A compact home gym aims to offer multiple workout modalities in one unit. Most compact home gyms involve a single piece of workout equipment or a single station that has attachments or options that enable it to function in a variety of ways.
Some compact home gyms replace several separate strength training stations, such as leg press or bench press stations. Others simply revolutionize the equipment storage so you get more out of the space you have.
Some of the most innovative compact home gyms provide options for in-home training that span several styles of exercise, such as strength work, yoga, and cardio, all within the same small footprint of your home.
How they’ve changed
Traditionally, compact home gyms focused on strength training equipment and were designed to replace many of the separate machines you might find at a gym.
A compact gym machine might have included a squat rack, a seated bench with a leg extension and leg curl attachment, a lat pulldown bar, and a dip station, all using the same weight stack, to minimize the space required.
This type of compact home gym is still widely available, but technology has overhauled the home gym market, leading to more systems focused on replacing the modern fitness studio. This means a greater focus on cardio and functional training workouts, rather than just heavy strength training.
Best compact gym on a budget
- Price: $
- Pros: This compact system integrates with your TV and iPhone, comes with an attractive and sleek interchangeable dumbbell set, and provides access to many types of workouts streamed to your television. It’s budget-friendly and good for general fitness.
- Cons: The range of dumbbell weights provided may not work for serious lifters; dumbbells are the only equipment included; the system doesn’t integrate with Android devices.
The Tempo Move system is designed for those who don’t have much room to spare but still want access to tech-focused interactive workouts.
The system comes with an iPhone dock station that streams selected fitness classes to your TV and “watches you” as you exercise to count sets and reps and integrate with a leaderboard of other users. This allows you to see how you measure up to other users.
The Tempo app includes thousands of workouts. There’s a focus on strength training programs, but there are also options for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, yoga, cardio boxing, and mobility work.
The system comes with a high quality set of interchangeable dumbbells and a sleek and unobtrusive storage cabinet to keep them in.
Tempo Move currently offers only on-demand classes — there are no live workouts. The system is also compatible with only more recent iPhones and is not compatible with Android devices.
The range of weights provided — up to 35 pounds per dumbbell — is sufficient for most general fitness needs but may not be enough for individuals who want to focus on building greater strength.
To access the Tempo Move classes and integration, you have to subscribe to the app, which costs $39 per month.
Best compact gym for free weights
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The large mirrored “vault” for free weight storage also functions as an interactive touch screen for workout videos. The highly compact unit requires less space than most bookshelves. The complete version comes with a fully loaded vault, including 6 pairs of dumbbells, 2 kettlebells, an exercise mat, yoga blocks, and looped resistance bands. Smart gym features provide customized workout tracking and feedback, and a wide variety of workout types is available through the iFit app.
- Cons: It may not appeal to serious weightlifters who want to lift heavier weights or use more traditional strength training machines. And it requires an ongoing monthly membership fee.
Mirrored smart home gyms have become a popular option for users looking for a studio-like experience in the comfort of home. NordicTrack’s Vault is the brand’s answer to other mirrored gyms on the market, and its unique free weight storage system helps set it apart.
The NordicTrack Vault is a slim and sleek mirrored unit that’s smaller than most bookshelves. But when you open up the mirror, you’ll find an organized home gym shelving system packed inside.
You can purchase the Vault “complete” with 6 pairs of dumbbells (5–30 pounds), 2 kettlebells (20 and 30 pounds), an exercise mat, yoga blocks, and looped resistance bands of 3 resistance levels, or you can purchase the less expensive Vault “standalone” and use equipment you already have.
The swiveling mirror allows you to adjust your gym space based on the room you have, so you can see your form and the movements of the iFit trainers from any angle.
The mirror itself has a 61.5-inch touch-screen surface that integrates with the iFit app. This required $39/month subscription service provides thousands of studio-style workouts, including strength training, cardio, mobility, and yoga.
The iFit app provides trainer-led videos you can follow along with, and the mirrored surface makes it easy to compare your form to the trainer’s to make sure you’re getting each move right.
While the Vault is a great option for people looking for studio-style workouts and a wide range of workout types, it may not be ideal for those who want to follow a serious weight training program to build muscle mass and strength.
Best compact gym for cardio
- Price: $$$
- Pros: This is a professional-quality indoor cycling bike; the Plus version includes additional strength training and mobility equipment. The BODi membership allows for five user profiles and offers a wide range of exercise videos. The focus on heart rate training allows for personalized feedback on intensity and goals.
- Cons: It’s not ideal for individuals who don’t enjoy cycling. An ongoing membership fee is required. The low range of additional free weights is not appropriate for individuals who want to lift heavier weights.
For individuals looking for a cycling-focused home gym with options for strength training, yoga, and other cardio routines, it’s hard to beat the MYX II Plus. This package includes a high quality, commercially rated stationary bike as well as three pairs of dumbbells, a kettlebell, and three resistance bands.
The bike’s rotating 21.5-inch integrated touch screen works with the BODi app and allows you to select from thousands of studio-style workouts. And because the screen rotates, you can use the space surrounding your bike to perform strength training or yoga workouts.
Adding the Plus package increases the price by $200 and gives you the option to choose from three different dumbbell and kettlebell packages — light, medium, or heavy. But even the heavy package only includes dumbbells up to 15 pounds and a kettlebell up to 25 pounds.
While these strength training additions are good for general-purpose workouts and endurance-based strength training, they likely won’t be enough for people who want to lift heavier weights or put on more muscle mass.
BODi costs $19.95 per month plus $119.88 for the yearly Beachbody on Demand (BOD) membership. It’s required to use the bike’s interactive features, including live classes and personalized workout feedback. The app allows you to create up to five user profiles, which means your whole household can share the equipment and track their own workouts.
Best compact gym with cable pulleys
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The interactive training app offers a wide variety of workout types. The adjustable pulley arms allow for up to 100 pounds of resistance per side, much more than many other smart compact home gyms. The smart accessories provide in-the-moment feedback to the interactive system, and the machine provides changes based on the information it receives.
- Cons: The smart accessories (a bar, a bench, handles, a rope pull, a foam roller, and a workout mat) must be purchased separately as a package. This system has one of the highest total costs of all products on this list.
Cable pulley machines are an excellent option for compact home gyms because the adjustable arms allow for a wide range of motion and variety of exercise options, and the provided resistance is often higher (and more space-efficient) than extensive dumbbell and weight plate sets.
The Tonal home gym is the smart version of a more traditional cable pulley machine, and its functionality is pretty impressive.
The Tonal wall-mounted system includes an interactive touch screen you use to access the Tonal workouts, along with two adjustable pulley arms that provide instant feedback from your workout to the app.
These arms work with the brand’s smart accessories (which you have to purchase as a package add-on), enabling the machine to count your reps and sets and the level of challenge you’re experiencing with each weight-based move.
In fact, if the machine senses you’re struggling to finish a set, it can help spot you through the challenge, easing up on the resistance. Yes, it can make second-by-second auto-adjustments to your workout.
The system provides resistance of up to 100 pounds per arm — more than enough for most home fitness enthusiasts. The smart accessories package includes a bench, a bar, pulley handles, a rope pull, a foam roller, and a workout mat, allowing for dozens of exercise and workout options.
The touch screen and foldable arms are highly compact and wall-mounted, making it possible to turn almost any space into your home gym.
The required monthly membership will set you back $49/month, but it includes unlimited user profiles, so you could conceivably allow friends and neighbors to pitch in on the cost and share the system.
Best portable compact gym
- Price: $
- Pros: This incredibly compact system can easily be packed in the provided storage bag and transported when traveling, exercising outside, or moving between spaces in your home. The bundle includes four resistance bands for a wider variety of workouts. Your purchase includes access to a 30-day trial of TRX Training Club app for streaming workout videos. This is a good option for functional fitness and bodyweight training.
- Cons: This system allows for only bodyweight and resistance band exercises — it’s good for functional fitness but not sufficient for those who want a home gym with cardio workouts or more robust strength training options.
You may not think of a suspension trainer as a compact home gym, but that’s exactly what it is — a piece of equipment that reduces the need for many other pieces of gym equipment.
The TRX All-in-One Trainer Bundle includes a storage bag, the suspension trainer, four variable-resistance bands, a shaker bottle, and indoor and outdoor attachments and anchors.
With the suspension trainer, you can perform a wide range of exercises in a small space. For instance, you can perform assisted “pullups,” rows, assisted pistol squats, pushups, and balance-based reverse lunges.
The initial purchase includes a 30-day free trial of the TRX Training Club app, which offers a wide range of workout videos featuring the TRX and resistance bands.
This compact home gym is great for individuals who want to do functional fitness workouts, HIIT routines, and bodyweight-based training, but it isn’t as sufficient for those who want cardio workouts or heavy strength training options.
It’s important to note that while most suspension moves can be modified for all fitness levels, beginners might find this system more difficult to use.
Best compact gym bench
- Price: $$$
- Pros: The system comes loaded with a wide range of free weight equipment, including 3 sets of weighted knuckles, 3 resistance bands of varying resistance levels, and 5 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5–20 pounds. The storage features are sleek and unobtrusive. The Technogym app offers hundreds of workout videos, and the bench can facilitate more than 200 exercises.
- Cons: The limited range of included weights may not meet the needs of more serious strength trainers, and the app offers fewer workout options than some other smart home gyms. The bench isn’t adjustable. The total cost of the items included is higher than those of similar products — you pay for the design, style, and brand as much as the items themselves.
Benches are often a critical component of compact home gyms and workouts, but many systems don’t include the bench in the purchase price. The Technogym Bench makes it the crux of the system as well as a sleek storage unit for the included resistance training equipment.
The Bench is a stylish, padded strength training bench that has built-in storage for dumbbells, resistance bands, and weighted knuckles. It can be used for exercises ranging from stepups and Bulgarian split squats to bench presses and core work.
The $8.99/month Technogym app includes hundreds of on-demand workouts compatible with the equipment provided, and new programs are added weekly. Workout options range from functional strength training to yoga, cardio, core, and mobility.
The Bench’s weighted knuckles are an included piece of equipment that’s not often seen in home gym systems. These are helpful for increasing the intensity of cardio kickboxing and other cardio fitness routines.
That said, the bench doesn’t have an adjustable incline, which limits the exercise options.
Also, if you were to buy the same equipment (a bench, dumbbells, resistance bands, and weighted knuckles) separately, the total price would likely be much lower than that of the Technogym system. You’re paying for the Bench’s storage and design as much as for the equipment itself.
Best compact gym with tension rods
- Price: $$
- Pros: The tension rod resistance system makes this compact home gym lighter and more portable than many other strength training-focused compact home gyms. The built-in rowing station offers options for cardio workouts. The system provides resistance of up to 210 pounds — sufficient for most individuals who want to strength train regularly. This is a good base model for a lower cost home gym.
- Cons: Tension rods aren’t the same as lifting free weights or using machines — the resistance increases as the rods bend, more like stretching a resistance band, and some strength trainers may not like the difference. The system offers fewer exercise options than most other Bowflex home gym units and lacks smart gym features such as interactive workouts and progress tracking.
Many strength-focused home gyms are heavy, clunky, and expensive as a result of the weight required to make the racks, plates, dumbbells, and stacks sturdy and safe. Bowflex’s power rod resistance system enables the brand to make lighter weight compact home gyms at a lower cost without compromising the sturdiness of the equipment.
The Bowflex PR1000 home gym is an affordable base model that makes it easy to perform up to 25 different gym-style strength training exercises and includes a rowing station for cardio workouts.
The exercise versatility, along with the price and the 210 pounds of resistance provided by the tension rods, makes this a good option for fitness enthusiasts who want to skip the gym and don’t feel the need for standard free weights or plate stacks.
The built-in rowing station is a nice option for those who want a cardio workout but place it lower on the priority list. There are no studio-style workouts, smart features, or apps to spice things up. This is a solid compact home gym at a good price, without the bells and whistles.
Best compact gym foldable power rack
- Price: $$
- Pros: The sturdy rack supports up to 1,000 pounds of weight, and the wall-mounted system folds when not in use, making it one of the most compact gyms available for serious strength trainers.
- Cons: The cost is for the rack only — all other equipment, including benches, bars, weight plates, suspension trainers, and heavy resistance bands, must be purchased separately.
When it comes to compact home gyms, true strength athletes who love to lift heavy free weights should consider the benefits of purchasing a high quality squat rack.
The PRx Performance ONE Fold-in Rack is a wall-mounted high quality rack that can be used for everything from pullups and bench presses to squats and deadlifts.
The included pullup bar is also great for pairing with heavy resistance bands or suspension training systems, allowing for more flexible, functional fitness-focused workouts in addition to the more traditional strength training exercises.
When not in use, the PRx Performance One Fold-in Rack literally folds up into the wall, requiring only about 7 inches of space. This makes it a great choice for a garage gym or a gym incorporated into a multifunctional living space.
Unfortunately, the cost of this rack includes only the rack itself — it doesn’t come with additional accessories or weights, so you have to purchase those separately. And especially when it comes to Olympic barbells, adjustable benches, and weight plates, the costs can add up.
When you do purchase additional weights and accessories, the rack becomes a completely functional strength station that can support a wide range of total-body exercises. It’s also capable of supporting up to 1,000 pounds of weight — great for serious weightlifters.
That said, the rack is pricey when compared to similar racks — you’re paying for the space-saving design as much as the rack itself.
Best compact gym full-service power rack
- Price: $$
- Pros: This is a heavy-duty power cage for traditional strength training workouts. It comes with a wide range of accessories to facilitate even more gym-style exercises and is a great option for strength athletes who love training with free weights. The pulley system allows for additional strength training moves, and a bench is included.
- Cons: Olympic bars and weight plates are not included — purchasing these items can add a significant cost to the bottom line. The rack doesn’t offer any apps or smart features and is not a great option for those who want to do cardio workouts.
For the serious weightlifter who wants to replace the major free weight stations at the gym in their home, the RitFit Power Cage with Bench is a good option.
In addition to the Power Cage itself — which allows for squats, pullups, deadlifts, and bench presses (facilitated by the inclusion of an adjustable bench in the purchase price) — the system comes with a lat pulldown option (with a pulley system), bar holders, safety bars, dip bars, and a T-bar row attachment.
The result is a home gym that provides commercial-level strength training options for the heavy lifter. In fact, the rack can support up to 1,000 pounds of weight — more than enough for just about everyone.
However, all the barbells and weight plates must be purchased separately. Depending on how much weight a user wants access to, this can get expensive.
The rack also doesn’t offer any smart features or integrated apps to access workout programs. And for those who want to do cardio, this compact home gym doesn’t have built-in options to follow.
Best compact gym for serious lifters
- Price: $$$$
- Pros: This is an extremely versatile and compact home gym for serious strength athletes. It provides options for free weight-based barbell/plate exercises and pulley-based weight stack exercises and includes a wide variety of accessories to further promote exercise versatility.
- Cons: This is the most expensive compact home gym on this list. Weight plates, benches, and bars must be purchased separately, adding to the total cost. It does not have any smart features or an integrated app to access trainer-led workouts.
The Force USA G6 All-in-One trainer is a commercial-quality rack and pulley system with the most robust exercise versatility on this list. The rack supports just shy of 1,000 pounds of weight, and roughly 775 pounds when it’s being used as a Smith machine or pullup bar — more than enough for the vast majority of home exercisers.
The strength training gym includes two 200-pound plate stacks, allowing you to train with up to 400 pounds of resistance. You can also purchase barbells and weight plates that you can store on the rack and use to perform additional free weight exercises.
Attachments for pullups, landmines, lat pulldowns, leg press, suspension training, dips, and squats are included.
And while the Force USA G6 trainer is certainly one of the most versatile home gyms appropriate for those who want to lift heavy weights, the versatility comes at a cost — the home gym is also the most expensive on this list, and that doesn’t include the cost of the additional accessories you may want to purchase.
The Force USA G6 trainer also doesn’t include smart workout-tracking features or easily integrated cardio workouts.
While this compact home gym is particularly nice for serious weightlifters, the dual option for weight plate and weight stack (pin-selectorized) exercises also makes it a solid option for beginners who would rather switch resistance levels quickly with a pin than load and unload free weights with every exercise.