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Not everyone has the luxury of extra space to create a home gym filled with the works — dumbbell racks, cardio equipment, stretching space, squat racks, benches, and strength training machines.
That’s where compact home gyms come in. When space is at a premium, these compact workout machines fill the void, offering users the widest variety of workout options in the smallest amount of space.
Given that compact home gyms vary widely depending on fitness goals and needs, the best compact home gym for one person looks very different from the best one for another.
That’s why it’s a good idea to brush up on what’s available and choose the one that’s right for your budget, your family, your space, and your personal workout goals.
- Best compact gym on a budget: Tempo Move
- Best compact gym for free weights: NordicTrack Vault
- Best compact gym for cardio: MYX II Plus
- Best compact gym with cable pulleys: Tonal
- Best portable compact gym: TRX All-in-One Trainer
- Best compact gym bench: Technogym Bench
- Best compact gym with tension rods: Bowflex PR 100 Home Gym
- Best compact gym foldable power rack: PRx Performance ONE Fold-In Rack
- Best compact gym full-service power rack: RitFit Power Cage with Bench
- Best compact gym for serious lifters: Force USA G6 All-in-One-Trainer
A compact home gym aims to offer multiple workout modalities in one unit. Most compact home gyms involve a single piece of workout equipment or a single station that has attachments or options that enable it to function in a variety of ways.
Some compact home gyms replace several separate strength training stations, such as leg press or bench press stations. Others simply revolutionize the equipment storage so you get more out of the space you have.
Some of the most innovative compact home gyms provide options for in-home training that span several styles of exercise, such as strength work, yoga, and cardio, all within the same small footprint of your home.
How they’ve changed
Traditionally, compact home gyms focused on strength training equipment and were designed to replace many of the separate machines you might find at a gym.
A compact gym machine might have included a squat rack, a seated bench with a leg extension and leg curl attachment, a lat pulldown bar, and a dip station, all using the same weight stack, to minimize the space required.
This type of compact home gym is still widely available, but technology has overhauled the home gym market, leading to more systems focused on replacing the modern fitness studio. This means a greater focus on cardio and functional training workouts, rather than just heavy strength training.
- Price. Compact home gyms typically have a higher price point than individual pieces of gym equipment, given that their role is to replace multiple pieces. That said, the value of each product included here was important. The goal was to determine which compact home gyms offered the best bang for the buck.
- Functionality. A compact home gym should be able to adequately replace high quality gym equipment and workouts without compromising form or features. The amount of resistance provided for strength training workouts was also important.
- Space requirements. The smaller the footprint (based on the features provided), the better.
- Exercise versatility. The more exercises and workouts a piece of equipment could provide, the more points it received.
- Customer reviews. Reviews from real customers, including their stated pros and cons for each piece of equipment, factored into this list.
- Special features. Access to apps, new technology, fitness tracking, and interaction with virtual trainers are just a few of the special features we considered when looking at compact home gym options.
A note on price
General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs indicate a higher cost.
Generally, prices range from $165–$3,999, though this may vary depending on where you shop.
- $ = under $500
- $$ = $501–$1,000
- $$$ = $1,001–$3,000
- $$$$ = over $3,000
Best compact gym on a budget
- Price: $
- Pros: This compact system integrates with your TV and iPhone, comes with an attractive and sleek interchangeable dumbbell set, and provides access to many types of workouts streamed to your television. It’s budget-friendly and good for general fitness.
- Cons: The range of dumbbell weights provided may not work for serious lifters; dumbbells are the only equipment included; the system doesn’t integrate with Android devices.
The Tempo Move system is designed for those who don’t have much room to spare but still want access to tech-focused interactive workouts.
The system comes with an iPhone dock station that streams selected fitness classes to your TV and “watches you” as you exercise to count sets and reps and integrate with a leaderboard of other users. This allows you to see how you measure up to other users.
The Tempo app includes thousands of workouts. There’s a focus on strength training programs, but there are also options for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, yoga, cardio boxing, and mobility work.
The system comes with a high quality set of interchangeable dumbbells and a sleek and unobtrusive storage cabinet to keep them in.
Tempo Move currently offers only on-demand classes — there are no live workouts. The system is also compatible with only more recent iPhones and is not compatible with Android devices.
The range of weights provided — up to 35 pounds per dumbbell — is sufficient for most general fitness needs but may not be enough for individuals who want to focus on building greater strength.
To access the Tempo Move classes and integration, you have to subscribe to the app, which costs $39 per month.
- Dimensions: 22 inches high x 13.5 inches wide x 13.5 inches deep
- Functionality: provides a wide range of strength, flexibility, mobility, core, HIIT, and cardio classes
- Weight ranges: 7.5–35 pounds per dumbbell
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Special features: can pair with the Tempo heart rate monitor to track your intensity level; tracks your reps and sets; offers a leaderboard to compare your workout to those of other users
Best compact gym for free weights
NordicTrack Vault Complete
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The large mirrored “vault” for free weight storage also functions as an interactive touch screen for workout videos. The highly compact unit requires less space than most bookshelves. The complete version comes with a fully loaded vault, including 6 pairs of dumbbells, 2 kettlebells, an exercise mat, yoga blocks, and looped resistance bands. Smart gym features provide customized workout tracking and feedback, and a wide variety of workout types is available through the iFit app.
- Cons: It may not appeal to serious weightlifters who want to lift heavier weights or use more traditional strength training machines. And it requires an ongoing monthly membership fee.
Mirrored smart home gyms have become a popular option for users looking for a studio-like experience in the comfort of home. NordicTrack’s Vault is the brand’s answer to other mirrored gyms on the market, and its unique free weight storage system helps set it apart.
The NordicTrack Vault is a slim and sleek mirrored unit that’s smaller than most bookshelves. But when you open up the mirror, you’ll find an organized home gym shelving system packed inside.
You can purchase the Vault “complete” with 6 pairs of dumbbells (5–30 pounds), 2 kettlebells (20 and 30 pounds), an exercise mat, yoga blocks, and looped resistance bands of 3 resistance levels, or you can purchase the less expensive Vault “standalone” and use equipment you already have.
The swiveling mirror allows you to adjust your gym space based on the room you have, so you can see your form and the movements of the iFit trainers from any angle.
The mirror itself has a 61.5-inch touch-screen surface that integrates with the iFit app. This required $39/month subscription service provides thousands of studio-style workouts, including strength training, cardio, mobility, and yoga.
The iFit app provides trainer-led videos you can follow along with, and the mirrored surface makes it easy to compare your form to the trainer’s to make sure you’re getting each move right.
While the Vault is a great option for people looking for studio-style workouts and a wide range of workout types, it may not be ideal for those who want to follow a serious weight training program to build muscle mass and strength.
- Dimensions: 72.65 inches high x 24.25 inches wide x 14 inches deep
- Functionality: allows for a wide range of studio-style strength training workouts, HIIT routines, cardio training, yoga, and mobility videos
- Weight ranges: dumbbells from 5–30 pounds, 20- and 30-pound kettlebells, 3 levels of resistance bands (light, medium, heavy)
- Warranty: 10 years on frame, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labor
- Special features: interactive, on-demand streaming videos available through the iFit app; mirrored surface so you can compare your form to the iFit trainer’s; integrated leaderboards so you can compare your workouts to those of other users
Best compact gym for cardio
MYX II Plus
- Price: $$$
- Pros: This is a professional-quality indoor cycling bike; the Plus version includes additional strength training and mobility equipment. The BODi membership allows for five user profiles and offers a wide range of exercise videos. The focus on heart rate training allows for personalized feedback on intensity and goals.
- Cons: It’s not ideal for individuals who don’t enjoy cycling. An ongoing membership fee is required. The low range of additional free weights is not appropriate for individuals who want to lift heavier weights.
For individuals looking for a cycling-focused home gym with options for strength training, yoga, and other cardio routines, it’s hard to beat the MYX II Plus. This package includes a high quality, commercially rated stationary bike as well as three pairs of dumbbells, a kettlebell, and three resistance bands.
The bike’s rotating 21.5-inch integrated touch screen works with the BODi app and allows you to select from thousands of studio-style workouts. And because the screen rotates, you can use the space surrounding your bike to perform strength training or yoga workouts.
Adding the Plus package increases the price by $200 and gives you the option to choose from three different dumbbell and kettlebell packages — light, medium, or heavy. But even the heavy package only includes dumbbells up to 15 pounds and a kettlebell up to 25 pounds.
While these strength training additions are good for general-purpose workouts and endurance-based strength training, they likely won’t be enough for people who want to lift heavier weights or put on more muscle mass.
BODi costs $19.95 per month plus $119.88 for the yearly Beachbody on Demand (BOD) membership. It’s required to use the bike’s interactive features, including live classes and personalized workout feedback. The app allows you to create up to five user profiles, which means your whole household can share the equipment and track their own workouts.
- Dimensions: 54 inches long x 21 inches wide x 47 inches high
- Functionality: studio-style cycling workouts with interactive videos; swivel screen to expand usable workout space; additional interactive workout videos for a wide range of classes from strength training to yoga
- Weight ranges: 3 sets of dumbbells (your choice of a light, medium, or heavy set ranging up to 15 pounds) and 1 kettlebell (your choice of light, medium, or heavy) included with Plus package
- Warranty: 5 years on frame, 1 year on parts and components, 1 year on labor
- Special features: built-in HD touch screen with access to thousands of workouts; rotating screen so you can see the screen from any angle; can pair with Apple Watch; comes with provided Polar heart rate monitor for personalized workout tracking and recommendations
Best compact gym with cable pulleys
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The interactive training app offers a wide variety of workout types. The adjustable pulley arms allow for up to 100 pounds of resistance per side, much more than many other smart compact home gyms. The smart accessories provide in-the-moment feedback to the interactive system, and the machine provides changes based on the information it receives.
- Cons: The smart accessories (a bar, a bench, handles, a rope pull, a foam roller, and a workout mat) must be purchased separately as a package. This system has one of the highest total costs of all products on this list.
Cable pulley machines are an excellent option for compact home gyms because the adjustable arms allow for a wide range of motion and variety of exercise options, and the provided resistance is often higher (and more space-efficient) than extensive dumbbell and weight plate sets.
The Tonal home gym is the smart version of a more traditional cable pulley machine, and its functionality is pretty impressive.
The Tonal wall-mounted system includes an interactive touch screen you use to access the Tonal workouts, along with two adjustable pulley arms that provide instant feedback from your workout to the app.
These arms work with the brand’s smart accessories (which you have to purchase as a package add-on), enabling the machine to count your reps and sets and the level of challenge you’re experiencing with each weight-based move.
In fact, if the machine senses you’re struggling to finish a set, it can help spot you through the challenge, easing up on the resistance. Yes, it can make second-by-second auto-adjustments to your workout.
The system provides resistance of up to 100 pounds per arm — more than enough for most home fitness enthusiasts. The smart accessories package includes a bench, a bar, pulley handles, a rope pull, a foam roller, and a workout mat, allowing for dozens of exercise and workout options.
The touch screen and foldable arms are highly compact and wall-mounted, making it possible to turn almost any space into your home gym.
The required monthly membership will set you back $49/month, but it includes unlimited user profiles, so you could conceivably allow friends and neighbors to pitch in on the cost and share the system.
- Dimensions: 50.9 inches high x 21.5 inches wide x 5.25 inches deep
- Functionality: interactive touch screen to access strength training workouts; attached adjustable arms providing up to 100 pounds of resistance per side, making this a good option for more challenging strength training workouts
- Weight ranges: up to 100 pounds per side or 200 pounds when using the pulleys for exercises such as squats
- Warranty: 3-year limited warranty
- Special features: interactivity and smart accessories; real-time rep counting; auto-adjustments to weight for “spotting”; and auto-tracking to help enhance long-term training goals
Best portable compact gym
TRX All-in-One Trainer Bundle
- Price: $
- Pros: This incredibly compact system can easily be packed in the provided storage bag and transported when traveling, exercising outside, or moving between spaces in your home. The bundle includes four resistance bands for a wider variety of workouts. Your purchase includes access to a 30-day trial of TRX Training Club app for streaming workout videos. This is a good option for functional fitness and bodyweight training.
- Cons: This system allows for only bodyweight and resistance band exercises — it’s good for functional fitness but not sufficient for those who want a home gym with cardio workouts or more robust strength training options.
You may not think of a suspension trainer as a compact home gym, but that’s exactly what it is — a piece of equipment that reduces the need for many other pieces of gym equipment.
The TRX All-in-One Trainer Bundle includes a storage bag, the suspension trainer, four variable-resistance bands, a shaker bottle, and indoor and outdoor attachments and anchors.
With the suspension trainer, you can perform a wide range of exercises in a small space. For instance, you can perform assisted “pullups,” rows, assisted pistol squats, pushups, and balance-based reverse lunges.
The initial purchase includes a 30-day free trial of the TRX Training Club app, which offers a wide range of workout videos featuring the TRX and resistance bands.
This compact home gym is great for individuals who want to do functional fitness workouts, HIIT routines, and bodyweight-based training, but it isn’t as sufficient for those who want cardio workouts or heavy strength training options.
It’s important to note that while most suspension moves can be modified for all fitness levels, beginners might find this system more difficult to use.
- Dimensions: 53 inches long x 1.5 inches deep x 6 inches wide
- Functionality: easily transportable suspension training system with additional resistance bands for bodyweight and functional fitness workouts
- Weight ranges: uses bodyweight only; additional resistance bands provided for extra-light, light, medium, and heavy resistance
- Warranty: 6 years
- Special features: lightweight, packable, and portable — great for frequent travelers and outdoor workouts; includes a trial of the TRX Training Club app with functional workout videos
Best compact gym bench
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The system comes loaded with a wide range of free weight equipment, including 3 sets of weighted knuckles, 3 resistance bands of varying resistance levels, and 5 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5–20 pounds. The storage features are sleek and unobtrusive. The Technogym app offers hundreds of workout videos, and the bench can facilitate more than 200 exercises.
- Cons: The limited range of included weights may not meet the needs of more serious strength trainers, and the app offers fewer workout options than some other smart home gyms. The bench isn’t adjustable. The total cost of the items included is higher than those of similar products — you pay for the design, style, and brand as much as the items themselves.
Benches are often a critical component of compact home gyms and workouts, but many systems don’t include the bench in the purchase price. The Technogym Bench makes it the crux of the system as well as a sleek storage unit for the included resistance training equipment.
The Bench is a stylish, padded strength training bench that has built-in storage for dumbbells, resistance bands, and weighted knuckles. It can be used for exercises ranging from stepups and Bulgarian split squats to bench presses and core work.
The $8.99/month Technogym app includes hundreds of on-demand workouts compatible with the equipment provided, and new programs are added weekly. Workout options range from functional strength training to yoga, cardio, core, and mobility.
The Bench’s weighted knuckles are an included piece of equipment that’s not often seen in home gym systems. These are helpful for increasing the intensity of cardio kickboxing and other cardio fitness routines.
That said, the bench doesn’t have an adjustable incline, which limits the exercise options.
Also, if you were to buy the same equipment (a bench, dumbbells, resistance bands, and weighted knuckles) separately, the total price would likely be much lower than that of the Technogym system. You’re paying for the Bench’s storage and design as much as for the equipment itself.
- Dimensions: 44.5 inches long x 14.8 inches wide x 17.9 inches high
- Functionality: padded workout bench with built-in storage for provided free weight equipment; allows for a wide range of strength training, cardio, core, and functional fitness workouts
- Weight ranges: 5 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5–20 pounds; resistance bands of 3 resistance levels; weighted knuckles of 3 weights
- Warranty: 2 years
- Special features: access to hundreds of workouts led by professional trainers through Technogym app; app can be integrated with your Apple Watch for workout tracking; bench is compatible with hundreds of exercises
Best compact gym with tension rods
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
- Price: $$
- Pros: The tension rod resistance system makes this compact home gym lighter and more portable than many other strength training-focused compact home gyms. The built-in rowing station offers options for cardio workouts. The system provides resistance of up to 210 pounds — sufficient for most individuals who want to strength train regularly. This is a good base model for a lower cost home gym.
- Cons: Tension rods aren’t the same as lifting free weights or using machines — the resistance increases as the rods bend, more like stretching a resistance band, and some strength trainers may not like the difference. The system offers fewer exercise options than most other Bowflex home gym units and lacks smart gym features such as interactive workouts and progress tracking.
Many strength-focused home gyms are heavy, clunky, and expensive as a result of the weight required to make the racks, plates, dumbbells, and stacks sturdy and safe. Bowflex’s power rod resistance system enables the brand to make lighter weight compact home gyms at a lower cost without compromising the sturdiness of the equipment.
The Bowflex PR1000 home gym is an affordable base model that makes it easy to perform up to 25 different gym-style strength training exercises and includes a rowing station for cardio workouts.
The exercise versatility, along with the price and the 210 pounds of resistance provided by the tension rods, makes this a good option for fitness enthusiasts who want to skip the gym and don’t feel the need for standard free weights or plate stacks.
The built-in rowing station is a nice option for those who want a cardio workout but place it lower on the priority list. There are no studio-style workouts, smart features, or apps to spice things up. This is a solid compact home gym at a good price, without the bells and whistles.
- Dimensions: 103 inches long x 80 inches wide x 82 inches high
- Functionality: options for 25 full-body strength training exercises along with cardio rowing exercise
- Weight ranges: up to 210 pounds of resistance with power tension rods
- Warranty: 1 year on frame, 5 years on rods, 60 days on parts; options for longer protection plans available
- Special features: built-in rowing station for cardio-based workouts is a nice feature not frequently seen in strength-focused compact home gyms; built-in media holder for tablet or smartphone
Best compact gym foldable power rack
PRx Performance ONE Fold-In Rack
- Price: $$
- Pros: The sturdy rack supports up to 1,000 pounds of weight, and the wall-mounted system folds when not in use, making it one of the most compact gyms available for serious strength trainers.
- Cons: The cost is for the rack only — all other equipment, including benches, bars, weight plates, suspension trainers, and heavy resistance bands, must be purchased separately.
When it comes to compact home gyms, true strength athletes who love to lift heavy free weights should consider the benefits of purchasing a high quality squat rack.
The PRx Performance ONE Fold-in Rack is a wall-mounted high quality rack that can be used for everything from pullups and bench presses to squats and deadlifts.
The included pullup bar is also great for pairing with heavy resistance bands or suspension training systems, allowing for more flexible, functional fitness-focused workouts in addition to the more traditional strength training exercises.
When not in use, the PRx Performance One Fold-in Rack literally folds up into the wall, requiring only about 7 inches of space. This makes it a great choice for a garage gym or a gym incorporated into a multifunctional living space.
Unfortunately, the cost of this rack includes only the rack itself — it doesn’t come with additional accessories or weights, so you have to purchase those separately. And especially when it comes to Olympic barbells, adjustable benches, and weight plates, the costs can add up.
When you do purchase additional weights and accessories, the rack becomes a completely functional strength station that can support a wide range of total-body exercises. It’s also capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds of weight — great for serious weightlifters.
That said, the rack is pricey when compared to similar racks — you’re paying for the space-saving design as much as the rack itself.
- Dimensions: Folded in: 49 inches wide x 90 inches high x 6.7 inches deep; Folded out: 49 inches wide x 90 inches high x 27.5 inches deep
- Functionality: a solid rack for free weight training, particularly for squats; good for those who want to do barbell/weight-plate workouts in a compact space; purchase includes only the rack — all other weights, benches, and accessories must be purchased separately
- Weight ranges: no weights included; users can purchase barbells and weight plates to suit their workout goals; rated to support up to 1,000 pounds of weight
- Warranty: limited lifetime warranty
- Special features: The rack is wall-mounted and folds to store flat against the wall when not in use, requiring almost no space for one of the most compact heavy-duty home gym racks available.
Best compact gym full-service power rack
RitFit Power Cage with Bench
- Price: $$
- Pros: This is a heavy-duty power cage for traditional strength training workouts. It comes with a wide range of accessories to facilitate even more gym-style exercises and is a great option for strength athletes who love training with free weights. The pulley system allows for additional strength training moves, and a bench is included.
- Cons: Olympic bars and weight plates are not included — purchasing these items can add a significant cost to the bottom line. The rack doesn’t offer any apps or smart features and is not a great option for those who want to do cardio workouts.
For the serious weightlifter who wants to replace the major free weight stations at the gym in their home, the RitFit Power Cage with Bench is a good option.
In addition to the Power Cage itself — which allows for squats, pullups, deadlifts, and bench presses (facilitated by the inclusion of an adjustable bench in the purchase price) — the system comes with a lat pulldown option (with a pulley system), bar holders, safety bars, dip bars, and a T-bar row attachment.
The result is a home gym that provides commercial-level strength training options for the heavy lifter. In fact, the rack can support up to 1,000 pounds of weight — more than enough for just about everyone.
However, all the barbells and weight plates must be purchased separately. Depending on how much weight a user wants access to, this can get expensive.
The rack also doesn’t offer any smart features or integrated apps to access workout programs. And for those who want to do cardio, this compact home gym doesn’t have built-in options to follow.
- Dimensions: 44 inches wide x 52 inches long x 85 inches high
- Functionality: good for serious weightlifters and strength trainers; comes with an adjustable bench, a lat pulldown system, adjustable cups for Olympic weightlifting bars, safety bars, dip attachments, a landmine attachment, and a pullup bar
- Weight ranges: no weights included; users can purchase barbells and plate weights to suit their workout goals; rated to support up to 1,000 pounds of weight
- Warranty: 3 years on frame, 1 year on parts/accessories
- Special features: well appointed with all the accessories needed for a well-rounded, gym-style strength training routine; comes with an adjustable bench for even more exercise options
Best compact gym for serious lifters
Force USA G6 All-in-One Trainer
- Price: $$$$
- Pros: This is an extremely versatile and compact home gym for serious strength athletes. It provides options for free weight-based barbell/plate exercises and pulley-based weight stack exercises and includes a wide variety of accessories to further promote exercise versatility.
- Cons: This is the most expensive compact home gym on this list. Weight plates, benches, and bars must be purchased separately, adding to the total cost. It does not have any smart features or an integrated app to access trainer-led workouts.
The Force USA G6 All-in-One trainer is a commercial-quality rack and pulley system with the most robust exercise versatility on this list. The rack supports just shy of 1,000 pounds of weight, and roughly 775 pounds when it’s being used as a Smith machine or pullup bar — more than enough for the vast majority of home exercisers.
The strength training gym includes two 200-pound plate stacks, allowing you to train with up to 400 pounds of resistance. You can also purchase barbells and weight plates that you can store on the rack and use to perform additional free weight exercises.
Attachments for pullups, landmines, lat pulldowns, leg press, suspension training, dips, and squats are included.
And while the Force USA G6 trainer is certainly one of the most versatile home gyms appropriate for those who want to lift heavy weights, the versatility comes at a cost — the home gym is also the most expensive on this list, and that doesn’t include the cost of the additional accessories you may want to purchase.
The Force USA G6 trainer also doesn’t include smart workout-tracking features or easily integrated cardio workouts.
While this compact home gym is particularly nice for serious weightlifters, the dual option for weight plate and weight stack (pin-selectorized) exercises also makes it a solid option for beginners who would rather switch resistance levels quickly with a pin than load and unload free weights with every exercise.
- Dimensions: 72 inches wide x 63 inches deep x 91 inches high
- Functionality: highly compact strength training system allows for weight plate and pulley system resistance exercises; includes weighted plate stacks and the required attachments for a pullup bar, landmine, lat pulldown, leg press station, suspension training system, dip bars, and Olympic barbells; pulley attachment points and accessories are also provided to allow for a wide range of weight-plate moves; can also function as a Smith machine
- Weight ranges: included weight stacks provide up to 200 pounds of resistance each; no other weights are provided, although weight storage racks are included so users can purchase their own weight plates; rack rated to support up to 992 pounds, Smith machine and chinup stations rated to support up to 772 pounds; cable systems tested to 2,000 pounds
- Warranty: lifetime structural warranty
- Special features: The sheer number of strength training options provided with this compact home gym is exceptional; the flexibility in terms of weight training can meet the needs of even the most competitive strength athletes.
Here’s a quick look at how our picks compare:
|Price||Size (inches)||Exercise options||Pros||Cons|
|Tempo Move||$||22 H x 13.5 W x 13.5 D||• more than 1,000 interactive fitness classes of varying types|
• interchangeable dumbbell system included — up to 35 pounds per dumbbell
|• compact system works with your TV and iPhone|
• attractive and sleek
• interchangeable dumbbell set
• access to many types of workouts
• budget-friendly and good for general fitness needs
|• range of weights provided may not be appropriate for serious lifters|
• dumbbells are the only provided equipment
• doesn’t work with Android devices
|NordicTrack Vault||$$$||72.65 H x 24.25 W x 14 D||• interactive training options with a wide variety of workout types |
• complete version includes dumbbells (5–30 pounds), kettlebells (20 & 30 pounds), exercise mat, yoga blocks, and looped resistance bands
|• sleek and compact storage system for accessories|
• 61.5-inch mirrored touch screen provides workout feedback
• rotates for better viewing from any angle
• wide variety of workouts for different general fitness goals
|• range of weights provided may not be appropriate for serious lifters|
• ongoing monthly membership fee required
|MYX II Plus||$$$||54 L x 21 W x 47 H||• extensive group cycling options with professional-grade bike|
• wide variety of additional live and streaming workouts available through the BODi app
• Plus package includes 3 sets of dumbbells (you choose the weights, ranging from 3–15 pounds), a kettlebell (you choose the light, medium, or heavy option), exercise mat, stabilizer mat for the bike, and foam roller
|• excellent option for cycling enthusiasts|
• BODi membership includes 5 user profiles
• interactive touch screen swivels to make it easy to change your position
• wide range of workout types and styles
• interactive heart rate training is great for cardio
|• not a great option for those who don’t like cycling|
• ongoing monthly membership fee required
• low range of included weights; not appropriate for those who want to lift heavier
|Tonal||$$$||50.9 H x 21.5 W x 5.25 D||• interactive training options with a wide variety of workout types|
• adjustable workout pulley “arms” attached to each side of the interactive touch screen, offering up to 100 pounds of resistance per arm
• smart accessories, including bench, bar, handles, rope pull, foam roller, and workout mat, can be purchased separately
|• compact system with a wide range of interactive workouts|
• unlimited profiles included in monthly account
• resistance options make the system a better option for those who want to gain more strength
• movable arms allow for practically limitless strength training exercises
• tracks your progress and makes suggestions to continue to improve
|• monthly membership fee required|
• smart accessories not included in the cost of the system; must be purchased separately
|TRX All-in-One Suspension Trainer Bundle||$||53 L x 1.5 D x 6 W||• suspension trainer system|
• works indoors and outdoors for bodyweight and stability-focused functional workouts
• bundle includes additional resistance bands for a wider variety of exercises
• includes 30-day access to the TRX Training Club app for workout videos
|• portable and compact; can take it with you anywhere for indoor or outdoor workouts|
• includes a travel bag
• good for functional fitness workouts, general fitness, and bodyweight exercises
• great for frequent travelers
|• may not be as versatile for beginners|
• fewer options for cardio training than some other systems
• without additional resistance equipment, not a good option for those who want to lift heavier weights
|Technogym Bench||$$$||44.5 L x 14.8 W x 17.9 H||• compact and functional bench|
• comes with resistance training equipment including a mat, 3 sets of weighted knuckles, 3 resistance bands, and 5 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5–20 pounds
• Technogym app provides wide range of strength training and functional workouts
|• workout bench included as a primary piece of equipment|
• compact and sleek storage for additional workout equipment
• solid compact option for general fitness enthusiasts
• weighted knuckles are a unique accessory for a compact home gym
|• limited range of weights may make it a poor choice for those who want to lift heavier|
• limited workout options on the app compared to many other smart compact gyms
• bench angle can’t be adjusted
• expensive for the items provided — paying for the design and storage as much as the products themselves
|Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym||$$||103 L x 80 W x 82 H||• compact and functional home gym offers resistance training up to 210 pounds of power rod tension|
• also includes a rowing station for cardio workouts
• 7 trainer-led workouts included, as well as 2 workout videos on the app
|• compact home gym with options for total-body strength training and cardio rowing exercises|
• lighter weight system due to the resistance provided by tension rods rather than dumbbells or weight plates
• affordable option for intermediate strength trainers who want to lift heavy but don’t need resistance levels over 210 pounds
|• power rod system isn’t the same as free weights; heavy lifters may not appreciate the variable resistance through each movement|
• base Bowflex model provides only up to 25 exercise options (other models offer 50+)
• no option for increased resistance packages (other Bowflex models offer resistance packages up to 410 pounds)
• lacks smart gym features
|PRx Performance ONE Fold-In Squat Rack||$$||Folded in: 49 W x 90 H x 6.75 D Folded out: 49 W x 90 H x 27.5 D||• squat rack only|
• offers adjustable bar holders and pullup bar for a wide variety of strength training options, especially when paired with a bench, bar, and weight plates
|• heavy-duty squat rack/bench press station akin to many professional gyms|
• folding functionality allows for a more traditional home gym in less space
• allows for a wide range of free weight resistance training exercises, especially when paired with an adjustable bench
|• must purchase bars, benches, heavy bands, and weights separately|
• high cost for a simple rack and pullup bar
|RitFit Power Cage with Bench||$$||44 W x 52 L x 85 H||• power cage system|
• includes adjustable bench, lat pulldown system, bar holders, safety bars, dip bars, landmine option, pullup bar, and T-bar row attachment
|• heavy-duty squat rack with attachments and accessories that allow for a full, professional-style gym in a small space|
• wide range of workout options, particularly for serious resistance trainers
• pullup and dip bars allow for upper body bodyweight exercises
• pulley system allows for additional strength training exercises
• bench is included
|• bars and weight plates aren’t included; must be purchased separately |
• no app or smart features to help guide workouts
• best for weightlifters; limited options for cardio or general fitness exercises (yoga, stretching, etc.)
|Force USA G6 All-in-One Trainer||$$$$||72 W x 63 D x 91 H||• complete pulley and weight-plate station|
• includes two 200-pound plate stacks; attachments for pullups, landmine, lat pulldown, leg press, suspension training, dips, and squat rack; and a wide range of pulley attachments to meet practically every strength training need
|• commercial-quality rack with heavy resistance options for serious strength trainers|
• extensive attachments and pulley accessories to allow for wide-ranging workouts
• storage and safety accessories included for adding weight plates and squat bars
• great option for heavy lifters and gym buffs without much space at home
|• squat bar, weight plates, suspension trainer, and bench not included; must be purchased separately|
• the most expensive compact home gym on the list, and even more expensive when adding accessories
Aside from the fact that compact home gyms are specifically designed to take up as little space as possible (a big benefit for those living in cramped quarters), the true benefit of this type of product is in its versatility.
This type of home gym isn’t a one-hit wonder. Rather, compact home gyms are typically designed to maximize the number of exercises and types of workouts you can perform in as little space as possible.
And while traditional compact home gyms focus on minimizing the space required for strength training workouts, cutting down on the number of machines you might need to purchase, modern options are opening doors for a wide range of functional fitness workouts.
Compact home gyms give users access to high quality workouts, high quality equipment, a wide variety of exercises, and a way to improve all areas of functional fitness (strength, cardio, flexibility, and body composition), all within the same small footprint at home.
Some older research in older adults suggests that a multimodal approach to fitness may be especially beneficial for overall health (1).
Therefore, when used regularly, compact home gyms may truly help people reach their wide-ranging health and fitness goals.
When deciding which compact home gym is best for you, first think about the types of exercise you’re hoping to do.
If you want to perform strength training moves with resistance, consider how much resistance you need, what type of exercises you want to do, and whether you want an app or interactive training tool to help guide your program.
Likewise, if you want options for cardio or stretching, think about what type of workouts you want to perform and whether you want to follow along with an instructor or lead your own routines.
Once you’ve figured out the types of exercises you’re hoping to perform, consider exactly how much space your home has. Some compact home gyms take up almost no space at all and can easily be moved or stored (or integrated into your living environment) when not in use.
Other compact home gyms may offer space savings compared with a more robust home gym but still require significant and permanent square footage. Consider which type of system works with the space you have.
And, of course, don’t overlook the importance of budget. Compact home gyms can range in price from less than $200 to well over $4,000. And that’s just the initial cost.
Some tech-focused home gyms require ongoing monthly membership fees that you’ll need to budget for. And some compact home gyms don’t come with all the weights or accessories you might want. You need to be prepared to pay more than the base price to have access to all the features you may want.
Who can benefit from an at-home gym?
Anyone who is committed to working out at home and knows what they need from an at-home gym can benefit from setting one up. At-home gyms allow for greater exercise versatility and options during workouts, but the benefits only transfer if you actually use the gym.
If you’re more motivated by being in a gym environment or working out with other people, a home gym may not be a good investment.
What’s the minimum size for an at-home gym?
For the most basic at-home gym, the minimum size is the space you need to move freely in all directions from a fixed point. In other words, if you’re 6 feet tall, you’d want a 6- to 8-foot square to move within, assuming there aren’t any greater equipment-based needs.
When choosing an at-home gym, consider the space (floor and ceiling room) you have available for the equipment you’ll be purchasing, and then estimate how much additional space you need to comfortably use the equipment.
For instance, some of the mirror compact home gyms, like the NordicTrack Vault, require almost zero space to install (you simply hang the unit on the wall), but you still need to have enough open space in front of the mirror to follow along with the workouts and use any additional equipment (like dumbbells, mats, or kettlebells).
What’s the best flooring for a compact home gym?
The best flooring for a compact home gym depends on the type of equipment you’re purchasing.
For basic home gyms with limited equipment (perhaps a basic bench or a couple of sets of lightweight dumbbells), you may simply need foam mats or a yoga mat to help protect your floors from scuffs or scrapes and to make the exercises more comfortable on your hands or knees.
But if you’re purchasing a particularly heavy home gym unit or you’ll be lifting heavier weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells, especially), you may want to invest in heavier-duty rubber flooring to help protect your home’s floors from weight-related damage.
When it comes to home gyms, the main thing to remember is that the best option is the option you’ll actually use. So don’t purchase a home gym because it’s trendy or seems interesting — purchase one because it offers the types of programs and workout formats you’re personally motivated to complete.
You could buy the highest tech, most blinged-out home gym in the world, but if you don’t use it, it won’t do you any good. Remember to think about your goals, interests, plans, space, and budget before shelling out cash for a compact home gym.