Best Home Gym Equipment for a Small Apartment: 2017 Edition

To have the energy, we must live a healthy and active life, and it’s crucial that we take care of our bodies through exercise. However, if you live in a small space, you might think that all your at-home exercise options are limited to no equipment. However, a balance board or a couple of kettlebells can open the door to an array of new exercises without stretching your budget or taking up a lot of space.

We have prepared information about the best home gym equipment for small spaces to help you easily narrow down on your shopping options.

Suspension Trainers

Suspension trainers are among the smallest and most portable exercise kits with an array of options for exercises to perform. To use a suspension trainer, you will need to set it up on a firm anchor like a closed door and have some space in front of the door for you to work out.

  • You can perform signature moves such as push-up and plank exercises where the suspension trainer acts as the unstable platform.
  • You can also perform pulling exercises such as inverted rows, and core exercises with your feet suspended.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can be folded to fit in your pocket and can be used in any space that works for no-equipment exercises. These bands come in various thicknesses while some come with some clips so that you can attach them to an ankle cuff.

  • Resistance bands are very versatile. You can pull with both hands for an intense back and arm workout.
  • You can also step on the resistance band and pretend it is a barbell – that’s an instant deadlift.
  • You can also use these bands to add resistance to your push-ups.


A set of dumbbells will take up very little of your apartment’s space and you’ll probably get away with shoving them under the bed. Even if you’re used to doing exercises with a barbell, it is not difficult to use dumbbells as well. Bench presses and deadlifts, for instance, work well with dumbbells.

  • The most difficult part of purchasing dumbbells is deciding on the weights to buy.
  • All the same, you should pick weights that feel heavy but manageable for small exercises such as bicep curls and heavier sets for more intense exercises such as bench presses or adding more weight to lunges and squats.

Balance Board

If you’re looking to improve your core strength, balance and posture at the comfort of your small apartment, a balance board is a must have equipment. You just have to stand on the board and see how long you can keep it from touching the floor. Better yet, it is the right size for practicing in front of your TV and whipping during commercial breaks.

  • Balance boards are versatile exercise equipment that can be used to perform squats, press-ups, pushups and planks.
  • You can also perform body balance and core strength exercise variations on the balance board

Mini-stepper Machines

The modern-day mini stepper machines are small enough and store anywhere in your apartment. You can simply rest on your couch or stand upright on the pedals to work your legs. Even though these stepper machines are small, they are an excellent workout option for lower body strength.

  • Depending on your fitness goals, you can adjust the resistance level of your mini-stepper machine to vary the intensity of your workout.
  • This machine is pretty much like an elliptical machine, making it an excellent cardio exerciser and convenient leg toner for your home workouts.


Kettlebells are a very common exercise equipment among cross fitters. These bowling ball look-alikes usually have handles attached to provide an imbalance that makes them more difficult to handle than dumbbells. Although they come in a range of sizes, these home gym accessories will take very little of your apartment space.

  • Due to their imbalance, kettlebells are an excellent option for people who want to perform high intensity pushups and planks
  • One can also opt to perform lunges with kettlebells to provide extra weight for a harder workout

Jump Ropes

While it is not the best idea to skip rope in your small crowded apartment, you can still reap the benefits of using jump ropes for various exercise variations. If you have some good basement space, the jump rope can be an easy way to engage in a low cardio workout. Plastic or beaded ropes are much more durable than cotton jump ropes and whip around faster for a more intense workout.

  • A jump rope helps you perform various CrossFit workouts which help you develop your core stamina.
  • The high speed jumps and sprints involved when rope jumping are a good way to develop speed, agility and coordination
  • The hopping, walking and skipping exercises offer a high volume, high frequency workload for calf muscle development

Swiss Ball

When it comes to space, the Swiss ball is an excellent option for you to realize your toning goals, increase body balance and improve your core strength. Particularly perfect for strength and cardio workouts, the Swiss ball can help you develop great body flexibility.

  • You can use the Swiss ball for ab exercises, such as planks or in place of a bench for seated exercises and bench presses.
  • A Swiss ball also lets you perform the balancing reverse lunge, wall squat, balancing oblique crunch and balancing pushups

Ab Roller

While ab machines won’t let you magically shed your belly fat, they can offer you a targeted way to work your lower and upper abdominals in your small living space. You can work everything from the core muscles to the upper arms with this wheel. Better yet, its small size makes it easy to stow away in your closet.

  • With the ab roller, you can perform supine arm swings, heel slides, and curl ups, all of which are exercises crucial for core conditioning
  • You can also perform supine leg press-outs, pelvic lifts and donkey kick exercises which are excellent for lower body muscle strength.

Folding Treadmill

Many people living in small apartments avoid buying the treadmill machine because of its size. If you’re among these people, you should consider purchasing a folding treadmill that can fold flat for easy storage in small living spaces. You can run or walk in place with this machine just as you would with a normal treadmill machine.

  • The treadmill machine best simulates the most natural and basic aerobic exercise – walking, with the option to slow or quicken pace.
  • Incorporating a treadmill in your fitness regime will help you strengthen your leg muscles, experience better cardiovascular health, enhance your endurance and build a healthy immune system.

Takeaway Message

Going to the gym is good and well, but sometimes it is just a pain. You cannot enjoy private workouts, you have to deal with hefty monthly memberships and you must deal with sweaty equipment. Even with a small living space, there are many pieces of workout equipment that will not cost you a fortune and will have your body toned in no time. The beauty is that you neither need to spend lots of money nor spare a whole room.

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Annie Jones is the founder of BoostBodyfit. She is a huge fan of healthy eating and living! She creates the blog purely to share her experiences and expertise on health, nutrition, exercise and everything else between. Say Hi to Annie on Twitter @boostbodyfit, Facebook @boostBF and Pinterst @boostbodyfit