The Best Exercise Equipment for Small Living Spaces
Working out doesn't have to mean a trip to the gym, and it doesn't have to mean trying to cram a Nordic Track into your studio apartment, either. Not everyone has the luxury of a yard or a garage to get swole in, so what's a person to do?
Turns out there's plenty to do.
Here are some compact-yet-effective workout essentials to help you get a little fitter. You can put it right where you spend most of your time, so that you don't have any excuses not to use it.
Small Step Machine
Small step machines can be a good way to get in some cardio without needing lots of space to flail about.
It may feel a little odd not having something to hold onto like you would with a similar machine at the gym, but it's worth it—not having a vertical bar means this thing's a lot smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be. Using the pull cords can help offset the strange suspended feeling, and you'd be amazed at the workout you get when you use them. Adjustable tension expands the range of your steps and gives this thing the power to really fight back, if you want it to.
There's something cool about seeing all the machines at the gym that target specific muscles you didn't even realize you had. But if you're looking for a home workout, you need something a bit more compact.
In addition to being space-friendly, dumbbells are a good choice for other reasons, too. Not having the guided motion of a machine can help strengthen your stabilization muscles, and it lets you build up your body for actual, real-world pushing and pulling. If you're like me, put these next to the TV and every kung-fu movie training montage you watch will guilt you into breaking these bad boys out.
You're never gonna be Batman if you can't support yourself with your own upper body strength. You might get a little anxious about your door frames holding up to a pull up bar, but the arm and core strength will absolutely come in handy the next time you need to swing from a grappling line. Plus—assuming you aren't 6'6″—you'll barely even notice this bad boy taking up any space at all.
Resistance bands are a surprisingly versatile tool you can use for strength training, and you can just toss them in a dresser or hang them on a coat hanger when you're done. Since there's not an awful lot too them, this means they can be incredibly affordable too. If you want to go whole hog, you can actually set up a weight pulley system that affixes to your wall and ceiling—it will stay out of your way and give you access to a lot of exercises—but it is a more costly option than the resistance bands.
Folding Exercise Bike
Maybe you want something with a little more oomph than some giant rubber bands. Luckily, there are plenty of compact, affordable options for a good cardio workout, including the ever-popular exercise bike. You're probably going to pay more for these things than you would for the step machine, and you should check out how much effort it will be to get it out and store. That being said—it might be a good middle ground between the absolute basics and turning your living room into a full-blown gym.