How to create a home gym

Want to make more room for your exercise routine? Follow these five steps to your own home gym.

Woman stretching before a home workout in her living room.

As a nation, we danced, yoga-ed and HIIT our way through lockdown. In fact, 63% of people found that physical exercise had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing during the past year.1

So, if workouts have become a permanent feature of your life, here’s how to create your own home gym in five simple steps.

1 Source : Sport England

1. Start from the ground up

First thing’s first – your floor. It may seem like a strange thing to put top of the list, but by working from the bottom up you can create the most comfortable space to jump around in and work up a good sweat.

If you have a hard wood floor or tiles, consider laying soft matting. Mats will absorb sound, provide comfort and, importantly, protect your floor from your gym equipment. A dropped weight can do damage to wood and tiles. If you’ve only got a small space to work with, or don’t want to cover the area with permanent matting, then a yoga matt or two can go a long way.

Matting will also help soften any sound. Be mindful of where your workout space is. If it’s over the lounge consider if your burpees will reverberate to the room below. Try and locate a space that will give you some privacy and won’t interrupt others in the house – whether that’s jumping noises or your banging sound track.

2. Decorate your gym

If you want to add a splash of colour to your home gym, orange and red are the colours that promote energy. Why not add a chalk board or whiteboard to the wall? It’s useful for tallying up reps, writing inspirational quotes or memos to yourself and could help you with long-term goals. Mirrors too can help you keep an eye on alignment and proper posture – and you’ll be able to see the results of your hard work.

If you were one of the millions of households who tuned into Joe Wicks over lockdown, you might be continuing with online tutorials or a personal trainer who streams remotely. So, mounting the TV at head height is a great way to make following workout videos easy.

3. Ventilate the room

Your home gym is a place where you’ll be working up a sweat, and changing the temperature of the room as well as your body. So let the air flow freely. Choose a room with windows and good ventilation and perhaps consider a fan. That way, when you’re catching a breath, you’ll have cool air to refresh you.

Always ensure you have enough water to drink. Take your bottle in with you, or perhaps get a small fridge stocked with water and your favourite energy drinks. You’ll want something chilled to hand once you get going.  

Don’t forget your towel. You can buy special odour-resistant, quick-drying towels that you can keep handy in your gym. We’re not saying leave them in there for long after using, but at least you won’t smell the results if you forget to pop them in the washing machine straight away.

4. Kit yourself out

When your room or space is designed as you’d like it, the next thing to consider is what equipment you’re going to need. This depends on what type of exercise you’re into and the size of your gym.

If you’re low on space, there is plenty of smaller gym equipment you could opt for – think hand weights, dumbbells , ab rollers, skipping ropes and resistance mats.

If you’re a runner or into rowing, you might be looking to make a big purchase, such as a treadmill or rowing machine. Take a look at second-hand options. Often you can find nearly new home gym equipment for a fraction of the price.  If you like to mix things up but fancy making one purchase, an exercise bike is good option. They don’t take up too much space and are often lightweight, meaning you can take them outside when the weather’s nice and spin in your back garden.

5. Don’t sweat the cost

Considering a home gym can be a daunting prospect, especially if the potential costs are weighing your decision down. A good way to see if it’s cost-effective is to total up how much you would likely spend on a gym membership for a year. Then use that as your budget.

On average, we spend about £39 a month on gym memberships.2 So, that’s £468 budget for mats, equipment, mirrors, fridges and fans.

After all, this is an investment in you, your health and your wellbeing.

2 Source: Money Expert

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