There are some sports and exercise types that take up little space, but if you are serious about getting fit and only have the confines of a small space at your disposal then opting for compact and small exercise equipment is going to be key.
Whether your fitness aim is to increase your levels of cardio, build lean muscle through a weight training plan or perhaps a bit of both, you are going to need at least some equipment – especially if you plan to do most of the exercise at home and not at the gym.
We have taken a look at the best compact exercise equipment for use in small spaces and have compiled some great options for you here. There should be something for everyone and for every budget so take your time to find the perfect small (in size but not in results) exercise accessories. You might also want to take a look at our adjustable dumbbells as these offer an excellent way to save space but still work out with a range of weights.
For anyone who simply does not have space for exercise equipment in their home but needs the of option for cardio and strength training then there are very few products on the market that tick all of those boxes. But a revolutionary new product that is British designed and made is about to change that.
The Ex-Belt provides you with a unique design that allows you to work out your upper body in a resistance training style whilst taking part in cardio focused exercises such as walking and running. It is ideal for anyone who is looking for a higher level of efficiency from their workouts and is estimated to burn 30% more energy than workouts that don’t include it.
The concept is pretty simple (so much so it is hard to imagine why it didn’t exist pre-Covid) with an adjustable belt that features two d-rings that you attach resistance bands to (these come supplied as standard). You then hold on to the bands whilst undertaking your usual walk or run which adds upper body resistance to the workout. Additionally, you can also use them for dedicated strength based workouts and they can be used with pretty much any kind of resistance band for varying levels of resistance.
The belt and bands can be stored in a drawer or small bag and take up virtually no space at all. Ideal for anyone who needs portable workout equipment that they can take with them or for anyone who wants to maximise their at home workouts but without turning their humble abode in to a home gym.
JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine
When it comes to workouts that you perform at home there are very few that offer as good an all body workout as a rowing machine. This JLL model is not only a well spec’d piece of exercise equipment, it is also fairly compact given that it folds down to give a folded length of just 71cm with a width of 52cm. Just keep in mind that when in use you will need an overall length of 180cm. For most small rooms, this will be perfectly usable.
JLL have developed a strong reputation over the years for producing high quality exercise equipment at budget prices and although the R200 rower is not what you would call cheap, when you compare it to other rowing machines it is an absolute steal.
Storage and setup is very easy and it is will take only a couple of seconds to fold the machine up and down. There are handy wheels to the back feet which allow it to be moved around easily on flat surfaces. The R200 has been specifically designed for those with space limitations in mind so you can rest assured that it is designed to be be moved and set up and down constantly.
The 10 levels of magnetic resistance are similar to what you would expect to find on a machine at a professional gym and although the overall build quality is not gym standard it doesn’t need to be as it won’t be used all day every day. The R200 features an advanced driving belt system and also has a 7 function LCD monitor that displays calorie information, distance and time.
If you have the budget and space for the R200 and there was only one piece of space saving equipment you were going to buy then we’d perhaps suggest that this is it.
PremierFit T100 Folding Treadmill
If you are looking for compact fitness equipment then floor space is most likely going to be your biggest concern. Equipment that folds down and back up is going to be one of your best options and the PremierFit T100 folding treadmill is perhaps one of the best examples of this that we have seen.
In terms of floor footprint, when folded the T100 takes up just 61.5cm by 40cm of space on your floor. When unfolded the treadmill takes up just over 110cm in length with a width of 61.5cm so this is about as compact as it gets for a treadmill.
Despite being diminutive in size there are still some pretty decent features on this motorised treadmill. You can expect to find 12 pre-set programs as well as 3 manual modes to choose from and it even has a heart rate monitor and speakers that connect through an AUX input. It has a large LED display and is pretty robust considering the low price point. Unlike some other foldable models, the T100 does feature a safety cut off clip which we’d say is important when using equipment like this in a small space.
If cardio is your main aim and you only have a small space in which to do your exercise then the T100 is a great option.
Perhaps one of the most innovative compact exercise equipment pieces has to be the FITT Cube from New Image. Offering a full body workout with a focus on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) the FITT Cube is not only small, it can be used for almost any workout type.
You can step for cardio, use grip based exercises for strength, twist for a burning core workout or jump for explosive power. From your abs to your shoulders and from your pecs to your calf muscles, there is no part of your body that can’t be worked on using the 100+ exercises that come included with the cube itself.
The cube is cleverly designed to be used in various ways and even features built in resistance bands for up to 7kg of added weight. At just 43.5cm x 38cm it is pretty compact and given that it potentially replaces up to 10 pieces of exercise equipment it is well worth the investment – it can even double up as a seat or a table.
In addition to the exercises provided there are also digital workouts that you can download and follow along with. If space is at a premium and you want an intense full body workout that can focus on strength and cardio then the FITT Cube is a great option. As it is based around HIIT principles you can benefit from just 15-30 minutes of exercise so it really is a great home workout accessory.
NRS Foldable Pedal Exerciser
Pedal exercises are perhaps the ultimate in compact fitness equipment thanks to their low price point, great versatility and their super small footprint. This foldable pedal exerciser measures just 34cm x 37cm x 19cm when folded and when in operation is still pretty small with open dimensions reading 48cm x 37cm x 27cm.
What makes this such a versatile piece of equipment is that it can be used for arms and legs alike. Simply prop the exerciser on a table and you can use your arms instead of your feet.
This model from NRS has two additional features that make this our standout pick. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, it has adjustable resistance. This is a feature you usually see on full sized exercise bikes and it’s easy to change the level of resistance. Secondly, there is an LCD display that provides real time information such as total duration, calories burned and cycles per minute.
If you are looking for a single piece of equipment that can give you a low impact cardio workout using upper and lower body and you are really tight on space then this pedal exerciser from NRS is hard to beat.
Charles Bentley Air Walker
Air walkers offer a full body workout with low impact to the joints and are ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. The Charles Bentley Air Walker is very reasonably priced and is one of the better quality machines in its price bracket.
Although air walkers do not usually fold down, this model does not have a huge footprint compared to other compact cardio machines. With a floor space of 84.5cm x 61cm the Charles Bentley is not something that is easily hidden away, but at the same time it is not huge.
This model features an LCD display with duration, steps and calories burned displayed and the handles and floor pads are very comfortable and well made. The only downside to this compact exercise machine is that it has no way of increasing the intensity – you simply move on it for longer for a tougher workout.
For beginner to intermediates or anyone looking for very low impact cardio then this is ideal.
JX Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench
If you are looking for more strength based exercises than cardio then investing in a weight bench and some dumbbells is a great move. This five position adjustable bench from JX Fitness is perfect for those who are light on space but want a high quality bench that can be used for home based weight training and ab exercises.
When fully assembled the space needed for this bench is 132cm x 41cm x 28cm (at its biggest). Of course you will need more space than this width wise at least in order to perform the exercises but the beauty of this bench is that it has a couple of great space saving features. Firstly, you can store up to 4 dumbbells on the bench itself. Secondly, the bench folds almost completely flat so you can stand it against a wall or hide it away in a cupboard with very little difficulty.
In terms of the bench itself, this is one of the best quality weight benches at less than £80. It can be used in a flat position as well as decline and incline positions and also has feet pads to allow you to complete a range of ab exercises. The bench is very well made and the padding is very comfortable and thick. It has excellent reviews online and we have used this bench on a number of occasions and never had a problem with it.
Ultrasport Swing Stepper
Essentially the Ultrasport Swing Stepper is a step machine and thanks to high quality shock absorption it performs this task pretty well. Two built in resistance bands with handles mean that at the same time as using the stepper you can perform a range of resistance based arm and shoulder exercises to give a full body workout.
The Swing Stepper is well built, very sturdy and super stable. It can be used with or without the resistance bands and will even work your core muscles as you will need to support yourself as there are no handles on this stepper.
In terms of size it ticks all the boxes with a width of 39cm and a length of 43 cm – that’s when in use or not in use. At a height of just 22cm it is one of the smallest pieces of exercise equipment we have listed here.
Choosing The Right Compact Workout Equipment
Choosing the right exercise equipment for home workouts when space is limited supply can feel like a big challenge and although it may be true that you can get a fuller workout from a professional gym there are many benefits to working out at home.
One of the biggest benefits is that you will probably feel more comfortable and therefore be more likely to undertake your exercise if you are at home. This is especially true for beginners and hopefully this article has helped you to realise that you don’t need to have a dedicated home gym to enjoy the benefits of exercise.
The key questions to ask when you are considering which sort of equipment to buy should revolve around your fitness aims, your budget and your space. You should also consider any health issues or experience you have with working out.
If you have a small space that you are going to be working out in and its prime use is for exercise then it may be possible to use more than one item on our list. The FITT Cube is a great example of compact exercise equipment that can be used either standalone or alongside a cardio or strength based programme. Additionally, a weights bench with dumbbells or even with a rack might take up most of your space and then you can use some subsidiary items such as a pedal exerciser to supplement your workout and add cardio to it.
The best approach is to plan ahead. Look at your space, take measurements and compare it to the equipment you plan to use. Is it going to stay in position or be stored away somewhere?
Whatever you decide and no matter how small your space, hopefully you can see that the size of your home shouldn’t be a barrier to working out in it.