A home gym does not need to cost a fortune nor be a permanent installation to your home. However, there are some important factors to consider when setting up your workout zone and this list will help you set up the home gym that suits your personal fitness goals.
Choose Your Exercise Flavor
Before you start purchasing expensive mats and gym equipment, decide what exactly you want to do in your space. If you are cross-training with heavy barbells and kettlebells, installing machinery, and want to do tire flips in your basement; you're going to need to clear a lot of space and put down some heavy rubber mats to protect your floor. However, if your exercise style is pilates and yoga, you just need enough space for your mat and a few pieces of equipment.
Storage is a concern since home gyms often come with a fair amount of equipment. Consider shelving to hold weights, mats, boxing gloves, swiss ball, gym towels, and yoga blocks. The size of the shelving will depend on the amount of equipment you have, but using open shelving makes it easy to grab things when you're in the middle of a workout. Perhaps you don't have enough space for shelving, then you can use hooks to hang things like resistance bands, yoga straps, boxing wraps, and a skipping rope; and use a sturdy box to store your weights. Just like when you're at the gym, putting away your workout equipment will help keep things safe and tidy.
Decoration for Inspiration
You'll want your space to feel inviting and inspirational so that you can enjoy spending time in your home gym. Inspiration for exercise looks different for everyone, for some putting up a poster of a muscle man with a fitspo quote on it like "You can have results or excuses but not both" might be very motivating. Others may want to create a serene environment with soft colors, candles, and plants so they can find their zen zone and get in the mood to flow.
Affordability could be a major issue here so you'll need to shop around for gym equipment in your price range. Large box stores like Walmart, and online retailers such as Amazon, may have all the equipment you need for a great price but you can also check out online classifieds for second-hand stuff, just make sure you sanitize it before use. Depending on your space and what type of exercise you plan to do there is a plethora of gym equipment you'll need but if you aren't looking to invest a lot of money and space into a home gym, according to SELF Magazine, there are 5 essential pieces of equipment.
- Resistance Bands
- A Mat
- A Kettlebell
- A Set of Medium Weight Dumbbells
- A Set of Heavy Weight Dumbbells
That being said, you can never go wrong with a skipping rope to get your heart rate up.
Many people like to use fitness videos or online classes in order to get a complete and effective workout; if that's the case then you'll need a place to put a screen if your TV is not in the same room. You don't necessarily have to invest in a new TV unless you want to. A viable option for a screen would be to set up a safe and visible place to dock your phone, a tablet or simply set down your computer. Even if you're not planning to use workout videos, you may still want to set up a screen or sound system for music. Some people enjoy watching TV while they exercise and others just need a solid playlist to get them moving; whatever your preference, set aside a space for your technological requirements.
In terms of flooring for your home gym; you may just want to throw down your mat and sweat it out on that, but you will need a shock-absorbent surface if you plan to use heavy weights. There is a range of flooring options depending on your activity, space, and budget; from interlocking EVA foam tiles, to rubber mats, or bamboo flooring for yoga. The right type of flooring not only protects your floors from wear and tear but also provides extra comfort for your joints.
It's All Up To You
This list is a basic starting point for setting up your home gym. You may go all-in, ordering a squat rack, boxing bag, and the full range of weights and cardio machines, or you may just want something minimal to keep you in shape from the comfort of your home.
About the Author
Chelsie Joy writes a travel blog, Joy Adventures and is based out of Montréal, Canada. Having taught in South Korea, UAE, and Czech Republic, she has had the opportunity to travel widely and developed a passion for writing about her adventures. She specializes in writing about travel, fitness, the arts, and the environment.
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