disadvantage of a dog sled is the space you need not only for storage but also for your workouts. You need an even clear space of around 25-30 meters / 80-100 feet with a durable surface for your dog sled workouts.

dog sled

Our prioritized shopping list for home gym items below 500 U$

Sorted by usefulness

      1. Wall-Mounted Pull-up Bar
      2. Barbell & Plates
      3. Weighted Vest
      4. Dumbbells
      5. Dog Sled & Pulling Rope
      6. Sand Bag

Category 4 – 500-1000 U$

Now you are getting really serious! The price category we are entering now is getting close to professional CrossFit gyms.

However, that doesn´t mean that these items aren´t really useful in your personal gym.

These next  items are great additions to any home gym and provide access to a whole new level of training and many variations of exercises.

So what we would recommend is:

#17 Squat Stand / Squat Rack (~400-850 U$)

#18 Power Rack (from ~650 U$)

#19 Weight Lifting Platform plus Rubber Tiles (~750 U$)

#20 Indoor Rowing Machine (~900 U$)

#21 Ski Erg (~850 U$)

#22 Air Bike (~800 U$)

Crossfit sessions are often a combination of cardio exercises that push your heart rate, and weight training. You might already have heard the term “for calories” which simply means that you have to accumulate a certain amount of calories – often within a given time frame.

For those workouts, you need a workout machine that counts your calories. These are usually Air Bikes (or Assault Bikes), SkiErg, or indoor rowing machines.

The last three items in the list of Crossfit gear we have listed above could mostly be considered to be used by the very very motivated athlete who wants to prepare for competitions like the Crossfit games.

At home, one can also push his or her heart rate by doing burpees, box jumps, or running sprints as well. So, maybe you want to spend one extra thought on these items and reconsider if you really want to add them to your home gym.

Squat Stand / Squat Rack

Squat Stands do exactly what their name says: they provide a stable platform for your barbell and weights. Weighted squats are usually done with so much weight that you will not be able to lift the barbell including weight plates off the ground.

That is what the squat stand is for. Assemble your barbell conveniently at chest height and do your squats.

Not much to add to this.

Power racks can do the same – and more! So let´s have a look at power racks – for us they make more sense…

squat stand

Power Racks

They need space around them to fully develop their versatility and we do not only mean space laterally around them but also above them.

The reason for that is muscle ups! No space above your pull-up bar also means no muscle-ups – keep that in mind.

Power racks are a combination of squat stands, weight plate storage, and pull-up bars.

And if you buy quality equipment and think ahead, you will even be able to add additional equipment to a good power rack.

Such items could be wall ball targets, cable pull systems, climbing ropes, or gymnastic rings.

power rack

Weight Lifting Platform plus Rubber Tiles

Most people forget about proper flooring in their home gym. You will drop weights! That is for sure!

Think of the damage to your floor, the damage to your weightlifting equipment, your neighbor, your wife (or husband)…

A weight-lifting platform with rubber tiles is a must-have for anybody who constantly works out using barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.

Definitely a good investment!

You can also build your own with wooden framing, or buy a ready steel frame to put the rubber tiles in.

weight lifting platform with rubber tiles

Indoor Rowing Machine / SkiErg / Air Bike

All three of these items carry a hefty price tag. If you are not seriously preparing for the Crossfit games or a similar competition, then evaluate your need for any of these pieces of equipment very carefully.

We have already mentioned before that these items are mainly used to count calories which is needed for certain workouts.

If you use Crossfit in your home workouts as complementary sports to your special kind of sports which might be cross-country skiing for example, then, of course, a SkiErg might be a must-have piece of equipment for you.

The same applies to rowers who maybe need to train upper body strength during the winter season as well.

I think you know what I mean – consider the level of your own abilities and needs before spending huge amounts of money on stuff that can be replaced by doing other exercises instead.

BUT! If you still want to buy any of these items, despite all the above said then buy quality equipment.

indoor rowing machine
SkiErg
Air Bike

Our prioritized shopping list for home gym items between 500 and 1000U$

Sorted by usefulness

      1. Power Rack
      2. Weight Lifting Platform with Rubber Tiles
      3. Squat Rack
      4. Indoor Rowing Machine / SkiErg / Air Bike

Final Words

You could spend money infinitely on your Crossfit home gym and there are home gyms out there that absolutely blow your mind!

The goal of this article is to give you guidance on how to spend your money wisely on one hand and also to help you save money in the long run.

We hope to have given you some understanding of what piece of equipment you need more urgently and at which stage of training level you need these items.

Your own Crossfit home gym will grow and you will constantly add new things which is a good thing! Because that shows that you keep making progress!

Your Crossfit community will also give you great advice on which items you should add. The same community could also be a source of used items or even a place where you could sell your own used items in order to bring your own home gym to the next level – who knows?

Let us know in the comments below how you built your own home gym and which experiences you have made on your journey…

If you liked this article, please like and share 🙂

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