As tiny homes grow in popularity and people begin to make decisions about the items they really need to keep around the house, one fitness question keeps popping up: can you fit a home gym in a small space? Absolutely!
In-home fitness studios can come in a number of shapes, sizes, and price points. A celebrity home gym, for example, is going to look drastically different from a studio apartment setup. (Let’s be honest: most celebrity workout rooms would dwarf New York City studio apartments.) The most important thing is determining what equipment you need to maximize your space and time. And there’s good news: you can fit every tool you need for a world-class workout in a milk crate.
Let’s start with resistance bands. These are basically oversized rubber bands built for exercise. They safely increase the intensity of an exercise without the need for extra weights. Want to build on a simple move like a squat jump or side lunge? Just add a resistance band around your ankles or thighs. And if you need further proof that this cheap, compact tool works, consider this: Kirk Meyers, owner and founder of the Dogpound gym in New York, frequently uses bands when training his supermodel clients.
Another inexpensive tool is a set of gliding discs. For Pilates reformer fans, these disks can help you execute many of your favorite reformer moves, like elevator lunge, bear, and catfish—really any move that involves planting your hands and feet on the carriage and platform. Available for less than $20, these are cheap and effective for core and leg work, but it helps if you have wood or polished cement floors in your home. (The gliders don’t work as well on carpet or tile.) If you really want to minimize your fitness purchases, you can use small towels or washcloths to substitute for gliders.
For a combination of core and stability, consider purchasing a stability ball. Technically, an inflated stability ball won’t fit into a milk crate, but space-conscious fitness enthusiasts have the option of deflating the ball when it’s not in use. (If you work from home, a resistance ball can also make an excellent desk chair.) The ball is great for plank-to-pike ab exercises, hamstring work, and oblique challenges because it forces you to maintain proper posture and alignment through each move.
All of these tools can build on your home, bodyweight workouts, but if you want an all-in-one solution, there’s no better investment than the TRX Suspension Trainer. The Suspension Trainer can augment all seven basic fitness moves: push, pull, plank, hinge, lunge, squat and rotate. Because it’s so easy to adjust how much of your bodyweight you apply to your “load” with the Suspension Trainer, you can make exercise easier or harder using just one tool. The straps easily fold into a small carrying pouch, so you can take or store them anywhere.
If you want to challenge yourself to progressively tougher exercises, you can use the Suspension Trainer with any of the other three items—resistance bands, gliders, or stability balls—that we’ve already discussed.