Home Gym Ideas: Fitness Experts Weigh In
Exercising on a regular basis is an essential part of staying fit and healthy, but sometimes finding the motivation to go to the gym can be tricky. Creating a space in your home that can be used as a home gym will make working out more convenient.
Whether your workout involves yoga, lifting weights, pilates, cardio, body weight exercises, or another type of fitness, it’s entirely possible to create a budget-friendly and beautiful home gym in a compact space.
We asked fitness bloggers, personal trainers, and studio managers for their best home gym ideas, including how to design a home gym, what types of equipment to include, and how to invest in your fitness without spending a fortune.
Before you start buying equipment, it's important to determine where your gym will be located. A basement or garage is a natural choice because these areas tend to stay cooler and cement flooring drowns out noise, but a spare room or even a corner can also make a great workout zone. If you love to have super intense and empowering strength-based workouts, a concrete floor is ideal and get rubber plates you can drop. To have a yoga sanctuary, a spare room filled with things that make you happy, like incense or candles, beautiful decor will set the mood. Set up whatever will make you most excited to go into that space and move your body.
Measure the dimensions of the space to ensure you have enough room to move around and access your equipment. Generally speaking, you'll need a minimum of 20 square feet to use free weights, 30 square feet for treadmills, and 50+ square feet for more than one machine. Measure ceiling height to ensure that any weight training equipment or cardio equipment can fit into your fitness room.
Your home gym can be as elaborate or plain as you like. The goal is to create a zone that will motivate you to achieve your fitness goals. Consider adding:
Fresh paint, posters, or artwork
Wireless speakers or sound system
A/C unit or fan
A full-length mirror
The most important thing is to let your space reflect what you want and need from a workout, so customize it based on the fitness goals you hope to achieve. Mirrors provide accurate feedback about what your body is doing in space. Plenty of people who feel self-conscious in front of them. Discover what works for you, what makes you happy and feel excited to go into that space and move.
Choose a paint color that evokes the mood you hope to set in your home gym. A bold color like orange or red can encourage a high-energy workout. If your practice is all about stretching and grounding, consider an off-white or a pastel to evoke feelings of calm. Weight lifters might choose a shade of blue, as blue is associated with productivity. You'll need to stay inspired because let's face it: we don't always feel like working out. Add a motivating poster or quote to your wall that will help get you started or keep you going.
Home Gym Ideas for a Small Space
Whether you’re working with an apartment, condo, or otherwise limited space, you can make it an enjoyable place to exercise by customizing it based on what you hope to achieve. Don't overcrowd the space you have allotted for your gym, or don't use machines at all. Working out using your body weight can generate great results too!
Go-to equipment recommendations for in-home Body Weight training include;
Exercise bands (several band tensions for variety)
Moderate weight dumbbells
1 medium weight kettlebell
1 Stability ball
With such equipment, the trainee can literally perform hundreds of exercises and movements to target the entire body from head to toe while simultaneously increasing caloric expenditure to a significant degree.
Storage is your best friend for a compact home gym. Fitness racks can be used to store dumbbells, resistance bands, and any other gear you possess. Used towels can be thrown in a hamper. Cube storage and fold-able bins can help you get organized and cut down on clutter.
Home Gym Equipment on any Budget
What equipment should every home gym have? That depends on your workout of choice and your budget. High-end fitness equipment can be a great investment, but there are also plenty of exercises you can do at home without equipment using body weight or inexpensive gear.
The best cardio is done outside and we could all use more fresh air, so walking, running or biking outside should be our first option. In the cold and or rainy weather High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can give those in a hurry who want to get a good workout in or with a lack of space, a great cardio workout. Simply performing your strength training movements in a high-intensity fashion, using strict form and short rest periods, will provide a significant cardiovascular and conditioning stimulus. Movements such as jump rope, mountain climbers, high knees in place, kettlebell swings, burpees, squat jumps, marching planks, and bear crawls will create an enormous metabolic spike and cardio effect.
Your home gym basics for under $50 Kettlebell set, jump rope, yoga mat, foam roller, and stopwatch. Get your hands on these and you can really make a massive impact on your health and fitness without taking up too much space or real estate from your bank account. Start with simple free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells so you can load the basic full body movements Once you've outgrown these items, invest in a barbell and some plates so you can keep adding weight and getting stronger.
The best tips for safe weightlifting;
Start at your own pace
Do not ego-lift
Use a spotter
Control the weight both with each rep and each set
If you see it suitable, purchase some weightlifting accessories that can provide the support you need
Video yourself periodically then compare it to the proper technique shown from a trusted expert
The most important piece of home gym equipment is the piece you will actually use, Filling your home gym with the equipment you are comfortable using will be beneficial to you, and help you reach your fitness goals. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are your best friend. There are always people selling used fitness equipment for an affordable price. It is better to invest in higher-quality equipment and accessories so you don’t run into quality issues down the road. Look for brands that offer strong warranties and amazing customer service. Remember, this is an investment in your health, future, and safety.
Subscribe to a website, app or coaching service with a variety of workouts and classes and you have an option with minimal requirements for equipment, I love the app and programs, that give you the motivator of being in a large group, in your own home. Do spend the money to get trained on how to use this equipment properly. Engaging with a personal trainer may be your best investment, rather than the equipment you don't know how to use.
Whether you'll be doing cardio, weights, or another form of exercise, a home gym is an inexpensive and accessible way to get a consistent workout. You don't need a an entire basement to design a home gym, and no matter the size, you can create an organized and well-decorated area that will encourage you to return again and again. You'll reach your fitness goals in no time!