The Best Home Gym Equipment: For Training in Smaller Spaces
Training in Small Spaces
We all know that a fitness routine is very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's good for your mental health as well! Working out at home has a lot of benefits in particular. No commute, no expensive gym membership and more privacy. But there's one big problem with this idea. Most people don't have enough space in their homes for full-sized workout equipment.
People think that unless you have access to a huge double garage, you can't build a home gym. This is not true! It's okay if you only have access to a small room, balcony, or living room. It's all about training smart.
To help you out, we've compiled a list of the best home gym equipment for small spaces. They'll help you stay fit without taking up too much space! These items are compact and functional, so they're perfect if you live in an apartment or small unit.
Before we start: what does it mean to have a functional training setup?
A functional setup involves home gym equipment that gives a full body workout with minimal equipment. This is particularly important for those with little to no space.
For instance, rather than buying a whole dumbbell set that requires a rack - buy a pair of adjustable dumbbells. Or instead of buying a barbell and weight plates, buy a cable pulley system if your space alows it. Of course, it all depends on you and the space you have available.
If you need to stay within a budget, start by looking at the design of the equipment. Some items take up far less room than others, even though they do much of the same thing! So when shopping for home gym equipment, keep in mind how it will sit in your space.
Ability to increase or decrease intensity with ease
A smart home gym setup will give itself longevity. If you're looking to build muscle, there is no point buying one 12kg kettlebell. You'll soon outgrow this kettlebell and want something heavier. It's better to buy something with adjustable weight. This will give you the most bang for your buck, and the most effective use of your space. Of course, how much weight you need depends on you and your goals.
Here's another example for fitness lovers looking to work on their body weight. When investing in cardio machines, it's important to really think about how you are going to use it. There is no point spending $600 for a basic treadmill with minimal functions when you can spend $1000 and get a high quality treadmill. Especially when this treadmill features a top speed and incline that you'll never outgrow. It will most likely include fitness trackers to help keep you on track, and overall be a much better investment. Just something to think about!
Make the most out of your space
This is something that often gets overlooked. Have a look at the area where you want to train and analyse its features. Do you have access to an area where you could install a pull up bar? What about an anchor point for suspension training? Do not discredit the power of these bodyweight exercises. They are an absolute game-changer if done right, and could save you a lot of money and space!
The best home gym equipment for strength training and building muscle in small spaces
An adjustable dumbbell set
The best home gym equipment to build muscle effectively in smaller spaces is definitely an adjustable dumbbell set. Even those with a tiny room can make space for a pair of adjustable dumbbells. They take up a lot less space than a full set of free weights, and will allow you to perform dozens of different exercises with just one small unit! You can adjust the weights up to 40kg, which is perfect for a majority of people. Also, they're usually at an extremely reasonable price!
Our top pick from Muscle Motion would be this 40kg Adjustable Dumbbell Set. It's definitely a fan favourite, and one of our absolute bestsellers. It features durable rubber plates, is simple yet effective in design, and has comfortable sturdy handles. Snag a pair today for $225 (less than a single pair of heavy dumbbells!)
A pin-loaded cable machine or smith machine
For many, buying a home gym machine may seem unrealistic. You might be thinking "how is a cable machine good for small spaces???" - the answer is, most machines have a relatively small footprint and are actually perfect for small spaces. Pin-loaded machines are a great example of this. If you're not familiar with them, they are machines that a built-in weight stack rather than plates. They take up very little space but allow you to perform many exercises - most of which cover full-body workouts.
In the long run, these machines will help you save money by reducing the need for buying a whole bunch of plates and finding space to store a long barbell. Also, it'll provide a machine that is always ready to use - no time wasted loading and unloading! If you already have plates however, we would recommend checking out this awesome tower pulley system from Muscle Motion - the FT1003. It mounts to a wall, and gives you instant access to hundreds of workouts. Check it out here!
A pull up bar
A sturdy pull up bar is the perfect addition to any home gym with the capacity to install it. It's quick and easy to install, is simple yet effective in design, and has a great price. It'll provide you with an excellent upper-body workout that will sculpt your lats, biceps, triceps, traps and more.
The only caveat is that you'll need to find a place to install it. Some people love a door-mounted pull up bar, which attaches to the top of a door. But if you're looking for something that can handle a little more weight - we'd suggest the Muscle Motion Pull Up Bar. It comes with some bolts for wall-mounting. If you're renting an apartment or something similar, we'd recommend skipping this one!
Suspension Training Kit
All you need is some sort of anchor point, and you're good to go! Some people find a sturdy beam, tree branch, or cross-beam works perfectly. We usually suggest some sort of floor ring or ring anchor - they take up very little space and allow you to perform dozens of different exercises.
Bodyweight workouts are definitely the underdog of strength training. People think they can't get an effective workout in without weights. But, there's plenty of strength training exercises you can do with nothing other than your bodyweight and your suspension kit. With proper form, you'll be building and toning muscle like never before.
Our all-time favourite suspension trainer is the Muscle Motion or Morgan Suspension Kit. It comes with everything you need to perform hundreds of different exercises, and takes up very little space! Grab yours today for only $110.
The best home gym equipment for burning fat and losing weight in small spaces
We've said it before, and we'll say it again. High intensity interval training will burn fat faster than most other workouts. When choosing a piece of home gym equipment that allows you to perform HIIT training - it all comes down to your training style. This also depends on your budget. However, as this article doesn't necessary mention anything about saving money. So, we're going to dive in with our top picks, as well as some affordable options.
For narrow spaces: rowing machines
If you have access to an undercover area or a narrow space, rowing machines may be perfect for you. They don't have a very high profile, and some fold up when not in use. The only real downside is price - which can be quite high on some models. However, we'd recommend checking out this model from FleetX. It's very portable, meaning it's great for smaller spaces.
Rowing machines provide a great fat-burning workout. They activate many different muscle groups while rowing. You can also perform your cardio workout in circuits by increasing or decreasing the amount of resistance.
For standard spaces: A stationary bike
A good exercise bike goes a long way. There are a few different kinds, outlined in this blog article, depending on your individual training style. Remember what we said earlier - a smart home gym includes equipment that is functional and will get a lot of use. So, consider your training style and goals before purchasing.
As far as fitness equipment goes, exercise bikes are one of the most popular. This is because they not only tone your legs really well - but they provide you with a solid cardio session. Plus - you can pick one up at a relatively affordable price! Like this spin bike from the FleetX range.
For very minimal spaces: cardio accessories
If you really have no space for a machine, don't fret! You can still get your heart rate up and burn fat effectively with a few accessories. HIIT workouts don't require you to have the most expensive cardio exercise equipment. They just require you to create variations in heart rate through circuit training.
You could achieve this with items as simple as a skipping rope, a workout mat, exercise ball and yourself - for bodyweight workouts! These items are all fairly cheap, and very easy to store. You'll also never have to worry about power, weight capacity or battery life!
The best home gym equipment for yoga and conditioning
The best resistance bands are the ones that work for you and your training style! Some models come with ankle straps, door anchors and handles - meaning there are limitless exercises available. Resistance bands are ideal for small spaces because you never know when you're going to want to work out. You can simply take them from their storage space and perform a quick workout - whenever the mood strikes you.
They're also great because they give you that variety we talked about earlier! This is especially important if you're looking to tone and strengthen your body. It's wise to utilise various types of resistance to achieve the best results results. If you're looking for some simple bands for toning the glutes, this 5 piece pack from rapid motion is fantastic. Or, this resistance tube set - that allows you to train your upper body!
Yoga mats, much like any other exercise mat, allow you to perform a number of different exercises. Whether you're warming up, stretching, or warming down - they're extremely handy. Most mats are generally designed to be used on hard surfaces, such as wooden floors or concrete - which will be the case for most of you!
For small spaces, the best yoga mats for small spaces need to be foldable and not too bulky. It's for this reason we'd probably have to recommend the simply Muscle Motion Yoga Mat. It is easily stored and cleaned - at a fantastic price.
Things to remember:
The best home gym equipment for me, may not be the best for you.
What might work for me in my setup, won't necessarily work for you. You should consider what space you have available, the footprint of the home gym equipment, your training goals and budget.
Invest in home gym equipment that is easy to set up and hassle-free!
There is no point buying equipment that you'll only use occasionally. This puts a lot of pressure on you, and adds tension to your training. You'll be getting stressed out over having to set up your home gym every time you want to use it! Make sure that what ever equipment you choose is easy to use, requires a small space for storage and doesn't leave a mess in its wake.
It's okay to start small - you can build your gym over time!
Starting small is actually very beneficial. It gives you an opportunity to work out exactly what kind of setup you want - rather than guessing, and building it all in one go! Baby steps.
The best home gym equipment is functional and efficient. This generally means equipment that is portable, has a wide range of exercises and sets up easily. It also needs to be affordable - because there's every chance you'll want to re-invest and upgrade as your training progresses!
We hope this article was informative and helpful for those seeking guidance on the best home gym equipment for small spaces. If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it! You can find us Facebook and Instagram by clicking below - we'd love to hear from you.
About the author:
We write all of our blog posts as a group - consulting members of our sales, marketing and customer service teams to give you the content that you deserve. At Gym Direct, we know how important it is to stay informed when it comes to the equipment you invest in - so we've made it a top priority to write content periodically to assist you in doing so. Happy training!
Written by Gym Direct