The Best Gym Equipment for Your Dorm Room

If you live in a small space, you might think that your exercise options at home are limited to training without equipment, mostly bodyweight training . However, a suspension system or a pair of dumbbells can open the door to many new exercises without taking up a lot of space or stretching your student budget.

Before you choose a fitness solution for your dorm room, evaluate all of your workout options. For example, you can go to your school’s gym for free or cheap. But if the gym is far away, always busy, or doesn’t work at convenient hours, then it makes sense to have your own equipment. Ready to go shopping? Let’s take a look at your best options.

Suspended sneakers

Cost: $ 149 for the TRX Home Gym kit, or less for other brands – just $ 40 for this kit sold at Wal-Mart .

Space Requirements: Since this is just a set of belts, the set folds into a tiny bag. To use it, you need to install it on a solid anchor, usually a closed door, and have a place in front of the door where you can practice.

Exercises You Can Do : Signature movements include plank and push-up exercises with your unstable platform as the coach. You can also do the exercises on the draft, such as the traction in an inverted position , and exercises for the muscles of the crust by pushing a foot in limbo. The leg exercises are mostly bodyweight squat variations, but they also include killer single-legged options.

Suspension machines are some of the most portable exercise kits with a variety of exercise options . The main thing is to find a good anchor point. You can use a doorway if your roommate doesn’t mind, or install an anchor in the wall or ceiling if you’re allowed. You can also use the outdoor hanging machine if you find a good tree or railing to attach it to. You will be heavily loading your anchor, whatever it is, so choose wisely.

Resistance bands

Cost: $ 10 or less will give you a nice starter kit like this one with five different straps .

Space Requirements: The ribbons fold compact enough to fit in your pocket. Any space suitable for exercising without equipment will also work for resistance bands.

Exercises You Can Do: Bracelets are truly versatile . Pull with both hands for a great workout for your arms and back, or step on the tape and pretend it’s a barbell – an instant deadlift. You can even use them to add resistance to push-ups.

Tapes come in different thicknesses and are usually color-coded in the kit. When shopping for straps, you will have a choice of shapes: flat sheets, round bands that will remind you of a giant rubber band, or rubber tubes that are usually attached to the handle. Some kits have clips so you can attach the bracelet to the ankle cuff. All of these options work well, but you need to make sure you can do your favorite exercise with the straps you get. This is a good argument for trying a workout before going shopping for bands.


Cost: Varies widely by weight and type. You can splurge on a $ 159 adjustable set that ranges from £ 3 to £ 24 in each hand, or expect to pay around $ 1 a pound for standard iron dumbbells. The trade-off is this $ 40 kit , which can be assembled in several different configurations.

Space Requirements: The dumbbell set takes up the same amount of space as the dumbbell set. The more sets you have, the more space you need. Unless you have a ton of weights – unlikely in a dorm room – you can probably just shove them under your bed.

Exercises You Can Do: Nearly all of your favorite free weights from the gym! Even if you usually do the barbell exercise, using dumbbells is easy to use instead. For example, deadlifts and bench presses work great with dumbbells.

The hardest part of buying dumbbells on a budget is deciding how much weight to buy. Expensive adjustable sets solve this problem, but if you are buying single dumbbells, you need to choose the ones that are the most versatile. Consider choosing a weight that seems heavy but doable for smaller exercises like curls, and a heavier set that’s suitable for more serious exercises like bench press or weight gain on squats and lunges. For me it might be a 15-pound set and a 30-pound set. As you get stronger, the same weights will be less challenging, but you can compensate for this by adding more reps .

Dumbbells are more expensive than resistance bands or hanging machines and can be difficult to carry around on the day of movement, but they are great for people who like to do free weights in the gym and want to do the same at home. Dumbbells are also a great way to add weight in lunges and squats.

And more

Still have room in your mini home gym? Here are a few more items that can be useful either as accessories to the aforementioned equipment, or as items that are nice to have on their own:

  • Chin -up bar : If you love doing chin-ups, consider installing a bar, but make sure you have a safe place to hang it up. You probably won’t be able to drill holes to secure it permanently, but you can use a bar that attaches to the door frame .
  • Yoga Mat : In addition to yoga, the mat can also be your base for other floor exercises such as push-ups, planks, and stretching. A rolled up yoga mat is a great substitute for a foam cushion. Use it for strength training or to massage sore muscles .
  • Jump Rope : Don’t actually jump rope in your tiny, crowded dorm room (you’ll only make this mistake once), but if you have a nice open or basement space, this can be an easy way to do a little cardio.
  • Swiss Ball: Trust me, you don’t have the discipline to inflate and deflate every workout. But if you like using the ball as a table chair or if you can fit it under your bed, a Swiss ball can add to your workout. Use it for exercise in the press or in place of the bench for bench press exercises and sitting (instability helps to work additional muscles).

Ultimately, your choice of equipment depends on what kind of exercise you enjoy doing, as well as what space and budget you have. You can get a good workout with just about anything, but cheap and portable systems like resistance bands and harness machines are ideal for dorm rooms and other small spaces.


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