Every gym bro has dreamed of having their own home gym at some point, and I’m no different. Skipping the commute, the annoying music, and even worse patrons, being able to train whenever you want, in the comfort of your own home.
That dream has never been more relevant than today when gyms open and close without warning, and that bulk you were on turns into just getting fat without being able to train.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the space for conventional gym equipment. Some of us live in apartments, others already have other stuff taking up space. Whatever the case, in this article, we’ll cover space saver exercise machines of all types; Rowers, treadmills, ellipticals, and even full-blown gyms.
Best Compact Space Saving Rowers
I’ve always loved rowing as a form of cardio. There are not many machines that allow you to work on your arms, back, and legs while also putting your cardiovascular system through its paces.
However, by their own design, saving space on a rower is hard. Especially so if you’re using one of those rowers that have water acting as resistance. Yes, they are very cool, but they don’t just take a lot of space, they’re noisy as hell.
That’s why for this list I chose to forego rowers with water in them, there’s no point in being able to fit a rower in your apartment if using it is gonna piss off your neighbors. With that out of the way, let’s get into our top 3 space-saving rowers.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
This rower gets double props, it’s not just small and easy to store, it’s also absurdly affordable. If you’re a student or someone who doesn’t wanna break the bank for a cardio machine, this is the rower for you.
Of course, that’s not all this rower has to offer. With 12 levels of resistance and a butter-smooth hydraulic system, it’s suitable for people of all ability levels and dead silent no matter how hard you go.
Finally, we gotta talk about the footprint for this thing. It’s absolutely tiny, while still being comfortable thanks to its ergonomic design. Believe it or not, this rower is only 54 inches long and 20 inches wide.
- Ergonomic Seat
- Multifunctional digital monitor
- 12 levels of hydraulic resistance
- Textured handlebar
- Pivoting pedals
- Dimensions: 54L x 20W x 23H in
- Max user weight: 220lbs
- Monitor tracks calories, distance, and time
MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine Folding
If the previous entry was the budget option, this is the extreme space-saving edition. Yes, once displayed it doesn’t look too different from a regular rowing machine but this puppy is actually foldable.
Yes, you read that right. Set it up, get your workout in, then fold it up and put it back in your closet. If that sounds like a good setup for you, then MaxKare is where it’s at.
This unit is a bit pricier than our previous entry, but in exchange for the extra moolah, you get a 16 level magnetic resistance system, which is dead quiet since no parts are rubbing up against each other. That’s not all though, somehow this machine is usable by people up to 6.5 feet tall, which is a wonder on its own.
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance
- Multi-functional monitor
- Usable by people up to 6 foot tall
- Dimensions: : 44.49 x 25.59 x 8.27 inches
- Max user weight: 243 pounds
- Max user height: 6’5
- Steel slide rail
- Includes transport wheels.
Stamina Magnetic Rowing Machine 1130
This rower is for those that are looking for a bit more tech in their rowers. The stamina 1130 comes with a backlit multi-function monitor that tracks total strokes, strokes per minute, workout time, distance, calories burned, and scans.
Believe it or not, that’s not even all the tech the 1130 has to offer. It also comes with a chest strap that will monitor your heart rate and give you a better calorie estimate while you use it.
Don’t worry though, you’re still getting 16 levels of resistance and an upgraded seat for extra comfort. After all, what good is a rower that’s too uncomfortable to sit in?
- Multi-function backlit monitor
- Included heart rate chest strap
- Upgraded seat cushion
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance
- Quiet when used
- Pivoting footplates for a wider range of motion
- Dimensions: 60" x 22" x 27"
- Product Weight: 41 pounds
- Color: Black, Silver
- Includes phone/Water Bottle Holder
Best Compact Treadmills That Save Space
Alright, if you wanted a compact rower for your gym, you’ve got it. Now, it’s time to move on to treadmills, as before, I tried putting together a list with a really cheap one, one that saves a TON of space, and one that’s a bit more premium.
I used to think treadmills were a bit of a waste in a home gym, after all, you can always run around your neighborhood, right? While not technically wrong, after having my own treadmill, I’ve come to appreciate just how useful they can be. Especially for longer cardio sessions where you can watch a show or movie while you run.
NordicTrack T Series Treadmill - Amazing Features
If you’re into treadmills, then you’ve probably heard of NordicTrack before. They’re one of the best brands in the industry, with a legacy of top-notch products and the T series treadmills are no different.
As you might have caught on from the name, the T series isn’t just one treadmill but a whole series of them with slightly different features, but all based around the same frame. That means that all of them will have the same footprint, which is quite small and compact, and foldable.
As a baseline, we’ll take a look at their T- 6.5S Treadmill. It’s not the cheapest in the series, nor the most expensive, so it should give you an idea of what to expect.
In this case, you get a 5’’ backlit display that will allow you to set up several different workouts as well as see the data on your current run. Calories burned, heart rate, distance, and more, and thanks to the included heart rate strap, you won’t even have to use the handles for it. And trust me, you are gonna need to know your heart rate since this treadmill comes with incline functionality, every time I used incline on a treadmill my heart started racing.
That’s not all though, you won’t miss out on your apps and shows, since there is a smartly placed tablet holder and your device can be plugged into the integrated speakers so that you can hear whatever it is you’re watching.
Finally, they also have their FlexSelect cushioning which allows you to turn shock dampeners on and off with the flick of a switch in order to protect your joints or simulate a real road.
- 5 inch backlit display
- Tablet holder for media
- Compatible with Zwift App
- FlexSelect variable cushioning
- 2.6 CPH Motor
- 10 MPH Top speed
- 0-10% Incline Control
- EKG Grip Pulse w/ iFit Tracking Capabilities
- 300 Lb. User Capacity
- Dimensions 73.5” L X 36” W X 54” H
Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA Premium Slim Folding Treadmill
This is the first of two instances you’ll see of Sunny & Health treadmills. It’s their premium option, which is comparable to the Nordictrack but it really takes up no space at all. It folds completely flat on itself, so you can store it wherever, even under a couch.
Of course, since it’s a premium device, it comes with pretty good features too, the one I like the most is the speakers. When you’re working out for a while, using speakers rather than headphones is way more comfortable.
- Folds completely flat
- Comes with a display that tracks time, speed, and calories
- Comes with an integrated pedometer
- 2.5 HP motor
- Has transportation wheels
- Speed Range: 0.6 - 8.0 MPH
- Max User Weight: 220 pounds
- Running Surface: 49 L x 17.75W in
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T1407M - Cheapest Option
The T1407M is our budget option for treadmills. The one caveat for this one is that it’s a walking treadmill. That means it’s not powered by an engine, you have to power it yourself - by running. It may seem dumb, but it makes the exercise a whole lot harder.
It may seem worse, but in the long run, a harder exercise will show better results. A common problem with treadmills is that people don’t push forward on the tread as they would on the ground, they just jump up and let the tread move under them which is counterproductive because it burns fewer calories.
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