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September 03, 2023
The number of people ditching commercial gyms and working out at home has exploded over the past couple of years. As a result, we've seen a huge increase in the quality and quantity of space saving home gym offerings to meet that need.
A compact home gym is designed to offer a wide range of exercise options in a confined space. Modern compact gyms at home use innovative resistance mechanisms and designs to deliver a great full body workout at home.
In this article, we reveal the 7 best compact home gyms on the current market. We'll break down the top performers by category to help you make the best choice for your situation. We'll also provide a rundown of the different types of small home gyms and a comprehensive buyer's guide.
Table of Contents:
We meticulously selected the top compact gyms for homes for this blog article by conducting thorough research, analyzing user reviews, considering space-saving features, and evaluating their overall performance and value.
The Force USA G3 is a functional trainer combination power rack, Smith machine, and cable pulley system. In essence, it is an all in one gym, with the functional trainer being the heart of the machine, providing more than 75 exercises.
What's more, adjustable positioning allows you to customize your movement on leg, chest, back, shoulder, and arm workouts.
The power rack on this unit is made from heavy-duty rolled steel. It features Westside hole spacing to allow for precise bench press positioning. You also get commercial-grade j-hooks and safeties. The Smith machine features quad-bearing rollers with commercial-grade rails. It also includes a safety lock and release mechanism with safety catches.
The Force USA has a wide range of accessories, including a landmine attachment, multi-grip chin-up bar, band pegs, and weight plate holders.
The Marcy SM-4008 features a double high and low pulley system, a Smith machine, a power cage, and a pec dec flye station and has low gauge steel construction. You can perform more than 100 exercises on this impressive piece of equipment.
The cable system is super sturdy, with a tensile strength of 2,000 pounds. The dual action smooth motion of the dual action press arms allows full rep extension.
When you set up for your exercises, the frame's 7° slant design guarantees that you have the most ergonomic body alignment possible. The Smith machine station's high-end one-inch guide rods offer a fluid and organic range of motion. Additionally, this machine has several built-in safety precautions, such as movable bar catches and safety stoppers.
The Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine offers premium cushioning and upholstery for a comfortable upper body, lower body, or full body workout. Marcy has developed an impressive home gym at a very reasonable price point
The Force USA X20 is the premium offering in the Force USA home gym range. Working as six strength training machines in one, it features a 2:1 cable pulley ratio, 11 -gauge steel 3" x 3" uprights, and 17 included attachments.
The functional trainer that forms the core of this machine, features dual 289 lb weight stacks (high weight capacity). You can do more than 400 different exercises on the Force X20.
A notable difference between this unit and the Force G3 is that there is no Smith machine on the X20. The upright posts feature Westside hole spacing with 1.5" hole spacings through the bench press zone and three inches above and below that zone.
Your purchase of the Force X20 comes with a limited lifetime structural warranty. An optional upgrade kit offers even more versatility, with Jammer Arms, Lat Pulldown Seat with Knee Holder, and Matador Dip Bar.
The Total Gym FIT has 12 levels of resistance, compared to 7 levels on other Total Gym models. As a result, the resistance levels on Total Gym equipment are no longer a restriction for bodybuilders and advanced exercisers. The extra levels are thanks to extra rungs on the board's ladder.
There are about 85 exercises that you can do with the Total Gym Fit. This is an extremely well-made machine with a sturdy frame and premium pulleys. Even though the machine weighs only 66 pounds, it rests firmly in place and does not move when being used.
Its dimensions of 18.5" x 93" x 44.5" make the Total Fit suitable for small environments. When folded, this measures 18.5" x 50.5" x 8.5", making it easy to stow the unit in a cupboard or slide it under a bed.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is one of the most well-reviewed machines in the Bowflex home gym range. The power rod resistance is 210 pounds, though you can upgrade to 310 or 410 pounds.
You can perform about 70 exercises on this machine. It includes high, low, and medium pulleys to work your muscles from different angles.
The small footprint, which is 53" x 49" x 82", makes the X2SE a smart choice for people with small apartments. The machine weighs 185 pounds. Your purchase comes with a squat bar and shoulder harness for doing crunches.
Bowflex's no-change cable pulley system allows you to move between exercises without having to adjust the cable; this makes for a smoother workout experience, allowing you to keep the intensity of your workout at a high level.
Former Navy Seal Randy Hetrick developed the TRX Suspension Training System, the original suspension trainer. There are two handles and two foot cradles on the TRX straps. The system also includes a door anchor for those who don't have a cross beam or bar to hang the straps from.
The strap adjustment system of the TRX system is extremely user-friendly. First, you pull the strap up and down while holding the buckle. Then looping one handle through the other is all that is needed to rearrange the straps for single-handle mode. You can accomplish this in a couple of seconds using the TRX.
The TRX's versatility is one of its strongest assets. Your portable home gym can be taken almost anywhere with a light two-pound total weight and a convenient pull-string carry case. This simple space saving fitness equipment will allow you to do countless exercises, as well as enhance many of the best bodyweight exercises.
The Horizon 7 AE Elliptical has a heavy-duty 23 lb flywheel to deliver smooth, natural movement. In addition, 20 levels of resistance and variable incline options are controlled by one-touch keys on the monitor.
Advanced Bluetooth connectivity allows you to sync your device to the built-in integrated speakers and stream your media. You also get access to the Horizon app, providing you with training options and the ability to track your workout. There is also a device holder and rapid-charge USB port.
The six-star non-folding frame of the Horizon 7 AE elliptical is sturdy, ensuring that the machine will not wobble, even when you're doing HIIT training.
In recent years, there have been some pretty cool innovations in the space saving at-home gym market. As a result, there is now more gym equipment for sale than ever before. Here's a rundown of the different types of small footprint home gym systems on the current market.
An all-in-one trainer is a machine that combines several different workout stations to allow you to exercise the full body. It may use traditional weight plate resistance, either with a built-in weight stack or with weight plates bought separately and added by the user. All-in-one trainer is a broad term that includes power racks, Smith machines, and functional trainers. An all-in-one trainer is ideal for bodybuilding, powerlifting, functional training, and weight loss workouts.
The power rod resistance system was introduced by Bowflex back in the 1980s. It still forms the basis of the Bowflex resistance training system.
The operation of a bow and arrow serves as the foundation for the Power Rod system. The initial pull starts off with little resistance, gradually becoming more difficult as the bow (or, in this case, the power rods) flexes.
The range of motion is exceptionally smooth and fluid thanks to the power rod technology. It is less strenuous on your joints and connective tissue than free weights.
The actual power rods are constructed of a composite polymer substance. They have a rubber coating that serves as a shield. Each individual rod is weighed, and the weightings below are typical values:
The majority of Bowflex home gyms give you a total maximum resistance equivalency of 210 pounds, though you can buy extra rods.
As mentioned before, unlike traditional weights, Power Rod technology does not provide resistance for the entire range of motion. This can be somewhat of a disadvantage when it comes to an exercise like the bench press.
The most difficult portion of the bench press with a bar happens about one-third of the way up. It becomes easier after you get past that point.
That is the opposite of the power rod system. The two activities will therefore feel very dissimilar. The pectoral muscle's natural strength curve is early phase loaded, so having the exercise harder during the first third of the movement is much better.
As a result of the inverting of the strength curve, many individuals find power rods to be too unnatural.
Free weights are a better option if real muscle building is your objective because the negative portion of my exercise is essential for growing muscle.
There have been several claims that the power rod system's resistance tends to decrease over time, according to user reviews. The rods do have a 5-year warranty, but typical wear-and-tear is not covered by that warranty.
A power rack is a steel cage that you stand inside to perform resistance exercises. They are made from heavy gauge steel framing and include safety bars and other mechanisms to keep you safe while you are lifting heavy weights.
Power racks are designed to provide you with a built-in safety mechanism while doing such exercises as squats, overhead presses, bent-over rows, lunges, rack pulls, and shrugs.
Power racks will usually have a pull-up bar attached. They may also have extra stations such as a dip bar, lat pulldown, or t-bar row. These are usually removable. Also commonly seen on power racks are places to hook resistance bands for an added challenge.
A squat rack is similar to a power rack but is not a full cage. It has two, not four, vertical posts, being designed specifically for the squat exercise.
A squat rack is often called a half rack. A power rack is safer than a squat rack because it provides you with full horizontal safety bars.
An incline gym provides gravity-based resistance using your body weight and a cable system. The original and most popular incline gym is the Total Gym.
Total Gyms have been around since 1974 when they were invented by competitive bodybuilder Tony Campanaro.
By duplicating everyday movement with the use of body weight and gravity on a slant board, he was able to simulate more than one hundred typical exercises.
The Total Gym infomercials, featuring Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, are the longest-running infomercials for any product.
Suspension training has greatly impacted the fitness scene over the last decade. The first suspension training device was released onto the market by former Navy Seal Randy Hettrick in 2005.
Nowadays, it's hard to find a gym that doesn't feature a dedicated suspension training area.
At face value, suspension trainers look pretty similar. You get a bunch of straps, some buckles, and a couple of handles. But there's more to selecting a quality suspension training device than meets the eye.
The following features will help you to identify the best device to meet your needs.
Cardio machines for home gym use include the best compact treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and rowing machines. They provide you with a calorie-burning workout to lose weight. In terms of working your muscles, most of them are lower body-centric.
Adjustable dumbbells give you the equivalent of a whole rack's worth of dumbbells in one. This is achieved by way of a platform that a dumbbell handle sits on. By using a dial system, you are then able to select the amount of weight you want. This is a very cost-effective way to get a great dumbbell workout.
Smart Mirrors provide you with a large screen that displays a certified personal trainer to guide you through a full body workout. They are designed to simulate the atmosphere and energy of a fitness class in your home. Most smart fitness mirrors require a monthly subscription to access streaming classes.
With so many different types of small at-home gyms on the market, it pays to have a game plan before you enter the market. Here are seven considerations that will help you get focused when shopping for exercise equipment.
Think about the type of workouts you will be doing and your fitness goals. If you're focusing on strength training, you will want a machine that feels natural, provides both positive and negative resistance, and provides enough resistance to meet your needs.
Your home gym should allow you to work your entire body. Some machines allow as many as 60 exercises or more.
Make sure that the home gym you purchase is solid and sturdy enough to be able to withstand years of use and abuse. It should have a solid frame, preferably made of low-gauge steel. When it comes to steel gauges, the lower the number, the stronger the steel. For home fitness equipment, the usual range is from 14 down to 11.
Knowing how much space you have available is crucial before starting your search. Be sure to take into account the extra room needed to move around the gym as well as to perform such exercises as leg extensions and squats. If you plan on adding weight plates to the machine, you will want at least two feet of space around the machine to be able to move comfortably.
A space saving home gym is a long-term investment, and you should expect the seller to stand behind their product. Warranty conditions vary widely from 1-2 years to lifetime coverage. You should expect a minimum of five years of warranty coverage on most compact at-home gyms.
Compact at-home gym prices vary widely depending on the type of machine. You can buy a good suspension system for less than a hundred dollars or a smart mirror for several thousand. If you're budget sensitive then you might want to consider used gym equipment.
By checking online reviews, you will be able to get real user feedback on the functionality, ease of assembly, customer service, and build quality of the equipment you are considering buying.
During the COVID pandemic, we had no choice but to work out at home. Now that gyms are back open, many people realize that investing in a mini gym at home and putting an end to their gym membership makes a lot of sense. Here are five reasons why you should seriously consider buying a space-friendly home gym.
Compact gym equipment is designed to be space efficient. That will allow you to set up a great workout space in a small area that you normally wouldn't be able, including small apartment spaces. Many small footprint gym equipment and machines are foldable, so you can easily store them when not in use.
Space friendly gyms allow you to do a wide range of different exercises in a confined space. The best compact home gyms will provide a full body workout, allowing you to do most of the exercises done at a commercial gym in a small space.
Having a mini home gym in your home will allow you to follow a productive muscle-building program. When you work out at a commercial gym, you often have to wait for equipment, interrupting your workout flow. Another problem is faulty equipment or machines that are out of order. You don't have any of those hassles when you've got your own gym.
A major benefit of having a gym at home is that you can work any body part at any time throughout the day if you desire.
When you go to the gym, you must drive, park, possibly arrange a babysitter, and many other possible hassles. When you get there, you want to make the most of it by working several body parts in one workout.
The problem is that you cannot give as much focus and intensity to the second or third body part as you do to the first.
When you have a small gym at home, though, you have the luxury of spending 20 minutes working on a body, resting for a couple of hours, and coming back to work on another body part later in the day. That allows you to give each body part the ferocity and attention it deserves.
In order to lose weight, you need to consistently consume fewer calories than you put into your body and burn off calories through exercise. When you have a gym at home, that consistency becomes much easier. With a at-home compact gym, you can get your fat-loss workout done whenever you have free time.
Working out at a gym can be a real hassle. For many people, the commute to the gym takes longer than the actual workout, especially if they are fighting peak-hour traffic. Then there's the added cost of fuel.
Once you get to the gym, you will likely find it overcrowded and will have to wait for equipment or compromise by going to an exercise that isn't part of your fitness routine.
Throw in membership fees, and you can see why having a little home gym set up gets a big checkmark for convenience.
The best small space home gym is the Force USA G3 all-in-one home trainer. This is the most compact full-spec all-in-one home gym on the market, with dimensions of 80" W x 55" D by 87" H.
The Horizon 7 AE Elliptical Machine is the best compact cardio machine for home gyms. We like this elliptical because it is easier on the joints and it involves more upper body. It's a really nice and slightly easier way to burn calories.
The most compact Bowflex model is the Bowflex PR3000, which has dimensions of 76" x 86" x 82".
Related: Best Bowflex Machines
The best quality home gym on the current market is the Force USA X20, which features six strength training machines, 17 attachments, and more than 400 exercise possibilities.
You could build a small gym at home for around $500. For that money, you could equip your gym with free weights, bars, a squat rack, and a simple cable pulley system. If you're looking for a cost effective solution then you should look at gym packages that offer a variety of equipment for one price.
Related: How much does a home gym cost?
At home workout enthusiasts have more choices than ever when it comes to choosing compact exercise equipment. In this article, we've highlighted the seven best compact home gym set ups across a wide range of small types of gyms and applications.
The overall best compact home gym is the Force USA G3 all-in-one home gym machine.
Looking for more best equipment options? Head over to our post that cover the Best All-In-One Home Gyms.
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