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Home Gym Space Needed: How much space do you need to exercise?

A common misconception about exercising is that you have to be in a specific place to get the best out of it. Granted, common workout spaces such as gyms and parks are definitely motivating. However, they are not the key to consistent and successful workout routines. Many people use the lack of access to such spaces as an excuse to put off or avoid exercise altogether.

It does not matter if you are in your bedroom, living room, hotel room, pint-sized apartment, office cubicle, or you are a student spending most of your time in a small dorm room. There are plenty of small space workout routines that will work for you.

So, the question is…

How much space do you need to exercise? 

The amount of space you need to exercise can be as little as 6 ft. X 6 ft. = 36 square feet. In this amount of space, you would be able to do calisthenic workouts such as; jogging in place, jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, squats, and lunges, or even add in a small piece of exercise equipment.

SEE ALSO: Prison Workout

Limited Space Exercises

Maybe you’re just planning on using your gym for some simple cardio. If you’re just looking for a space to do some yoga or aerobics without any equipment then the room size needed could be as little as 36 square feet. There are plenty of exercises that can be done in small spaces.

Here are just a few:

Cardio workouts

Jumping rope is a mega blast cardio workout. It’s an upper and lower body workout and all you need is a jump rope. The thing is, you don’t even need that. You can skip the jump rope altogether and just mimic the motion, it’s just as effective.

  • Increase your stamina
  • Increase your energy
  • Help control your blood pressure
  • Help you burn extra calories
  • Improve your blood cholesterol profile
  • Increase your aerobic power and endurance
  • Help you speed up recovery after intense exercises
  • Strengthen your immune and cardiovascular systems

Bodyweight workouts

One of the best ways, not to mention the cheapest, to get fit is to use your own body weight. From lunges and squats to tone legs, push-ups and tricep dips for arms and mountain climbers, and planks for your core, your own body weight may be the best equipment needed.

  • Do not require resistance training equipment or free weights as the weight of your body offers resistance for each movement.
  • You can perform them anywhere, anytime, with limited physical space.
  • You can tweak them in many ways to improve their efficiency and change up your workout routine.
  • They promote better balance and flexibility as you rely only on your body
  • They offer high output for low investment

HIIT workouts

HIIT workouts stand for high-intensity interval training. HIIT combines short periods of intense exercise with less intensive recovery. You can scour the internet for all sorts of different HIIT exercises that can all be done in a small space. Cardio moves like jumping jacks and high knees followed by pushups and wall sits are perfect for small spaces and will still have you breathing hard and sweating buckets.

  • It is effective for burning fats without risking burning muscle tissue.
  • It is a great way to maximize workouts if time is an issue for you.
  • It keeps your metabolic rate high following exercise
  • No need for equipment
  • Helps you build endurance
  • Improves your athletic abilities
  • It helps improve your oxygen consumption
  • It helps control your blood pressure and heart rate.

SEE ALSO: Compact Workout Equipment

Small Space Workout Equipment

Numerous exercise accessories can allow you to perform a variety of moves without compromising on space in your small bedroom, dorm room, or office. Below are some of the best pieces of workout accessories you can invest in:

• A set of Dumbbells or Kettlebells – Dumbbells and kettlebells are a staple accessory for all kinds of home workouts. They hardly take up space and come in a wide range of adjustable weights. Also, you can always store a set of dumbbells or kettlebells out of sight under your office desk, at the bottom of a closet, or under your bed.

• A Set of Resistance Bands – Resistance bands are the most commonly used small space workout accessory and for good reason. First, you can use them for virtually any type of workout – arm exercises, leg exercises, core work, weight training, you name it.

Secondly, they take the least amount of space possible like an inch or two inside a drawer. Thirdly, they are very portable.

• A Jump Rope – The best thing about jump ropes is that they are versatile and cheap. You probably have one lying around somewhere. Jump rope movements encourage the activation of your large muscle groups. It is an incredible cardio and coordination accessory to throw into your exercise routines.

• Exercise Ball – An exercise ball is overall a great piece of exercise equipment. It helps with posture correction and there are hundreds of workouts you can perform with it. Additionally, it can also double up as a chair.

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Home gym space needed

How Much Space Do You Need For A Home Gym?

The amount of space you need for a home gym according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is approximately 50 – 200 sq. ft. for a Multi-station home gym and 35 sq. ft. for a single-station home gym.

SEE ALSO: Best Functional Trainers For Home Gyms

There are certain guidelines for the amount of space needed, based upon the equipment and exercise you want to do.

If you’re planning on using cardio equipment and have determined where it will go in your space then also think about the type that will get the most use. Don’t buy a treadmill if you hate running. Get a machine that will make you want to work out.

Gym equipment space requirements

Home Gym EquipmentMinimum area required
30 sq. ft.
Elliptical trainer
30 sq. ft.
Stationary bike
10 sq. ft.
Rowing machine
20 sq. ft.
10–20 sq. ft.
Ski machines 25 sq. ft.

In order to save some space, instead of purchasing dumbbells of different sizes consider investing in adjustable dumbbells. With a simple click, you can go from ten pounds to twenty. These dumbbells will save you a ton of space but be aware they can be pricey and you may be shelling out a couple of hundred dollars for a good pair.

Another space saver would be an adjustable bench. Benches are necessary for weightlifting to work out different muscles in the body so a bench that can incline or decline in a variety of positions would be helpful. Most are reasonably priced and can usually be stored in a flat position when not in use.

With all this weightlifting going on, it would also be prudent to install a full-length mirror so you could keep an eye on your form. Bad form can lead to injury so keep an eye on yourself can help prevent that.

Small Workout Room Ideas

To achieve great workouts in a confined space, all you need is the right equipment, a proper setting, and an atmosphere that is energizing. There are several things you can do to achieve this.


The first is the appropriate flooring. Exercise equipment can be hard on flooring. Protect the flooring by covering your workout space with foam-backed carpet or interlocking foam pads.

  • Rubber Tiles – easy to install and keep clean, the rubber is also an excellent shock absorber.
  • Carpet Tiles – simple to use and move around but may wear out faster.
  • Soft PVC Vinyl – very durable and easy to install but may not be the best shock absorber.

Natural light

You also need to make the limited space as comfortable as possible. Ensure that you avail plenty of natural light with pale-colored blinds. It is even better if you can open a window with a view during your workouts.


Make sure that you have ample airflow by plugging in a freestanding fan or ceiling fan.


Hang several mirrors in strategic positions to make your compact space feel bigger. Mirrors are also great for checking out and correcting your workout form.

Overall, a well-thought-out workout space can help you prevent boredom and provide motivation to stick to your workout regimen.

Remember, you’re planning on using this space often so you want the aesthetic to be pleasing so you keep coming back.

The Takeaway

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t exercise if you have a small space. There are many different types of exercises to do, along with plenty of space-saving equipment to keep you fit and healthy. It’s important to plan your space accordingly so it becomes a gym that you frequent often.