Fitness Tips

Small Workout Room Ideas; Size, Height, Flooring, Best Equipment, and More

It comes to a point in life where driving down to the gym just isn’t as much fun as it once used to be.

Sometimes life gets in the way and you end up being too busy to afford those 30 to 40-minute drives.

And other times, you just bury your head in work, and working out gets pushed to the back burner.

This isn’t to say you have to throw in the towel, sit back and watch the pounds pile up on your body. If you can’t get around to going to the gym, why not bring the gym to you?

I mean, building one in your home…

This, however, comes with its own set of challenges, especially if space is at a premium.

I know, I’ve been there myself.

So in this post, I will take you through some of the best home gym setup ideas on how you can set up a small apartment home gym so you can exercise in the comfort of your home as well as reap all the other benefits – I will get to these in a moment.

If this is something you’ve been contemplating recently, let’s get down to business and help you build a fun, small home gym.

What is a good size for a small home gym?

The ideal size for a small home gym boils down to several factors

When I set out to build a gym in my home, I didn’t have much space to go on, and for this mistake, I went in without the right preparation. I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistake and come out the other side frustrated and disappointed.

So yes, before you become too excited and get ahead of yourself with the plans, make sure you have enough space to work with. Don’t worry though, you don’t necessarily need a whole hectare of floor space for a small home gym.

Anything within the range of 150 to 250 square feet should suffice at giving you enough room to fit equipment for cardio for muscle building or weight loss.

Do note, however, that this is far from a set-in-stone rule as far as space. If say 50 or 60 square feet of space is all you can scrape, then you may as well make that work for you.

The only catch is, you will have to go for a very bare-bones setup and be very (and I mean veeery) selective with the type of equipment you choose.

For that tiny space, you might have little choice other than sticking to space-saving home gym equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and maybe a foldable bench.

If you are not settling for anything less than a gym with such equipment as a squat power rack, apartment punching bag, leg press machine, or elliptical bike, then you’ll need at least 150 square feet of space.

How do you make a small room into a gym?

You can use several ways to turn a small room into a home gym

Now that you know how much space you will need for the type of gym you want, let’s look at some of the most underused areas in an average home where you can set up a small gym.

The Attic

The attic makes for a great option for a small home gym

As much as an attic often tends to rank high among the most underused spaces in many homes, you might have to make several considerations before checking the box on this one.

Why would I have doubts about setting up a small home gym in the attic? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for lifting.

Unless you trust your attic floor beyond any reasonable doubt, lifting there, or installing heavy equipment like high-end professional treadmills and weights might be a big gamble as far as attic gym safety.

But hey, if you have a solidly built attic, and you won’t be doing any lifting there (like if you’ll be doing nothing more than just bodyweight exercises) then sure.

A shed

You can also turn an underused shed into an excellent home gym

Got a shed rotting away in your backyard? How about putting it to good use and setting up a small home gym in there? Just like is the case with the attic, you will need to consider a few factors here, too.

Or at least, you might need to do a few improvements like the flooring, ventilation, and lighting to make the conditions favorable for a workout.

Extra bedroom

If you have a bedroom that you do not use, you can turn it into a small gym

Unless you have a spare bedroom on an upper floor (where you might have to consider the strength of the floor), you will have little to worry about when turning it into a workout room.

Only a few improvements here and there, and you should be all set.

The garage

The garage is always a great choice for a workout room

Turns out, the garage is one of the spaces in most homes that owners turn into a gym. Even then, however, you might need to make a few adjustments like ventilation, flooring, and lighting.

The basement

While the basement is often underused, you can build a workout room here

Some of the challenges that you are likely to run into when turning your basement into a workout room include ventilation, lighting, flooring, and overhead clearance.

If you are setting up a workout room in a basement with a low ceiling, you might be limited as to the height of equipment that you can install in there. I mean the likes of power racks and smith machines in this case.

This brings us to the next bit you need to consider when getting started setting up a home gym in a small room – the height.

What is the best height for a small workout room?

Deciding the best height for a workout room depends on several factors

Often overlooked, the overhead clearance is among the most essential boxes you need to check before getting down to business turning any space into a home gym.

Generally, the ideal ceiling height for a compact workout room boils down to the height of the equipment you plan on installing. It sure does depend on whether you will be performing any overhead pressing workouts.

However, besides the attic and basement, most of the other spaces we have discussed above should offer more than sufficient clearance for a convenient home workout space.

With that said, if the space you plan on converting into a workout room has a clearance of 9 feet or thereabouts, then that should be enough for most gym equipment and/or lifting workouts.

Any height lower than 9’ might still work, but that depends on your height – a short person may not need as much clearance as a tall one. And yes, you could be limited as far as the workouts you can perform and the equipment you can install in there.

Workout Room Flooring

Picking the best flooring for a workout room helps a lot as well

With the height taken care of, the next thing you should turn your attention to is the flooring.

This is particularly important if you are setting up your workout room on an upper floor, as you need to muffle the noise. You’re shooting to get in some workout, not piss off everyone else in the house.

Best Flooring Material for a Workout Room

There are several material options that you can use for a small workout room

You have several options to go on here;

Rubber – Works great at absorbing impact and reducing noise, best by far thanks to its water-resistant capabilities, cost-efficiency, and durability.

Foam – Almost as great as rubber, but isn’t water resistant and can be unstable for squatting workouts

Turf – Turf is great for high-impact athletic workouts, but is a bit costly and not very ideal for barbells and weightlifting.

Vinyl – Awesome for aesthetics, but it’s not very ideal for free weights or weightlifting, it’s more suitable for yoga or pilates though. It’s also resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew.

So, what should you look for in a workout room flooring?

You need to keep an eye on several factors to pick the best workout room flooring

Mostly, you need to consider the following;

  • Cost
  • Ease of installation
  • Resistance to water and moisture
  • Quality
  • Shock absorption
  • Durability

Workout Room Lighting

The lighting is just as important when setting up a small home gym

You might not have to worry much about lighting if you’re converting one of the rooms in your house into a home gym.

However, if you’re setting up your workout room in the shed, in the basement, or a garage, then you may have to make a few fixes here and there.

I’d say dig getting all the natural lighting you can.

This will help prevent using artificial lighting during the day, which might otherwise lead to soaring temperatures in the room and electricity bills.

Also, LED lights make for a perfect choice here, since they are energy-efficient, they’re quite bright, and don’t cause a lot of heat during use.

Workout Room Ventilation

The ventilation needs to be perfect for the best workout conditions inside your home gym

The level of work (and budget) you need to put in for the ideal ventilation depends on several factors; how well is the room ventilated, to begin with, the climate in your area, and the time you’ll be working out.

For instance, if you’re turning a garage or basement into a home gym, you may have to do some renovations to allow for better airflow or install a fan or air conditioning unit.

However, if you live in an area with a cold climate and/or you’ll only be working out at night when temperatures are low, then such changes might not be particularly necessary.

What Should I Have in a Small Home Gym?

The type of equipment you should have in a small workout room is very important too

Now that you have everything figured out, it’s time to bring in the equipment and make your small workout room start looking like…well, a workout room.

Best Small Workout Room Equipment

You have a ton of equipment options to choose for small workout room if you know where to look

Seriously, there are a ton of options and ideas to choose from, so much so, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Trust me, I found that situation when picking equipment for my small basement gym.

And yes, the fact that you’re tight on space doesn’t make selecting the perfect fit any easier. Don’t get caught up in a similar dilemma, here are some perfect fits that you can go for that will enable you to enjoy varying workouts, without sacrificing space.

Home gym

A home gym is not only a big space saver, but also great at versatility

It’s by far the one versatile option that gives you the best of both worlds as far as getting in different workouts and saving on space. The good thing is that these come in different shapes, designs, and sizes.

What you need to do here is check to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Whether you go with a rather compact option like the gorilla bow, or a monstrous machine like the Marcy home gym 988 or 990, make sure you’re getting the best value.

What makes home gyms such awesome choices is that you can do different workout 7 days a week, such as doing shoulder exercises after chest day, or pairing biceps and triceps on next day. The options are endless!

Adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells help save on space and can be used for a wide range of workouts

Adjustable dumbbells also make for perfect workout equipment for such small spaces. Unlike fixed dumbbells (which you may have to build a dumbbell rack for), adjustable models are ideal in that you can use the same set for different workouts and strength levels.

And no, you don’t have to splurge on these either, depending on where you buy your dumbbells, there are some very cool yet affordable sets out there.

Again, a great pick for saving on both money and space.

A foldable bench

For those who love doing bench press, a foldable bench does the job while saving on space

If you are fond of doing such workouts as the bench press, you will be hard-pressed to settle for a home gym without a bench.

Thankfully, with a foldable, small weight bench for apartment, you don’t have to compromise on space or give up on your favorite workout. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

For those who prefer working out on their bench with a barbell, I’d say go for a short barbell, the type of weights you go for is your call.

Other handy workout equipment

There is also a wide array of other equipment that you can go for when setting up your small workout room

The list of workout equipment that you can add to a small workout room is virtually endless, it's all down to the floor plan, floor space, and the equipment you throw in there. Besides the ones I have mentioned above, you can also throw the following in there.

This video should give you a better perspective of what goes into setting up a small workout room at home;

Benefits of a small home workout Room

You will stand to benefit in several ways from having a small workout room

So, is a small home workout room worth all the hassle? The short answer is, Yes, it is! The long answer… well, it depends – on how close your nearest gym or fitness center is, or how much time you have on your hands.

Having read this far, however, it’s clear that you don’t have the luxury of these two. So let’s go ahead and see some of the benefits that you stand to get with turning that underused room into a small home gym.

It saves you money

The first benefit of having a small home gym is saving on gym fees over time

It might not look like it, but the cost of setting up a home gym can be a fraction of the money you have to fork up every month to work out at your local gym.

I know, I know. It still doesn’t add up, but when you factor in the gym fees you have to foot every month, and the cost of fuel to and from, and compound that year over year, you’ll see the contrast.

It Offers a Great Deal of Privacy

A small home gym also offers you privacy that you can't get with a public gym

If you are not quite comfortable working out in a public gym with all the prying eyes of strangers, a workout room in your own home is a great way out.

Hey, who doesn’t hate being judged by every other gym bro if they do an exercise wrong, have trouble using equipment, not mastering the perfect form, or not looking as fit as everyone else thinks they should?

You don’t have to feel nervous, anxious, and intimidated in the gym again, now, do you?

It’s convenient

You also get to enjoy the convenience of working out when you want

The reality of just how convenient a home gym can get hit hard in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most local gyms and fitness centers closed down, and even the ones that remained open, still the issue of one’s health loomed large.

Small as it might be, a workout room allows you to exercise at any time that’s convenient for you and saves you such surprises. You don’t have to worry about driving to your gym past 10 only to find they’re closed.

Other benefits

There's also a range of other benefits that come with having a small workout room

There’s a bucket list of cool benefits that you can get with a small home gym;

  • Besides these, you also get to enjoy the following;
  • Increased home resale value
  • You can enjoy workouts with the whole family
  • For new moms, you don’t have to spend more on childcare

To Wrap It Up…

These are some of the ins and outs of having a small workout home gym

Whether you’re uncomfortable with working out alongside strangers, or you don’t have the time to make it to the gym before they close, or you only want a little more convenience, turning an underused space into a workout room can make life a whole lot easier for you.

Sure, you will have to bear some upfront costs from potential renovations and improvements, and buying equipment. But trust me, you will save a whole lot more down the road.

After all, you don’t have to buy everything on day one; you can add them over time – one piece of equipment at a time.

Related Readings:

  1. Treadmill With Tv and Internet
  2. Expresso Bike Review
  3. Concept 2 Rower vs. Skierg
  4. Dumbbells for Women
  5. 18” inch Stride Elliptical



Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page