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9 Best Compact Home Gyms [Buying Guide]

With so many choices available it can be difficult to find the best compact home gym for you.

We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of compact home gyms to find the best models. We’ve put the equipment to the test and followed our strict criteria to narrow it down to the top 9.

If you’re short on time the Body-Solid EXM2500S is our top pick. The Bodycraft Galena Pro comes in a close second and the Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965 is our pick for those on a budget.

9 best compact home gyms for home use

We’ve rounded up our top picks below. Click through on any models to find out the current price as well as to see other people’s reviews.

We’ll discuss why these are our top picks in more detail below. We’ve included a descriptive buyer’s guide to show you our review criteria.

NameBest forPriceHeightLengthWidthWeight Stack
Body-Solid EXM2500SOverall$$$83”83”51”210lbs
Bodycraft Galena ProUpgrade$$$$81.75”58”72”150lbs
Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965Budget$79”68”36”150-200lbs
Bowflex PR1000Beginners$82”82” (folds to 45″)38”210lbs
Bowflex Xtreme 2SEBeginner upgrade$$$$82”53”49”210-410lbs
Powertech lever gymBodybuilding$$$81.7”81.4”57.5”n/a (max 500 lbs arms, 300lbs cable)
Total Gym XLSSuper compact$$43”51”19”n/a
BodyBoss 2.0Super cheap$15.9”20.1”2.8”n/a
Body-Solid G6BR“Money no object”$$$$$84”84”58”210-260lbs

1. Best compact home gym – our pick: Body-Solid EXM2500S

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Our top pick was easily the Body-Solid EXM2500S. This machine gives you everything you need for a solid workout.

Great if you don’t want to sacrifice your gains by choosing one piece of equipment for your home gym.

The Body-Solid EXM2500S features extra thick DuraFirm pads for your comfort. These will be a lifesaver during those long workouts. Everything included on the machine is also covered by the lifetime guarantee.

The compact home gym features a solid construction using 12 gauge steel.

This will be essential for the more demanding workouts which can take a toll on your gym equipment. We really like the fact this machine has everything covered.

Overall the Body-Solid EXM2500S is a great option that gives you all the basics you need for a quality workout. You won’t have to compromise on features.

Pros:

  • 210lb weight stack- great if you want to build muscle mass.
  • Versatile- includes 6 different workout stations for a fully comprehensive workout.
  • Lifetime warranty- gives you confidence that Body-Solid takes their machines seriously.
  • Heavy-duty- strong and sturdy enough to survive even the toughest workouts.
  • Compact- can fit into a small space.

Cons:

  • Self assembly required- some customers find the instructions difficult to use.

2. Best compact home gym- upgrade pick: Bodycraft Galena Pro

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Looking to upgrade your compact home gym? The Bodycraft Galena Pro came in a close second when we reviewed all our top picks.

The only things that kept it from the top spot were the higher price tag and the lower weight stack.

Overall the Bodycraft Galena Pro is a decent piece of equipment that gives you a wide range of workout stations. You can easily work on the chest, pecs, legs, and other muscle groups for a full workout.

This particular compact home gym has been designed to fit into the corner of your room. This will give you more room to play with when it comes to other gym equipment.

It comes with a 150 pound weight stack as standard and offers you 300 pounds of resistance when working out.

The Bodycraft Galena Pro will give you everything you need for an effective workout. You may need to save for a little bit longer before you invest in it for your home gym.

Pros:

  • Versatile- two workout stations means more than one person can use the machine.
  • Adjustable- adjust the height settings easily to suit you.
  • Compact design- can easily fit into your home gym’s corner to give you more room.
  • Durable- no need to replace this machine in a few years.

Cons:

  • 150lb Weight stack- not as much as our top pick.
  • Pricey- more expensive than competitive models.

3. Best budget compact home gym: Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965

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If budget is one of your main concerns when it comes to a compact home gym the Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965 is our recommended pick. This particular compact home gym machine gives you all the essentials but at an affordable price.

The Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965 features several workout stations to help you build muscle. This gives you everything you need for a full body workout. Essential if you want to build muscle evenly.

You can adjust features of the compact home gym machine such as the curl pads to suit you. These can even be removed to let you perform certain exercises. This is a great feature to look for in a compact home gym if you want it to be customizable for your needs.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Marcy Home Gym MWM-4965 won’t come with as many fancy features as some of the more expensive competitive models.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty- features heavy-duty construction for safety during demanding workouts.
  • Compact- measures 79” (H) x 68” (L) x 42” (W) which is one of the smallest on this list.
  • Ergonomic- padded seats have been designed for your comfort.
  • Versatile- can be used for over 30 different exercises.

Cons:

  • Not for tall people- if you’re taller than 5 foot 10 this may not be for you.
  • 150lb Weight stack- not as much as our top pick.
  • Self assembly required- you will need to build the compact home gym yourself.

4. Best compact home gym for beginners: Bowflex PR1000

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The Bowflex PR1000 is a great beginner machine if you’re looking to start a compact home gym. This machine will be able to give you a full body workout you need to stay fit and healthy.

What’s great about this compact home gym is that it allows you to make the most of your available gym space.

The workout bench can be folded away when not in use to make room for other equipment. The bench can also be converted into a rolling seat for you to use it for aerobic rowing.

The Bowflex PR1000 allows you to adjust the resistance you use. You can use this feature to easily increase the difficulty of your exercises if you want to put your body through its paces.

This particular machine is better suited for beginners than professional weightlifters.

Pros:

  • Versatile- can be used for a variety of exercises.
  • Ease of use- anyone can quickly get used to this machine.
  • No plates- Much quieter and you won’t trap your fingers between the weight plates.
  • Foldable bench- maximize your available gym space by folding the bench out of the way after use.
  • Adjust your workout- the resistance can be adjusted to increase or decrease the difficulty of your workout.

Cons:

  • Not as versatile- better suited for beginners than experienced weightlifters.
  • Resistance bands- can stretch over time and need replacing.

5. Best compact home gym for beginners- upgrade pick: Bowflex Xtreme 2SE

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Looking for an upgrade on the Bowflex PR1000? Check out the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE.

This compact home gym gives you a whole range of equipment to get you smashing those workout goals. You can do more than 70 exercises with this particular machine.

What’s really great about the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is that you can give yourself a full body workout with its various features.

All without changing the cables you use. It features a no-change cable pulley system. This allows you to smoothly move between exercises to help you build muscle.

If you’re new to working out at home this machine will give you everything you need for an efficient workout. All without taking up too much room in your home.

However, this is one of the pricier options on our list so won’t be for everyone.

Pros:

  • Heavy resistance- comes with 210 pounds of resistance as standard with the option of upgrading this to 310 or 410 pounds.
  • Versatile- can be used for a variety of exercises.
  • Heavy-duty- constructed using sturdy materials for demanding workouts.
  • Ergonomic- seat is padded and adjustable for your comfort.
  • Trainer-built workouts- comes with 7 free trainer-built workouts to get you started.

Cons:

  • Pricey- one of the more expensive compact home gym models.

6. Best compact home gym for bodybuilders: Powertech lever gym

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The Powertech lever gym is the best fit for bodybuilders looking to make the most of their home gym space.

This machine gives you everything you need to stay on top of your gains without sacrificing too much room to bulky machinery.

It comes with a large load capacity to help you smash your personal bests. The press arms have a max load capacity of 500 pounds. The cable has a high resistance of 300 pounds.

With both of these heavy capacity features, you’ll have more than enough in terms of resistance to build muscle.

The versatility of the Powertech lever gym means you’ll have everything you need for a thorough workout. A great feature of this machine is that the isolateral arms can be used two different ways.

You can lock them together for use as a conventional bench press, or use them independently.

You will need to buy a set of Olympic weight plates to go with the Powertech lever gym if you don’t own any already.

Pros:

  • Adjustable- you can move the workbench to suit your workout.
  • Comfortable- the workbench is padded for your comfort.
  • Thorough workout- includes everything you need for a thorough full body workout.
  • Compact- won’t take up too much space in your home gym.
  • Heavy-duty- can cope with even the most demanding of workouts.

Cons:

  • Weight plates not included- you will need to buy weight plates to go with this machine if you don’t have any already.

7. Best super compact home gym: Total Gym XLS

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If you are really tight for space then the Total Gym XLS is ideal. This machine has been designed to be as compact as possible.

You can also easily fold the unit away once you’ve finished your workout. You may need to keep it in one area of your home as it will be heavy to move regularly.

The Total Gym XLS gives you a range of 80 exercise routines to choose from.

These routines have been designed to give your body the thorough workout you’re looking for. You can easily adjust between 6 levels of resistance to find a workout routine that works for you.

Another great feature of the Total Gym XLS is that it comes with a range of workout DVDs. These help you make the most of your new gym equipment.

These workouts have been designed for all levels of fitness. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that these are only available on DVD. There’s no accompanying app for your devices.

If you are on the larger size the Total Gym XLS may squeak or squeal as you use it.

Pros:

  • Compact- can be folded away after use for easy storage.
  • Versatile- can be used for a variety of exercises with a variety of different resistances.
  • Additional accessories- includes a variety of additional accessories for an easier workout.
  • Full body workout- helps you concentrate on all of the major muscle groups.
  • Affordable- available at a competitive price compared to other more complicated equipment.

Cons:

  • Squeaks- the machine can squeak during some exercises.
  • Small size- if you’re taller than 6 foot you may struggle with certain exercises.

8. Best super cheap compact home gym: BodyBoss 2.0

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Don’t have the room or the budget for expensive workout equipment? No problem. The BodyBoss 2.0 is a compact affordable alternative to the equipment you’d prefer to use in the gym.

This compact piece of gym equipment gives you a range of exercises to perform. Ideal if you want a compact home gym that will help you keep on top of your fitness. BodyBoss 2.0 also includes a range of fitness videos to get you started.

The BodyBoss 2.0 is a fantastic alternative to bulkier gym equipment. Its super compact nature makes it easy to take with you on the go.

Bear in mind that the resistance the BodyBoss 2.0 is able to offer you will be limited compared to other compact home gym machines.

Pros:

  • Affordable- gives you a much cheaper option than expensive machinery.
  • Portable- its compact nature means you can take it with you.
  • Adjustable- easily add additional bands to suit your workout needs.
  • Versatile- can be used to perform over 300 different exercises.

Cons:

  • Resistance limited- not ideal if you want to put on a lot of muscle mass.
  • Harder to use- not as easy to use as many of the home gyms mentioned.

9. Our “if money was no object pick”: Body-Solid G6BR

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If money was no object our pick would hands down be the Body-Solid G6BR. This compact home gym gives you everything you could possibly want or need from your home gym equipment.

It comes with a range of workout stations and features to give you a thorough workout. There is even a range of additional accessories included for your comfort. You’ll be able to smash through those PBs in no time at all with this in your home gym.

The great thing about the Body-Solid G6BR is that it features patented designs. Some of these promise to help you get 25% more muscle interaction than competitive models.

You’ll be able to get the full range of motion needed for building muscle with this compact home gym.

As amazing as this model is it’s important to remember that it’s one of the most expensive options.

Pros:

  • Versatile- features 6 workout stations for a thorough workout.
  • Various weight stacks- 210-pound weight stack included as standard with the option of a 260-pound weight stack available.
  • Commercial grade- constructed using heavy-duty 2,200-pound tension steel and other high-quality materials.
  • Additional accessories- gives you everything you need for a comfortable workout.
  • Compact- measures 84” (H) x 58” (W) x 84” (L) and won’t take up too much room.

Cons:

  • Expensive- pricier than competitive products.

Buyers Guide

There are several factors you will need to consider before buying a compact home gym.

  • Your own fitness goals
  • Space
  • Quality 
  • Practicality
  • Budget

When you’ve covered all of these areas you’ll be on the right track to finding the best compact home gym for your needs. We’ll cover some of these in more detail below.

These were criteria we looked at when choosing our top 9 picks above.

All in One Home Gym Buying Guide

Footprint

1. Space-saving

One of the most important factors to consider is how much space the compact home gym will take up. How much space have you got available in your home?

You should measure this space first before committing to a compact home gym to ensure it will fit. 

One of the smallest compact home gyms has a footprint of 65” x 40”. For Example the Bowflex PR1000 folds into these dimensions.

You should easily be able to accommodate a compact home gym of this size if you have loads of room.

Quality

2. Gauge of steel

The gauge of steel will be an important factor to think about. Generally, the lower the gauge of steel, the stronger it is.

11 or 12 gauge steel is considered to be one of the best for gym machines. For example, the G6BR has 11 gauge steel (around 1/8″ thick) whereas the cheaper Marcy uses 14 gauge steel (around 1/13″ thick).

Thinner steel means the machine can’t handle as much weight and is more likely to be damaged over time.

3. Weight stack

To get the most from your compact home gym you’ll need a decent weight stack.

It may be tempting to opt for heavier weight stacks. But this will be pointless if you won’t use all that weight. Similarly lesser weight stacks won’t be as useful.

Generally, a weight stack of at least 200 pounds (such as the EXM2500S) is more than enough for most people with home gyms.

If you’re tempted to go for a lower poundage weight stack it might not be enough for any leg exercises you need to do.

4. Does it need to be anchored?

Depending on the weight of the machinery itself it may need to be anchored to the floor or wall.

This is an important feature to look for.

If you don’t bolt these home gyms down you could impact your safety when using them. However, home gyms that are heavy pieces of equipment should have more than enough weight to be sturdy enough without needing to be anchored.

Any machine weighing over 300 pounds should be safe to use without bolting it down.

Versatility

5. Can weights be added to the gym equipment e.g lever gym?

If you’re looking to build serious muscle and add more weight, then a lever gym like the Powertech option could be ideal for you.

Adding your own weight plates can give you more control over your workout.

Check out our bumper plates buying guide if you decide to go down this route. You’ll need some additional weight to add to a lever gym.

6. Cables or pulleys

Does your compact home gym make use of cables or pulleys? A machine that features a pulley system will be more versatile. This allows you to use more movements.

Pulley systems are often much safer than using any free weights you may have, too. If you accidentally drop the weight during a tough workout it won’t land on you and hurt you.

7. Functional trainer

These types of home gym equipment can give you a wide range of exercises to perform.

They can make training for a specific sport such as hockey or golf much easier. You can target the specific things required for your preferred sport.

There are none of these in the list above as they generally take up a larger footprint.

8. Does it include a power rack or Smith machine?

These will be handy features to look for if you want to build muscle.

You can use the included barbell from a power rack or Smith machine for exercises such as bench presses, deadlifts, and squats. You get to place more weight on these types of machine to build more muscle.

Other important rankings

9. Amazon rating

Searching for a quality machine can be challenging. One thing to look for is a good Amazon rating of over 4.5 stars.

There should also be more than 100 reviews. 

10. Value for money

Another factor you will need to consider is if your chosen compact home gym gives you good value for money.

There are many expensive compact home gyms which don’t offer you the same effectiveness as cheaper models. 

You should aim to pay under $1,500 for a single stack. For other types of compact home gyms, under $2,000 is considered to be good value for money.

11. Lifetime warranty

You may not consider a lifetime warranty as being essential. However, this is a good indicator that the manufacturer takes their equipment seriously. This is another reason the Body Solid is our top pick.

If they offer a lifetime warranty they will be confident the compact home gym will last you for many years to come.

Compact home gym machine types

There are several different types of compact home gym machines to consider.

Take a look at the criteria above in our buyer’s guide to help you find the best one for you.

The different types of compact home gyms are:

Types of All in One Home Gyms

Compact home gym machine workouts

The great thing about compact home gym machines is that they are versatile. You can use them to perform a great variety of exercises to help build muscle.

Here are a few to get you started.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bottom line for compact home gyms

After reviewing all of our compact home gym top picks there are some clear winners.

Our overall winner is the Body-Solid EXM2500S. This compact home gym gives you everything you need for a thorough workout without having to compromise on space. Our upgrade pick is the Bodycraft Galena Pro as it covers a wide range of exercises.

You can find a summary of all the compact home gyms we reviewed at the top of this page. Be sure to see our ultimate guide to buying an all in one home gym with some other recommendations here.

by Mike Beatty
Hi! I'm Mike Beatty. I'm a health and fitness enthusiast and PE teacher who wants to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle, without depriving themselves. Since finishing my Sports Science degree I've continued to study & practice numerous types of exercise including weight training, CrossFit, Tabata and yoga.

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