I get it, staying fit is not easy. Between job, kids, and social events, you hardly have any time left to take care of yourself.
Going to the gym during peak hours is most frustrating. And if you have managed to get in during a quiet time, you risk running into weird guys.
You could solve all this if you had the equipment to work out at home. With a modern and compact home gym, you can easily train every muscle in your body, burn fat, and lose weight. But what machine should you choose? There are many options, each with its own specific advantages.
I have been there, and I know how difficult it can be, so I spend 3 weeks researching and testing all the top compact home gym machines. Every machine on this list is one that I would personally use. And I have very high standards when it comes to home gym equipment. So, let's dive right in.
List of the 6 Best Compact Home Gyms
Best Overall: Bowflex PR3000
- Material: Heavy-duty steel
- Dimensions: 64 × 41 × 83 inches
- Weight: 166 pounds
- Exercise types: more than 50
- Power rod resistance: as low as five and as high as 210 pounds. Upgradeable to 310 pounds
- Flexibility: Ankle cuffs and multi-use hand grip
- Bench press: Vertical
If you are in a hurry and just want the best compact home gym, I suggest you try the Bowflex PR3000.
You will get a high-quality machine with an innovative pulley system that doesn't require changes between the 50+ different exercises. You can smoothly transition between high and low settings and waste no time during your workout routine.
I found the multi-use handgrips and ankle cuffs to be extremely comfortable during every workout. I also really appreciated the extra board that is included in the package. It lets you adapt the machine for more convenience.
You can easily train your entire body with more than 50 gym-grade exercises. Each has been carefully designed to tone and strengthen every part of the body. If you care about comfort, you will love the upholstered roller cushions for leg extensions and curls.
What I like most about the Bowflex PR3000 is the power rod resistance system. I live in an older apartment with wooden floors and don't want to have a machine with 250lbs of weight stacks in it. The Bowflex system uses flexible rods to create resistance, so it's a lot lighter. I also found the rods to be super easy to adjust to my preferred resistance level.
Don't worry that this is a flimsy machine, though. The heavy-duty steel construction gives you a rock-solid platform for even the most intense workouts. And you can rest assured it will stay that way for many years. Check price here
Best Compact: Total Gym XLS
- Weight: 81.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 19" W × 90" L × 43" H unfolded and 19" W × 51" L × 9" H when folded
- Weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Exercise types: more than 80
- Foldable: Yes
- Workout tools: Nutritional planning guide, exercise wall chart, and a training deck
With the Total Gym XLS you can perform over 80 different exercises in the comfort of your home. You can easily fold and store it because of the well-designed construction. Despite this, you still get a weight capacity of up to 400 lbs. Now you might not need all of that, but it shows the manufacturer's solid construction and confidence.
I was very impressed with how complete the package from Total Gym is: you really get everything you need to start working out right away.
If you are like me and hate to unpack a new product, only to find you need to buy more things to actually use it, you will love the full set of accessories that come with the Total Gym. You get flexible nylon straps, a wing attachment, leg-pull straps, exercise chart to put on the wall, nutritional guides, and more.
Another part I think you will enjoy is the padded glide board. Your head and neck will be a lot more comfortable, especially during longer exercises like when burning fat. Working out is hard enough, no need to add neck cramps.
The pulley and cable system were always a strength of Total Gym and have been upgraded even further. If you have always wanted to do more squats but are struggling with the equipment or weights, I think you will love the squat stand option.
And the best part of all this? You can fit all the training options of the Total Gym in just 19" by 90" of your home or apartment. If you fold it, it only takes 19" by 51" of your closet. Check price here.
Best For Horizontal Bench Press and Rowing: Bowflex PR1000
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 144 pounds
- Exercise types: more than 25
- System: Multiple cable pulley positions
- Foldable: Yes
- Bench press: Horizontal
- Power rod resistance: more than 200 pounds
- Upgrade: New built-in media rack
With the PR1000, you get the well-known Bowflex system in a smaller and lighter package than the PR3000 I chose as best overall. But you would be wrong to think that it's just a smaller and more foldable version of the same thing.
You can perform over 25 different exercises on the PR1000. Now you might ask me, why should I get this if I can do over 50 different exercises with the PR3000? And I would answer: because the PR1000 lets you do horizontal Bench Presses and Aerobic Rowing. And you can simply not do these on the PR3000.
If you are into horizontal bench-pressing or like to use this machine also for rowing, the PR1000 is the home gym I would recommend. If you don't care about those features, you might still choose the PR1000 because you can fold it and store it in a smaller space.
Once you fold up the bench, most of your workout space will be available for other activities.
You can vary the resistance in 5lbs increments up to 200lbs and easily expand your training as you get stronger and fitter. And, the Bowflex PR1000 comes with a full set of accessories so you can start your workout right away. Check price here.
Best Value: Weider Ultimate Body Works
- Material: Foam cushion
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Additional resistance: 50 pounds
- Inclination: 8 levels
- Cables: Free motion
- System: High pulley
- Dimensions: 59 × 27.5 × 48 inches
- Design: Telescoping, a rolling seat, and SpaceSaver
If you are looking for a starter home gym that can be easily moved and stored, I recommend you try the Weider Ultimate Body Works. And you don't have to compromise when it comes to comfort because the Weider gives you high-quality foam padding and ergonomic design.
With the unique telescoping design, you can easily adjust it to fit any body length. When you start to get stronger (and you will), you can increase the resistance with four different resistance bands up to 50lbs. With this added resistance and the 8 levels of incline, you can easily build up your training no matter your current level.
I want you to have a machine that you can use right now to get your desired body, regardless of the budget you have. That is why I had to list the Weider Ultimate Body Works. Not only is the value exceptional, you still get a complete workout solution that you can use for many years. I also really like the high pulley system that makes it super easy to perform lateral pull downs, seated bench presses, and V-crunches.
You can shape and tone your body so quickly when you do these exercises just a few times per week. And when you have to store or move your Weider, you will love the folding design and rolling wheels. Check price here
Best Classic: Total Gym 1400
- Exercise types: more than 60
- Package: Nutritional guide, a workout DVD, and an exercise chart
- Weight: 75.4 pounds
- Foldable: Yes
- Installation: Pre-assembled
- Full body workout duration: 10 to 20 minutes
- Weight capacity: 295 pounds
Total Gym brings you another premium home gym machine with the 1400. you can achieve any desired level of fitness with just this machine. The design is virtually unchanged from the original Total Gym, the machine started a revolution. You can perform over 60 highly-effective workouts, ranging from stretching, strength training, and cardio. Your muscles will both strengthen and tone when working against the unique resistance.
If you opt to use the included program, you can get a full-body workout in just 20 minutes. And no matter how crazy our day might be, we can usually find 20 minutes for ourselves.
You also get a handy nutritional guide and exercise chart to start your journey to better fitness right, no matter whether you are a complete novice or quite advanced. When you open the package, you will only need to assemble a few pieces before starting your first workout. Check price here.
Best For Travel And Tiny Spaces: BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0
- Resistant bands: 2 to 4 bands
- Design: Padded and non-slip grip
- Exercise types: more than 300
- Foldable: Yes
- Workout: Upper body and lower body
- Bonus: An optional free start-up workout program from Amazon
Many people ask me; why did you include this on the list? And I say to them; because it's the absolute most compact way to get a gym workout at home. And if you have only a tiny space or want to stay fit while traveling, the BodyBoss 2.0 is simply amazing.
You can use various resistance bands and angles to exercise in more ways than you can imagine. From squats, upright rows, single-leg deadlifts, ab-twists, to tricep extensions and rear delt flies, you really get almost endless possibilities.
You also get a door anchor you can use to increase your options further. Four resistance bands let you simulate up to 30 pounds of weight for each hand.
And, your hands won't be callused because the grips are padded and comfortable and won't slip out of your hands due to sweat.
Your feet won't slip either because the base has a non-slip surface and protective bottom to protect your floor from scratches.
If you are looking for a super small and extremely versatile home gym, look no further. Check price here
Compact Home Gym Buying Guide
With the full range of products in the market, you may find it challenging to select a home gym to purchase. Each of the equipment comes with various features that suit give the product multiple advantages and disadvantages. As a result, when you want to buy an item of your choice, you need to look at particular factors that can help you to identify the home gym that suits your needs.
The following are some of the features that can assist you in reducing the time taken to make a decision and buy a product that fits your requirements, style, and budget.
The products come with various levels of strength that you can conveniently adjust according to your needs. Some home gyms have resistance features that you can add or remove to make your workout program more versatile. You want to ensure that the equipment you want to buy has flexible, resistant bands, and power rod resistance that will allow you to select different levels of difficulty to improve and sustain your fitness.
2. Design and construction
The manufacturers use heavy-duty steel to design most of these items, which provides you with sturdy equipment that can withstand the rigorous moves of your workout. Additionally, some of the components, such as the bench, handles, and bands, feature padded material that cushions your grip. Be sure to get an item with such durable and anti-slip construction to provide you with long-lasting comfort and stability.
These items incorporate adjustability in their design, where you can easily convert the levels of inclination according to your preference. Some products include a telescoping design that helps you to extend or collapse the height. You want to obtain equipment that you can easily adjust to match the requirements of your workout and help to add dimension to your exercises.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best machine for a full-body workout at home?
Various brands provide several types of equipment for quality exercising at home. Nonetheless, Total Gym, Weider, and Bowflex offer some of the best machines that you could purchase for your workouts. In particular, products from Total Gym incorporate handy accessories, upgraded pulley systems, workout tools, and sturdy construction that can support over 60 exercises.
Which exercise machines burn the most belly fat?
Workouts that can burn the most belly fat include cardiovascular exercises, stretching, v-crunch, lateral pull-down, single-leg deadlift, and ab twist, among others. Some types of equipment that enable this include ab machines and cardio machines like step mill, indoor cycle, treadmill, rowing machine, and an elliptical trainer.
How effective is training at home?
You need to be consistent and highly committed to ensuring adequate training for your desired fitness, especially at home, where you can quickly become complacent. Further, you can follow the exercise charts and nutritional guides that come with some products to help you establish a routine that is easy to follow.
Which is better, free weights or machines?
Even though free weights help you to work more muscles in a shorter time, machines are better because they provide a safer option that allows stable training of tired muscles. You also can target weaker muscles and train them to become as strong as your dominant ones when using a machine.