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Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health on a daily basis, and thankfully there are plenty of ways to workout at home thanks to exercise equipment built for small spaces. During the pandemic, many of us transitioned to working out within the confines of our apartment walls full time. This required ingenuity, commitment and most of all — slimmer equipment that we could maximize movement with.
Whether it’s a smart home gym designed to fulfill all your needs, a power rack in the garage or a fitness mirror that brings boutique fitness home in a small package — the best exercise equipment only requires about a yoga mat‘s worth of space. We’ve gathered our favorite picks for cardio training, strength training and a mix of the two.
Even in the tiniest of apartments there are subtle ways you can add resistance and challenge to your daily movement and get a great workout.
Ready to dive in? Take a look at our list of the best exercise equipment for small spaces below!
The Best Cardio Equipment
Crossrope Weighted Jump Rope Sets
Jumping rope is an intense cardio workout that requires very little space. If you’re going to use a jump rope, we recommend a weighted jump rope, as adding resistance to every jump can help maximize your workout. If you’re going to use a weighted jump rope, we recommend Crossrope.
They offer two weighted jump rope sets: the Get Lean set and Get Strong set, that each come with two weight options and interchangeable handles that are easy to clip in and out. The Get Lean set comes with 1/4-pound and 1/2-pound ropes, while the Get Strong set comes with 1-pound and 2-pound ropes. SPY Editors have tried their entire collection and love the quality and durability of the ropes, as well as how easy they are to store. For cardio, we’re recommending the Get Lean set specifically, but if you want more resistance we recommend the Get Strong bundle.
Read More: SPY Crossrope Jump Rope Review
lululemon Studio Mirror
lululemon recently launched a Studio Membership alongside their signature Mirror fitness mirror, so there’s never been a better time to buy their top-selling at-home workout machine. The Mirror is one of our favorite fitness mirrors for boutique fitness classes at home, complete with an HD screen and Community Camera for live feedback on your form. It’s also the thinnest fitness mirror of all the ones we tried and perfectly blends into your home decor as a working mirror when not in use, making it even more space efficient and a great piece of exercise equipment for small spaces.
Now, with a Mirror purchase and lululemon Studio membership you’ll gain access to their extensive library of 60+ class types with lululemon trainers, on-the-go fitness with the lululemon Studio app and in-person classes at studio partners including Rumble, Pure Barre, AARMY and more.
Right now, if you shop the Mirror and purchase a lululemon Studio membership you can save $700 with LLSTUDIO700.
Read More: SPY Mirror Review
Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow just released a brand new Wave rower that’s a smaller, more compact version of their original luxury rower, perfect for smaller apartments and available at a much lower price point. It boasts minimal dimensions at 86″ L x 25″ W and 47″ H when fully assembled, and you can store it vertically using their Hydrow Anchor for a footprint of only 25″ W x 33″ D x 86″ H. Despite the smaller size, it’s still made with a 22″ HD touchscreen that gives you access to Hydrow’s extensive fitness library of over 4,000+ classes, and has a sturdy aluminum body and stainless steel track for smooth, quiet rows.
The lower noise level, smaller size and quiet design makes it one of the best luxury rowers for apartment living, and since each workout, on average, works 86% of your body’s major muscle groups, it’s an efficient machine for city dwellers.
Note: Hydrow is increasing the price of the Wave Rower from $1,495 to $1,695 on October 3rd, so you only have a few more days to lock in the reduced price!
Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill
Treadmills are notorious for taking up a ton of room, even when folded up for easy storage between uses. If you’re dead set on purchasing a treadmill to use at home and need it to be as slim as possible, Sunny Health and Fitness makes an excellent affordable option. This one comes with speeds up to 9 miles per hour and adjusted incline levels of 0%, 2% and 4.37%. It comes with a soft drop and folding mechanism so you can store it and get it ready for use hands-free, and it has handrail controls so the speed and intensity of your workout is customizable at your fingertips.
Read More: The Best Treadmills of 2022
Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bike EX-5
Spin bikes take up the least amount of space relative to the intensity of a cardio workout you can get once you clip in, making them an excellent piece of exercise equipment for small spaces. This one from Echelon has a footprint smaller than a yoga mat, and comes with 32 levels of resistance to choose from. SPY Editors have tested numerous spin bikes and concluded that Echelon’s simplest bike, a.k.a the one without a built-in screen for streaming classes, is great for tuning into classes of your choice from a phone or iPad and pedaling along with their high-quality construction. This bike comes with a wide, comfortable seat as well as a mount for a phone or iPad.
Read More: The Best Spin Bikes of 2022
Sunny Health & Fitness Portable Under Desk Elliptical Machine
If you already have a desk in your apartment, an under desk elliptical takes up no additional space and is a great way to get extra movement in during the day. This one from Sunny Health & Fitness, one of our favorite brands for high-quality budget fitness gear, has a digital monitor for tracking speed, calories and other metrics. It has eight different levels of resistance, is designed to work smoothly and quietly, and keep a low profile while you work.
BCAN Foldable Mini Exercise Trampoline
If jumping rope isn’t your thing and you’d like a little extra bounce, an exercise trampoline might be just the ticket. This one folds up for a minimal footprint in storage and has an adjustable handlebar for stability while working out. It uses 32 closed springs connected to the waterproof mat for a reliable recovery system, and it folds to less than 1/4 of its total height making it portable as well.
Read More: The Best Fitness Trampolines of 2022
The Best Strength Training Equipment
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells are hands down one of the best ways to work in strength training without needing the space to accommodate a bunch of separate pairs of dumbbells. These Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells go up to 50 pounds in 2.5 pound increments, are very easy to operate and have slightly knurled handles that are easy and comfortable to grab.
After testing nearly a dozen pairs, the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells were deemed a favorite by SPY Editors due to their weight options, ease of use and durable design.
Read More: The Best Adjustable Dumbbells of 2022
Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Kettlebell
Bowflex also makes an adjustable kettlebell that can adjust between 8-40 pounds with the press of a button, essentially replacing 6 different kettlebells depending on which weight amounts you like to use. Kettlebells are another excellent strength training tool that can be used for deadlifts, squats, swings and even core work. If you have limited space but want to maximize your weight potential, Bowflex’s solution is a great investment.
Bodylastics Stackable Tube Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are excellent to have in your arsenal. They store easily, can be taken anywhere and add tone and increase flexibility. Bodylastics Stackable Tube Resistance Bands comes with detailed instructions for using the five-band kit. You can use them singularly or stack them. The 12 piece set includes five anti-Snap bands (3 pounds, 5 pounds, 8 pounds, 13 pounds, 19 pounds), two handles, two ankle straps, one door anchor, one carrying bag. For anyone living in a major city, resistance bands are some of the best exercise equipment for small spaces.
Sportneer Adjustable Ankle Weights
Ankle weights take up less room than a set of dumbbells, but can add serious resistance to yoga, pilates, barre and even HIIT cardio classes depending on how much weight you add. Many pairs can be worn on your ankles and wrists, and can be adjusted by adding or removing smaller weight increments. Our editors tested these Sportneer ones and were impressed by their comfortable, secure fit. They’re super portable and easy to use, making them a great piece of fitness equipment for small spaces.
SPY Review: The Best Ankle Weights of 2022
The Best Strength and Cardio Equipment
A fitness mirror is one of the most space-efficient ways to access boutique-style workout classes at home, because many of them are built slim and require only a yoga mat’s worth of space in front of them for you to be able to use them efficiently. The Mirror from lululemon is one of our favorite options for small apartments and homes because it’s built very slim and can hang on the wall or lean with an included stand. It gives you access to a wide variety of classes, tracks your workouts, can help you progress towards concrete goals and works as a fully-functioning mirror when not in use.
Read More: SPY Mirror Review
Boxing can give you quite an all-over body workout. It engages your upper body and lower body. It gets your heart rate up, engages your core and helps to tone your muscles. The Liteboxer emulates all of that in the comfort of your home. It merges rhythm gaming with fitness, featuring punch tracks that guide how you punch. Choose your music and create your very own beat-based workout. You can increase and decrease your punches per minute with guidance of the musical beats ranging from 60 PPM to 110 PPM. And best of all, it takes up very little room. For a mix of strength and cardio, this is one of the best pieces of exercise equipment for small apartments.
Fitness Mirrors Bring Studio-Quality Workouts Home to You in One Sleek, Streamlined Package