Fit&Well Awards: Our winning Home Workout Wonders equipment!

From kettlebells to rowing machines, these home workout wonders have been stamped with our seal of approval

Man riding a Peloton bike, one of the winners in the Home Workout Heroes category at the Fit&Well Awards 2021
(Image credit: Peloton)

It's officially the beginning of Fit&Well Awards week, during which we'll be sharing the brands, products and people that helped us live healthier, happier lives during the last year - one of the most challenging on record.

Over the next five days we'll be revealing the winners of categories including Top Fitness Tech, Hot Fit Kit and Healthy Home Heroes, as well as our all-important Headline Awards, featuring Trainer of the Year and the Fit&Well Hero award!

However, before any of that, it's time to look at the winners of our Home Workout Wonders category, featuring the exercise and fitness equipment which has revolutionised home workouts over the course of the last year. 

Working out at home was more important in 2020 than ever before. As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the world, causing gyms to close and social distancing to become the norm, lots of us have had no choice but to exercise at home. it's times like these equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines, kettlebells and adjustable dumbbells really become lifesavers. This list features the best of these.

We considered various factors when it came to choosing our winners, including user feedback, practical considerations and, of course, value for money.

But the main driver in selecting these products was (as it always is), "does this product help people achieve our mission statement of 'healthier, happier living'?"

The products listed below all do this in their own way. Some are bargain deals, others are set at premium prices, but all of them do their part to ensure healthier, happier living at home. 

Best elliptical machine

best elliptical machines: SoleFitness E95Fit&Well Awards - winners logo CORRECT

(Image credit: SoleFitness)

Winner: Sole E95

Ellipticals are among the best home exercise machines you can get, precisely because they're so versatile: they're great for building muscle while torching calories thanks to their resistance levels and uses of both upper and lower body, and they're low-impact so you can exercise without harming your joints. The Sole E95 is the best elliptical machine sporting of this unique combination, with a whisper-quiet drive system, and a 17kg flywheel to provide as much (or as little) resistance as you need. A 40-degree adjustable ramp and built-in exercise computer with a 9-inch LCD screen and Bluetooth speakers is the icing on the cake. 

Best exercise bike

Best exercise bikeFit&Well Awards logo - winner

(Image credit: Peloton)

Winner: Peloton

If it's good enough for the President, it's good enough for us. Exercise bikes have always been extremely popular, but in a year in which we were largely forced to exercise at home alone, Peloton's famous digital group spin classes really came into their own. The classes foster a real community feel, with worldwide leaderboards and the bike's massive 22-inch touchscreen helping to give the feeling of being in a studio class with pumping music, even in the living room. It's pricey, but the machine itself is excellent (great magnetic resistance and really responsive) even without the classes. A home workout saviour, for lockdown - and beyond.

Buy direct from Peloton

Best treadmill

Best treadmillFit&Well Awards - winners logo CORRECT

(Image credit: JTX)

Winner: JTX Sprint-7

The humble treadmill became a home workout staple during lockdown, as people looked for ways to keep working out. And for our money the JTX Sprint-7 is the best treadmill for most people, from those looking for a light jog in front of the telly all the way to serious athletes. Gym-quality specifications include a top speed of 20km/h , a 13% max incline, 24 preset workouts and Polar wearable connectivity for automated workouts and heart rate tracking. Plus its folding design makes for easy storage - ideal if you're tight on space. With a three-year in-home repair warranty and ten-year motor warranty, the JTX Sprint-7 will live on as the king of treadmills long after lockdown lifts.

Best rowing machine

Best rowing machineFit&Well Awards - winners logo CORRECT

(Image credit: WaterRower)

Winner: WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

Like treadmills and exercise bikes, rowing machines mimic an activity you can find in the great outdoors. However, unlike the treadmill and the exercise bike, the best rowing machines works your upper body as well as improving your cardiovascular health, making them popular all-rounder choices. And our top choice is the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine. For one, it's a thing of beauty. With all that exposed wood, this is one piece of exercise equipment that won't stick out like a sore thumb when in-situ in the lounge or otherwise. However, it's real beauty lies in its performance. The WaterRower replicates the feel and sound of pulling against water by adding a perspex tank full of it, with a rotary paddle attached: the faster you pull, the higher the resistance, just like in real life. It's also incredibly quiet whilst in use, so you won't feel like you're disturbing the neighbours or those in the next room. Plus, it can be stored fairly unobtrusively by hanging on the wall when not in use.

Buy direct from WaterRower US or WaterRower UK

Best adjustable dumbbells

Best adjustable dumbbells: BowflexFit&Well Awards - winners logo CORRECT

(Image credit: Bowflex)

Winner: Bowflex SelectTech 552i

Without access to a weights room to speak of, dumbbells have become bestsellers in the world of home fitness. Removing and adding heavy plates with spinlocks can get rather tedious, but these Bowflex babies are top of the best adjustable dumbbells heap because they allow you to select your weight with a simple twist of a dial. This ingenious construction allows you to maintain the "flow" of your exercise similar to a gym, in which you'd simply be able to pick another pair rather than have to constantly screw and unscrew. A real godsend to anyone looking to build strength at home. An investment, for sure - but totally worth it if you're serious about your home workouts.

Best kettlebell

Winner: TRX kettlebells

What if you prefer something you can throw around a bit more than those precious interlocking dumbbells? Enter the kettlebell. And in our eyes, the best kettlebells money can buy are those by leading training equipment brand TRX, providing most bang for your buck. There's a limit to how over-engineered you can make a ball with a handle, but little things like a flat base for added stability, a handy color-coded weight system, wide handles and a smooth finish made the TRX range a real pleasure to use. Priced individually so you can mix and match the exact weights you need, TRX's kettlebells are the perfect combination of quality, design and value for money.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.