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Why Tonal’s Compact Home Gym Equipment is Ideal for Small Spaces

“It’s hard to be a couch potato when Tonal is right there next to your television,” says one member.

Tonal's compact home gym, set up in a member's home.

If you live in a cramped urban apartment or a small home, you don’t need us to tell you it’s hard to fit all your stuff into limited space. When organizing your closet feels like a game of Tetris, you can’t imagine adding in another pair of shoes, never mind an exercise machine. But with Tonal’s compact home gym equipment, making room for a personal home gym in a small space is easier than you think.

Many members are impressed with how Tonal seamlessly fits into their homes—whether it’s tucked into a hallway or sharing space with a den or home office—and how Tonal makes it fun and easy to work out without taking up too much room.

With one sleek trainer that sits low-profile on your wall, you can transform even the smallest of rooms and areas of your home into the ultimate workout spot. Tonal requires minimal space in your home (a 7-by-7-foot area) and minimal needs (a reliable WiFi connection, a power outlet, and two wall studs), but it replaces entire racks of dumbbells and large cable crossover machines to provide full-body workouts in a compact package.

You’ll be armed with more than 240 strength-training moves and a library filled with hundreds of workouts updated regularly, from cardio sessions like boxing and dance to essential recovery options such as yoga, mobility, breathwork, and meditation.  

While you’d ideally want 7 feet of surrounding space, many members have found it easy to make do with a little less. Even Tonal coach and certified personal trainer Kendall “Woody” Wood says the workout area in her Hoboken, New Jersey, apartment is “significantly” smaller, but it doesn’t limit how she uses her Tonal. 

“You can totally get creative,” she says, explaining that Tonal’s adjustable arms allow her to find positions that work in her small space. 

Finding a spot for your Tonal when you’re low on square footage may seem tricky, but these six nifty installations will show you that with a bit of imagination, you can fit one in just about any space.

Turn a spare room into a stealthy gym space.

Tonal's compact home gym equipment in a member's small space.

Nicholas Dutko of Tampa, Florida, and his wife Anna Dutko, installed their Tonal in a 12-by-12-foot spare room. 

“We decided on a pullout sofa bed for that room to give us extra space,” he says, adding that the benefit of having a whole gym on your wall is that it takes up very little space when not in use. “Our guest room doesn’t look like a workout room — it looks like any other room in our house, which is awesome.”

If you have a spare room around this size, Dutko’s installation is an example of how you can transform a den, guest room, or small home office into a gym without Tonal getting in the way. “When you are using Tonal, it still doesn’t take up a ton of space. Certain moves require you to lay down or to take a few steps away from the machine, but hardly any space is needed,” Dutko adds.

Work around furniture with Tonal’s adjustable arms.

Tonal member's small space setup.

Michelle Kenyon-Young lives in a 1,100-square-foot apartment in San Francisco, California, and installed her Tonal in the living room on the edge of an entryway. “We had to squeeze Tonal into an 11.5-by-25-foot living room that already has a huge sectional couch and a large television in it. The actual workout space around the Tonal is 7-by-7-feet. I wish I had a larger dedicated workout space, but we make it work,” she says. 

Thanks to Tonal’s adjustable arms, Kenyon-Young can easily modify moves, which is why this compact home gym equipment works so well in her small space. “I do pull-throughs and squats with row on the right arm of Tonal because there is a partial wall and my front door on the left side.” 

She also adds that there are two benefits to having Tonal in your living room. “The sleek and sexy design is aesthetically pleasing, [and] it’s hard to be a couch potato when Tonal is right there next to your television.” 

Wood agrees that Tonal’s sleek appearance makes it more appealing to keep in her small apartment—even though it’s the first thing guests see when they come over. “You open the front door and you see it right in my living room,” she says. “But it’s not an eyesore.” 

Work out comfortably in the smallest of rooms. 

Tonal member's living room Tonal setup.

Joina Liao fit Tonal into the living room of her 900-square-foot loft in San Francisco. “I didn’t really have space anywhere else. I love how it looks. It’s like a piece of art and always a conversation starter. I have a workout area around the trainer of about 5 feet in width and 7 feet in length,” she says. 

While the space around the Tonal is tight, Liao finds it pretty easy to work out with this compact home gym equipment and simply moves her coffee table out the way when it’s time to exercise. 

“I can accomplish all the exercises without compromise. I like the idea of keeping Tonal front and center. I wake up in the morning, put down the mat, and pull out the bench. After exercising, I tuck the bench in front of Tonal and have a reminder throughout the day of what I accomplished.”

– Tonal member Brian Oliver

“Having the arms positioned differently can overcome a lot of space issues. For [moves] where I need to extend my legs, for example, pullover crunches, I position the arms so I can lay my body diagonally for more space to extend my legs.” 

If you’re worried Tonal won’t fit because you have less than a 7-by-7-foot area around your trainer, Liao’s installation shows how you can work out in a more compact space. If you have questions about your specific space, you can always chat with our Customer Care Team or take our pre-installation survey.

Utilize unused spaces like entryways or small hallways.  

Tonal member's hallway Tonal setup.

Brian Oliver of Boston, Massachusetts, decided to transform a small hallway between his living room and kitchen into his personal gym. Oliver installed his Tonal on a wall that’s about 4.5-feet wide. 

“I don’t see the need for it to be in a bigger area; I can accomplish all the exercises without compromise. I like the idea of keeping [Tonal] front and center. I wake up in the morning, put down the mat, and pull out the bench. After exercising, I tuck the bench in front of Tonal and have a reminder throughout the day of what I accomplished,” he says. 

This Tonal installation is a great example of how you can make the most of areas that aren’t used for much but could easily fit this compact home gym equipment and quickly become a whole new space in your home. 

Design a room that does double duty.

Tonal member's combo home office home gym setup.

If you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home gym, Tonal is compact enough to easily fit into an existing space. For Casie Laughrey of Deer Park, Illinois, that ended up being her home office. 

“I’ve given up virtually zero real estate on the floor, keeping the room still looking clean and uncluttered, which is important in an already small space,” she says. “I actually think adding Tonal to my office has enhanced the aesthetic of the room to more of a modern, multi-purpose space versus just a spare room where I work and my dog sleeps.” 

Having her Tonal in the room where she spends most of her time during the week also makes it less likely Laughrey will ever skip a workout. As she says, “Tonal is never out of sight or out of mind.”

Get creative with extra spaces.

Tonal member's second-floor landing compact home gym installation.

You wouldn’t think a second-floor landing would have room for a home gym, but for Paula Drum of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, it’s the perfect spot to work out on Tonal. When choosing where to install her Tonal, Drum says, “I wanted natural light and an open, airy feel. The upstairs landing looks over the living room and a large picture window outside.” 

Since her Tonal is in an open, communal space, it’s always accessible for a workout. “I wanted the equipment available to anyone in the family at any time, so that meant no bedrooms or rooms that would interrupt other activities,” she says. 

With Tonal, it’s possible to turn an unexpected space like a landing area into a fully functional home gym. Even Drum was surprised by how convenient and compact Tonal is on her wall. “I’m in a hallway and getting a gym-quality workout,” she says.


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