fbpx
Vegan Liftz is a community-supported website. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

10 Best Compact Home Gym Machines

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 17, 2022

The world has changed a lot over the past two years, but not necessarily for the worse. A lot of us are working from home more than ever before, or have completely switched to remote workplaces. It’s not that most people have suddenly become digital nomads - we have however remodeled our already crowded apartments and houses to accommodate home offices - from modest folding desk types to the full-on garage or attic conversions. Or maybe your kitchen just changes its name to “office” for most of the day. We get it.

Another aspect of our daily routine that really seems to have changed is people’s approach to self-care and exercise. A lot of gyms shut their doors forever, and it became clear that we have to fend for ourselves sometimes. A lot of us keep gym equipment in our home offices, under our beds, or in our brick-and-mortar offices, in order to steal away those 15 minutes of cardio in between zoom meetings. This is where home gyms for small spaces come in super handy.

Mental health in 2022 is definitely something that a lot of people are more mindful of than ever before too. Maybe because it became obvious how important exercise really is to maintain healthy minds when we lost opportunities to sweat it out during the darkest days of the lockdowns?

There has been a huge upsurge in home gym design and home gym marketing over the past few years, and it’s no wonder when you take all that’s happened into account.

Some people could have attested to the need for a compact home gym way before the pandemic - let’s not forget the need has always been there, even if solutions weren’t always the best or creative. Stay-at-home parents, those of us who stress out about working out in public, and those of us who simply didn’t have the time for a gym commute, or a gym close by. Plus, let’s face it - gym memberships can leave a dent in your wallet.

Even if you don’t go to a facility that boasts of swimming pools and saunas, the costs can really eat at you - especially if there are multiple people in the family who want to join. The cost to join a chain-operated gym can run you as much as $461 annually at Gold’s Gym, $188 at Planet Fitness, or a whopping $4860 annually at the coveted Equinox. Sometimes, getting a home gym means simply saving money.

What’s in a Good Compact Home Gym?

Why not go big? Because 36% of us rent apartments. In addition, some of us live with our parents or have adult children or small children at home, or have roommates, flatmates, or co-renters - and because most of us don’t have the room to spare for a dedicated home gym space. The home gym has to be small enough to cohabit with us comfortably.

And there is nothing as demotivating as a full-sized elliptical or treadmill that also serves as a coat rack, laundry hanger, potted plant rest area, or a clunky barrier on your way to the bathroom, kitchen, or out the door. When something is seen as an unsightly reminder that space is tight, you have an irritating elephant in the room that would undoubtedly make Marie Condo grind her teeth, and it’s certainly not bringing you any joy. Unless you want to really make it a centerpiece and use it every single day - it might even prevent you from following through and getting the workout you need. Your gym equipment should make you feel good about your space!

It’s healthy to separate different aspects of your life in order to have clarity and a feeling of general organization. This can mean maintaining a work-life balance, not eating in bed, not starting your workday without brushing your teeth and still in pajamas, or making sure all your work-out and gym equipment is not chaotically strewn about and in your way all the time.

Great compact gym equipment has to pass the following tests:

  • Be truly compact - and easy to store
  • It has to look neat - not be a scary mess of parts and elements
  • Be of a solid build quality that will last
  • Be a multitasker
  • Have only the features you need, not a senseless array of parts and possibilities that you will never use
  • Be easy to take out, assemble and put back in its place

These are the absolute “musts” that guided us when we assembled our list of best compact gym machines. There’s a philosophy behind it - and these important factors will help with your motivation, mental health, and pure grit when it comes to fitness.

Best compact home gyms for parents, professionals, beginners, and pros

There are different types of home gyms you can get depending on your goals or life situation. For example, there are some that are more suited to kids - like wall-mounted ladders, or door-mounted pull-up bars that can take on child-sized swings.

There are easy-to-hide treadmills that some people swear by… while they work at their stand-up desk. Although it might be distracting for some, for others it can be a true lifesaver.

If you want to test out your resolve and see if you’re even capable of getting enough willpower together to handle exercising at home, you can always get a small item that will take care of a few needs before committing to a larger piece of home gym equipment.

We have taken care to arrange our list of best items - from the smallest and most necessary for anyone starting out their home exercise journey to great home gym machines that will be good enough for the pros.

  1. OYO Personal Gym

https://www.amazon.com/OYO-Personal-Gym-Transform-Anywhere/dp/B07DPWC2BV/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=oyo+gym&qid=1649600818&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFBTlJLOFlNUldEWFcmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA5NDQ3NDcyVzhFMkFTUjJHR1g5JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjU2OTgzNjlPOEg3SzIzRUxVJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

It’s not every day that you get a tiny piece of gym equipment that has been tested by NASA. Think about it - if the people who are stuck in tiny spaces with zero muscle-building capability (goodbye, gravity) say that the OYO Personal Gym is worth a look, there must be something to it. This compact home gym uses SpiraFlex technology that has been used by NASA astronauts on the International Space Station for over 10 years.

This is great for those of us who have seriously limited space, and housemates who are awesome but won’t let you plant a Bowflex in the middle of the communal kitchen area.

Pros

  • Extremely compact
  • Over 100 free workout videos
  • Works opposing muscles, giving you twice the exercise
  • 3-year warranty
  • It offers a full-body workout
  • Perfect for office and travel
  • Versatile - a true multitasker
  • Easy to use - no complicated setup

Cons

  • Limited resistance of 25 lbs
  • Some say that using good form while exercising is challenging
  1. Gonex Portable Home Gym

https://www.amazon.com/Gonex-Portable-Equipment-Accessories-Resistance/dp/B08CZHDZ3B/ref=sr_1_48?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649600986&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-48

This is another option for those who have seriously limited space or want to have a solid option for travel.

This is a perfectly designed full workout gym that has 14 exercise accessories and is equipped with different types of resistance bands which makes this a perfect option for both beginners and those who are already quite fit.

The Gonex Portable Home Gym system is probably the easiest to store out of this whole list - it comes with its own “gym bag” and can be put away in seconds, stored under the bed, or in the corner without it getting in your way in off-time.

Pros

  • Extremely compact and portable
  • Exclusive Fitness Coach manual and videos that come with the kit
  • Sturdy can withstand over 300 lbs of pressure and 250 lbs resistance
  • Provides a complete full-body workout
  • Comes in a variety of different colors

Cons

  • People who are shorter than 5 ft have said that the resistance bands are too long for them
  1. OMA Treadmills for Home

https://www.amazon.com/OMA-Treadmill-Foldable-Portable-Capacity/dp/B0969Y7LYH/ref=sr_1_2?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649600948&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-2

If cardio and indoor running are what you’re after, or if you know you should walk more but don’t want to brave the city streets and their noise and smog (or rain, snow - or other people!), this is a perfect compact option for you. This isn’t some clunky treadmill that will block most of your free space. The OMA Treadmill can be folded and put away - either under your bed or against the wall.

When it’s unfolded, you can place it in any area of your home - in front of the TV or on your patio (some fresh air isn’t bad!). It has most of the options of a regular treadmill, like pulse control and 36 pre-set programs. The capacity is 300 lbs, making it perfect for most at-home runners and walkers.

At 2.25 horsepower, it can max out at 14 km/h (8.7 mph). The running area of the OMA Treadmill is 17.7” x 48” and it comes with a safety key for an emergency stop option. The folded size is 60.4" x 32.7" x 5.5", making it the perfect option even for those who cohabit or rent a room in a co-living apartment. At this price, this is good for those who want to “test out the waters” before they get a super expensive treadmill with all the bells and whistles.

Pros

  • Easy storage, compact
  • Foam fittings to prevent wall damage when leaning
  • Light at 91.5 lbs
  • The low price makes it an ideal starter treadmill
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good for sharing with family
  • Ideal for vacation homes or even RVs

Cons

  • No incline option
  • Doesn’t come with app access
  1. Beachey Under Desk Folding Treadmill

https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Treadmill-Under-Desk-Bluetooth-Assembly/dp/B08XXM21KP/ref=sr_1_17?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649600986&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-17

Desk warriors - this one is for you. Are you concerned that you’re not getting enough exercise while slouching at your computer for most of the day? So concerned, in fact, that maybe you already have a stand-up desk and it’s working out great for you? The next step is to see if you can work and walk. Granted, this isn’t a perfect option for a lot of people as they tend to become distracted. But why not try and have your “desk job” become a little healthier?

This treadmill is super compact, no assembly required, and can be shoved out of the way and placed under your bed (provided you declutter under your bed first). It comes with Bluetooth capabilities for music and phone calls and an LED display at the head of the treadmill, where you can keep track of your exercise data. It does come with optional handles so you can feel a bit more closed in like on a regular running treadmill. Max speed is 7.5 mph which is more than a healthy jog. The unit also comes with remote control. It quickly became an all-time favorite as the demand for home gyms increased over the past few years, and it looks like it’s becoming more popular as 2022 goes on.

Pros

  • Perfect for homes and offices
  • Can be paired with a stand-up desk
  • Optional sidebars
  • Steel alloy design
  • Sturdy, lasts a long time

Cons

  • Max user weight is 220 lbs, making it a bad option for those who are starting a serious weight loss journey at home
  1. Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

https://www.amazon.com/Bowflex-100382-Xceed-Home-Gym/dp/B01MPZN4UB/ref=sr_1_14?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649600986&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-14

Hello, Bowflex, our old friend. We were expecting to put you on this list. Bowflex is famous for its complete home gym systems, and it’s only fitting that they are firmly on our best-of list. This compact home gym machine is priced extremely reasonably and is capable of helping you perform over 65 different exercises. This is a full-workout system.

The resistance levels are upgradeable and can go up to a staggering 410 lbs of resistance (with additional purchase). This makes it ideal for both beginners and pros who like to turn it up a notch at home. Although it can’t be folded into a neat little box, it can definitely fit in an empty corner of your room or home office with ease.

Pros

  • Extremely effective full-body workout with high resistance
  • 410 lbs resistance capability (comes with 210, can be upgraded to 310 and 410 lbs)
  • Fit for pros
  • A good solution for in-office gyms
  • Very compact compared to other systems
  • One person assembly

Cons

  • You won’t be able to hide it completely
  1. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

https://www.amazon.com/Bowflex-PR1000-Home-Gym/dp/B0764JNG73/ref=sr_1_42?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649600986&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-42

This is a more affordable take on the Bowflex - it offers over 25 different exercises and 200 lb rod resistance. If you also want to get your aerobic exercise and cardio in, the Bowflex PR1000 extends into a rowing machine. Benefits of a rowing machine include:

  • Full body workout
  • Low impact/High intensity
  • Works large muscles in the lower body

What’s really great is that while it’s a full home gym, the bench folds easily for compact storage. It’s tough, durable, and gets you a great workout - no wonder it has over 77% perfect 5-star reviews out of over 2,000.

This is one of the best home compact gyms by popular vote. The major difference between this model and the Xceed home gym is the inability to upgrade the resistance - you won’t be able to go above 200. If you’re using it to stay toned, that’s not a problem. If you want to go with building bulky muscle and really “lifting” hard, we recommend the Bowflex Xceed model.

Pros

  • Multifaceted - you can work your muscles and do cardio with the rowing extension
  • The low price puts it in an affordable range compared to most full home gyms
  • Easy to set up
  • No free weights - compact design

Cons

  • No available resistance upgrades
  1. Adjustable Weight Bench for Full Body Workout

https://www.amazon.com/Adjustable-Weight-Bench-Foldable-Multi-Purpose/dp/B08DNLCJXV/ref=sr_1_101?crid=34X4W3RWR3QKX&keywords=compact+gym&qid=1649601319&sprefix=compa%2Caps%2C1279&sr=8-101

This is probably the most portable gym machine option when it comes to compact storage. It weighs only 30 lbs and folds to 51.57 x 13.4 x 11 inches. Yet it folds out into a fully adjustable bench that offers a full-body workout - it’s great for a small room, an office - or even to keep in your car when you travel.

A lot of people use it with free weights and rave about how versatile it is. This is probably not a good option for very bulky individuals, as a lot of people point out that it works best with small to medium-sized people. It’s a great option for teens who are just starting out with their regimens - and are looking for something that will fit in a dorm room.

The bench comes with resistance bands, but they are not the only option for using this Adjustable Weight Bench, and you can always get bands with more resistance when you skip levels.

Pros

  • Easy to set up - it’s already partly put together on arrival
  • Has the potential for getting weights and high resistance bands if necessary
  • Is super compact and will fit in your closet, car, or dorm

Cons

  • Not good for heavy lifters
  1. Marcy 150 lb Multifunctional Home Gym

https://www.amazon.com/Marcy-Multifunctional-Station-Training-MWM-990/dp/B00JGRBSS6/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?crid=1F01HRQ4O91R7&keywords=gym+machine&qid=1649601445&s=sporting-goods&sprefix=gym+%2Csporting%2C587&sr=1-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyNU80SEVORVlYQlRIJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjYxMDM3MjVGQkJWOE9BMzYxTiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDE3Nzk4MVpBOFlLWEtYQTMyNyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

This is a full-body training home gym - priced for beginners but sturdy enough for pros. This multifunctional home gym machine comes with a weight stack lock - in case you have small children at home and want to child-proof your workout area.

The preacher pad is fully adjustable, and the unit comes with comfortably padded press arms for full comfort. It includes both upper and lower pulley systems and has an additional ankle strap for leg curls as well as a lat bar that comes in the package. Max user weight is a recommended 300 lbs. The full spectrum of possible full-body workouts makes this a perfect fit for people who want a full gym set up at home.

The 200 lb weight stack will keep you busy for quite some time, especially if you’re starting from scratch.

Pros

  • Full body workout
  • Great for beginners as well as pro levels
  • Smooth operation of the cables and pulleys
  • A very solid piece of machinery, with durable and toughly manufactured components

Cons

  • Some people admit it’s a challenge to assemble
  • Because of the weight and many parts, the Marcy gym is delivered in multiple boxes
  1. BodyBoss 2.0 - Full Portable Home Gym Workout Package

https://www.amazon.com/BodyBoss-Home-Gym-2-0-Collapsible/dp/B074Q15PXP/ref=sr_1_19?crid=1F01HRQ4O91R7&keywords=gym+machine&qid=1649601507&s=sporting-goods&sprefix=gym+%2Csporting%2C587&sr=1-19

The body boss is another home gym that is perfect for those with extra little space. The whole setup folds into an easy-to-hide suitcase, and it’s probably ideal no matter your situation - whether at work, home, or in a hotel or RV.

The BodyBoss was designed to stimulate everything you can get in a complicated gym machine but in a compact package. This is a dream made possible by Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where they collected over $1,000,000 in funding. Out of all the choices on this list, this is the most cost-effective - but is it worth it?

This is basically a home gym system based entirely on bands - you can get the option with more bands if you want higher resistance, or shorten them on the setup accordingly. The BodyBoss can handle up to 500 lbs of resistance - this, surprisingly, is more than any of the large and bulky home gyms can handle.

The BodyBoss comes with free videos and a book of exercises and it’s made in the USA.

Pros

  • Extremely compact
  • The price is probably the lowest you can get for this type of machine
  • You can take it with you even if you fly around a lot
  • The resistance bands make it possible to work with enough resistance to satisfy advanced bodybuilders and weight lifters

Cons

  • Some sets have two bands and others have four - make sure you’re getting the set you want before purchase
  1. Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym System

https://www.amazon.com/Golds-Gym-XRS-Home-System/dp/B00IGIRYPW/ref=sr_1_26?crid=1F01HRQ4O91R7&keywords=gym+machine&qid=1649601679&s=sporting-goods&sprefix=gym+%2Csporting%2C587&sr=1-26

Gold’s Gym is an iconic fitness center first started in Venice Beach, California by Joe Gold. It was the primary location for filming Pumping Iron the movie, and the rest is history. It’s hard to live up to the name of Gold’s Gym - especially if you’re a compact home gym system! Let’s see what’s in the package. The whole system looks sleek and simple - that’s a good sign. What do you get?

  • 112 lb. Vinyl Weight Stack, 112 lbs. of weight, 280 lbs. of resistance
  • Combination Chest Press/Fly Station
  • 4-Roll Leg Developer
  • High Pulley to sculpt lats and back muscles
  • Low Pulley tone glutes and leg muscles
  • Multi-grip lat bar

The resistance goes up to 200 lbs and you can order additional weights. The assembly is complicated for those who don’t have experience or the right tools - those of us with two left hands can always get a handyman to come out and put it all together: it takes about 3 hours of their time on average.

Pros

  • Very easy to assemble
  • Bonus: Gold’s Gym XRS 50 has gotten rave reviews from parents who got it for their teenagers
  • The assembly process can be viewed on youtube
  • The parts are tough and durable
  • It’s smaller than the home gyms that use bows - and can be put into smaller spaces

Cons

  • Helps to have a socket and wrench set for setup
  • Can’t be completely put away - you need some space to keep it

To Sum Up

No matter your space requirements, we know that there is something there for you on this list - guaranteed. If you can dedicate a whole corner of your bedroom to a gym machine, or if you can move over some boxes from under your bed to accommodate the storage of a compact home system, we got you covered with advice and ideas.

Do you have a great experience with a piece of compact gym equipment that isn’t on this list? Write to us with a review, and we’ll include it!


About the author