best crossfit equipment

A Guide to Buying Crossfit Equipment

Buying Crossfit equipment and gear is a necessary step if you want to progress and improve on your Crossfit WODs and exercises. This guide is designed to provide insights into the best crossfit equipment and accessories you should be looking to buy. These pieces of Crossfit equipment will help optimize your home gym into a Crossfit workout haven where you can train hard and see results quick.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting your quest for fitness or you’re a seasoned pro, the Crossfit movement can certainly offer you something. One of the reasons I love Crossfit and their workouts is the flexibility and ability to do it anywhere. With just a bit of Crossfit gear kitted out in your home or garage, you can pretty much do all the workouts. This makes it perfect for people who don’t want to join a gym or want a workout that offers quick results.

And if you weren’t convinced of investing in a home gym, then a few reminders include: convenience, no crowds, no driving, no equipment queues, no time restrictions, and no monthly membership costs. I do love the atmosphere in gyms and the social aspect but it’s also nice to have the option to workout effectively at home. When you suddenly find yourself busy all the time, it’s great to have the ability to fit in a workout easily and conveniently at home.

Don’t think that because gyms have the latest snazzy equipment that you need it too; the list of things necessary for a home gym is not very long and doesn’t require big expensive machines. It’s all about picking fitness equipment that is effective. This list of home Crossfit equipment is focused on comparing and reviewing the important gear that will help you get fitter.

10 Essential pieces of Crossfit Gear for Home Gyms

Olympic Barbell

An Olympic weightlifting barbell is a must for anyone wanting to practice those Crossfit workouts. Olympic barbells are involved in lots of the big powerlifting routines and getting one that is durable is definitely recommended. Barbells are used in all the big compound lifts and seeing as Crossfit loves these lifts (due to their importance for developing functional strength), a barbell is high on the priorities.

Olympic Barbells do vary in price quite drastically. You may be pleasantly surprised at finding some for under £50. However, you get what you pay for and some of these cheaper ones are low quality and you’ll find you need to replace them pretty quickly. A second-hand high quality bar would probably serve you better than a brand new cheaper bar. Cheap bars might bend, the sleeve might rattle, or you may find it rusts pretty quick; one way or another you’ll probably end up frustrated. This isn’t ideal and is likely to impact your workouts.

Crossfit Equipment should assist you in your mission to getting fitter so you need equipment you can rely on. Men’s Olympic barbells are 20 kg and women’s barbells are 15 kg. Women’s bars are usually slightly thinner too. Buy whichever variation fits your hands best. Most women will find the Men’s bar perfectly usable, but it’s good to know there is an option if needed. I know some men who use Women’s bars from time to time to vary up the grip and use them for one armed lifts.  

Knurling is something else to consider. Knurling refers to the lines cut into the metal to offer better grip for powerlifters and the average gym goer. Knurling is unquestionably important to help with powerlifts, however, due to the high reps required for Crossfit, the knurling can sometimes really cut up your hands. The best way to overcome this is just to invest in some high quality tape or gymnastics hand protectors. There’s also the option of chalk to help with grip. Liquid chalk is increasingly popular with the serious powerlifters and climbers and definitely offers the best support for gripping.

Another aspect to consider when looking for a bar is the tensile strength. Look for a bar with a tensile strength over 150,000 PSI. Anything below 150,000 PSI should be avoided.

Bumper Plates & Weights

You’ll need some high quality bumper plates for your barbell. There are plenty of options out there and plenty of variety. Plates come in different shapes and sizes but I suggest on picking one type and sticking with it. Mixing iron plates with modern rubber plates, or mixing different shapes may mean they don’t fit perfectly together on the bar. This can be annoying when performing Crossfit WODs so try to stick with the same brand/type of plates.

Plates with hand grips at the top offer a bit of diversity and do make it easier to take on and off. They can also be used in other exercises so you technically get more for your money. Having equipment and gear that doubles up is great for a home gym.

It makes sense to buy plate sets rather than one off purchases. Hopefully you’ll keep improving and getting stronger so it’s good to have plates ready and waiting for those days you can put more weight on. Also, remember that exercises like deadlifts naturally require more plates that you might think.

N.B. Expert Tip – remember to buy a barbell jack to help you get the plates on and off the barbell easier. It may not sound like much but it makes a big difference when lifting heavy weights.

Power Rack/Crossfit Rig (Pull-Up Bar)

Crossfit has clearly illustrated the credentials of the pull-up, but what’s the best way to do pull ups at home? Don’t fall for those cheap pull-up bars you put between door frames if you’re serious about pull-ups. These don’t offer you the space or stability needed for crossfit workouts.

Wall-mounted pull-up bars will certainly do but if you are serious about fitness at home perhaps look into getting a power rack. Power racks offer a safe piece of equipment to do a variety of workouts and exercises on. Although it is a big piece of equipment, it’ll offer a base for most of your exercises and helps ensure safety for heavy lifts.

If you go to a Crossfit box, you’ll notice that the rigs (in essence, large power racks), are an integral part of most Crossfit workouts.

A power rack also offers the perfect environment for when you feel the times right to work on your gymnastics and hang some rings.

Building your own pull up bar or any Crossfit/Gym equipment is certainly an option. DIY gym equipment can sometimes be a good solution and help customize equipment for your needs and ability. Having said this, safety is paramount so having the peace of mind from a manufactured bar would get my vote every time.

Crossfit Rings

Crossfit rings are one of Crossfit’s most infamous pieces of equipment. Rings are most commonly associated with gymnastics and have been used to improve strength and muscle growth for years. Crossfit has revitalized our love hate relationship with rings. Rings are extremely challenging and require a lot of effort, however, the gains and opportunities presented mean rings can be one of the best pieces of fitness equipment for getting stronger.

Crossfit rings come in a variety of options. You can usually pick between plastic or wooden rings. Wooden rings are usually more sustainable but plastic ones will do fine. The main thing you should be focused on is how to attach the rings in your gym or garage. They do require quite a lot of space but the variety of upper body workouts you can do on them, means they are a fantastic investment for your Crossfit gym.

Rings also emphasize building functional strength, a key component of Crossfit. Learn how to master the rings, and you’ll soon find success with Crossfit.

Battle Ropes

Battle ropes are a great piece of fitness gear for everyone. They are very versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways.

They offer very intense upper body workouts and fit perfectly into the Crossfit ethos. Battle ropes can be used as a cardio and strength training tool, making them ideal for all Crossfitters.

Battleropes are great for the time restricted Crossfitter as you can work up a sweat in a matter of seconds.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells go hand in hand with Crossfit. The easy decision is whether you need kettlebells. This is a no brainer and is an overwhelming yes. The difficult decision is what weight you want. Ideally, you’d have a selection of kettlebells for your home gym. This selection would offer variety for different exercises where the weight would need to be adapted.

Iron kettlebells will offer durability so should be preferred over plastic coated kettlebells.

Crossfit Shoes

A good pair of Crossfit shoes are a key ingredient in performing well at WODs and Crossfit workouts. Crossfit shoes need to be lightweight, durable yet able to offer support for powerlifting exercises as well.

For heavy powerlifting exercises, you may look to invest in a pair of weightlifting shoes as well as a pair of lighter, more sensitive shoes that will mean you can run and jump at speed.

Reebok has pioneered the Crossfit apparel, including shoes, however, in recent years every sports manufacturer appears to have launched their own Crossfit shoe.  

Squat Box

Squat boxes are a useful piece of equipment for your home gym. They help ensure you have good technique for squats as well as providing versatility for other exercises. Squat boxes are available in many varieties: wood, metal, adjustable, angled, etc; and heights usually vary from 12″ to 24″.  As well as squats, I find them very useful for stepping and lunges. This piece of Crossfit equipment is also ideal for people recovering from injuries as it can offer stability for a variety of workouts.

Squat boxes lend themselves perfectly for a DIY project. There is a great selection of boxes available online but if you can make them yourself, you’re bound to save money and be able to customize it for your own body and preferences. The ability to customize is the great thing about going down the DIY route.

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls have been around for a long time and they can be incorporated into pretty much any workout. Offering a full body workout, medicine balls are a must have for any Crossfit gym. Crossfitters predominately use medicine balls for ‘wallballs’ – this is where you squat down and launch the ball against a wall. It may not sound like much but this is certainly a tough workout and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

I enjoy using medicine balls for a variety of exercises and they lend themselves perfectly for being creative in the gym.

Weight Bench

Crossfit isn’t usually associated with benches and exercises associated with benches, such as the chest press. Having said this, benches are so versatile and they’re bound to be useful for some workouts.

Benches come in many shapes, sizes and functions. The main thing to watch out for are short benches that may catch you out so make sure you read the size guide carefully. I think investing in one that adjusts is very useful as it means you can include incline and shoulder presses in your workout.

Crossfit Equipment for your Home Gym

There is plenty of choice out there regarding getting Crossfit gear for your home gym. The most important thing to remember is prioritizing equipment that is versatile and will be most beneficial to you. This list of 10 pieces of equipment is a good place to start and as you progress you may feel you want to add extra pieces as and when you require them. Crossfit is the perfect answer for those looking for a challenge and those wanting to get fitter. Crossfit has something for all standards and should definitely be included in your training routine!

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