While multi gyms are pretty compact already, not everyone has a lot of space for a home gym. Which multi gyms are the best options if you’ve got a really small space? Here are your best options.
Best multi gyms for small spaces: The Marcy MKM-81030 takes up the least amount of floor space while being used. It is a bit limited in exercise options and resistance. The BodyCraft GL is the most complete and highest quality multi gym while still being very compact.
Why are those machines the best options and what’s best for your specific situations? Keep reading.
Multi-station home gym sizes
Don’t want a multi gym but are looking for a compact free weights home gym? Click here to find more about compact free weights gyms.
Here is a chart with the floor space the different home gyms use.
|Brand||Model||Length||Width||area (Sq. Ft.)|
|Total gym||Elevate Encompass||106||38||27.97|
|Argos||Men's Health 90kg||72.25||46||23.08|
|Life Fitness||G4 Home Gym||80||53||29.44|
|Life Fitness||G2 Home Gym||71||48||23.67|
|BodyCraft||Xpress pro 200 lbs.||83||56.5||32.57|
|Body Solid||Fusion 500||76||48||25.33|
|Gold's Gym||XR 55||77||43||22.99|
|Gold's Gym||XR 45||64||38||16.89|
So from that chart you can see that the average area a multi gym takes up a little less than 21 sq. ft. with figures ranging from 11.8 to 32.5 square feet.
This post only looks at floor space, not height. If you’re interested in the best multi-gyms for low ceilings, click here.
Smallest multi gyms
Diving a little further into the numbers, we can see the size of every model. Here are the 5 multi gyms that take up the least amount of space.
- Total Gym XLS (11.87 sq. ft.)
- Body Solid G1S (12.25 sq. ft.)
- Marcy MKM-8130 (13.34 sq. ft.)
- Goplus multifunctional trainer (13.54 sq. ft.)
- BodyCraft GL (16.22 sq. ft.)
Those are the smallest multi gyms however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they take up the least amount of space when used.
There is a difference between the smallest multi gym and the multi gym that needs the least amount of space to be used properly.
As you can read in that post, you need some space around your machine to actually be able to use it.
It depends on your specific machine how much space exactly but there are some guidelines you can follow.
- If the machine allows for full sideways extension of your arms, you should have the space to do this. In this case you need to have an available width a little bit bigger than your arm span. Your arm span is roughly equal to your height. However, not all machines allow this. The exercise where you would have to extend your arms to the side is the chest fly. Most most machines have you bend your arms at the elbows so it doesn’t actually take more width than the machine.
- You have to be able to extend your arms forward from the seat. If you’ve got enough space to walk up to the machine and sit down, this is likely not a problem.
- If the machine has a leg extension option, you have to be able to extend your legs forward. About 2 feet is enough.
- You need some space to get on and off the machine. This is pretty small and the other space around it is usually enough.
Let’s take a look at the 5 smallest machines, the features they have and how much space you’d need to be able to use them.
|Brand||Model||Leg extension||Chest fly||Chest press|
|Body Solid||G1S||Yes||Not wider than machine||Yes|
|Marcy||MKM-81030||Yes||Not wider than machine||Yes|
|Goplus||Multifunctional trainer||Yes||Not wider than machine||Yes|
|BodyCraft||GL||Yes||Not wider than machine||Yes|
Total Gym XLS
The Total Gym XLS is a bit strange since the setup is so different from the other machines. It’s very narrow but, because you can fully extend your arms to the side, you actually need quite a bit of width to use this machine to its full potential. That fact suddenly makes it need quite a bit of space since it is pretty long as well.
However, while you need about 95” by 72” (47.5 sq.ft.) to use the machine, when you’re done, it’s foldable. So that means you just need that space for a little while and you can easily put is away after your workout so it takes up much less space.
Body solid G1S
The G1S is small and offers plenty of exercise options. It does have a leg press that requires extra space and a separate low pulley that moves diagonally away from the machine.
The leg extension adds 24” to the length. The low pulley moves away from the machine at an angle so it’s a bit more complicated. The length added by the leg extension is enough to use the low pulley but we still need some extra width. About 20” on the width should be enough.
That makes for a total space of 73” by 56” (28.4 sq.ft.) to use the machine.
The G1S is a solid machine with good exercise options and a decent amount of resistance. Body-Solid also offers lifetime warranty on the whole machine which is a nice plus.
Marcy MKM 81030
One of the most compact home gyms and also requires very little extra space than its own footprint. There are no options for exercises that are wider than the machine itself. So just a few inches next to the machine to make sure nothing hits the wall is enough. The seat and therefore leg extension is set back in the frame a little bit. That means you don’t need a lot of extra space in front of the machine either. Just a foot extra will be plenty, which is room you need to get on and of the machine and for other exercises as well.
That means a space of 68.5” by +-38”(18.07 sq. ft) is enough to fully use this multi gym.
There are however a few drawbacks to a machine that’s this compact;
- The resistance is quite limited. 100 lbs. is not that much and many people that train for a while will start running into the limit.
- The exercise options are somewhat limited. While you can still do a full body workout, other machines have more options.
Goplus multifunctional trainer
The Goplus multifunctional trainer is a pretty compact machine and also doesn’t need a lot of extra space to be used fully.
There is no exercise that requires you to have more width than the measurements of the machine. That means a few extra inches on both sides to have some room to move around and not rub on the wall is enough.
Only the leg extension requires some extra space. That means a space of 74” by 43” (21.8 sq. ft.) is enough.
The drawback of this multi gym is that the exercise options are a bit limited and the resistance is decided by your bodyweight. For casual exercisers this will be enough but if you’re a bit more serious, it’s probably not enough.
This machine is slightly bigger than the other ones but has a neat trick up its sleeve. You can put it in a corner. The seat is set up diagonally in the frame so you can put two sides up to a wall. This is really useful for small spaces. Because of this setup, there is space to add a separate low pulley station to the same machine.
There are two things that require extra space around this machine. 1. The leg extension 2. Room to use the low pulley. The leg extension moves diagonally away from the corner you put the machine in. The low pulley will be used along the wall.
Because the leg press moves diagonally, you’ll need both extra length and width but less than 2 feet. 1.5’ extra on both length and width should give you plenty of space. A total floor area of 70.5” by 65” (31.8 sq. ft.) will provide enough space to fully use the machine.
Best multi gym for small home gyms
Sure, there is only one multi gym that is the most compact. However, there is a trade-off between features, resistance, space and price. Keep reading to see what’s best for your specific situation.
Smallest: The multi gym that needs the least amount of space is the Marcy MKM-81030 (amazon link) needing only a little more than 18 square feet of floor space. It can provide a full body workout although the exercise options and resistance is a bit limited. This machine is good for people that want something very small for light use or just can’t fit anything bigger.
Cheapest: The Goplus is just a little bigger than the Marcy and does a lot of things right and is also quite cheap. The drawback is the use of bodyweight which means the resistance is different for everyone. Another drawback is the limited amount of exercise options. While still enough to get a full body workout, maybe it won’t be enough for serious lifters. The price might convince you to overlook those drawbacks however.
Best compromise: The next best option is the Body-Solid G1S. While it does take up more space than the Marcy, it has higher quality, provides more exercise options, better warranty and more resistance. The G1S comes with a great warranty and plenty of exercises the doesn’t provide. Where most people would run into the resistance limitations of the previous two options, the 160 lbs. of the G1S will be enough for most people.
For heavy workouts: For a heavy workout, you need more resistance. More than the bodyweight or other options have to offer. The BodyCraft GL does take up the most space in this comparison but it also provides the most. The most exercise options, Possible leg press extension, highest quality and the highest resistance.
The BodyCraft GL can be upgraded to a 200 lbs. weight stack which is significantly more than any other option on this list. It does come at a price but if you can afford it and have enough space for this machine, it’s the best option by a long shot.
Fold away: While the Total Gym XLS is quite small by itself, it takes quite a bit of space to use it properly. However, it can be folded away when not in use. This will make it taller but also use much less floor space when folded. It really depends on your situation if that’s good. That aside, the XLS provides a ton of exercise options and is highly rated by its users.
Favorite home gym tools
Many people often forget a few important pieces of their home gym that isn’t directly gym equipment. Here are my favorite home gym tools.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and all types of other workouts, the GymNext Flex is easily the best and easiest to use.
- Mirrors: Fab & Glass (Amazon link) makes the best large mirror sheets so you can see your exercise form.
- Flooring: American Floor Mats gym flooring (Amazon) or equipment mats make your gym quieter, easier to clean and keeps your floor and equipment safe.
- Fan: The Rowenta VU5670 (Amazon) is a great way to stay cool while working out.