11 Small-Space Workouts (That Are Actually Effective)

If you barely have enough room to roll out a yoga mat, these workouts are for you.

Originally Published: 
A person does lunges on their bed in a studio apartment. You don't need a big space to get a big wor...
andreswd/E+/Getty Images



Burpees are super effective, says Freeletics personal trainer Vanessa Gebhardt. Stand, then squat, jump into a plank, back to a squat, and jump again. Crank out as many as you can in 10 minutes and you've got yourself a full cardio and strength workout.

Mireya Acierto/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Chair Pose

YogaSix trainer and lead teacher Veronica Najera's small-space go-to is chair pose. "From chair pose, you can add movement by stepping back into a lunge and adding knee taps to the mat with your back knee for strength."

RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images

Legs, Core, & Cardio

Thomas Falda, PhD, a training expert at Freeletics, says that working in rounds can spice up your small space workout. He recommends trying this combo a few times: 20 crunches, 20 lunges, and 20 burpees. Rest as little as possible for a leg, core, and cardio workout.

RgStudio/E+/Getty Images

Become A Plank

If you've got enough space to lie on the floor, you've got enough space to plank. Side planks, full planks, forearm planks, plank pushups, plank reach unders... the limit does not exist. Try to hold these moves as long as you can and write down your times to watch yourself improve.



Gebhardt recommends pushups of all kinds. Regular, diamond, handstand, pike pushups... you name it, and they'll build major upper body strength and core stability without taking up too much of your precious space.


Sprint And Climb

"Mountain climbers are a great cardio exercise," Najera says. "If you want to add more, you can twist your knee to the opposite elbow. Want something standing up? I like sprinter starts with hops. You will feel your heart beating fast."


Jump Squats

You don't need tons of room to bring your squats to the next level. Sink down into your squat, then explode up into a jump. If you live above neighbors, just rise up onto your tiptoes — you'll still breathe heavy and develop strong legs and glutes, without all the noise.


Jumping Jacks

Mix in anywhere between 20 and 50 jumping jacks with the rest of your routine, Falda recommends. You'll engage your cardio system, work your calves and shoulders, and never have to leave the space of your yoga mat.


Yogi Pushups

"Chaturangas are like a regular pushup, but keep your elbows close to your ribs," Najera says. "Then lower your belly to the floor and press the chest up, keeping your shoulders away from the ears. Then send your hips up and back into a down-dog. This will work your whole upper body."


Lateral Lunges

Step out to the right and keep both heels on the ground as you sit back toward the right. Keep your knee tracking over your toes. Step back to center and repeat on the left. You'll help prevent injury by strengthening your legs from side-to-side instead of just front to back.


Donkey Kicks

Kick up the intensity by kicking up from your down dog. "Press into the palms with straight arms," Najera says. "Bring your heels to your butt and knees to your chest. Then go back to your down dog." Keep one knee on the ground to modify this cardio and strength move as needed.

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!