Working out at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s your guide to making your home gym as good as your local gymnasium.
Making time to work out is essential to your physical and mental health.
Getting in the groove can always be a little hard. But, once you kick that nasty habit of not working out and start the good one of getting fit, it becomes the best kind of addiction. Part of the issue may be as simple as not having a place where you enjoy working out.
Gym memberships can be expensive. They can also mean that you’re stuck at a crowded place, where your favorite machine just so happens to always be in use. There’s a perfect compromise between wanting to get fit and not wanting to own a gym membership — building your own home gym.
This may feel like a daunting task full of questions, but that’s what we’re here for. We’ll walk you through the process and the most important details. Before long, you’ll be itching to have your own special place, in the comfort of your own home. Time to get in shape!
Space may be the most important aspect of your home gym. This is the place where you will be escaping the toils of everyday life. You’ll be focusing on your personal fitness goals. You want this space to be free from distractions and free from interruptions. These are some simple — but important — factors to remember to make your home gym just as good as or even better than that gym membership.
How To Build Your Own Gym…
High Ceilings Can Help For A Gym
Whether you choose to have a treadmill or an elliptical, most of the machines that will be going in your home gym will put you 6 to 18 inches off the ground. What does that mean? High ceilings are very important. That’s especially true if you have light fixtures that hang low. Another important factor to consider is the ventilation in the room. If you want to have a ceiling fan, you’ll want to have a high ceiling.
Mirrors Serve Many Purposes
Mirrors do exactly what you think they do. They are there so you can check yourself out, in a manner of speaking.
They also make the room seem bigger and brighter. This will definitely help when it comes to setting the ambiance of the room. Design a mirror wall or buy multiple apparel mirrors that tend to be more cost efficient
Use Lighting To Set The Mood
This really varies on the type of room that you want your home gym to be. If you practice yoga in the morning, then you may want to have light fixtures that have dimming capabilities. Of course, you may also use a larger window to allow natural light to come in. That removes the need of bright lighting. Regardless of what your workout consists of, just like the mirrors, the lighting helps set the atmosphere of the room. It helps in giving you the escape you love so much.
Choosing The Right Flooring For A Gym Matters
Having concrete, which is too hard, could be dangerous. But, regular carpet, which is too soft, also has its own set of problems. If the floor is too hard that will affect the comfort of your workout, especially if you’re stretching or doing stuff that requires you to be on the ground. If the floor is too soft, then that could lead to the machines being unstable.
Try using hard rubber flooring. It is better on your joints, and it’s right in between too hard and too soft. As well, if you drop a heavy weight you don’t have to worry that the floor will crack. It’s also important to choose a room where the floors are perfectly even. If they aren’t, this could really throw off your workout and possibly cause some problems.
Choose Your Entertainment
The type of entertainment you want in your home gym really depends on what atmosphere you want to create. Having a nice flat screen television for your morning runs will add to the perfect start to your day. A nice stereo system to blast tunes while you’re doing squats will help you unwind from a long day at work. Or you could opt to keep your home gym stress free and quiet by adding candles and some aromatherapy for your morning yoga routines. No matter what you choose, it’s important to make this room yours.
Time To Play The Game
Sure, you can get some great cardio in by running around the park but that won’t give you the full body workout that your body deserves and needs. We all know what happens when you skip leg day, and that’s why having all of the right equipment is absolutely essential for your home gym. So now that you have the perfect room and all its glory, it’s time for the important stuff—the gear.
Try A Treadmill/Elliptical For Gym To Get Your Cardio
These are definitely some of the most popular workout machines to have in your home gym to get in that cardio that we all love so much. They’re both ideal for indoor walking, running or jogging. Depending on whether you’re a runner or a walker, they tend to range from $800 to $7,000.
If you’re a walker, you can usually get away with a less expensive version because walking is much easier and less harmful on your joints. If joint pain is an issue, most people tend to lean towards an elliptical because it causes less strain and impact on your joints. Another factor you may want to consider is how much room they tend to take up. For smaller home gyms, fold-up models may be a perfect fit.
Stationary Bikes Are Also Great Cardio Units
Everyone loves a good bike ride, especially when it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Stationary bikes are a must for those who lead busy lives and love multitasking. Whether you want to read, work or watch television while riding the bike, you’re still burning those calories.
There are two types of stationary bikes: Upright and recumbent. Recumbent bikes allow you to recline on a backrest, which is ideal for those with back problems. Upright bikes are similar to a regular bike with the seat directly over the pedals.
One of the great things about stationary bikes is the low impact and gentle workout they offer. These usually range from $300 to $6,000 and aren’t as big and bulky as some of the other cardio machines.
Rowing Machines Work Your Entire Body
There’s a very common misconception that rowing machines are just for an upper body workout. The truth is they actually offer an overall body workout and are an amazing cardio workout. They also place very little strain on your back and joints.
There are many different types of rowing machines. Some use air resistance, some use water resistance, some use magnetic resistance, while others use a combination of the three. They don’t take up nearly as much room as a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike and are much easier and more storage efficient. Rowing machines generally range from $80 all the way up to $1,300. It really just depends on what you’re looking for.
Dumbbells Are A Gym Must.
These are the gifts that keep on giving. There are lots of workouts and exercises that you can do with dumbbells and they’re an absolute must for anyone with a home gym. Dumbbells with black rubber coating are generally the most comfortable to work with and you’ll get your money’s worth since they’ll last longer. If space is an issue, check out dumbbells made by Bowflex and PowerBlock. Keep in mind that the heavier sizes will be much harder to find if you opt for these dumbbells.
Get A Medicine Ball For Your Core.
Medicine balls are a great asset to any workout, especially those core workouts. The options are limitless with these. We recommend getting a variety of sizes and weights. You may also want to look for medicine balls that are softer. After all, we all have accidents and we definitely don’t want any broken toes.
Another Gym Must Is A Barbell.
Barbells come in two different types: Standard and Olympic. If you’re looking to have lighter weights on it, then the standard is for you. Why? They usually can’t hold more than 200 pounds and are lighter than the Olympic bars.
Olympic bars are usually seven feet long and are for when you’re ready to pull out the big guns. Whether you’re a beginner or a workout veteran, a barbell is very beneficial to have in your home gym. Another important note is the size of the diameter of the bar. Be sure to test it out and look for a smaller bar if necessary.
Jump Rope Your Way To A Fitter You.
This may seem a little juvenile, but jump ropes are actually a huge asset to your home gym, especially if you’re a beginner. It is a great way to get your cardio in and also assists with coordination and strength training, which will help you out quite a bit in the long run.
Jump ropes come in all lengths so you may need to try yours out before buying to see if it long or short enough. There also lighter jump ropes and weighted jump ropes available depending on whether you want to focus on speed or muscle strengthening. A jump rope will likely be the least expensive piece of workout gear in your gym so you’re really not losing anything by buying one and potentially gaining plenty.
Get The Right Type Of Yoga Mat.
You don’t have to be an avid yoga enthusiast to own a yoga mat. They are great for stretching and core exercises. Regardless of the flooring in your home gym, it couldn’t hurt to have some extra padding under you while you’re doing leg lifts and stretching out those sore hamstrings.
Yoga mats range in price, size, thickness, texture and material so it’s really up to you to decide what you want. The determining factor might just be deciding what kinds of workouts you’ll be doing on the yoga mat or if you’ll only be using it for stretching.
A Workout Bench Is A Must.
A bench is really the backbone of a lot of workouts. Whether you’re doing a decline sit up, bench presses or leg raises, a workout bench is a must have. It doesn’t take up too much space and can usually be folded up for storage purposes. Be sure to look for one with a stable frame and comfortable padding. You’ll want one that inclines and declines so you can do a better-rounded workout. Workout benches usually range from $90 to $300.
The only thing that is actually more difficult than working out, is finding the motivation to do it. The thought of having to drive around town after a long day at work and spend hours in an overcrowded, smelly gym is reason enough to stay at home. There’s an easy fix to that — building a home gym. Finally, you can put that spare bedroom you never use to good use.
You may not know where to start, but hopefully after reading this you now have a much better idea. By having a gym in the comfort of your own home, there will never be an excuse to miss a workout. Plus, as an added bonus, there will be no more gym membership fees. Don’t forget to do those squats!
– By Sarah Bayard