Fitness band dumbbells home workout equipment
General Workout Tips

Best Small Space Workout Equipment

Having an effective workout does not require much space or equipment. If you are looking for a challenge, but live in a small home or apartment, there are plenty of affordable fitness tools that can bring your workout to the next level. This small space workout equipment will make you reconsider if you really need to use large gym machines again. Save money on a gym membership and have a convenient workout at home, no matter the amount of space you have.


Please note this post contains affiliate links. There is no difference in price if you decide to purchase, but note that I will receive a commission.


Multipurpose Compact Workout Equipment


Resistance Exercise Bands

Resistance exercise bands are very popular and for good reason. They are extremely affordable, one of the easiest pieces of equipment to store (perfect for small spaces), and you can use them in many ways to get an effective workout. There are two main types of exercise bands, latex and fabric (primarily cotton mixed with latex).

Latex exercise bands can sometimes roll but they are more versatile. Since they are more flexible you can stretch them for a larger range moves, such as bicep curls with the bands underneath your feet. They are also easier to use if you are a beginner, often coming in very light resistance levels. If you are looking for primary leg or thigh exercises, or are more advanced, cotton exercise bands are perfect since they don’t slip and are less flexible.

Once you figure out the bands that work best for you, get ready for some amazing leg workouts (particularly for your glutes) and toning arm exercises. My favorite moves with resistance exercise bands include donkey kickbacks, fire hydrants, clamshells, and bridges.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

This is a great full-body resistance exercise band workout video from Popsugar Fitness


Fitness Sliders, Gliders or Stability Discs

Sliders are small discs that you put your hands or feet on and are perfect for small spaces. They are a multifunctional favorite since they are so easy to store, are affordable, and are extremely effective at helping you get more out of your workout. Do not underestimate them, they are hard.

By slightly putting you off balance, even planks with sliders are difficult. You can do multiple moves with them, my favorites include push-ups, lunges, pikes, and mountain climbers. You will definitely feel it in your core, but you can also get an effective full-body workout with them by switching up moves.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

This is a great slider workout video from YogiApproved


TRX or Suspension Training

TRX stands for “total resistance exercises” and was developed by a former U.S. Navy seal. It is a form of suspension training where you place your hands or feet into a pair of straps to do countless exercises. It is a great full-body workout, and also extremely effective at core strengthening. It’s easy to store and perfect for small space workouts. The only trick is to make sure you have a door frame with enough room to move (there is a door anchor included in the set), wall or beam that you can attach a wall mount to, or a large tree or pillar that you can use the suspension anchor on.

Once you find the right space you can easily do exercises found online or through TRX videos. My favorites include bicep curls, pikes, hamstring curls, and pistol squats. One of the best parts of the TRX is that you use your own body weight as resistance, so you can move closer or further from the anchor point to make workouts easier or more difficult.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

This is a great TRX workout video from BodyFit by Amy


Yoga Mats

Yoga mats are one of the most versatile pieces of home fitness equipment. Although they are perfect for yoga, pilates, or barre they are also useful for all types of bodyweight and strength workouts. Some important yoga mat considerations besides price are the texture/materials (for your grip on the mat), padding, and size.

If you plan on using your yoga mat frequently or for strength workouts, consider investing in a slightly more expensive mat. In my experience, the inexpensive ones will start to crumble quickly, which begins to add up as you have to replace them. Many yoga mats unfortunately are not eco friendly, made with plastic or PVC. Look for eco-friendly yoga mats, which are healthier for you and better for the environment. If you are tall, look out for yoga mats labeled “extra long”. My personal favorite affordable yoga mats are from Gaiam. If you are able to afford a more expensive mat, Manduka is one of the most popular reputable yoga mat brands.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Although there are so many uses for yoga mats, this is a great healthy energy yoga flow video from Yoga With Adriene


Need home workout inspiration? Check out my post on the best home workout apps and classes with free options


Weight Training is Possible in Small Spaces


Adjustable Dumbbells

Dumbbells are one of the most common strength training equipment, both at home and at the gym. You can effectively work your upper body, and even assist in core and leg strengthening with dumbbells. There is nothing wrong with buying normal dumbbells (non-adjustable) the only issue comes when you want multiple weights and live in a small space. Adjustable dumbells are the answer.

There are a few different options for adjustable dumbbells. For heavier sets, the most popular is a dial-type system that allows you to increase or reduce weight from the main dumbbell. These can be a little clunky depending on how heavy you want to go, however, the plus is you can add a lot (the below Bowflex dumbbell can go up to 52.5 lbs). There are other smaller adjustable weights that have metal blocks hidden in it to adjust the weight. These have lighter options and would be perfect for beginners or a workout like barre (small repetitive movements).

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

This is a great full body dumbbell workout from Popsugar Fitness


Kettlebells

If you haven’t used kettlebells before you might be wondering what their advantage is over dumbbells or other weights. Kettlebells are shaped like an imperfect sphere, or bell, with horns (handles). This shape allows for functional movements that you wouldn’t be able to do as effectively with a dumbbell, such as kettlebell swings or more advanced movements like Turkish get-ups. Swinging or dynamic moves can get your heart rate up and can be a cardiovascular workout on top of strength. Due to the shape of the bell, it is also not stable like a dumbbell, so it takes extra effort to stabilize it. Due to the complexity of some of the movements, beginners should start with dumbbells and then graduate to kettlebells.

Similar to dumbells, there are also adjustable kettlebells. If you are intermediate to advanced and would like heavier weight options definitely opt for an adjustable kettlebell, otherwise, one or two kettlebells (light and medium weights) should cover most of your workouts. Some of my favorite kettlebell moves including single-leg deadlifts, swings (all different varieties: one arm, figure eight, etc.) and shoulder press. You can get a very effective full-body work out with kettlebells that you will definitely feel the next morning.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Here is a great intro to kettlebell workout video from Popsugar Fitness


Adjustable Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are easy equipment that can help build leg strength. To make the most out of them you don’t have to limit yourself to just wearing them on your ankles either, they can also be worn on your arms. The added weight will give you a challenging workout even while doing simple movements like walking, hiking, dancing, etc.

For a small space, opt for an ankle weight with adjustable weights. This is usually accomplished by adding or removing weight bars that are separated by pouches. Some of the best workouts for ankle weights include donkey kicks, bicycles, leg raises, and high knees. Depending on the workout you can effectively target your inner and outer thighs, glutes, calves, quads, and hamstrings.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

This is a great ankle weight workout from FIT by Larie


Weighted Vest

Weighted vests are not just for training or military. For many people, this can be one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to add some challenge to a workout, or to make daily activities more athletic. Weighted vests come in all different weight ranges. If you are new, be conservative and start with a lower weight. You might be surprised once you start moving how exhausting it can be.

Weighted vests are also beneficial when used for walking or jogging. The weight will get your heart rate up quickly. Some effective workout moves with a weighted vest include push-ups, squats, lunges, and burpees. If you enjoy doing pull-ups, adding a weighted vest is a great option to add more challenge to your pull-ups.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Here are some examples of weighted vest exercises for women in a weighted vest workout from Hang Tight with Marcie


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Small Space Cardio Equipment: Look for Collapsible or Foldable


Jump Rope

Jump rope isn’t just for kids. It’s an incredibly effective cardio workout that will take no time to get your heart rate up. Best of all, it can be stored easily in small spaces. If you are in a small home or apartment you might have to move some furniture aside to make sure you don’t hit anything with a jump rope.

Jump ropes can be extremely affordable. Look for ones that have a little added weight so they are more durable and stable. Also, make sure they are adjustable or the appropriate length for your height. To ensure seamless storage in your small space look for ones marked tangle-free. If you have the budget, consider a Crossrope jump rope, which can provide very motivating workouts. They come in different weights (light and heavy) with ultra-comfortable handles. There is even a Crossrope workout app with a ton of workouts and fitness challenges.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Here is a great jump rope workout at home video from Holly Dolke


Sunny Health Row-N-Ride

Getting a good cardio workout at home can be hard if you’re used to gym equipment. If you’re getting bored with jumping jacks, HIIT, etc. consider looking for a slightly larger piece of equipment that might re-invigorate your workouts. If you are looking for home equipment that can fit in a small space, the Sunny Health Row-N-Ride is one of the most popular home gym equipment on Amazon. Since it’s collapsible, it can fit in most closets, corners, or underneath the bed. Just double-check the measurements to make sure it works for your space.

The Sunny Health Row-N-Ride is an easy to assemble squat assist machine that really targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. There is also a rowing action with the handles that will support some toning in your arms and core, although this is not the main focus. There are three bands (22lbs each) that you can attach to the seat, which will make the squats more challenging and will help increase heart rate.

Although this machine is not purely intended for cardio, it will raise your heart rate into at least the low cardio zone (or higher). For me, when adding one weight band it will get my heart rate to around 130bpm, which is in between a power walk and jog. I am sure if I added more weight my heart rate would increase, but for low steady-state cardio I’ve found the one band combination best. The lower you adjust the seat and the higher the weight, the more toning (particularly in glutes) you will see. This machine is perfect for getting cardio in and toning while watching TV or doing HIIT as part of a circuit.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth review of the Sunny Health Row-N-Ride check out Bliss from Balance’s unbiased review including my personal results

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Here is a glute focused Row-N-Ride workout from Sunny Health & Fitness


Foldable Treadmill

Treadmills are one of the best tools for cardiovascular workouts but can take up a lot of space. Not exactly the best piece of equipment for small houses or apartments. However, there are some foldable treadmills that might work for your home. Some treadmills run smaller and can be used as walking or under the desk treadmills. Choose a size that works for your space and make sure to understand the folded-up size. When folded, you might be surprised that you can fit a treadmill into your workout space without it being cluttered.

My favorite treadmill workouts are with interval training. Look for plans that educate you on how long you should run at a certain speed or elevation, followed by rest periods. There will be a certain number of repeats. This is an extremely effective way of burning calories and keeps treadmill running interesting.

Where to buy:

Youtube Video to Watch:

Here is an example interval treadmill workout video from Jeremy Ethier



What fitness equipment do you use when you work out at home? Let me know if you could see yourself using any of the mentioned fitness tools in your next workout.

8 Comments

  • Nancy

    I love when there are workout equipments that doesn’t take a lot of space! Oooh I’ve used sliders before. Great for ab workouts. I really want to get some kettlebells. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

  • Cathers

    Great round up! I’m very tempted to get the sliders – have used them before in a barre class and they’r such a good little piece of equipment and definitely don’t take up much room!

  • Alycia

    I’ve been trying to find a lot of these since the pandemic started! With no luck! I’ll try Amazon again. The stores just can’t seem to restock fast enough.

  • Jaymee Veney

    Thank you for this reassurance but also for the links for the weights. I have been trying to find weights and dumbbells for the longest when Covid19 first hit, and only now am I able to find any, because of you!

  • Theresa

    Great, well organized round up! For some reason I never thought of buying sliders for my home, but I’m thinking about it. And I didn’t know there are adjustable weighted kettle bells. Thanks!

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