The 18 Best Pieces of Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces

man-using-a-pull-up-bar

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.


Finding the right exercise equipment can be tough, especially if you’re tight on space but still want to get a great workout in. That’s why the Active Reviews Team compiled this list of the 18 best pieces of exercise equipment for small spaces.

Whether you’re interested in improving your endurance, gaining muscle mass, honing your yoga practice or doing weekly HIIT workouts, this list has equipment for everyone. Plus, these options will work in smaller spaces—either due to overall size or folding capabilities.

Best Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces - Our Top Pick

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

Best Foldable Treadmill - Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill

echelon stride

  • Key feature: Push-button folding, slim design
  • Comes with: Compact treadmill with impact-absorbing rubber running deck
  • Technology: Live and on-demand classes and scenic walks/runs with app subscription: $35 per month or $400 prepaid annually

CHECK PRICE

Meet the incredible shrinking treadmill! It sounds like an exaggeration, but seriously: This thing folds from just over 4 feet tall to just 10 inches. That's a superpower! And unlike many “foldable” treadmills, reviewers rave about how easy it is to make the transition. But of course, that isn't reason enough to buy if it's not a legit treadmill! Fortunately, the Echelon Stride definitely is.

The footprint is slimmer than a typical gym treadmill, at 31 inches wide, but the stride is up to the challenge of more than just, well, striding. It stays put during fast running up to 10 miles per hour and above (the max speed is 12 miles per hour), and doesn't feel like it's going to tip over even at a 10% incline. The weight limit is just 300 pounds, so it's not an appropriate choice for everybody, but it checks a lot of boxes in a very small package.


BUY: Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill


Best Exercise App - Future

30-DAY FREE TRIAL. OFFER ENDS SOON.

Future

  • Key feature: You’re held accountable for your workouts by a real coach
  • Comes with An Apple Watch to use during your training and a water bottle
  • Technology: Future membership is $149 per month

CHECK PRICE

If you have limited time and equipment, you might be surprised that you can get a tailored workout plan made just for you by a real coach. The Future app delivers a personal training experience to help you meet your own specific fitness goals. To get started, Future will ask you questions about your previous workout habits and the types of exercises you enjoy. It will then recommend a coach for you (or you can choose your own) based on your answers. You’ll be able to have a real conversation with your own personal trainer who will design workouts for you to help you meet your goals.

If you have plenty of equipment or access to a gym, your trainer can incorporate these into your workouts. If not, no worries! Any of the coaches are happy to design workouts that work for you and the equipment you have available to you. Although $149 per month for an app might seem expensive at first glance, it's a much cheaper option than doing face-to-face personal training sessions.


BUY: Future


Best Foldable Elliptical - NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

  • Key feature: 22 levels of resistance
  • Comes with: Elliptical equipped with touch screen, speakers, and a water bottle holder
  • Technology: iFit interactive programming: $396 prepaid per year or $39 per month for a family, or individual plans for $15 monthly or $180 annually

CHECK PRICE

The NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i delivers low-impact cardio in a foldable workout machine, with a few key upgrades over previous models. For one, this elliptical comes with a 14-inch touchscreen to view iFit programming, which includes a lifetime of different cardio workouts and scenic tours on your machine, but also yoga, pilates, strength training, and plenty more. The SE9i is also equipped with 24 levels of resistance up to a 10 percent incline, which can be changed by your iFit instructor during a class.

For easy storage, the elliptical can be folded in half and moved with the attached wheels. It's worth noting, though, that the machine itself weighs in at 218 pounds, so it might require an extra set of hands to move. However, since it is foldable, it seems to vertically vanish from view even if you don't move it.


BUY: NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i


Best Home Workout Mirror - Lululemon Studio MIRROR

MIRROR

  • Key Feature: 6 separate profiles can be made, so it's ideal for a family
  • Comes With: 40" display with built-in speakers and microphone
  • Technology: MIRROR’s all-access membership is $39 per month

CHECK PRICE

If you’re someone who loves all things technology using the latest and greatest, MIRROR might be a great option for you. Although the price tag can be daunting for some at close to $1,500, the stellar interactive programming and sleek MIRROR itself may change your mind. The MIRROR is designed to be situated against a wall, lending itself nicely to small spaces. The powder-coated frame helps with the overall aesthetic and doesn’t stick out glaringly if positioned in your living room or other frequently used areas.

The interactive programming ($39 per month) on MIRROR is easy and fun to follow along with for a variety of exercise styles—yoga, stretching, strength training, kickboxing, cardio and more. If you don’t own any additional equipment, no problem! MIRROR offers plenty of bodyweight classes so you can still get your sweat on.


BUY: Lululemon Studio MIRROR


Best Smart Home Gym - NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio

NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio

  • Key feature: 20 adjustable resistance levels, trainer-led virtual workouts
  • Comes with: Freestanding magnetic resistance cable stack with interactive 70" x 15" "mirror" screen
  • Technology: iFit interactive programming: $396 prepaid per year or $39 per month for a family, or individual plans for $15 monthly or $180 annually

CHECK PRICE

NordicTrack's answer to Tonal and other workout "mirrors" takes up just four by five feet of floor space, plus another five to seven forward for your working space. It's freestanding rather than wall-mounted, but at over 375 pounds boxed, you don't need to worry about this sturdy magnetic resistance cable stack falling over. And with six cable attachments, including squat pulleys, you have no shortage of ways to hit the weights without hitting the gym.

To really see what the Fusion CST Studio is capable of, though, you'll need an iFit subscription. You can watch your form in the mirror, or use an included device stand to watch classes facing away from the unit. At just $15 per month, an iFit membership is also significantly cheaper than Tonal and other integrated-class services.


BUY: NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio


Best Folding Rowing Machine - Original Hydrow Rowing Machine

Hydrow

  • Key feature: Screen for on-demand workouts in scenic locations
  • Comes with: Magnetic resistance rowing machine with 22" screen and ergonomic seat
  • Technology: Connects with Hydrow All Access, $38 per month (not included)

CHECK PRICE

The Original Hydrow sets a high standard for quiet, smooth rowing that allows you to focus on the scenic surroundings being broadcast on the 22-inch screen. Yes, it sounds a little strange, until you try it. But joining a world-class rowing athlete on a stunning waterway you'll never visit in real life is pretty addictive, and way more stimulating than watching sitcom reruns in the gym.

The machine syncs with Hydrow All Access, a deep library of over 4,000 workouts that gets updated weekly, and also includes Pilates, yoga, and strength training routines. Your subscription doesn't just work on the machine either; you get app access, so you can cast to a TV or watch on a tablet. But at $38, it's definitely on the expensive side for monthly fitness apps.


BUY: Original Hydrow Rowing Machine


Best Pull-Up Bar - REP Fitness Wall or Ceiling Mount Pull-Up Bar

REP Fitness Wall or Ceiling Mount Pull-Up Bar

  • Key feature: Adjustable-depth mounting rack can function on either a wall or ceiling
  • Comes with: 1.25" bar, 4' wide mounting rack, mounting bolts
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

Don't mess around with removable pull-up bars that wreak havoc on your paint and door jambs. This rock-solid bar from Rep bolts right into the studs on either a wall or a ceiling, and has seven different depth settings to help it squeeze into just about any space, and to leave ample room for kipping pull-ups, if you do them. The bar width is a standard 1.25 inches, but more importantly, is powder coated to prevent slipping. No need for janky grip tape!

Once you have a bar like this in your home gym, you'll instantly see how versatile of a tool it can be. Sure, you can do pull-ups, but it's equally great for attaching rings, a suspension system like a TRX, or resistance bands for all types of other exercises. (In a pinch it's also a great drying rack for clothes on hangers, but that can be our little secret.)


BUY: REP Fitness Wall or Ceiling Mount Pull-Up Bar


Best Yoga Mat - Lululemon The Mat, 5mm

Lululemon The Mat

  • Key Feature: Extra thick and grippy
  • Comes With: Cushioned, non-slip yoga mat
  • Technology: None, thankfully!

CHECK PRICE

Lululemon makes a wide range of home and travel mats for yoga and workouts, including reversible mats, sustainably sourced mats, and extra-tough mats. But our fave is simplest: The Mat, which comes in both three millimeter and five millimeter thickness. Trust us: those extra two millimeters feel unbelievably luxurious under the knees, or when you're releasing down into Savasana.

Unlike their reversible mats, The Mat has two sides: a sticky rubber side, and the soft upper portion. But the soft upper portion is still seriously grippy, so your feet won't be slipping during down-dog or warrior 2. This is an investment in your yoga practice that will pay off over and over again in both performance and comfort.


BUY: Lululemon The Mat, 5mm


Best Cable Weight Machine - NordicTrack Fusion CST

NordicTrack Fusion CST Studio

  • Key feature: 20 resistance levels, trainer-led workouts
  • Comes with: Freestanding magnetic resistance cable stack with integrated 10-inch tablet screen
  • Technology: iFit interactive programming: $396 prepaid per year or $39 per month for a family, or a individual plans for $15 monthly or $180 annually

CHECK PRICE

NordicTrack's Fusion CST doesn't take up much space, but offers a full gym's worth of strength training options. At 5 feet wide and around 3.5 feet deep, its footprint is far less than most all-in-one machines (although you need another 5-6 feet to move around in front of it). It's similar enough to a gym cable machine to be fairly intuitive, but it shines when you're being led through a class in the robust iFit training on-demand and live training library.

The primary difference between this and the Fusion CST Studio is that the Studio has a mirror, while the Fusion CST relies on the integrated 10-inch tablet screen. In action, the mirror isn't going to be a game-change for most people, and this machine is certainly strong enough and "smart" enough to be the centerpiece of your home training. You'll need iFit to put it into action, but at $15 a month or $39 for a family, that's still far less than a gym membership!


BUY: NordicTrack Fusion CST


Best Treadmill Desk - Sunny TreadPad Slim Under Desk Treadmill

Sunny TreadPad Slim Under Desk Treadmill

  • Key feature: Slim enough to be go under with any standing desk
  • Comes with: Treadmill, power cord, remote control
  • Technology: Digital monitor shows time, distance, calories, steps, and speed

CHECK PRICE

Once you've strolled through an otherwise interminable video meeting, it's tough to go back to sitting. But noisy or hard to navigate treadmill desks are more trouble than they're worth, and quickly become a distraction and productivity killer. Sunny's slim, no-nonsense entry into this growing market is powered by a remote control and has a max speed of four miles per hour, but really shines in the 1.5-2.5 miles per hour sweet spot, where it's pretty much silent and very smooth.

With a weight limit of just 220 pounds, this isn't a fit for everyone. But it gets rave reviews for ease of setting up, a wide walking platform, and its miniscule height of just 5.4 inches. This isn't a treadmill you need to rearrange your life to find a space for. It simply fits in!


BUY: Sunny TreadPad Slim Under Desk Treadmill


Best Bodyweight Training Equipment - TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer

TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer

  • Key feature: Full-body indoor or outdoor training
  • Comes with: Door anchor, suspension trainer, extender, mesh bag
  • Technology: TRX Training Club app: $5.99 per month for on-demand, $19.99 all access, or $199.99 annually

CHECK PRICE

A major appeal of the TRX suspension system has always been its portability. Toss the small mesh bag in your car or luggage, and you can get a full-body strength and conditioning workout anywhere you are. The TRX PRO3 only adds to these strengths, with tougher rubber handles (a big upgrade to the foam) and an extender that allows the straps to easily attach to even more places.

Don't know what to do with your TRX? The PRO3 comes with 30 days of the TRX Training Club app, which has both live and on-demand workouts for straps, but also bodyweight routines for recovery, core strength, and plenty more. After 30 days, the vast on-demand portion of the library costs just $5.99 a month, which is pretty easy to justify if you're regularly training on the road.


BUY: TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer


Best Adjustable Kettlebell - REP Fitness Adjustable Kettlebell

REP Fitness Adjustable Kettlebell

  • Key feature: Quick adjustment with real kettlebell shape and feel
  • Comes with: Adjustable kettlebell
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

Most adjustable kettlebells fall short in one of two ways: it's a huge pain to adjust the weights, or the shape of the weight itself is just…wrong. It's unwieldy, rattling, or just slick in the hand. The popular Rep Fitness Adjustable Kettlebell tackles both situations head-on. It quickly adjusts with a push and twist on the top. And the bell itself is well-built and stable–no rattling–with a traditional “competition-style” shape and powder coating texture for extra grip.

No, this isn't a weight that you can dial all the way back from 8 pounds up to 50 or more. It comes in three varieties with very specific intervals: the 16 kg (35-lb.) a kettlebell can be adjusted in 2 kg increments to 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 kg. The 24 kg (53-lb.) version can weigh 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 kg. There's also a pound-based version which can be 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 lbs.


BUY: REP Fitness Adjustable Kettlebell


Best Adjustable Dumbbells - PowerBlock Elite EXP Series

PowerBlock Elite EXP Series

  • Key feature: Wide range of weight options with easy switching
  • Comes with: Adjustable dumbbells, optional expansion
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

Adjustable dumbbells are a tool that, once you try them, make you wonder why anyone ever bothered with a full dumbbell rack. A full 30 years after bringing this style of product to the mainstream, PowerBlock continues to set the bar. The EXP series is made from welded steel and expandable from 5 up to 50 pounds, or with two "stages" of optional increases up to 70 or 90 pounds. In tangible terms, this means it replaces between 16 and 28 sets of dumbbells!

But more importantly, these weights feel comfortable and stable in the hand–even more than many dumbbells–and are easy to switch weights, without any gimmicky dials that are prone to breaking. Pro tip: Some type of stand or cart for storage is essential. The best of the bunch is Rogue's wheeled Power Block Cart, which has bottom shelving for storing kettlebells or other accessories.


BUY: PowerBlock Elite EXP Series


Best Bodyweight Training Equipment - TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer

TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer

  • Key feature: Full-body indoor or outdoor training
  • Comes with: Door anchor, suspension trainer, extender, mesh bag
  • Technology: TRX Training Club app: $5.99 per month for on-demand, $19.99 all access, or $199.99 annually

CHECK PRICE

The TRX PRO3 is the popular suspension strap's model for coaches, but the features that make it work for them are equally helpful to the rest of us. A big one: diamond-print textured rubber handles, rather than foam ones. In four words: tougher, grippier, more durable. The PRO3 also features an extender, which can be a lifesaver if you attach your TRX to a high ceiling or wall hook.

Otherwise, this is simply the most established, versatile strap system on the market, and it gets better with 30 included days of the TRX Training Club app. This vast live, on-demand and personal training library has plenty of TRX classes (duh), but also Pilates, specialty goal-based programs for glutes and other body parts, and plenty more.


BUY: TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer


Best Under Desk Bike - Sunny Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Peddler

Sunny Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Peddler

  • Key feature: Elliptical-style motion, can go under any desk
  • Comes with: Lightweight, portable pedal exerciser
  • Technology: Doesn't require a power outlet or batteries to use

CHECK PRICE

Some under-desk bikes are attached to seats or chairs, which can raise a number of issues. What if you don't like sitting on a bike seat all day? What if the weight limit doesn't match your weight? What if it doesn't fit the space you have? Sunny's Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Peddler is a simple, portable solution to all those problems.

Taking up just two feet by 19 inches, with a height of 11 inches, it can be placed anywhere your feet are. It weighs 24 pounds, which is sturdy enough to keep it from wiggling around, but light enough to move, thanks to the center carrying handle. The textured non-slip footbeds fit all sizes of feet, and the rolling glide rails emulate a gentle motion of an elliptical, with 8 adjustable levels of resistance. All these reasons make it a solid choice for not only desk jockeys, but also the elderly and people recovering from injuries.


BUY: Sunny Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical Peddler


Best Wearable Weights - Rogue Plate Carrier

Rogue Plate Carrier

  • Key feature: Lightweight design, padded front and back, adjustable straps
  • Comes with: Cordura fabric plate carrier
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

This simple, no-nonsense weighted vest was co-developed with CrossFit's former head of programming, so you can be sure that it's tough, but also suitable for a wide range of bodies and athletes. Amazingly, it weighs just over a pound empty, straps down tight to the torso, and is made of the same heavy-duty cordura fabric as higher-end weighted vests. Other plate carriers can bounce painfully when loaded, but this one stays put even during explosive movements.

Rogue's Plate Carrier is a perfect upgrade for bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and pull-ups, enabling you to make the most of whatever space you have. Two small downsides: you'll have to pay a bit extra for both plus sizing, and shoulder pads. Reviewers are adamant that the pads are totally necessary.


BUY: Rogue Plate Carrier


Best Resistance Bands - REP Fitness Tube Resistance Bands with Handles

REP Fitness Tube Resistance Bands with Handles

  • Key feature: 3 color-coded levels, comfortable grip handles
  • Comes with: Resistance bands, nylon and foam handles
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

The loop-versus-handle band debate rages on in gyms and online, but the truth is that for most people, a few pairs of tube bands with handles is the best fit for what they're actually going to use the bands for: upper body movements like presses, curls, rows, shoulder raises, upright rows, and triceps extensions, plus some light addition to bodyweight lower body training. But you still need bands that are sturdy enough to be up to these challenges, and that don't fall apart or snap dangerously just a few workouts into using them!

Rep Fitness' tube bands come in just three color-coded weights that hit the sweet spot for nearly everything you'll be using them for. They're tough and durable, but secure in the hand with firm foam handles. They're perfect for rehab, circuits, warm-ups, pumpy finishers, and stretching. In a pinch, they can also be the only resistance you use in a workout!


BUY: REP Fitness Tube Resistance Bands with Handles


Best Jump Rope - REP Fitness Speed Cable Jump Rope

REP Fitness Speed Cable Jump Rope

  • Key feature: Easy to adjust, fast enough for speed work
  • Comes with: Single 9.8' jump rope and handles (also available in 5 and 10 pack)
  • Technology: None

CHECK PRICE

A jump rope needs to be just three things: durable, adjustable, and smooth. It's amazing how many don't hit those three benchmarks! But REP's Speed Cable Jump Rope was designed with cross-training and HIIT in mind, particularly for group settings. This means it's smooth and fast enough for double-unders and crossover work, but also super-easy to adjust for different heights.

The “rope” is actually a galvanized steel strand coated in rubber, which gives it a firm, fast feel when skipping. If you've been frustrated in the past with poor-quality jump ropes, this could be just what your home gym has been begging for. And the low price won't make you jump back in horror.


BUY: REP Fitness Speed Cable Jump Rope


What to Look for When Purchasing Exercise Equipment for a Small Space

If you're trying to figure out what exercise equipment to purchase for a small space, consider the following few tips from the ACTIVE Reviews Team.

Versatility

If you’re tight on space, the more versatility a piece of exercise equipment can offer, the better. For example, purchasing adjustable dumbbells is a good option because they can help you perform a variety of lower- and upper-body exercises without taking up a lot of space. The more muscle groups you can target with your equipment, the more practical it is as well. So look for items that work your upper and lower body.

Size

Measuring the space you do have to use for exercise equipment is a helpful first step to determining what will work best. Maybe you have enough room for a treadmill to be used, but it’s imperative that you’re able to fold it and store it away in the closet. Or perhaps you only have enough space outside to jump rope or swing a kettlebell. Whatever the case may be for you, knowing exactly how much room you have to work with will only help you.

Price

If you have lots of money to spend on equipment, your only concern is finding something that works for your small space. However, for most people, finding fitness equipment within your budget is an important component. It's important to note that you often get what you pay for in terms of general quality, so it isn’t always in your best interest to get something that is crazy cheap from Amazon (unless you’re buying something like a foam roller).

Type of Equipment

Deciding what kinds of workouts you like to do will help you pick the gym equipment you buy. For example, if you’re a big fan of yoga and Pilates, looking into things like resistance bands or Bala Bangles may enhance your home exercise routine in a big way. Other bigger ticket items like stationary bikes or stair steppers should be carefully considered based on the space you have available.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Stay Fit (and Sane) When Working From Home

Discuss This Article