best compact cardio equipment

The Best Compact Exercise Equipment for Cardio of 2020 (Updated)

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It's a Small World. That's why You Need Compact Cardio Equipment for Home.

Even the best-planned move can be stressful--not just for you, but for your cat, friends who are kind enough to listen to you complain and your nerves. What’s the worst move of all? Relocating from large spaces to small places.

I’ve been there and done that more times than I care to admit. But here’s the rainbow at the end of the storm: you can avoid moving stress by making wise buying decisions when choosing compact exercise equipment that doesn’t require its own room because it’s so big.

I’ve scoured the market and come up with suggestions for exercise equipment that fits under the bed. What to do next? Work out, of course.

By owning apartment-sized exercise equipment you’ll know the true meaning of “No sweat” and do a happy dance, because no matter where life takes you, you’ll always have room for a home gym that keeps you fit and healthy.

My Recommendations for Compact Cardio Equipment with the Smallest Footprint 

Marcy Easy Folding Motorized Treadmill

marcy easy folding treadmill

I don’t know who Marcy is, but I’d like to thank her for producing a pre-assembled treadmill for your home gym that’s as mobile as it gets! If you’ve ever had to wield a wrench, you know what I mean.


This home gym equipment has lots going for it because it works nicely in small spaces and if you have to move it, the treadmill's roller wheels make the task effortless.


The treadmill's console is brightly lit to display speed, calories burned, time and distance. If you’re a creature of habit and stick to the same routine, you get 10 program choices for exercises. Affordably priced and sublimely storable, you’ll say “What space issue?” if you select this Marcy treadmill workout equipment.

PROS

  • Treadmill handles are adjustable
  • Workout at rates of speed that go from 0.5 and 8 mph
  • Enjoy fast, easy, out-of-the-box set up

CONS

  • Exercise equipment not engineered for long-distance/endurance runners
  • Tread could skip at the highest speeds

Product Specifications

Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride Trainer

If the only thing smaller than your budget is your small apartment, rejoice.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Squat Assist Row-N-Ride Trainer does more for your shape than compliments from the opposite sex and does it affordably. Don't forget this machine folds, so its great equipment for small spaces.


This full body trainer must be assembled, but it’s worth the effort. You can engage your upper body while you're working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes for max flexibility.


Get the resistance you crave with every rep of your cardio workout. The LCD monitor tracks vital statistics and 3 elastic bands add a total of 66 pounds of workout resistance.

PROS

  • Strengthens the lower body, shoulders, arms and back
  • Accommodates exercisers weighing up to 220 pounds

CONS

  • May not give you the level of resistance you prefer
  • The display function could stop working, owners report

Product Specifications

Aduro Sport Foldable Pedal Exerciser

aduro sport foldable trainer

This exercise equipment is small but mighty—especially if your prime concern is toning and strengthening your legs while being the ultimate space saving workout equipment. Store it in a closet with one hand and bring out the compact workout station when you need it. Use it in your living room while watching televsion. 


All of the health data you seek is available via the bike's 5-function LCD display, so you get consistent progress read outs that includes calories burned, revolutions per minute and workout time.


This gym equipment is a great way to boost your heart rate in a small space. Adjust the tension to suit your fancy and no worries about slippage thanks to anti-slip rubber pads on the base. This excellent example of compact exercise equipment can be yours for a small sum of money! 

PROS

  • Fold and stow this lightweight machine or transport it
  • Pedals are fitted with integrated straps so feet don't slip
  • Data displays automatically; no resets or programming required

CONS

  • Exercises won’t tone the rest of your body
  • Exercise equipment does not come with a warranty

Product Specifications

Gazelle Edge by Tony Little

You may need help assembling this gym equipment, but once nuts and bolts are secured, fly through the air just like a gazelle. Tony Little invented this unique piece of gear and it’s beloved by brand fans eager to improve their range of motion without stressing the body's skeletal system.


This is a great choice for a quiet exercise machine that won't disturb your neighbors. Padded handlebars and extra-wide foot platforms keep exercisers weighing up to 250 pounds safe. The Gazelle Edge’s 5-function computer delivers consistent read-outs on progress on exercises including time, distance and speed. Does this lofty exercise equipment fit small spaces when folded down? You bet!

PROS

  • Takes up only a small amount of floor space
  • Best way to exercise without stressing bones
  • Smooth and quiet, no ear buds required to hear your tunes!

CONS

  • If your aim is resistance training, this isn’t your best option
  • Quality control issues include missing hardware and support beam buckling

Looking for more info on the Gazelle Edge? Read my super detailed review and compare it to other glider models! 

Stamina Products BodyTrac Glider 1060

stamina products bodytrac

The best small rower in this list, the BodyTrac Glider 1060, is the latest iteration of this company's rowing machines. Perfect for a small home, it can turn a burdensome rowing session into fun, enjoyable experience, especially in small apartments. 


The large electric monitor means you can leave your glasses on the table. There’s a feature for your tablet so you can multi-task. You can have the energy to text or talk while exercising and boosting your heart rate.


This compact workout machine's seat was upgraded following consumer feedback, and footplate/strap configurations were also improved. After a full body workout, fold up the exercise equipment, stand the unit on end, and store it fast when you need to clear the room. It's great for small homes with limited space.

PROS

  • Solidly-constructed steel frame and aluminum rowing beam
  • Achieve full range of motion via adjustable hydraulic resistance
  • Weighs just 37 pounds

CONS

  • Air cylinder may make squeaking noises not remedied by lubricants
  • Set at the highest level (12), you may not get the resistance you seek

Product Specifcations

Stamina ATS Air Rower

stamina ats rower

There’s no mistaking this Stamina rower. The prominent fan casing at the front of this unit stands ready to power your fitness program--as long as the price tag doesn’t up your blood pressure. This rower also folds so its a perfect example of equipment for small spaces. 


Burn calories and develop strength using air resistance that mimics the pace at which you row. This is the best workout machine for a low impact, full body workout. Intuitive? Yes. No programming required; your moves determine speed while you're working out.

 

Monitor your speed, distance, time and number of calories burned. The easy-to-read LCD is a favorite of today’s dynamic senior, and the Stamina frame and wheels fold down for fast storage, defining the word “compact.”

PROS

  • Extra seat padding means a more comfortable session
  • Adjust footplates and rowing handle to customize fit
  • Comes with a 3-year frame warranty and 90-day parts coverage

CONS

  • The price tag could exceed your budget
  • Assembly is complex; this is no DIY project

Product Specifications

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Bike

xterra fitness fb150 folding bike

Talk about the ultimate space saving bike! This Xterra compact exercise equipment folds down to occupy only 16.75 x 18 inches of real estate. The seat is anything but wimpy; it’s anatomically designed to fit all bums and the multi-grip padded handlebars are kind to arthritic hands.


Use the easy-to-reach dial tension knob to select from 8 levels of resistance. No need to stop mid-workout to make adjustments; do it on the fly. This Xterra exercise bike features an LCD window that displays time, distance, speed, calories and pulse readings during your cardio workout. Having trouble finding a bike for exercises in small apartments? Your search ends here.

PROS

  • Bike features a 3-piece pedal crank to improve durability
  • The price is manageable if you’re on a stringent budget
  • Weighs only 32 pounds; it’s easy to move in small spaces

CONS

  • The LCD display is tiny; just 2 x 1 inch
  • Some purchasers report display malfunctions

Product Specifications

Need more detail on this folding bike? Read my full review here:

Ancheer Vertical Climber for Home Gym Fitness

ancheer vertical climber

This vertical climber was created to suit a variety of users as it is adjustable for different body heights. Whether you are short or tall, you will be able to use this fitness equipment for a compact workout. What makes this climber ideal for small spaces is that it folds for easy storage. So, it's one of the best options for equipment for small spaces. 


Simulating the movements of rock climbing, you can get a full-body workout, engaging more muscles than you usually would with other fitness equipment. 


This machine comes 90% assembled, with clear instructions on how to put it together. This unit comes with a digital timer for monitoring items such as speed, distance, time, and calories burned. Use these details to help you set goals and keep your motivation. This model comes with a 1-year guarantee, with a 30-day risk-free return. 

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike

exerpeutic folding recumbent bike

If you need durable space-saving exercise gear to lose weight, this exercise bike is made from 27-percent more durable steel than its 400XL cousin. It accommodates exercisers weighing up to 400 pounds. And despite its beefy construction, this recumbent bike folds down in a jiffy.


Set the magnetic tension system for up to 8 options, then climb onboard and enjoy the oversized seat cushion and contoured back rest to keep you comfortable while you're working out. 


Are you tall? This exercise bike is designed for workouts by folks up to 6-feet, 5-inches. Here’s the feature you’ll love most: it folds down to half its size. How many workout machines can make that claim? 

PROS

  • Large LCD display tracks a long list of relevant statistics
  • No struggle getting on and off; this bike is engineered for easy access
  • The dual transmission flywheel delivers a higher resistance workout

CONS

  • Exercise equipment only comes with a 1-year limited warranty
  • You can't reverse the pedal on this exercise bike

Product Specifications

Need more detail to help you decide if this exercise bike is right for you?

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5622

sunny health and fitness SF-RW5622

This dual-function rowing machine isn’t the least expensive piece of equipment on the market, but you might not care when you see how many features and benefits it has. This rower is not terribly difficult to set up and put away. Fold it up and you're done. 


Start at your feet: heavy-duty plates keep them stable so whether you're working your upper body or sitting to row pounds away. You can shuffle between the two without getting up and making adjustments. 


Get 8 levels of magnetic resistance in an environment that’s so quiet, you won’t need ear buds to eliminate noise during your workout. Further, you get all of the read-outs you need to track your progress: distance, scan, count, time, calories and totals. When you're done with your cardio exercise, fold and lock the unit down before putting it away.

PROS

  • Suits exercisers weighing up to 275 pounds
  • Despite weighing 63 pounds, wheels make moving the unit easy
  • Thick seat padding and ergonomic silhouette

CONS

  • You will have to remove hardware to fold down and lock the unit
  • May not provide the amount of tension you require to get and stay fit

Product Specifications

Stamina InMotion Compact Strider

stamina inmotion compact strider

This compact elliptical machine is perfect for people that need to get some exercise but are too busy with work or other activities. This small exercise equipment is portable enough that it can be carried between home and work with a handle, and it can be used in either a standing or sitting position. The pedals can be used in a forward motion and in reverse. 


The tension can be easily modified to control the intensity of your cardio exercise. You can align it with your fitness level. The included electronic fitness monitor displays details such as the total number of strides, strides per minute, calories burned, and exercise time. To engage the upper body, you can attach and use resistance tubes with adjustable padded handles. 


This is the kind of exercise machine you should buy if you have a tendency to procrastinate. Having this item at home or in the office gives you an opportunity to get some kind of cardio exercise done, even if you have other things you’d like to do.


You can use this elliptical for low impact, joint-friendly exercise while you're working, or you can use it while watching movies or playing video games. For more apartment workout equipment such as this, please read my roundup review of the best mini ellipticals.

PROS

  • Easy to Assemble
  • Sturdy and Stable build
  • Helps you stay motivated

CONS

  • Not easy to use at first
  • No support when in standing position, so requires a sense of balance.

Product Specifications

INTEY Pull up Assist Band Exercise Resistance Bands

Intey pull-up assist resistance bands

These portable exercise bands are made out of pure latex and an economical choice in comparison to other brands on the market. As multi-functional home gym equipment, you can use these resistance bands to work out your legs, back, arms, and more. These items are great for physical therapy or strength training when dealing with torn muscles or ligaments. 


These resistance bands come in 4 different resistance levels and you can adjust the difficulty by adding more or less slack, or by combining multiple bands to one exercise. Having 4 different bands also allows you to  increase your resistance levels as you make progress and become stronger. Use them in conjunction with weight training for the best home workout. 


The best part of these resistance bands is that they don’t take up much space. Perfect for a home workout, you can easily store them in a drawer after your strength training workout. Hang them on a hook or store them in a gift box. The bands are also a great addition when using a doorway pull up bar. 

PROS

  • Excellent resistance bands for stretching when you're working out in small spaces
  • Extra durable, depending on your experience

CONS

  • Some have reported snapped bands, which is to be expected depending on use and other factors

TOPLUS Exercise Ball

toplus exercise ball

An exercise ball is an excellent equipment for small spaces, best used in tandem with a yoga mat. This TOPLUS ball is one of the highest density balance balls on the market. With a body weight capacity of 2200 lbs, you can apply a lot of pressure to this ball without popping it. When the pressure gets too intense, it simply deflates instead of bursting. 


Created out of latex, heavy metal, and phthalate, the horizontal ribs make it easy to use without slipping, even when doused in sweat. You can use this ball for many different kinds of exercises, including pregnancy gymnastics, abdominal training, core training, and more. Use it instead of your office chair to improve your posture, if you spend a lot of time at your desk like I do. Just get it set up and you're done. 


As one of the best home gym choices, you can get this ball in different colors and sizes. When you buy it, it also comes with an inflation foot pump, a diameter measuring tool, a ball plug removal tool with 2 air stoppers, and an exercise guide.

PROS

  • High quality materials
  • Very durable with clear instructions
  • Non-slip surface with high stability

CONS

  • It can take a long time to inflate with the foot pump

Choosing Workout Equipment

Deciding which product is the best compact, small home exercise equipment isn't an easy choice to make. You're probably going to want something that’s versatile enough to fit everywhere you go, yet sturdy enough to last. I feel that for the money the variety above should be all you need to burn calories in small spaces. 

My fitness equipment for small spaces recommendations cover all bases, so whether you need gear that focuses on cardio or you’re only interested in strengthening your leg muscles, a machine that suits your budget and goals should stand out. 

The only other items that aren't included here are weights. Storing weights can be very challenging when you only have a small area to store all the pieces of equipment. 

Small apartment? No biggie! Which unit will you choose for your home?

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