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The Best Compact Home Gym for a Small Space Everything You Need to Get Started

There are many reasons why you would want to buy the best compact home gym equipment for your private gym. Most of those reasons have something to do with the fact that having a gym in your house (something personalized and always accessible to you) is one of the best ways to ensure that you work out.

If you think about it, some of the most common excuses for not working out often revolve around reasons such as:

  • It's too expensive: With a home gym, you won't have to pay any monthly or annual membership fees.
  • It's too far: If you build a home gym in your basement or garage, all you have to do to get to the gym is walk into another room in your own house. That effectively nullifies this common excuse that driving to and from the gym takes too much time, time that you seldom have, especially when working full time.
  • It's inconvenient: While most gyms strive to operate 24/7, some still don't. The problem with that is that most people don't have that much free time during typical operational hours. That, therefore, means that they can't find the time to get to the gym, and even if they did, it would be inconveniencing their workday somewhat. With a home gym, you can workout whenever you want.
  • There are too many people: Having to wait your turn for a specific machine or equipment at the gym is not only annoying, but it's also demoralizing. With your own home gym, you don't have to wait for anyone since you are the only one using the machines anyway.

Yes, there are many very good reasons why you should strive to build a home gym. There are, however, some issues that you need to deal with first.

One of those issues has to do with the amount of space you have in your house that can be dedicated to the gym.

Most people don't have that much space, and that's why buying the best compact home gym equipment might be the smartest move yet.

Here is a list and review of some of the best compact home gym equipment to buy today:

1.Muscle D Deluxe 4 Stack Jungle Gym

There are very few workout machines that use space as economically as the Muscle D Deluxe 4 Stack Jungle Gym. In terms of dimensions, the machine can be a little intimidating with its 140" L X 70" X 94" H frame that packs about 2090 lbs. of total weight. Yes, if you think about it that way, this is a big machine.

However, this 4 Stack Jungle Gym is very much carrying the weight of about four different gym equipment. That is because its machinery allows for lat pulldown, Hi/Low Pulley, Lat Row, and Triceps Press down.

The machine is designed to maximize the floor space in your weight room, giving you the ability to do a wide variety of workouts. The triceps press down, in particular, is quite versatile. With just a few cable adjustments, you can perform anything from overhead press downs, triceps rope extensions, reverse grip extensions, and many more.

That is not all this machine can help you do. Thanks to the hi/low pulley, you can perform an almost endless variation of cable machine exercises from bicep curls, triceps press downs, front/rear/side delt extensions, and woodchoppers. You can even attach an ankle cuff so you can perform an additional number of lower body cable exercises, which include adduction, abduction, and knee raises.

It's a sturdily fabricated machine with padding made out of high-density foam and the body frame out of beefy 2.5" X 4.5" X 11-gauge oval steel tubing. All four weight stacks are driven by a reliable heavy-duty pulley and cable system, which enables them to glide smoothly on hardened steel guide rods.


  • Space-saving design that works well for people with small gym set-ups
  • Allows for a very wide variety of cable machine exercises
  • Once the set-up is complete, the machine is very easy to use
  • It comes with four weight stations, including 1 Lat Pulldown with 260 lbs.; 1 Triceps Press down with 190 lbs.; 1 Low Row with 260 lbs. and 1 Adjustable Hi/Low Pulley with 190 lbs
  • It has multi-chin grips that are finished with a smooth rubber
  • The cables are rated for 2,000 lbs. and coated with durable vinyl
  • It comes with easy to read instructional placards at every workout station


  • It's a bit heavy and often requires professional setting up

Verdict: If you want nothing else in your home gym except a jungle gym that will allow you to target multiple muscle groups all the while taking up very little space, then this is the best compact home gym equipment for you.

2. Corner Multi-Gym

As the name suggests, this Muscle D Corner Multi-Gym is designed to save you a whole lot of space by tucking into a corner in your home gym. This leaves the rest of the space free for other types of gym activities such as yoga and Zumba dances.

This corner multi-gym station isn't just petite and pretty; it packs quite a bit of a punch as well. Fully equipped with three working stations and dual weight stacks that have 200 lbs. each, it's one of the best compact home gym pieces of equipment on the market today.

Because it's designed and constructed with commercial quality in mind, you can rest assured that this compact home gym equipment is well-built and durable.

The three individual working stations are designed to offer you well-rounded workout sessions that target almost all of the big muscle groups in your body.

  • One station allows you to chest press, do ab crunches, crossover puller, lat pulldown, seated row and so much more
  • The Hi/Low Pulley station is designed to facilitate a wide range of exercises such as one arm shoulder presses, triceps presses, inner and outer thigh, and glute kicks, upright rows and more
  • You also have the third station, which has leg extensions that are anatomically-correct, and cam driven. At this station, you can do leg curls and most other lower body workouts thanks to the adjustable leg rollers as well as the comfortable back pad

This is a well thought out compact home gym machine that offers you smooth, friction-free mechanical movements that go a long way to isolate all your major muscle groups to give you an excellent workout even in the smallest of home gyms.


  • It's small enough to fit into a corner and save you space
  • It's built with commercial-grade materials and workmanship
  • It has three workstation that isolates all major muscle groups
  • It has a comfortably padded seat and adjustable accessory handles


  • At 84 inches tall, this unit will need at least a 7 ft 2 inch ceiling clearance which can be a problem for some small spaces

Verdict: If you want something that fits neatly into a corner while giving you some of the best workout variations, thanks to the three available workout stations, this is the right compact home gym equipment for you.

3. First Degree Fitness Newport Plus Rower

While some of the best compact home gym machines have multiple stations, rowers go a long way in conditioning your entire body by simply being a tough cardio workout equipment. The First Degree Fitness Newport Plus Rower is designed to mimic the exact conditions that occur when battling the waves in the open water.

It makes incredibly good use of the physical properties of water. Imagine how it would feel fighting against massive, unpredictable waves in the ocean, lake, or river; the kind of burning workout your arms and legs would get to keep from going under.

That is exactly what you get with this machine, depending on the resistance setting. You can go from gentle and calm waters to raging sea in one smooth move.

This machine has been designed to deliver the exact kind of feel and even sounds you would get when actually rowing in open water. Developed in conjunction with professional rowers, it has a multiple chamber, ribbed tank that provides you with a natural "catch" as you start every stroke.

It does a very good job of applying fluid resistance technology to give you the kind of cardio and muscular workout that you need.

While it might not have all the different stations that most compact home gym equipment comes with, a simple rower like First Degree Vortex Fluid Assist or the Apollo Pro V Reserve Edition all have one thing in common: they are the perfect cardio and full-body workout machine that takes up the least space. That is mostly because you can simply stand them up against the wall when you aren't using them.


  • Has an improved pulley system that greatly increases the tension, resistance and recoil action
  • Come with an ergonomic handle that is designed to prevent excessive strain on the wrist, hands, and arms in general
  • Has transit wheels which makes it highly portable
  • It has a comfortable seat that rides on rollers and bearings for excellent smoothness
  • It is easy to assemble and is virtually maintenance-free


  • Doesn't have a wide variety of workout stations for bulking up muscles

Verdict: If cardiovascular and overall body fitness is your main goal, then getting yourself a rowing machine might be the best way to go.

4. Recumbent Exercise Bike

When it comes to exercise bikes, you can either choose a recumbent bike or an upright bike. While they both provide you with low impact total body workout and amazing cardio, both types of bikes are designed to suit specific types of exercise enthusiasts.

With the recumbent bike like the Muscle D Deluxe Home Recumbent Bike, you will be sat deeper into the bike as opposed to an upright bike where you can ride it standing. One of the main reasons why recumbent bikes are very popular is because the rider remains quite comfortable throughout the exercise session.

The bike allows you to take on a natural reclined body position that helps to reduce fatigue as well as go a long way to eliminate upper body muscle soreness.

Recumbent bikes are:

  • Easier on your lower back which encourages the best type of spinal posture
  • Gentler on your joints because you will be sited in a more natural posture thus protecting your knees and ankles from potential high impact injuries
  • Safer to use since you can't stand on the pedals (a common source of injury for upright bikes)

Because the rider sits on a comfortable chair and can't stand on the pedals, recumbent bikes are the ideal kind of exercise bike for people with neurological conditions as well as those who suffer from degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

So, if you have been wondering what you can do to get in a full-body low impact workout without making your arthritis or any other condition flare-up, the answer is to get yourself a recumbent exercise bike.

As a compact home gym equipment, this particular bike (Muscle D Deluxe Home Recumbent Bike) is designed with the latest technology in mind.


  • The console displays important data such as speed, time, distance, pulse, calories and RPMs
  • There are several settings you can choose to use including manual, a Quick Start Mode and even 12 Hill Profile Programs
  • The LCD has several color options
  • It has a phone or tablet bracket holder and a built-in USB charger
  • You can connect it to your cellphone and play music through the built-in speakers
  • It doesn't take up much space


  • Although it gives you a full-body workout, it mostly focuses on your lower body and cardio workouts

Verdict: This is one of the best compact home gym equipment for people with pre-existing conditions that don't allow them to take on high-impact exercise that could exacerbate those conditions.

5. A Smith Machine

For those who are focused on strength training, one of the best compact home gym equipment they can get is a Smith Machine like the "Muscle D 85" Smith Machine." This is a machine that is designed to help you carry out controlled barbell strength training exercises while reducing your chances of injury.

The machine itself consists of a barbell with some weights. These weights are secured between two sturdy steel rails. These rails allow for only vertical movement; however, there are a few newer models that incorporate a bit of horizontal movement as well. While you can use the Smith Machine for a wide variety of exercises, its main purpose is to help with squats and presses.

As far as the best compact home gym equipment goes, the Smith Machine is up there with the best of them. The Muscle D 85" Smith Machine, in particular, is designed for people who don't have that much ceiling allowance, which makes it perfect for spaces such as basements and home garage gyms.

It is well-built with a rugged design that incorporates precision bearings, which provide you with a smooth bar movement. This is important since it allows you to focus solely on the workout and your form as opposed to worrying about operating the machine.

With it, you can do a wide variety of lifting exercises, including bench presses, upright rows, squats, and overhead presses, among many others.


  • It has a rugged and durable build
  • It is suitable for small spaces with low ceilings
  • Has three chromed weight plate holders on either side
  • Uses precision linear bearings to provide smooth bar operation
  • Has an Olympic bar with counterbalance


  • Some users don't like that the bar won't deviate from its set path
  • Some users find the bar's fixed path to be a little uncomfortable when exercising

Verdict: This is a machine that is designed to benefit those who are focused on strength training. It is compact and low profile enough to fit into small home gym spaces, even those with low ceilings.

Best Compact Home Gym Equipment Buyers Guide - Everything You Need to Know

As you can see, there is a wide variety of compact home gym equipment available in the market today. What is also evident is the fact that you can't use all of them for the same types of exercises.

Each compact gym equipment is designed to help you develop a specific part of your body. Treadmills and rowers are perfect for cardio and lower body workouts, while the Smith Machine is designed for strength training.

Since most people will probably only have enough space for one or two compact gym equipment, it is often best to find the ones that will give you the best bang for your buck.

With that in mind, here are some factors to consider before buying the best compact home gym equipment for you:

The Space You Have Available for a Home Gym

One of the most obvious factors to consider has to be the amount of space you have to dedicate to your home gym. This will determine whether or not you can fit a four stack Jungle Gym machine in there or have to settle for a stepper (stepping board) and a jump rope.

If you have enough room, buying a corner multi-gym machine like the one featured above might be the best idea since it comes with a host of workout stations that allow you to target multiple muscle groups for development.

The Kind of Exercise You Want to Do

Granted, the rule of thumb is that you should try to incorporate as much of your body into your regular exercise regimen as possible. While this is something that most people can do easily, many often tend to forget some of the most crucial aspects, such as cardio and strength training.

Apart from that, there are exercise enthusiasts who work out for a specific purpose as opposed to just getting fit and having a killer beach body for summer. Some people do it because they want to improve their core strength, others because they want to lose weight, and many because they want to have a better cardiovascular system.

All these people can't use the same machine and buying a Smith Machine for all four of them would be ill-advised. That is why you need to first figure out which kind of exercise is most important to you.

If you are after building a better cardiovascular system, then go for a rowing machine or a treadmill; if you want better lower body strength, then go for a Smith Machine and so on.

The Quality of the Machine

Often the quality of the machine directly correlates with the price, which can be a bit of a turn off for people on a tight budget. However, when it comes to gym equipment, you don't want to play around with the quality.

In the wrong hands, most of this equipment is dangerous and can cause irreversible injuries. It is better to bid your time as you save for the best compact home gym equipment of the highest quality. That, however, doesn't mean that you should forego your fitness goals in the meantime. You can do body weight training as you wait to get your home gym set-up.

Ease of Use

Yes, once you learn how to use the machine, you will find that it's so easy to operate, but that isn't always the case when you first get your hands on it. There is also some gym equipment that calls for constant maintenance, which can be a bit of a turn off for people who just want to work out without worrying too much about the machine.

That is why finding a machine that is built by a reputable company that has excellent customer support and a good track record as far as the quality of their products goes is advisable. These machines are often easier to operate and don't call for too much maintenance on your part.

As time goes by, you will find that having a home gym that is fully equipped with the best compact home gym equipment is a worthwhile investment. Not only because you will have built your own fitness sanctuary at home but because you will have increased your chances of actually working out regularly and getting fitter. The compact home gym machines on this list are a good place to start.


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