How Do I Turn a Small Space Into a Home Gym?
How Do I Turn A Small Space Into A Home Gym?
I moved into my place 2 years ago, and after moving the furniture around several times, I'm finally comfortable and able to really organize and decorate my place. That includes creating a home gym space.
As the winter months bear down on the northern states, it is going to be incredibly important to have your home gym setup down so there are no excuses, such as its too cold or its snowing, to keep you from getting that workout done. Especially for me, as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, it is imperative that I have a simple, yet practical space for my own workouts on those days when I don’t have the ability or desire to leave the house.
While creating a home gym does not need to be an expensive endeavor, the challenge arises when you have a small place for that home gym, the challenge is how do you make it useable enough for you to have a successful workout?
Where Should Your Home Gym Be?
If you have the choice, a room in your basement would be the best place to build your home gym. Someplace that has low traffic, and very little outside distractions. But in reality, the best room for a gym in your home is whatever room you have available. There are no hard and fast rules.
Another thing to consider is space. You need enough room to lay down with your arms outstretched in all directions without touching anything. So, for most of us a room that is 8’ wide x 8’ long by 8 feet high will be enough if you are only doing bodyweight exercises.
A place to organize your workouts
Set up Exercise HQ with a big white board and a place to keep your workout routines. Having a system where you can check off a daily accomplishment makes a huge difference when you’re working toward your fitness goals. DIY a grid of clipboards to hang proud progress photos and workout sheets.
Use Your Walls For Vertical Storage
Open shelves are a great option for taking the storage to the walls and avoiding clutter all over the floor. While you probably won’t be storing kettlebells or weights on wall-mounted shelves, they do provide the perfect place for towels, yoga supplies or a good sound system. If you have a corner, you have all the space you need for a cardio workout. Mount a pegboard on one wall and use it to hang towels, ear phones and other gym accessories.
Having your equipment easily accessible makes a huge difference in whether or not you actually use them. If you have your yoga mats ready to go and beautifully displayed, you’ll actually look forward to setting aside time for your practice.
Use storage bins or a cabinet with multiple nooks to keep all your gear organized, but in plain sight. It might even keep your jump rope and resistance bands from forming one huge knot, but no promises. In addition to hiding storage bins, open shelving is a good place to keep workout towels and other equipment.
Embrace your inner ballerina with a hardcore barre workout without even leaving the house. Barre is the most efficient way to achieve that long, lean and toned look, and it’s super easy to DIY a barre of your own.
And yes, you should have a mirror. If nothing else, it helps you maintain proper form and reducing your chance of injury.
Get your mats off the ground and use extra-large wall brackets as a sneaky storage space. Once you’ve set up the top of the shelf with music, a good yoga app and a few other accessories, you’re set. Home gym? Psh, you’re all about that home gym shelf.
Pay Attention to the Flooring
The flooring in your workout space can be really important, depending on your place. If you are on the ground floor, with nothing beneath you, then any flooring you want to use will be fine, although something with cushioning is very important.
If you have neighbors, especially below you, a shock absorbent flooring is a necessity. You don’t want to have your downstairs neighbor knocking on your door after your workout, complaining about the banging and other noise.
A Place for Music
A small speaker set to play music from your cell phone or iPod, if you still have one, is great for providing motivation.
Paint a Contrasting Color On One Walls
If you want to really give your workout space a boost, trying painting one wall a contrasting color than the rest of your space. It will really set the tone for your workouts and determine the theme.
Don’t Forget the Equipment
Below is a list of gear that, in my opinion, every home gym should have. However, since I do understand that its a lot of stuff, I will put a * by the things that are an absolute necessity. Full disclosure: the links are connected to my Amazon affiliate page, so if you purchase something from those links, I will make a tiny amount of change. The choice is completely up to you though. :)
Resistance Bands - You can use these rubber bands of various resistance to augment pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, and a slew of other exercises.
Pull Up Bar - The pull-up is a staple in workouts ranging from old-school bodybuilding routines to CrossFit burners. The ability to perform them is required for entry into the military and FBI. It’s just about the best bodyweight exercise you can do.
*Suspension trainer - TRX is the best, but if you find a less expensive version that works for you, then go for it!
*Sliders - Any sliders will do. Hell, you can even use paper plates.
*Kettlebells - Without a doubt, the best weight ever!
Sandbag - When you incorporate sandbags into various moves, the weight shifts inside the bag, forcing you to engage your stabilizing muscles and core.
Dumbbells - Your basic weight option. Allows for a lot of exercise varieties.
*Foam Roller - Required for recovery or injury prevention and treatment.
Interval Timer - You can also download an interval timer app on your phone, but this Gymboss one is great.
As you can see, how you design your home gym is up to you. You can use as much, or as little, as fits your workout style. Of course, the more you have, the more options you have. But reality is, we don’t need a lot of equipment to exercise. Just make sure your space is comfortable and you can more around in it. The rest is up to you! :)