ManCaveExpert.com is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

weight training compact home gym featured image

Weight Training Compact Home Gym For Small Spaces – 5 Things to Consider

You enjoy working out whenever you have the opportunity. However, your small space doesn’t allow much room for stretching, let alone a full-fledged home gym.

gym-tools

It’s always helpful to have a guide when considering home gym designs, so we’re telling you what to look for and covering five of the best compact home gyms for small homes like yours.

There are certain limits to be aware of when it comes to tiny home gyms, depending on the style you choose. There’s a reason why commercial gym memberships with high-end equipment and plenty of room are so costly!

When it comes to home gyms, the cheaper the price and the smaller the multi-gym, the more restrictions there are. Compact devices are excellent, but they may be irritating if your range of motion is limited by not having enough resistance.

It’s best to keep your expectations in check. Manufacturers will try to cram as much as possible into their products while keeping the price as low as possible to sell them. It is necessary to make compromises.

The motion may be choppy or the wires might not be particularly robust. It may be a little shaky in the seat, or it may take a bit of time to transition from one activity to the next while you tweak specific attachments.

The goal isn’t to scare you away, but if you don’t expect a professional gym-quality exercise on a small home gym machine, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and pleased!

Types Of Compact Home Gyms

Compact home gyms exist in many forms and sizes. Despite that, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for decreasing a machine’s footprint without sacrificing its functioning.

However, there are three types of tiny multi-gyms available, ranging from traditional to extreme.

Pulley systems are common in traditional home gyms. Some variants include a removable bench or folding rail, which further reduces the footprint. In contrast, modern home gyms often require more space due to additions such as sliding chairs or rails.

As a result, you use your body weight for resistance. These gyms are usually collapsible, so you can quickly tuck them away despite their bulky appearance.

Even though they are easy to transport and store, they are more limited than that of the other two varieties due to their small size.

5 Things To Consider For a Compact Home Gym Setup

1. Features

The design of a small multi-gym will often define its characteristics. When you buy a gym in a box, for example, you know the majority of its features will be resistance bands and attachments.

Larger and often more expensive multi gyms, on the other hand, usually include a bench, a frame, a cable/pulley system, and whatever resistance they use.

On these compact units, the frames aren’t very substantial. Plus, to save room after your workout, these gyms may include a detachable bench or the ability to fold the seat vertically, allowing you to save room.

The pulley system determines the motions you can make with the unit. Low pulleys are necessary for shoulder press, upright rows, and bicep curls, whereas high pulleys are necessary for lat and tricep pulldowns.

Some multi-gyms have a central pulley system, ideal for chest presses, rows, and core workouts, like weighted crunches and trunk rotations.

If the multi gym has a bench, there’s a good possibility it also has a leg developer.

Leg extensions and curls that target your quadriceps and hamstrings are possible with these gadgets, which have cushioned rollers.

The feature set varies as you go away from typical home gyms and toward total gym-style equipment. You can still execute presses, curls, pulldowns, and other exercises with a simple cable and pulley system, but how you execute them is different.

These versions will also come with many accessories and attachments, including the essential handles, ankle straps, wing attachment, and dip bar.

Expect at least some form of fitness guide with whichever type of multi-gym you choose.

It might be as basic as a sheet of exercises, or it might be a whole set of workout cards, DVDs, wall charts, and even dietary recommendations.

2. Design

When you look at the comparisons below, note that small home gyms are available in many forms and sizes, all of which are appropriate for different exercise objectives and locations.

These brands have discovered a method to address the issue of footprint without sacrificing functionality.

You may find traditional multi-gyms with typical cable and pulley systems, although they are scaled-down. When you’re done working out, some of them will include a removable bench or a folding rail that allows you to shrink the size of the multi gym.

Some total gyms use your body weight as resistance with a sliding seat on rails. These devices may take up some room when in use, but they fold up after your workout and can generally be stored in a closet or under the bed.

The so-called “gym-in-a-box” alternatives are fantastic if you are constrained by space. As previously stated, the BodyBoss model above includes over 200 workouts that utilize a variety of bands and attachments.

Although they have some limitations when compared to typical multi-gyms, the fact that you can store them – or even carry them in your bag while traveling is a major plus.

Your objectives determine the design you choose. If you want to work on strength training, you’ll want equipment that lets you add your Olympic plates to help you meet your fitness goal.

A gym in a box-style unit, on the other hand, will be more up your alley if you just want to keep fit and value your space over shifting heavyweights.

3. Fitness Goals

Another consideration while looking for the best compact home gym for your space is the objectives you want to attain with the gym equipment.

If you want to gain muscle and strength, you’ll need something substantial and long-lasting that can hold a squat rack or set of dumbbells in the future.

If you want to tone your muscles or retain your current strength, choose models that have a basic pulley system, which will give you more than what you need.

4. Resistance

Everyone understands that a compact gym set’s resistance varies depending on the goals you wish to reach. Nevertheless, ambitions aside, you should understand that compact home gyms use four different types of resistance: power rods, Olympic plates, a traditional weight stack, and your own body weight.

But first, let’s look at what each build has to offer.

First are power rods.

Power rods are basically a composite rod that bends when pulled.

Even though the feature is highly recognizable as Bowflex, it is more and more popular among businesses because it is so simple and effective. Many units also use the weight stack, which is a common configuration.

This product is convenient and gets the job done. Some kits enable you to arrange your Olympic plates yourself, which ideal for individuals looking to gain considerable muscle mass because it allows you to add as much weight as you would like.

The only con of this resistance is the expense of purchasing additional plates, which can quickly accumulate. Lastly (but by no means least), you can use the Total Gym machines which are great because they let your body weight do all the work.

In this situation, all you have to do is alter the machine’s inclination; the steeper the slope, the greater the resistance.

5. Price

Home gyms are quite often a bargain when compared to larger multis, which makes sense because they’re generally smaller and have fewer high-end functionalities than commercial models.

Don’t expect these gyms to be inexpensive (prices vary widely among models), and don’t expect them to feel like the equipment you are used to at the gym. You shouldn’t be discouraged, but it’s important to be realistic about what you get with these machines.

Best Compact Home Gyms Review

Wieder Ultimate Body Works

So, when you start researching for multi-gyms that would fit into spaces such as an apartment, an ideal tiny home gym that pops up is the Wieder Ultimate Body Works home gym, which is thin and foldable.

weider ultimate body works isolated on white background

The machine has a pulley system and runs purely on your body weight.

Before you dismiss it as weak, keep in mind that it includes a set of straps that may add up to 50 pounds of overall weight resistance.

The gadget also has seven different inclination levels, allowing you to target various muscle areas, including shoulders, arms, back, and legs.

Durable steel tubing is also used to construct the frame.

However, it’s the slide-away feature that is a nice bonus on this model. It allows you to fold it up quickly and put it anywhere you choose, whether in the closet or under your bed.

Pros

  • Durable build
  • Adjustable inclination to control
  • The intensity of the exercise
  • Affordable
  • Easy storage
  • Compact design
  • Resistance bands for flexibility

Cons

  • Small Bench

Body Boss Home Gym 2.0

This little home gym may appear to be a flimsy gimmick, but it elevates the gym-in-a-box idea to new heights.

The Home Gym 2.0 is the world’s first portable gym, designed to mimic the heavy-duty equipment at the gym (like squat racks and Smith machines).

bodyboss 2.0 full portable home gym workout package

You can store it practically anyplace due to its small form, which takes up little to no room. The tool has the following components:

  • A non-slip base
  • A padded pull-up bar
  • Dumbbell simulating handles
  • Wrist and ankle straps
  • A doorframe anchor for tricep extensions and chest flies
  • Bands for up to 30lbs of added resistance

So, you’ve got everything you need to strengthen your upper and lower body while also improving your cardio with a few boxing movements (if you want to). The only thing you have to do is adjust the straps depending on the level of difficulty you want.

And, if you believe you won’t be able to wear it because you’re too tall, think again: it can suit men as tall as 6’6”. The only flaw is the sturdiness of the foundation, which doesn’t always seem stable.

However, given that it isn’t anchored to the floor, that’s to be anticipated.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Most compact option on our list
  • Available attachments provide a full-body workout
  • Perfect for travel

Cons

  • Resistance bands may not be enough
  • Must buy additional bands separately
  • Base feels unsteady

Bowflex X-Treme Home Gym

This model is simple to fold and store in a corner.

To start, the home gym has four pulley positions or power rods, allowing you to customize each workout’s resistance.

In terms of strength, this one has a total resistance of 210 pounds, which is more than enough to supplement a casual home workout.

bowflex xtreme2 se home gym isolated on white background

Its design allows it to target your chest, shoulders, traps, arms, legs, core, and back all at once. That’s how you get your money’s worth!

The seat also has flat and inclination settings, so you can incorporate some rowing into your workout. That is handy for anyone who does not have access to home aerobic equipment.

The company’s limited warranty, on the other hand, is not enjoyable. The frame has a one-year warranty, while the rods have a five-year warranty.

Pros

  • Space-saving design with removable bench
  • High, low and middle pulleys offer more than 50 exercises
  • Sturdy machine with a durable build
  • Quiet and smooth when in use

Cons

  • Just like other Bowflex units, the power rods can eventually lose their resistance
  • Hard to recommend if serious strength gain is your goal
  • Resistance sometimes feels less than it should

Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Equipment

This little home gym is meant to simultaneously develop and tone key muscle groups, as the name indicates. In fact, according to the manufacturer, the machine can exercise your complete body in a little more than 20 minutes.

This machine includes between 30 and 40 exercises, including chest presses and bicep curls. This product has a sliding bench and uses your own body weight for resistance.

It includes a DVD and exercise chart to help you get started with the machine during the first few weeks when you’re still learning how to use it. The model is also foldable for easy storage. Yes, it appears to be tiny. This device has a weight restriction of 295 pounds.

Therefore, if you’re a large person, don’t worry. It’ll still work.

Last but not least, it does not come with resistance bands connected; therefore you might need a set of dumbbells down the line.

Pros

  • Reasonable Price
  • Targets multiple parts of the body simultaneously
  • Quick and easy storage
  • High Weight Limit
  • High-Quality Pulley System

Cons

  • Resistance bands not included

Marcy Multi-Function Steel Home Gym MWM-988

OK, so this isn’t quite as compact as you might want it to be, but if you have a little extra room, it’s certainly worth a try. This medium-sized machine is unique in that it has both a pulley system and a weight stack.

marcy mwm 988 multifunction steel home gym

In other words, you can do virtually any workout in the gym, including chest presses and lat pulldown. The home gym uses a heavy-duty steel tube frame that is vinyl-coated for a lasting finish.

A connected foot wrap is also included, allowing you to train your lower body safely and comfortably. Its pivot point keeps the knees aligned while in motion, avoiding leg injuries.

It also comes with an adjustable preacher pad, ideal for reducing the pressure on your upper extremities when performing workouts like bicep curls.

The only issue with this workout equipment is that the pull-up bar isn’t very high, making it difficult to achieve a complete range of motion during pull-downs.

Pros

  • Preacher pad to minimize strain
  • Durable frame
  • Integrated leg developer
  • Supports a variety of workouts
  • Helps to prevent leg injuries

Cons

  • Low pull-up bar
  • Takes up a lot of space

Fusion Motion Portable Gym

This portable gym from Fusion Motion, similar to the BodyBoss, is surprisingly flexible for such a small and cheap piece of equipment, making it great for working out in small areas or while traveling.

fusion motion portable gym isolated on white background

This kit includes a steel-reinforced polyethylene base on which two sets of resistance bands may be attached (either normal or strong). You can do anything from squats and overhead lifts to lateral lifts and bicep curls with this and dynamic handles, a bar, or a core wheel.

A set of static grips comes in handy for push-up exercises, and the training book includes 200 exercises to get you started. When you put it in the accompanying bag for storage or traveling, you’ll notice how valuable this bundle is.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Supports more than 50 movements
  • Adjust bands for a bigger challenge
  • Compact and convenient design

Cons

  • A little bit unstable
  • Nylon straps aren’t very durable
  • Not suitable for tall people

Body By Jake Tower 200

If you’re searching for a low-cost home gym, the Body by Jake Tower 200 is a good option.

The Tower 200 has its limits, but if you have a door frame you can use, it has everything you need to train your body.

body by jake tower 200 complete door gym full body workout

This piece of equipment comes with about 200 workouts and easily fits on most ordinary doors. You can vary the resistance to fit your demands thanks to a steel frame and numerous tension cords – reportedly up to 200lbs, but it seems a little lighter in actuality.

It’s adaptable, enabling you to perform chest presses, flies, upright rows, lunges, squats, and many other exercises. It won’t gain mass overnight, like many other home gyms, but the variety of exercises you can do will in time.

Pros

  • Does up to 200 exercises
  • Adjust resistance to fit your ability
  • Handles and ankle strap included
  • There is no assembly required – you can start using it right away!

Cons

  • It seems that the grips are a bit cheap and need to be replaced
  • For experienced lifters, the resistance will feel quite light

The Verdict

With so many compact home gyms on the market, there’s no excuse not to engage in a good exercise whether you live in a small house, condo, log cabin, mobile home, or boat.

You should now be aware of the limits of several of these little devices, as well as their potential utility.

Whatever home gym equipment you choose, be sure it suits your requirements; otherwise, you might as well be purchasing a very costly clothes horse! However, if you follow our advice, you should be able to build a little multi-gym that will provide you with a wonderful at-home exercise.