If you live in a studio apartment, you’re probably pretty good at Tetris. It really is an art to arrange and rearrange your home until everything fits and has its own place.

Living in a small space is rewarding; it forces you to live minimally and be very intentional with your purchases. It’s a good way to live, but having limited space shouldn’t mean compromising on an effective home gym setup.

Creating your own home gym is worth it for the cost savings, customization, and cleanliness alone. There are some baseline considerations when setting up your at-home gym, such as the location, flooring, storage, and decorations, but these look a little different when you live in a studio or small apartment and are limited on extra space.

We know a thing or two about setting up a home gym in a small space, so we’ve put together our top tips, tricks, and considerations for you below.

Can you set up a home gym in a small apartment?

Yes. You can absolutely set up a home gym in an apartment, even if it’s a studio. You can still get a great workout in a small space, and the size of your home should never deter you from prioritizing your physical and mental health.

Can you have exercise equipment in an apartment?

Stocking your apartment full of exercise equipment sounds like a great idea, but when you have limited space, you might not be able to fit everything into your place, and your building may have weight restrictions.

When it comes time to decide what type of workout equipment to have in your studio apartment, go for smaller, more practical items like a compact adjustable bench, medicine ball, and Bosu ball. If you enjoy cardio or treadmill workouts, consider a foldable treadmill, which you can tuck away when not in use.

Gym equipment for your studio apartment gym setup

Living in a studio apartment doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to bodyweight exercises. With a few key pieces of essential home gym equipment, you can create a home gym setup that will allow you to get a full-body workout and reach your fitness goals.

When buying home gym equipment for a small space, it’s important to be intentional and strategic with your purchases. For example, buying a rowing machine takes up a ton of space and limits you to rowing, whereas equipment like resistance bands and dumbbells take up very little space and allow you to do hundreds of different exercises.

Whether you’re wanting to increase cardio, tone and sculpt, build muscle, or do all three, here is a list of all the equipment you’ll need to create a home gym in your studio apartment:

  • Yoga mat: A yoga mat is one of the most basic and essential pieces of equipment in a home gym. Yoga mats don’t take up a lot of space and allow you to comfortably execute floor exercises like planks, crunches, push-ups, mountain climbers, yoga classes, and more. Save even more space by investing in a double-sided yoga mat with moisture-wicking technology on one side (for those high-sweat classes) and a grippy, cushioned side on the other (for added grip and support). Take it from us, if you have enough floor space for a yoga mat, you have enough space for a home gym.  
  • Yoga blocks: Yoga blocks are small and lightweight, yet go a long way in helping you refine your practice. They act as a support to reduce pressure on your joints and assist in achieving those difficult poses. After your practice, you can easily stack and store them away in your small space.  

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  • Free weights: Dumbells and kettlebells let you do load-bearing movements that build strength and muscle. They’re fairly compact and often fit inside hollow furniture or even tucked under a table. Be sure to purchase three sets of free weights in varying weights: light, medium, and heavy. You’ll want this type of variety when it comes to strength workouts so you can control the level of difficulty. What this translates to in actual numbers will be different for everyone, so choose according to your fitness level and current strength. lululemon Studio’s connected weights pair to the Mirror through Bluetooth, allowing you to track your rep counts and gain more insights into your strength training progress.  
  • Ankle weights: Strapping on a pair of ankle weights is an easy way to add more difficulty to your workouts. These effective accessories are similar to free weights in that they’re small in size, but incredibly beneficial when trying to build muscle. lululemon Studio’s connected ankle weights sync seamlessly to the Mirror and help you see your progress with data that’s collected throughout your workouts.

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  • Resistance bands: Recruit your stabilizer muscles and save space in your studio apartment gym by adding resistance bands to your workout equipment collection. We recommend stocking five bands in total: 2 mini loop bands and 3 long bands of varying resistance. This will allow you the freedom to do any resistance band workout while being able to move up or down in your desired resistance.
  • Foam roller: Skip the long foam rollers and opt for the short ones. You don’t need a full-size foam roller to roll out your tight muscles and joints. A mini one will do just fine and it’ll fit perfectly in your small space.

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Hacks for creating a studio apartment home gym

1. Think vertically

When you have limited space, it’s essential to maximize every square inch. This means utilizing any and all available vertical space around your tiny apartment. For example, use hang shelves, racks, hooks, or pegboards to store equipment like resistance bands and yoga mats.

2. Store like a chipmunk

Living in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t have a big imagination. There are a ton of clever storage ideas for your home gym equipment. For example, hollow furniture like ottomans make a great place to store your dumbbells, kettlebells, ankle weights, yoga blocks, and foam rollers.

3. Work out like a ninja

Generate some good-neighbor-karma by taking the steps to create a quiet home gym environment for yourself. Start by using a yoga mat underneath you when you work out to help reduce noise transfer to downstairs neighbors. Consider using earbuds if you’re listening to music or an instructor on a digital workout. Home decor such as wall art, area rugs, and furniture are great for noise padding. And finally, refrain from jumping rope and lifting heavy later at night or early in the morning. lululemon Studio has a handy “no jumping” filter you can select when choosing your workout, which can help reduce noise and vibrations from equipment.

Use the ‘no jumping’ filter on select lululemon Studio workout classes to get a sweat on without bothering your downstairs neighbor.
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4. Get reflective

Most people are aware that adding mirrors to a small space can make it appear bigger. As a tiny studio apartment dweller, inviting items into your home that have multiple purposes is the name of the game.

lululemon Studio is a virtual portal to personal training and group fitness classes that doubles as a gorgeous and sleek mirror that matches any home decor. It’s the perfect workout accessory because you can see your form in the reflection while working out and receive cues from the instructor during live classes. You can stream live or on-demand fitness classes or personal training sessions while also being able to watch yourself work out in the reflection.

Forget about using a clunky laptop to stream a workout or turning on your TV (if you own one). lululemon Studio helps you save space and packs thousands of workouts into one compact piece of equipment while opening up your small space with its natural reflection.

Enjoy unlimited workout classes from lululemon Studio's NYC studio streamed directly into your studio apartment.
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It’s a small space, but it’s mighty

You don’t need a large space to get a great workout and reach your fitness goals. Following the tips and tricks above will help you create a workout space that works for you, your small space, and even your neighbors.

Happy Tetris-ing!

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