Getting the best toned physique with killer abs without going to a gym might seem impossible, but it can be achieved.
Now, I’m not saying you don’t have to put in some work to get the figure of your dreams, but you can keep in shape without a gym membership.
The easiest way to do that is with a home gym, a small self-contained unit that offers you a variety of workout options. I got myself a home gym for those days I didn’t fancy trekking to my local gym.
I don’t live in the biggest house, so space was a huge factor when I was selecting a machine. I needed my home gym to have different exercise options without taking up a lot of room.
After a lot of research and head scratching, I finally found a home gym perfect for my needs.
If you’re on the hunt for a compact home gym, then stick around as I share some of the best compact home gyms that I came across on my search.
Top 5 Compact Home Gyms from the Lineup
Here is a summary of the top 5 products from the lineup…
Ideal for strength and endurance training. It provides an array of workout options such as chest press/fly station, 4-roll leg developer, and high/low pulley system.
Out of all the home gyms I’ve looked at, the XRS 50 is my overall top recommendation as it has something for everyone – whether you’re a beginner or experienced trainer.
It’s fantastic for strength and endurance training due to its 122-pound weight stack, fly station, and high/ low pulley system.
Best on a Budget
Space-saving design Comes with 8 accessories Lower and upper body workouts
Home gyms can be pricey, especially if they offer multiple pieces of equipment.
But, fortunately, the Fusion Motion Portable Gym provides you with various workout options without costing an arm and a leg!
It excels for users who want to develop muscle in their upper and lower body as it comes with 8 accessories.
These include 2 types of resistance bands, dynamic and static handlebars, and an ab roller. Did I mention that it’s highly portable too?
A home gym that looks and feels great. It’s a little pricier than some of the other home gyms but makes up for it in durability and longevity.
If you’re after a home gym that looks and feels great, then you can’t go wrong with the Bowflex PR1000.
It’s a little pricier than some of the other home gyms I’ve looked at, but it makes up for this in durability and longevity.
It has 200 pounds of power rod resistance, multiple cable pulley positions, and a bench press that can be converted into a rolling seat for aerobic rolling.
Best Compact Home Gym for Beginners
If you’ve just started your fitness journey, investing in a piece of equipment can seem a little intimidating, especially if you’re uncertain of what you want to achieve.
The Bowflex Blaze is an ideal choice for beginners as it provides you with an extensive amount of workout options in one handy device.
Best Portable Home Gym
While compact home gyms are designed to be space-saving, some units can still be a little bulky.
If you don’t have a lot of room, a portable unit like the BodyBoss 2.0 could be just what you’re looking for.
This machine is lightweight and mobile, which allows you to transport it easily.
But, even with its portable design, the unit still provides you with over 300 workout options.
Best Compact Home Gym Reviews
Full reviews of all the products from the lineup…
Ideal for strength and endurance training. It provides an array of workout options such as chest fly/press station, 4-roll leg developer, and high/low pulley system.
One of the best compact home gyms for a small space is the Icon Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS 50.
It provides an array of workout options as it includes a chest press/fly station, 4-roll leg developer, high/low pulley system.
It has a 112-pound vinyl weight stack which is ideal for strength and endurance training, as well as 280 pounds of resistance.
The unit has a multi-grip pull up bar with sewn vinyl seats which are both durable and comfortable.
It even includes an exercise chart to help you track your progress.
The Icon Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS 50 has a 300-pound user weight capacity, so it’s suitable for users of varying weights.
With the amount of features you get with this home multi-gym, I think it’s an excellent choice for beginners, especially as it’s a lot more affordable than most other multi-gyms.
My main gripe with this unit is its complicated assembly as there are a lot of components and parts, some of which don’t fit together as well as they should.
- Product Dimensions: 48” x 18.9” x 16”
- Product Weight: 225 lbs
- Resistance: 280 lbs
- Number of Exercises: Not Specified
- Comes with pull up bar, chest press and fly station, high/low pulley system, 4-leg roll developer, and weight stacks options
- Power rod resistance of 380 lbs
- Sewn vinyl seats for comfort
- Excellent value
- Assembly can be time-consuming and fiddly
Best on a Budget
A great option if you need a quality but affordable portable home gym for an entire body workout.
The portable home gym has 8 attachments to help you build muscle in your upper and lower body.
It has 2 workout resistance bands (“normal” resistance bands and “strong” resistance bands, dynamic and static handlebars, an ab roller wheel, and even a heavy-duty door anchor.
This portable gym setup is made with steel-reinforced estructural polyethylene to accommodate even the most intense exercise routine.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 290 pounds too, so it’s ideal for users of a range of body types.
If you’re stuck on what sort of workouts you want to do with this machine or you’re not sure of your fitness goals, the Fusion Motion compact home gym has you covered.
It comes with a detailed instruction guide that contains 200 workouts that are perfect for toning and building muscle.
The guide also offers recommendations of exercise routines for your skill level, which accessories you’ll need and how to assemble them, and the correct form for performing each exercise.
Out of all the other compact home gyms I’ve looked at, the Fusion Motion machine is definitely one of the smallest.
It won’t take up much space – you could even use it in your living room!
Even with all its positives, this small home portable gym does have a couple of drawbacks.
For one, the push up bar is a bit uncomfortable as it doesn’t have a foam grip. And secondly, the glide board can take a while to set up to get the correct amount of tension.
- Product Dimensions: 28” x 22” x 8”
- Product Weight: 17.3 lbs
- Resistance: “Normal” Resistance Bands and “Strong” Resistance Bands
- Number of Exercises: 200
- Ideal for upper body and lower body workouts
- Comes with 8 accessories including 2 resistance bands, ab roller wheel, and push up bars
- Includes a detailed guide on the home gym workouts
- Space-saving design
- Push up bar is a little uncomfortable
- Glide board can take some time to get the right tension
A home gym that looks and feels great. It’s a little pricier than some of the other home gyms but it makes up for this in durability and longevity.
The Bowflex PR1000 home gym setup is one of my personal favorite units due to its exceptional quality.
Not only does it look well-made, but it feels it too!
Each piece of equipment is sturdy and durable, allowing you to easily change between workouts to reach your desired fitness goal.
You can perform over 25 exercises on this compact home gym, making it a great pick no matter what type of training you want to do.
This unit has over 200 pounds of power rods resistance and multiple cable pulley positions.
This allows you to change the angle of resistance with ease to increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
It has a built-in media rack and horizontal bench press, the latter of which can be folded to maximize your workout space.
You can convert the bench to a rolling seat for aerobic rowing, which is ideal for strength and cardio workouts.
Despite this unit being a little time-consuming to assemble (though this is to be expected with a home gym!), it’s relatively easy to get set up as the parts fit together fairly well.
As someone who’s not the best when it comes to DIY, this is a feature I really appreciate in gym equipment.
My main gripe with this unit involves its pulleys.
It doesn’t feel very smooth, and the cables have a habit of getting twisted.
This makes changing between exercises a little difficult.
- Product Dimensions: 81” x 84” x 38”
- Product Weight: 149 lbs
- Resistance: 210 lb
- Number of Exercises: 25+
- Provides 25+ exercises for a full-body workout
- Bench can be converted for aerobic rowing
- Has 200 lbs of resistance and multiple pulley system positions
- Bench can be folded up to save on space
- Can be a bit time-consuming to assemble
- Pulley system doesn’t feel very smooth
Best Compact Home Gym for Beginners
It has power rods resistance, a pulley station, sliding seat rail, lat bar, squat bar, and a lot more to keep you challenged.
It’s durable and robust so it will last you for years to come – you won’t have to worry about it breaking on you even during an intense workout!
If you can afford to spend a bit extra on a compact home gym, then I fully recommend the Bowflex Blaze home gym.
Like the PR1000 model I reviewed earlier, the Bowflex Blaze is outstanding quality but comes with additional features.
Due to its user friendliness and vast number of features, I think it’s a great pick for beginners.
It offers you plenty of workout options, which is ideal if you’re just starting out and unsure of what areas you want to focus or which exercises you want to perform.
It has 210 pounds of power rod system resistance which can be upgraded to 310 pounds or 410 pounds.
If you need to add more challenge to your exercise routine, the compact Bowflex Blaze has you covered.
The Bowflex Blaze accommodates over 60 different exercises to provide all your major muscle groups with a good workout.
t has a sliding seat rail that lets you perform leg pressures and aerobic rowing, which is ideal for strength training.
It also has multiple cable/pulley system positions so you can do your own custom workouts. And, if that wasn’t enough, a lat bar, squat bar, triple function hand-grip/ankle cuffs are included with the Bowflex Blaze.
Even with all the features this Bowflex unit has, it’s is still suitable for a small home as the bench is foldable.
To make it easy to move around, the unit has wheels so you can transport it from room to room without difficulty.
However, similar to the Bowflex PR1000 I reviewed, the Bowflex Blaze can take a long time to get up and running.
Some items don’t fit together as well as they should, making the setup process a little frustrating.
The pulley system on the Bowflex Blaze also makes switching between different exercises a bit fiddly, especially as the cables have a tendency to get in the way.
- Product Dimensions: 90” x 38” x 83”
- Resistance: 410 lb (Power Rods)
- Number of Exercises: 60+
- Offers 210 lbs of resistance which can be upgraded to 310 or 410 lbs
- Accommodates over 60 exercises for a full-body workout
- Includes a multiple pulley system, pull-up bar, squat bar, and triple function hand-grip/ankle cuffs
- Bench can be folded – ideal for a small space
- Assembly can be a bit time consuming and fiddly
- Cable machine doesn’t feel very smooth
Best Portable Home Gym
The BodyBoss Home Gym 2 0 is a highly mobile and portable unit, so it’s perfect for small spaces.
Despite its compact size, the unit still offers a high number of workout options (300+!).
It’s designed to replicate all the bulky equipment you’d see at a commercial gym and combine them into one simple unit that’s lightweight, foldable, and doesn’t take up much space.
Whether you want to workout in your garage, living room, or even backyard, the BodyBoss home gym 2 0 allows you to do just that.
The BodyBoss 2.0 comes with a non-slip base that folds up and has retractable anchors.
It also includes a bar, resistance bands (each one is 30 pounds of resistance), straps, handles (to stimulate dumbbells), and a door anchor.
The straps are padded for comfort and to repel sweat. They can fit ankles and wrists of all sizes too.
Another highlight of this unit is its straightforward assembly.
In fact, there’s virtually no assembly required other than attaching some parts together.
If DIY isn’t your forte (like me!), then the BodyBoss 2.0 is a great choice for workouts without mental gymnastics.
However, the resistance bands included with BodyBoss home gym 2 0 can be a little weak, so you may need to upgrade to stronger resistance bands as you level up.
- Product Dimensions: 15.9” x 2.8” x 20.1”
- Product Weight: 16 lbs
- Resistance: Not Specified
- Number of Exercises: Not Specified
- Highly portable and mobile – perfect for small spaces
- Offers over 300 workout options
- Includes resistance bands, door anchor, straps, handles, bar, and non-slip base
- Replicate equipment available at a commercial gym in one compact unit
- Resistance bands can be a little weak
A solid choice for entire body workouts, no matter your fitness level. Allows you to perform strength training, cardio, and stretching.
The Total Gym XLS is another solid choice for entire body workouts, no matter your fitness level.
It focuses on all the major muscle groups in your body, allowing you to perform strength training, cardio, and stretching.
It can accommodate more than 80 workouts with 6 levels of resistance.
This gives you a huge range of motion and workout home gym options, and gives you the opportunity to create more challenging and intense fitness goals.
The glide board has a maximum user weight capacity of 400 pounds, so it can accommodate users of a variety of body types.
Compared to previous Total Gym XLS models, the upgraded version has an improved squat board and cable/pulley system as well as comfortable padding on the glide board.
The Total Gym XLS comes with a ribbed squat stand, wing attachment, peg pull accessory with 2 ankle cuffs, exercise wall chart, training deck, and even a nutritional/meal planning guide.
Total Gym TV
Furthermore, you get free access to stream workouts from Total Gym TV for extra help and advice on training, which is a nice bonus.
The best thing about this home gym setup is that you don’t have to assemble it. No need to lose countless hours trying to figure out where parts go or worrying you’ve misplaced a screw – the unit is already set up and ready for you!
This unit has a space-saving design as it can be folded up for storage no matter where you use it, whether it’s your garage, living room, or bedroom.
However, the XLS doesn’t offer a huge amount of resistance, particularly when used for workouts involving large muscles.
The unit may also not be the best choice for short users as you can’t adjust the height of any of the accessories.
- Product Dimensions: 90” x 19” x 43”
- Resistance: 6 Levels
- Number of Exercises: 80
- Offers a lot of exercise options for a full-body workout (over 80!)
- Includes glide board, ribbed squat stand, wing attachment, and more
- Requires no assembly
- Doesn’t offer much resistance
- Height of accessories can’t be adjusted – may be unsuitable for short users
This compact unit allows you to perform over 100 lower body and upper body workouts.
Next up is the Teeter FitForm Strength Trainer which allows you to perform over 100 lower body and upper body workouts in one compact unit.
It features soft-grip handles and adjustable ankle wraps that lets you change between lower body and upper body exercise with ease.
It also has swiveling pulleys and a 3-position platform for a wide range of motion that doesn’t restrict your movement during your fitness regime.
The machine has 65 pounds of resistance in 1 pound increments.
You can increase or decrease the resistance on the unit using the one-touch dial. This allows you to fine-tune the resistance to steadily progress your training and gradually enhance the development of your muscles.
The machine has an advanced smooth resistance technology too – it maintains a consistent level of resistance throughout each workout to evenly engage the muscles in your body.
There is minimal negative resistance on the recoil, which reduces soreness in your muscles and strain on your joints. It also enables a faster recovery after you’ve finished your workout.
Teeter FitForm units come with a free personal training app that gives you access to custom workout routines, trainer-led workout videos, and more.
The unit even has a media rack that you can store your device on so you can easily follow these workouts.
Another great feature about this unit is its easy setup. The machine comes 90% pre-assembled, so you should have it up and running in no time. This means you can get straight into your workouts almost as soon as the package arrives.
The only downside of this unit is its lack of sturdiness.
The base of the machine isn’t heavy duty, so it can feel a bit flimsy during use.
- Product Dimensions: 37” x 28.8” x 38.9”
- Product Weight: 38.9 lbs
- Resistance: 60 lbs
- Number of Exercises: 100+
- Provides over 100 workouts for your upper body and lower body
- Doesn’t take up much space due to compact design
- Comes with 65 pounds of resistance in 1 pound increments
- Smooth resistance technology to maintain a steady level of resistance
- Base of the machine isn’t very heavy duty or sturdy
One of the best compact home gyms for a total-body workout that offers a wide range of motion.
With a robust 14 gauge steel vinyl-coated frame, the Marcy MWM-988 multi-gym is one of the best compact home gyms for a total-body workout that offers a wide range of motion.
It’s a little pricier than some of the compact gyms I’ve looked at, but it’s an excellent investment if you can afford to spend a bit more on a machine.
Not only will this unit last you for many years thanks to its high durability, but it provides you with a vast number of workout options.
The Marcy MWM-988 includes a dual function press arm, adjustable preacher bicep pad with roller pads, an adjustable butterfly attachment, dual function leg developer, and weight stack station.
There’s a protective weight stack cover on the weight plates too, increasing the unit’s durability.
The device can support up to 150-pound weight plates due to its tough frame.
The vertical butterfly and press has independent movement, which is best for upper body workouts like pec fly pressing.
The lat bar is ideal for targeting your chest, back, and shoulders, and the adjustable curl bicep pad helps you maintain a comfortable position when you’re using dumbbells or weight plates.
All of the stations on the machine are covered with foam roller pads for comfort and grip, which is useful when you’re sweating from an intense workout!
The Marcy MWM-9888 has a maximum resistance weight of 200 pounds, which is plenty for increasing the difficulty of your workouts as you level up.
Despite being one of the best compact home gyms in regards to durability and workout options, this unit can be hard to set up.
The provided instructions are undetailed and a little unclear, which can make the assembly process time consuming.
- Product Dimensions: 68” x 42” x 78”
- Product Weight: 125 lbs
- Resistance: 200 lbs
- Robust and durable design
- 200 pounds of resistance and can accommodate 150-pound weight stacks
- Includes a weight stack station, lat bar, adjustable curl bicep pad, dual function leg developer, and more.
- All stations are covered with foam roller pads for comfort and grip
- Can be hard to assemble due to undetailed and unclear instructions
What Is a Compact Home Gym?
A compact home gym is a self-contained unit that provides users with a variety of workout options, just like a commercial gym.
With a compact home gym, you can perform strength training, develop muscle, and tone your body. And like the name suggests, a compact home gym is small and doesn’t take up much space.
If you don’t have a lot of room for multiple pieces of workout equipment, a home gym is an excellent option.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Compact Home Gym Machines
Consider Features: Ask Yourself Questions
When choosing the best home gym machine, think about the sort of features you need and what type of workouts you’d like to perform.
Is there a particular area in your body that you want to strengthen or tone up?
- Do you need the machine to have a lot of resistance?
- Do you need weight stack options?
For example, if you want to focus building muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms, then you might want to use a unit that has a weight stack station or rowing machine rail.
Some space may not be big enough to accommodate weight stacks or a telescoping design, others may – it depends on your space and situation.
Why is Compact Home Gym Design Important?
The design of a compact home gym is vastly different depending on what type of home gym equipment they include.
With a space-saving home gym, you want it to have a space-saving design, otherwise it wouldn’t be very compact.
If you want to be able to fit your home gym machine in small spaces such as under a bed, look for machines that can be folded down or have a collapsible/telescoping design.
Some devices have transportation wheels to make them easy to move around too.
Check the dimensions and weight of the unit you’re looking at to ensure it’s the right fit for you and your home.
Multi-gyms, even compact ones, can be a little bulky and heavy – they might not be the best choice for users with very limited space.
Portable home gyms might be a better choice if you don’t have a lot of space to workout in – they are highly mobile and lightweight but still offer plenty of workout options.
How Quality Affects a Home Gym
The quality of the compact home gym is another aspect you’ll need to bear in mind.
This is especially important as you don’t want any parts to break, especially during use.
Take a look at user reviews of the machine to see if there’s anything concerning that you need to know about the machine.
A quick search of the web will highlight any issues from other buyers and they won’t be shy to say if something is wrong or needs improving.
See what they say and look at the frequently asked questions to decide how this weight stacks against your thoughts and feelings.
Poorly-made or ill-fitting parts could cause injury if they fall or break when you’re using them, – make sure you double-check the quality of the machine before you buy it.
Why Warranty Is Important
It’s never fun having an item break or stop working quickly after you’ve bought it, especially if you’ve spent a lot of money on it.
When selecting the best compact home gyms, check to see if the manufacturer offers a warranty if the unit breaks prematurely or arrives defective.
Knowing your machine has a warranty to cover faults or breakages will save you a lot of headache and frustration in the long run.
If your home gym develops an issue within the warranty period, you’ll be able to exchange it or get a refund so you won’t be out of pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Worth Investing in a Home Gym?
Home gyms are an excellent investment, not just for saving you fees on a gym membership, but also for times you can’t access a commercial gym.
Consistency is key to your exercise routine.
Owning a small home gym means you never have to miss a workout routine, and now you can’t make up excuses about skipping the due to bad weather.
A home gym gives you the freedom to create your own fitness journey, without worrying
about missing that class you committed to at the gym.
You get the chance to find a schedule and routine focussed around your life, so your fitness quest for your ultimate body works.
How Effective Is Training At Home on Compact Home Gyms?
Training at home can be very effective, but bear in mind that improving your fitness doesn’t happen overnight.
Building muscle, lowering your body weight, and toning up takes a while. But with time, patience, and consistency, your work will eventually pay off.
Within around 8 weeks, you should be able to see noticeable muscle development and improvement in your strength.
What Exercises Can You Do on Compact Home Gyms?
The exercises you can do on a compact home gym depends on the type of equipment the unit comes with.
Multi-gyms usually offer the best workout options, including leg curls, bicep curls, tricep pulldowns, shoulder presses, chest presses, and more.
Can You Get in Shape Using Compact Home Gyms?
You can definitely get in shape using compact home gyms – they’re just as effective as commercial gyms.
Home gyms allow you to target specific body areas or work on multiple areas – the freedom is yours.
You’ll be able to exercise whenever you like on your own terms as you’re not limited by opening/closing times or queues for equipment like with a commercial gym.
As long as you put in the time and effort to improve your fitness, there’s no reason why you can’t get fit with a home gym.
Can You Lose Weight Using Compact Home Gyms?
You can lose weight using a compact home gym provided you maintain a regular and consistent workout schedule.
In order to lose weight, you need to expend more energy than you take in.
Compact home gyms are more convenient than commercial gyms as they can be accessed at any time.
This allows you to be more consistent with your exercise, which is crucial for improving your fitness.
Can Home Gyms Build Muscle?
It’s possible to develop muscle on compact home gyms as long as you’re doing the right workouts and using the correct equipment for your desired exercise goals.
For example, if you want to strengthen or develop muscle in your arms, back, and shoulders, consider using a unit that has a rowing machine rail.
That said, make sure you only do weights or use a resistance level that you’re comfortable with.
Don’t try to rush things and immediately jump straight into the deep end.
It takes time to level up your fitness, and using weights or a resistance that is too strong for you won’t make you see results quicker.
It’s more likely that you’ll injure or hurt yourself, which will set your exercise routine back as you’ll have to wait to recover.
Be careful when exercising at home – make sure you’re using the right form during specific exercises, use equipment correctly, and maybe don’t leave your weights scattered across the floor. I’ve done this and it’s resulted in a pretty comical (but painful) trip that sent me flying straight into the wall!
After looking at a variety of the best home gyms, I think the best one overall is the Icon Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS 50.
It’s fantastic value for money and offers a lot of exercise options.
The compact home gym comes with a chest fly/press station, 4-roll leg developer, low and high pulley system, and a multi-grip pull up bar.
It has a 112-pound vinyl weight stack and 280 pounds of resistance.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced trainer, this unit is an excellent pick – it offers something for everyone, no matter their fitness levels or what their goals are.
Other Great Options
Best on a Budget
The former is a decent portable small home gym if you’re on a budget but still need a device that offers multiple workout options with a full range of motion.
It comes with a glide board, 2 resistance bands, dynamic and static handlebars, an ab roller, and more to help you have the best workout.
If you can afford to spend a bit more on home gym setups, then the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym is a great investment.
It has power rods for a challenging workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping!
Not only is the Bowflex PR1000 exceptional quality, but it has a vast amount of features, including 200 pounds of power rods resistance, multiple cable pulley positions, a built-in media rack, and many more.
Let’s Continue the Conversation
I hope this guide helped you find the best compact home gym for your exercise needs. Which compact home gym did you settle on?
Be sure to let me know on our social media platforms.
If you have a minute spare, check out our other guides on fitness and gym equipment reviews to ensure you never miss a beat in your next workout. Don’t forget to share them with your friends too!