You don’t always need a ton of space or a bunch of fancy, big 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.
It can be really easy for workout equipment to overrun a small space. Make sure you have a dedicated storage area for your home gym, even if it’s just a corner of a room.
All of the workout equipment in our 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. Everything is hidden and out of the way, but it’s still easily accessible so I don’t slack off and make excuses.
The Best Small Space Workout Equipment
Start with Your Foundation
Workout or Yoga Mat
You don’t need a ton of space to workout at home. I work out out in the entry way of our apartment, which is roughly the size of a large yoga mat.
I like using a workout mat because I don’t like sweating all over our apartment floor. It’s also a good idea to have some kind of padded area so you don’t scratch up floors or ruin carpet with weights, sneakers, and 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 really vary your exercises. When you’re done, just fold it up for compact storage.
A workout bench is great for traditional upper body exercises like chest press, but get creative! Use your workout bench for step ups, or even practice jumping over it to spike your heart rate.
Strength Equipment for a Small Space Workout
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.
Use them for upper body and lower body strength training or add a light weight to core exercises for extra resistance.
A 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 have a kettlebell slightly heavier than my heaviest dumbbell setting. 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 are popular apartment and small space workout equipment staples for a reason. They’re highly affordable, take up almost 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.
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.