The Best Apartment & Small Space Workout Equipment

You don’t always need a ton of space or a bunch of fancy, big fitness equipment to get an effective workout. If you live in an apartment or small space, there’s plenty of workout equipment out there to help you build muscle and burn calories. You just need to invest in the right workout equipment; pieces that are effective, multi-functional, and store easily.

I live part-time in Los Angeles and part-time in New York City. I have a personal trainer in LA, and when I’m in NYC it’s really important to me to keep up with similar strength training exercises and my workout routine so I can stick to my fitness goals. I train virtually with him when I am in NYC, and my workouts here – with the right equipment – have allowed me to match the calories burned when I am with him in person.

New York versus Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, I’m lucky to have a garage and a bit more space to work out in. But in our studio apartment in New York, I’m working with an entry way area a few feet larger than a yoga mat. Clearly, larger workout machines you see at the gym are not an option here. So, I found fitness equipment that’s small on space but big on efficiency and functionality to work all muscle groups.

It can be really easy for workout equipment to overrun a small space. My number one tip is to make sure you have a dedicated storage area for your home gym equipment, even if it’s just a corner of a room.

All of the fitness equipment in my NYC apartment gets stored in a single closet. I purchased one of those heavy duty wire shelving units and place the heavy workout equipment at the bottom of it, and then some of the lighter stuff on higher shelves. This way, everything is hidden and out of the way, but still easily accessible so I don’t slack off or make excuses.

The Best Apartment & Small Space Workout Equipment

Start with Your Foundation

Workout Mat or Yoga Mat

Like I mentioned, I work out out in the entry way of our apartment, which is roughly the size of a large yoga mat. You don’t need a ton of space to workout at home.

I like using a workout mat because I don’t like sweating all over our apartment floor. It’s also a good idea to create this padded area so you don’t slip, or scratch up floors with weights, sneakers, or other workout equipment.

If you have a separate room and want to keep a workout space set up at all times, you can purchase interlocking workout square tiles. However, you can also keep things simple with a mat that you can easily roll up and stow away when you’re done.

Foldable Workout Bench

A foldable workout bench is probably my favorite workout equipment piece for a small space. Look for one that folds out into a full sized bench, with options to adjust the incline so you can vary exercises for a full body workout.

A workout bench is great for traditional upper and lower body exercises like chest presses, shoulder presses, and single leg lunges. Use your workout bench for step ups, or even practice jumping over it to spike your heart rate.

When you’re done, just fold it up for compact, easy storage.

Buy my small space foldable workout bench here.

Strength Equipment for a Small Space Workout

Adjustable Dumbbells

For small space living, investing in a set of adjustable dumbbells is an absolute must when it comes to workout equipment. This way, you can have a range of weights for a variety of movements without taking up tons of space for individually weighted dumbbells.

Find adjustable weights that can grow with you as you build your strength. The set I use starts at 5lbs and goes up in five-pound increments to 25lbs. You can also find lighter adjustable dumbbells for hand weights.

Use them for upper body and lower body strength training, or add a light weight to core exercises for extra resistance.

Buy adjustable dumbbells here.

Heavy Kettlebell

Kettlebells are highly versatile. You can use them similarly to dumbbells for arm rows and squats, but you can also get a great cardio workout with traditional kettlebell swing movements thanks to their top handles. I love kettlebell exercises because you can really get a full body workout with one single piece of gym equipment.

I have a kettlebell slightly heavier than my heaviest dumbbells. This allows me to lift a little more substantial weight on single arm or leg movements while also providing me the option to do kettlebells swings.

Multi-Purpose Compact Equipment

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are popular apartment and small space workout equipment staples for a reason. They’re highly affordable, take up nearly zero space when storing, and you can use them in a variety of ways.

I use shorter resistance bands around my ankles or above my knees for fire hydrants, squats, and even glute bridges. You can also use these short bands around your wrists to strengthen arm muscles.

Consider purchasing a longer pull-up resistance band and throwing that into the mix. You don’t even need to use them for pull-up assistance; try pull-apart movements to stretch your chest, or step on the band and do bicep curls. You can even wrap this band around a heavy piece of furniture (like your couch) for rotational moves.

Buy my short resistance bands here.

Buy my longer resistance band here.


Sliders are small discs that you can use with hands or feet. Their compact and thin design makes them ideal workout equipment for a small space or apartment.

Since they glide on the floor, sliders provide less stability to your exercises. This means that your core and other muscles have to work a little harder to stabilize your body and its movements. Trust me, using sliders is a lot harder than it looks.

While mountain climbers are probably the most popular slider exercise, you can also use them for pushups, lunges, and plank-to-pike movements.

Buy sliders here.

Other Small Space Gym Equipment

Depending on what you like to do for your workout or the space you have available, here are some of my other top picks for small space workouts:

Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes have made a huge comeback over the past few years because of Peloton. I have been an avid indoor cyclist for many years, and it’s one of my favorite cardio workouts that’s much gentler on the body than running. I have a Peloton in LA and love it, but the bike is too big for our NYC studio apartment.

So instead, I got a Schwinn indoor cycling bike. It’s pretty compact, and I can mount my phone on the front if I want to use my Peloton app.

Jump Rope

Jump roping provides a great cardio workout, and obviously the footprint of a jump rope is tiny. You may want to skip this one if your neighbor below may hear it, or head outside for a quick 5 minute jump rope session.

Doorway Pull Up Bar

Pull up bars tend to be popular for small space workouts and ideal for upper body workouts and core work via leg lifts. I personally do not have one of these because I’m all set with my weights, kettlebell and bench, but this doorway pull up bar has over 25,000 reviews.

Muscle Roller or Foam Roller

Stretching and recovery is just as important as your workout. Foam rolling helps to relieve muscle tightness and inflammation, and increases your range of motion. A foam roller is generally compact enough for an apartment or small space, and they’re pretty affordable ($10 – $25) but you can also upgrade yours for the vibrating Theragun roller.

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Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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