Exercising in a Small Space

Exercising in a Small Space

Working out when you only have a small amount of space can be tricky. However, we believe a good workout is still possible (with a little home-and-equipment Tetris-style strategizing).

If you’re willing to invest in compact exercise equipment for the home, storage options, and new workout routines, your exercise plan will soon be on-schedule no matter the size of your “sometimes-a-home-gym” room.

Useful Ways to Take Advantage of Your Exercise Area

Here are our top tips for getting in shape even when you don’t have much room for working out:

Use storage ottomans, cabinets, and fold-away machines to hide equipment when not in use

If your space is limited, you may need to use it for multiple activities. Your best “workout space” may be in front of the couch or beside your bed – areas you’ll need to keep clear of gym equipment for most of the day.

That’s why fold-away equipment and organization systems are crucial to starting a workout plan for a small space. We recommend you buy a storage ottoman or basket to store your workout equipment or keep a shelf dedicated to your weights when they’re not in use.

For areas with slightly more space, it’s a great idea to invest in a fold-away trainer. With a fold-away trainer, you can work out in the morning or evening, then close your equipment up (like a cabinet) and continue in your day. Strength trainers have an advantage over free weights: you’re able to control your motion better, work muscles more effectively, and achieve consistent results.

If you’re looking for a trainer like this, our recommendation is the Torque 9 Fold Away Strength Trainer. Our Jackson Fitness Expo Store has a wide range of new exercise equipment, so come in and talk with one of our fitness consultants to find the best space-saving equipment for you!

No matter where in the house you decide to work out, invest in attractive storage. Keeping your equipment out of the way eliminates tripping hazards and can help you keep your equipment in top condition.

Follow training videos designed for small spaces

Plenty of traditional exercises require space (running and lunges, for example). However, there are also a variety of exercises – and modifications – that don’t require much room at all.
If you’re not sure how to start working out in your area, search YouTube for workouts created for small spaces. These focused sessions are generally created by personal trainers and fitness consultants who can maximize your calorie burn, even with your current space restrictions.

Here are a few effective exercise styles for restricted-space workouts:


Stair-stepping just requires a staircase or a step stool. Stair-step workouts generally coach you through slowly stepping up and down, gradually increasing your speed, and even stepping backwards and sideways to work different leg muscles.

Sometimes, these exercises increase your heart rate further by adding arm motions; if you have free weights, you can use 2-5 pound weights with these exercises to tone your shoulders and back.

Free weights and dumbbells

Free weight exercises require very little equipment and space. From curls to rows to chest presses, most can be done in a stationary standing or sitting position (as long as you have room to extend your arms fully to your side).

If you need an easy way to organize your dumbbells, try our Hoist HF4461-36 Horizontal Dumbbell Rack. It fits your weights snugly and subtly into corners and closets.

The beauty of free weight workouts is their flexibility. You can add squats or chair sits to your free weight routine to work your lower body. If you want a cardio workout, lighten your weights and increase your speed. The possibilities are endless!

Elliptical training

If you have space to store a single piece of workout equipment, we highly recommend the elliptical. Our Jackson staff recommends the Life Fitness X1 Elliptical Cross Trainer for individuals looking for an elliptical trainer. Elliptical machines simulate running and stair-climbing, working both your lower body and cardiovascular system while simultaneously increasing endurance. Online, you can find elliptical interval training sessions created by professional trainers. An elliptical is a low-impact, minimal-space way to keep your body in great shape.

Use your TV space

Finally, if you’re struggling with space to fit your workout, we recommend you look in the (usually) roomiest area of the house: the TV room.

Whether this is your living room or den, you likely have a number of seats centered around the TV with a large space between the seating and the screen. That space can be used for small cardio and strength workouts with great results! As a bonus, you can turn on your favorite TV show or personal training video for motivation while you exercise.

Even if you don’t have space in front of your TV, you probably have a little room behind your seating. We recommend purchasing a small, subtle workout machine – like the Power Plate MY7 Vibration Machine, which is a single platform and handlebar – and setting it in an unused corner of the room. You’ll be able to finish your workouts while your family catches up on all their favorite dramas and sitcoms.

More importantly, with slim exercise equipment for the home, you know exactly how much space your workout needs. When you’re working out alone, you might start your workout and realize you don’t have enough space to really exercise your muscles properly. However, when you use a machine, the amount of space your equipment needs remains the same no matter how far you decide to push yourself that day.

No matter how big or small your space is, there’s a workout plan for you!

Working out indoors can be a challenge if your space is limited – but it’s not impossible. If you’d like to improve your fitness, tone your muscles, and increase your endurance, invest in at-home equipment and organizers that will fold away or store well after your exercise sessions.

A little strategic thinking goes a long way in creating the best at-home workout. Whether you use a single machine, a fold-away strength trainer, or free weights, with determination you can meet your fitness goals.