Best Workout Equipment for Small Spaces – CNET

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Updated Feb. 12, 2024 8:02 p.m. PT


Written by 
Giselle Castro-Sloboda

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Giselle Castro-Sloboda Fitness and Nutrition Writer

I’m a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I’ve had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women’s Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.

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Sq. Feet of Lab Space

$819 at Amazon

woman using maxpro


Best at-home portable cable machine

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$597 at Tempo


Tempo Move

Best smart home gym

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$475 at Amazon


Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells

Best adjustable dumbbells

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$140 at Amazon


Flybird adjustable multipurpose workout bench

Best foldable weight bench

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$35 at Amazon


ProsourceFit chin-up and pull-up bar

Best pull-up bar

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$12 at Walmart


ProsourceFit core sliding exercise discs

Best core gliders

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$129 at Amazon


Bowflex SelectTech 840 adjustable kettlebell

Best adjustable kettlebell

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$1,056 at Amazon


Echelon Stride autofold connected treadmill

Best foldable treadmill

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$34 at FITCORD


FitCord X-Over resistance bands

Best resistance bands

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Your workout space may be small, but that doesn’t mean your fitness game can’t be big. You can still get in a fantastic exercise session just like you would at the neighborhood gym, but without all the stress of getting there. To add variety to your workouts, you can check out these great fitness app recommendations. However, if you want to go all-in on your fitness regimen, it might be time to level up your equipment.

When it comes to fitness equipment, there are all sorts of gear that can operate perfectly in a small space. You may not have an iron paradise as your dedicated home gym, but that doesn’t matter. You don’t have to downsize your workouts just because your space is minimal. If you’re game to step up your workout space at home, you’ll want to muscle through these options below.

Read on to learn more about the best pieces of workout equipment that work well in small rooms or spaces, and are easy to store, no matter how limited space is. 

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If you’re looking for something equivalent to cable machines at the gym, the Maxpro is your solution. This portable cable gym was designed to be a space-saving, versatile and easy resistance training workout tool that can be used anywhere, anytime. It’s reminiscent of a hoverboard with cable attachments and dials on the side that you can adjust to increase or decrease resistance. 

The best part about the Maxpro is that you can fold it in half and store it away in the travel bag it comes in. The strength training machine has over 50 different resistance settings, and weights range between 5 and 300 pounds. It also includes two workout handles, a pair of ankle and wrist straps, a quick connect bar and a door mount kit (in case you have the room for a permanent fixture) and a long bar to best fit your strength training needs. Additionally, the Maxpro has an app you can connect to via Bluetooth when you’re looking for personalized workout classes or to learn new exercises. 

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If you don’t have room to spare for the Tempo Studio, the Tempo Move is your next best option. This version has a compact weight storage cabinet that can hold all of your smart weight plates and fits into just about any space in your home. It requires a TV or HDMI connection to access its thousands of workout classes. The one downside is that this home gym is only compatible with iPhones, so not everyone will be able to access the programs. 

To view the fitness classes, you’ll need a Tempo membership, which costs $35 a month and gives you access. To add to the personalized experience, you can get real-time feedback on your form and reps via the 3D Tempo vision. Reviews show that customers are satisfied with the Tempo Move — many call it one of the best purchases they’ve made.

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If you don’t have room for multiple dumbbells, then adjustable dumbbells are your best bet. The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells replace 17 sets of weights and can be adjusted in 5-pound increments with weight ranges of 10 to 90 pounds. These are ideal if you’re trying to maintain your gains while taking a hiatus from the gym. 

One common thing I’ve heard about these dumbbells is that the size takes some getting used to because of how bulky they are. CNET contributor Lindsay Boyers said these dumbbells are best for heavy lifters, and the weights’ rounded shape and grooved texture make it easy to hold during single dumbbell exercises. 

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It’s possible to have a weight bench at home without it taking over your living room. The key is to choose one that can be folded in half after use for easy storage. The Flybird Adjustable Bench is a versatile option that is designed with six back positions and four seat positions. It can hold up to 600 pounds and is made up of heavy-duty commercial-quality steel. 

Reviewers say this bench is sturdy, can be easily adjusted and is just as good as the ones found at the gym. Users rave that this is the ideal bench for a small space because it’s simple to fold for storage and can fit under the bed or in a corner when not in use. 

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You can turn any door into a piece of gym equipment by hanging a pull-up bar on the frame. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at pull-ups or are trying to get better at them, you can practice them at home. ProsourceFit’s multigrip chin-up and pull-up bar is easy to assemble and store away. It also has multiple grips, making it ideal to practice both your chin-ups and pull-ups. 

This bar can support up to 300 pounds and can fit in doorways that are at least 36 inches wide. CNET recommended this pull-up bar as the best multi-use bar for home gyms because of its affordable price tag and positive customer reviews. 

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If you’re looking to strengthen your core at home without doing sit-ups, then workout sliders are a good option. They’re affordable, portable, can be used in limited spaces, and they pack a punch when training your abs. The ProsourceFit core sliding exercise discs are a pair of flat round dual-sided core sliders that you can use on carpet or wood floors.

These sliders are a good way to get your heart rate up, improve your stability and make exercises such as mountain climbers, pikes, leg exercises, roll outs and push-ups more challenging. I swear by this little tool when I’m looking to progress my planks, push-ups and even physical therapy exercises. If you’re looking for ideas on how to use these sliders in your daily workouts, you can use this CNET tutorial as a guide. 

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Kettlebells are an excellent all-in-one workout tool that lets you reap the benefits of strength and endurance training. If you’re new to kettlebells or want to brush up on your skills, it helps to follow some instructional videos to do the exercises safely. The Bowflex’s SelectTech 840 adjustable kettlebell is a great addition for your home gym because it replaces six kettlebell weights, ranging between 6 and 40 pounds, and can be adjusted using a dial. 

If you’re new to kettlebells, you can work your way up to the heavier weights as you become more experienced. Bowflex users appreciate that the adjustable kettlebell saves them space and is a durable piece of home gym equipment.   

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When weather prevents you from taking a walk or going for a jog, a treadmill can be your best bet to get steps in. Although most treadmills require a lot of room, the Echelon Stride treadmill is meant for small spaces. This treadmill was designed to fold flat in three easy steps, which allows it to be stored under your bed or propped up against the wall when not in use. 

You can go for a leisurely walk, jog or sprint (the speed maxes out at 12 mph) all without stepping outside. Reviewers enjoy the convenience of this treadmill, and one person even set up their home office around it so they could get their steps in while they work. One thing to keep in mind is that this treadmill might be best for shorter individuals as some reviews say the length of the belt came up short for taller users. 

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Having a set of resistance bands is ideal if you’re just starting to strength train. They don’t take up much room and can be stored in your closet. Having high quality bands is key, too, because many on the market break. Resistance bands are made of sturdy elastic tubes covered in a safety sleeve to protect you if the band does break.

These FitCord X-Over resistance bands are available in seven different weights, which is why they’re suitable for both beginners and advanced users alike. CNET writer Amanda Capritto previously recommended these resistance bands because of their longevity. Many Amazon customers agree, saying they’re well-designed and nicely constructed. Some people say they’ve been able to use them as part of their physical therapy exercises. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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