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Are you thinking about opening a gym? There are many things to organise before you start thinking about equipmentfrom gym insurance and renting a commercial property to employment contracts and gym management software. 

However, in order to make your new gym business profitable, you need to provide a service that people don’t mind paying for. In other words, if you want to attract and keep as many members as possible, you need to ensure your gym is kitted out with a decent range of gym equipment and machinery. 

If you’re wondering about what type of equipment you should purchase, the answer boils down to two main factors: the type of gym you want to open and the type of exercise that your target audience wants to do. That said, there are some essential pieces of equipment that all gyms should have.

A Checklist of Essential Gym Equipment

Below is a checklist of basic gym equipment all gyms should have:

  1. Cardio equipment
  2. Free weights
  3. Medicine balls
  4. Mats
  5. Resistance bands 
  6. Exercise balls

1. Cardio Equipment

When people walk into your gym they will expect to find cardio machines such as treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines, and ellipticals. Cardio machines are popular with people of all ages, fitness levels and goals. You can also install TVs in front of cardio equipment to give people the option of watching films, TV shows or music videossometimes it can help you add on an extra few kilometers to a run!

Cardio Equipment

2. Free Weights

Free weights include things like dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells. They are extremely versatile and can be used by a wide range of people with different goals. For example, they can be used for core exercises, resistance training, strength training and group classes.

3. Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are used for a variety of purposes including the popular high-intensity interval training (HIIT), plyometrics and a whole bunch of core workouts including used Russian twists, rolling push-ups, weighted superman and squat push-press.

Medicine Balls

4. Mats

Mats are a must for any gym. Many people use mats to set up their own space in the gym to do floor work, standing exercise, stretching or simply to have a more private area to workout. You also need mats in group fitness classes – particularly yoga, pilates and HIIT.

5. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They are one of the cheapest pieces of equipment and are extremely versatile. They can be used for warm-ups, muscle activation or part of a full-body workout. They are also a great introduction to resistance training for people that don’t feel comfortable using free weights or weight machines.

6. Exercise Balls

Exercise balls, or pilates balls, are excellent for working on core strength, stability and stretching. There are many ways to implement exercise balls to a workout in both individual and group classes.

Exercise Balls


A key way to protect your equipment and other important assets is with Business Property Insurance. This can cover you for accidental and malicious damage, theft, fire, and more. You should aim to invest in high-quality equipment where possible as it will last longer and keep your costs down in the long-run. It’s vital to take proper care of your equipment, which includes knowing how to clean it. Check out our blog on how to protect your gym equipment from cleaning chemical damage.

Don’t hesitate to contact our team of specialist gym insurance brokers to learn how to protect your gym equipment and business assets.