Best Compact Home Gyms: Weight Stack, Resistance, and More

Meet the expert

You can call me the Fitness & Health GEEK. I've been involved in the fitness industry since 2015. Exercise and Nutrition are my bread and butter.

With today’s fast paced environment of work, eat, and sleep it can be challenging to find time to exercise. Driving to try out gyms, researching equipment, and finding the best workout can be overwhelming and take up too much time.

The good news is there are a ton of home workout equipment that will help you meet your workout needs. The equipment comes in various prices, sizes, and types.

For home gyms, it can be time consuming to find equipment that will fit in compact spaces because most home gym equipment is made to go in the basement, garage, or shed.

To save you time, I have researched and found the best compact home gyms equipment for small spaces in the guide below.

The equipment will range in price, size, and types of resistance. I’ll help you navigate the best equipment for your overall goals and space of your home.

The 8 Best Compact Home Gyms

1. Bowflex PR3000 (Best Weight Stack Home Gym)

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

No equipment list is complete without mentioning the innovative brand Bowflex. While this equipment may not be the best home gym for bodybuilding with its 210 pounds of resistance, it will get the job done of giving you an amazing full body workout with the possibility of 50 different exercises.

This compact machine takes up an area space of 6 feet by 8 feet. It offers a high, mid, and low pulley that guarantees every major and minor muscle in the entire body is worked on this machine.

Pros

  • High, mid, and low pulley system
  • Over 50 exercises

Cons

  • Resistance bands instead of actual weight
  • Resistance only goes up to 210 lbs

Who it’s good for

  • Those that want to tone

Who it’s not good for

  • Those that want to body build at home

2. Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym with High and Low Pulley System

Gold's Gym XRS 50 Home Gym with High and Low Pulley System

Gold’s Gym is a household name with its awesome strength training equipment. Their home gym lives up to their name with its high quality and good price. Even though it is at an inexpensive price, the machine performs like a high price piece of equipment.

A great sale for this home gym is the ability for it to fit in low ceiling areas up to 6 feet and only takes up a floor space of 3 feet by 6 feet.

Usually a smaller weight stack unit means less weight but that is not the case with this equipment because it holds up to 280 lbs more than most weight stacks on this list.

Pros

  • Great for low ceilings with a height of 6 feet
  • 280 lbs of weight capacity
  • Low price

Cons

  • Seat does not adjust

Who it’s good for

  • Those that have a low ceiling area
  • Those that want heavier weight capacity than most home gyms

Who it’s not good for

  • Multiple exercisers
  • Tall exercisers

3. BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0(Best Resistance Band Home Gym)

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If you’re looking for a lightweight, inexpensive, and innovative home gym, the Home Gym 2.0 from BodyBoss is a great fit for you!

The Home Gym 2.0 consist of a base with multiple attachments, 40lb resistance bands, a bar, handle grips, and straps to go around ankles and wrist.

Workouts that you can do with this piece of equipment include curls, shoulder press, squats, bent over rows, back flys, chest press, and many more.

This equipment comes with instructional video workouts to show all of the awesome exercises and workouts that you can do with this equipment.

The downside to this equipment is the light weight resistance bands. You are able to buy extra if you are looking to add more weight but it can cost a lot to get the weight that you need.

Pros

  • Easy set up
  • Instructional videos to show all types of workouts
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Only 40 lbs of resistance
  • Have to buy extra resistance bands separately
  • The base is not supportive

Who it’s good for

  • Those beginning to start exercising
  • Those looking to do light weight and high reps

Who it’s not good for

  • Those that want to build strength

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4. Body by Jake Tower 200 Complete Door Gym

Body by Jake Tower 200 Complete Door Gym Full Body Workouts Fitness Exercise

The Tower 200 from Body by Jake is another great low price home equipment for those that have a tight budget. This home gym takes up minimal space by fitting on the back of your door.

With the possibility of over 200 exercises you can’t find a better deal than this door gym.

Exercises include chest press, chest flyes, rows, squats, curls, and many more! This machine comes with a chart of exercises on the equipment to help those that are just beginning to exercise.

This door gyms comes with multiple levels of resistance bands, allowing the user to save time on workouts by switching quickly between levels of resistance.

Included with the resistance bands are handle grips, ankle straps, and wrist straps to give the user multiple grips during all exercises.

Again as mentioned before from personal experience, door stations can cause doors and door frames to become damaged and lead to potential serious injury if too much tension is placed on the door.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble on door
  • Multiple levels of resistance
  • Over 200 exercises
  • Low Price

Cons

  • Grips could be better on handles
  • Door gyms can damage door and lead to serious injury

Who it’s good for

  • Those that have little to no space in their homes and only can use doors

Who it’s not good for

  • Those that want to lift heavier weights
  • Those that want to bodybuild or strength train

5. Fusion Motion Portable Gym

Fusion Motion Portable Gym with 8 Accessories Including Heavy Resistance Bands, Tricep Bar, Ab Roller Wheel, Pulleys and More - Full Body Workout Home Exercise Equipment to Build Muscle and Burn Fat

The Fusion Motion Portable Gym on the surface looks very similar to the BodyBoss with its versatility and ability to move almost into any space in the home or while traveling.

What sets the Fusion Motion Gym apart from the BodyBoss is the multiple accessories that leads to more exercises and endless possibilities of workouts.

Included in this purchase are 2 normal resistance bands, 2 strong resistance bands, multiple push up handles, and ab roller.

The best feature is the slots in the base to place the push up handles in to try out different grips and widths while performing push ups.

Pros

  • Additional attachments included
  • Multiple hand grip positions for push ups

Cons

  • Resistance bands break easily
  • Does not come with instructional workout guide

Who it’s good for

  • Beginning exercisers
  • Those looking to do light weight and heavy reps

Who it’s not good for

  • Intermediate and advanced lifters

6. Weider Ultimate Body Works(Best Bodyweight Home Gym)

Weider Ultimate Body Works

Don’t have a lot of space at home for a full body gym? The Weider Ultimate Body Works home gym will be perfect for you! With a compact size of 71″ by 25″, it will fit in most small spaces including closets and patios.

Looking and wondering where the weights are? Don’t worry about weights, you won’t need them for this equipment. Instead of using weights, this home gym uses resistance band pulleys and your own body weight to add resistance.

The other benefit of this compact home gym is the amazing low price. You will be able to purchase this equipment for under $250.

Pros

  • Low Price
  • Takes up minimal space
  • Over 50 workouts

Cons

  • Unique exercise equipment that may take time to get used too
  • Uses resistance and bodyweight instead of weights

Who it’s good for

  • Those who want a great deal
  • Those who have a small amount of space to workout

Who it’s not good for

  • Those that want to lift heavy weights at home

7. TRX Training Suspension Trainer Home Gym

TRX Training Suspension Trainer Home Gym

The TRX Suspension Trainer is one of the most innovative and versatile equipment made in the past decade. With it being lightweight, easy to attach to a door, and hold up to 350 lbs of weight the TRX is perfect for any home gym or travel gym.

The TRX uses the exercisers body weight as the main source of resistance. Adjusting the resistance takes little to no time, by adjusting the length of the straps.

Having the ability to adjust resistance makes the TRX a great purchase for all experienced lifters.

With the TRX, you can feel safe knowing that the straps don’t break as easily as resistance bands.

The only downside to a TRX is that the foam grips do become damaged over time and will need to be replaced.

Pros

  • Holds up to 350 lbs of resistance
  • Attaches to any door
  • Lightweight
  • Durable straps

Cons

  • Bodyweight resistance
  • Suspension training can be challenging for new exercisers

Who’s it good for

  • Those that want a great full body bodyweight exercise equipment
  • Those on a tight budget

Who’s it not good for

  • Those that are looking to build muscle
  • Beginner exercisers

8. Body Solid’s GLGS100 Gym(Best Plate-Loaded Home Gym)

Body-Solid GLGS100 Corner Leverage Gym for Strength Training, 3 Station Exercise Equipment,Red

The Body-Solid GLGS100 compact home gym is a combination of a weight stack machine and a plate-loaded machine in 1 machine. The weight stack that comes with the machine offers up to 160 lbs of resistance to use.

If 160 lbs is not enough, don’t worry you are able to add up to 600 lbs of resistance to the machine. Even if the 600 lbs is not enough weight resistance for you, this machine has resistance tube holders to increase tension during lifts.

The best feature of this home gym is the innovative press bar. The press bar can be used to perform squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull ups.

To get the full functionality of this equipment, you will have to make separate purchases for weight plates, resistance loops, and a bench.

The cost for this machine is already higher than the others on this list without the weight plates and bench, making this an expensive cost.

Pros

  • Holds up to 600 lbs of resistance
  • Ability to do weighted deadlifts and squats

Cons

  • Additional cost for bench and weight plates

Who it’s good for

  • Heavy lifters

Who it’s not good for

  • Those with a tight budget

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Compact Home Gym Buying Guide

Resistance Type

Compact home gyms are usually separated by the type of resistance they offer. The most typical types of resistance you will see are the weight stacks, resistance bands, bodyweight, and plate loaded.

Depending on your exercise goals will determine which resistance type you should choose.

Weight Stacks

This type of equipment is usually made up of a weight stack or multi level resistance bands, multiple pulley stations, and a padded seat for support.

This type of home gym is perfect for those that are looking for the best home gyms to strength train and build muscle. It also is the safest equipment compared to the others, due to the resistance being pushed through a pulley system.

The downsides to these home gym types are the slightly higher cost compared to the other types, the amount of space the machine takes up, inability to add weight, and the limited number of exercises.

There are some cheaper options, but they have lesser weight and less versatility than the higher cost machines.

A couple of machines listed below are able to fit in smaller spaces and low ceiling areas but most take up an average space of 6 feet by 8 feet and are just over 7 feet tall.

Most carry around 200 lbs to 300 lbs of resistance, but once you’ve achieved the max weight, you will have to purchase an entire new machine for more resistance.

With this machine being made to hold higher weight and keep the user safe it limits the number of exercises that are able to be performed.

If you’re looking to workout legs with these types you’re options will be limited to leg curls and leg extensions.

Resistance Band

The resistance band home gym equipment are made up of a base that holds that straps in the resistance bands.

This base is supported by either your bodyweight or the doors in your home. If you’re looking to become ripped and toned, this is the best equipment for you to buy.

These home gyms are very low price and fit in all spaces of your home. They also make for great traveling workout stations because of the easy set up and the lightweight base.

What separates this equipment from the others is the amount of exercises that can be performed.

Most types of equipment on this list don’t offer a lot options for leg exercises except for leg extensions, leg curls, and squats. Resistance band types can do those leg workouts mentioned and a lot more.

The cons to this equipment is the lack of resistance and the cheap quality. The cheaper quality of the base makes it difficult for the user to add more resistance without damaging the base.

Resistance bands also have the tendency to break over time and the price can add up over time.

From personal experience be careful with the door stations, the tension from the resistance bands can overpower the door and open leading to a painful experience.

Bodyweight Machines

Anyone remember the Chuck Norris workout equipment infomercials? If you do, you will remember seeing one of the sliding bodyweight machines in action.

These type of home gyms take the pros of the other two types and combine them together to make a great overall home gym.

These machines take up little space to no space and fit mostly in closets, patios, and other small spaces. The machines rely on bodyweight from the user as the primary weight with some having the option to add more resistance with additional bands.

Compared to the other types, you are getting more weight than the resistance bands and less space than the weight stack machines.

The only negatives for these machines is the unique function and the limited number of exercises compared to the others.

Most users have not experienced a bodyweight machine and one that glides up and down. It can take time to feel comfortable and use the equipment correctly.

With the machine being driven by bodyweight, the number of exercises comes down to what exercises you can do while laying on the equipment.

Plate-Loaded

Compact full-body plate loaded machines aren’t common because most are made for one specific muscle group.

There are a few that you can choose from below but there is not that much after. With the ability to add weight, these types of equipment are perfect for a bodybuilder.

Equipment is made very similar to the weight stack equipment mentioned above with most of the same pros and cons. The only exceptions being the ability to add weight plates.

Having the ability to add and remove weight plates is a great pro, but most machines don’t include weight plates.

This additional cost can be expensive because the cost is usually $1 for 1 pound of weight. Also, before purchasing weight plates for this equipment, make sure to double check what size weight plate fits on the machine.

If not, this purchase can become even more costly.

Space

Location

Think about where you are going to be placing this equipment before purchasing. Will this equipment need to be able to be stored away, move to multiple locations, or stay in one spot?

The answer to this questions will help you figure out which equipment to choose for your home.

Size

Going along with the location is the size of the equipment. How much space do you have in your home to dedicate to a home gym?

Most of the equipment below will fit in a small compact spaces, but double check before buying just to make sure the equipment will fit.

My rule of thumb with size of equipment, is to add at least 3 feet to the length and width to make sure the equipment fits comfortably in the space dedicated.

Don’t forget about the ceilings, especially if you buy a machine that includes pull ups.

Price

Most of the equipment on this list is budget friendly for the amount of exercises and resistance. Price usually depends on what type of resistance you will be using with your home gyms.

A tight budget will give you the options of bodyweight and resistance band equipment. Most of the options that fall into this category take up minimal space but don’t offer heavy resistance.

A higher budget will give you the ability to choose a weight stack or plate loaded resistance machine. The plate loaded machine will allow for more resistance but at an additional cost to purchase weight plates.

Multiple Users

If you plan on sharing this equipment with others, you will need to look at how well the equipment adjust to various heights and weights.

Not only will you need to find a equipment that adjust to users, you will also need to find equipment that various in resistance if the users have different workout experiences.

If you have kids you know that they can be curious and may stumble upon the workout equipment. To keep them safe and prevent serious damage consider what equipment will be safer around them than others.

Related

Summary

After looking through this list of the 8 best compact gyms, you will be able to select the best home gym for you. Remember to go back to the top and read through the what to look for section, while evaluating which home gym is the best for you and your dedicated space.

Each one of the home gyms above has great benefits and a couple of cons. Don’t look for perfection in a home gym but find one that meets your goals, budget, and space.

There are other great compact home gyms out there but this list offers the best bang for your buck and exceptional reviews from customers.

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