Whether you live in an apartment, tiny home, RV, or you simply don’t want to devote an entire room to working out, there are small-space home gym essentials made for your situation. Especially since going to the gym or a fitness studio isn’t always in the cards, having an array of at-home equipment is a great idea for any exerciser—and we have all the recs at every price point. And just because you don’t have the space for a squat rack and barbell system doesn’t mean you can’t get a great workout in.
We’re not just going to take the easy route and tell you to buy a set of resistance bands and a few yoga mats (though both are great tools). Below we found everything from treadmills to exercise bikes to all-in-one home gym systems, each of which is built to maximize the amount of living space you have to actually live. You’ll find slim walking pads, handy workout machines you can use while typing at your desk, and doorway bars for pull-ups, push-ups (or hanging your laundry). Many of these picks are selected from our Home Fitness Awards and from top-rated brands and retailers like Bowflex, NordicTrack, Lululemon, TRX, Bala, and more. Keep reading to find your new favorite small-space home gym equipment to reach all of your 2023 fitness goals.
Treadmills and Walking Pads
You might be skeptical about bringing cardio equipment into an already cramped workout space, but these days treadmills are getting slimmer and smarter, making them easier to transport and store. Folding treadmills, like the Treadly 2 Pro and NordicTrack EXP 7i, come recommended by fitness experts as they save space and still offer smart treadmill features. The Treadly 2 is only four inches thick (!) and goes up to five mph, while the NordicTrack goes up to 12 mph with an automatic incline of up to 12% grade. You could also opt for a walking pad that can slide under your living room couch or bed when not in use. These are for walking only, as they don’t have handlebars, but they’re an excellent way to keep moving throughout your day (and even while you’re working).
Sunny Health & Fitness Walkstation Slim Treadmill
Whether you have a devoted (albeit tiny) workout room or your home office is doing double duty, chances are you can fit in one of these stationary bikes or under-desk exercisers. Some indoor bikes, like those from Xterra and Exerpeutic, have a folding mechanism for a smaller storage footprint. This does mean they have fewer smart features, but they’re ideal if you’re looking to add more steady-state movement into your day. We included a Peloton here because even though it doesn’t fold, if you get a bigger package like the Bike+ Premier, it comes with everything you need for full-body workouts beyond cycling (like yoga, HIIT, stretching, and more). Plus, it has wheels to roll it into a closet or hallway when it’s not in use.
Xterra Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike With Pulse
“When my roommate came home after Christmas with a gigantic box (she had asked for an exercise bike), I was a little skeptical. We don’t have a very large apartment, but I was pleasantly surprised when we opened the box! This space-saving, foldable bike is perfect for our apartment and fits in a small corner out of the way. When it’s time to ride, I wheel it in front of the TV, pop in the pin to fold it out, and start to exercise. It has a wide seat so it doesn’t get uncomfortable riding for long stretches of time and has eight tension levels so I can change how hard I’m working out.” —Cheryl Carlin, senior manager, analytics
Adjustable Dumbbells, Kettlebells, and Weights
If you’re a weight lifter but don’t feel like shelling out for a gym membership just to use the sprawling weight rack, a set of adjustable dumbbells is your best bet for strength training. Dumbbells can feel a bit bulky in your hands, but some adjustable sets replace up to 30 pairs of free weights, which is pretty major. If you often opt for lighter weights, we recommend a small set of three, which often come with a space-saving stand. A set of ankle or wrist weights offer solid resistance during workouts like barre and Pilates, and they have the footprint of a standard envelope. For kettlebell training, Bowflex makes an innovative adjustable kettlebell similar to its SELF Home Fitness Award-winning dumbbells.
Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell Fitness Dial Dumbbell
Pull-Up Bars and Equalizer Bars
For calisthenics and bodyweight work in a small home gym, you have a few options to amp things up without bringing bulky exercise equipment like boxes and benches into the mix. Attach a pull-up bar to any doorway and you have plenty of exercise options, including chin-ups, push-ups, and hangs. Prosource and Iron Gym have two top-rated, best-selling options at affordable price points. You could also opt for a set of equalizer bars, which can be used to enhance all kinds of at-home workout routines. Try them when performing dips, pull-ups, push-ups, stretches, agility drills, and more. Equalizer bars are a little bit bulky, but can be easily stored in a closet or garage when you’re not using them.
ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
Home Gym Systems
The most versatile option for small exercise rooms is smart home gyms and all-in-one gym systems, which take up minimal floor space and act as multiple pieces of equipment in one. The NordicTrack Vault (which measures 72.65 x 24.25 x 14 inches) has an organized closetlike system that holds dumbbells, mats, kettlebells, yoga blocks, and more, plus on-demand workouts on its mirror-esque façade. The wall-mounted Tonal system (which requires a 7 x 7-foot workout area) has a similar concept but uses air resistance instead of weights for full body workouts, and has live form correction for enhanced safety. Lululemon’s Studio Mirror has the slimmest model—all you need is two feet of wall space. It fits seamlessly into your home, too, since it looks just like a mirror. For a low-tech option, TRX’s home gym system uses suspension training for all different kinds of exercises, and it can be set up pretty much anywhere, even if you’re lacking extra space.