How To Build Your Own Personal At-Home Gym
In just a few short months we’ll be ditching sweaters for spaghetti straps and boots for bikinis. So while you may have indulged over the holidays — and well after — it’s time to start thinking about getting your body in beach-ready shape. While renewing your gym membership or trying out that new spinning studio could be one approach, we have something a little different in mind this year. If getting in shape and improving your overall fitness game is high on your list of priorities then we strongly encourage you consider building your own at-home gym.
OK, so we know what you’re thinking: At-home gym? Am I made out of money? But regardless of your budget or space constraints, there are a variety of ways to turn an area of your home into a one-stop fitness destination that will allow you to squeeze in workouts no matter how busy your schedule might be. But where does one begin? Let us help.
1. Pick A Spot That Makes Sense
First and foremost, picking the right spot can make all the difference when it comes to building a successful and useful gym in your home. Ideally, you have a spare room that you can easily convert into your personal workout haven. But even if you don’t, all you really need is a reasonable amount of floor space in your bedroom or living room. In either scenario, be sure to protect your floors. If you’re looking to install bigger, heavier equipment (i.e. a treadmill, elliptical, a bench press), consider buying rubber gym flooring that is easy to install and durable enough to keep your floors safe. It’ll do wonders in making sure your attempts at getting it right and getting it tight don’t cause serious damage to your home.
When it comes to selecting the perfect spot, be sure to pick an area that makes sense for your lifestyle. Don’t pick an area that will feel in the way, but also don’t hide your gym. Sometimes just walking past your workout area can be enough to give you the motivation to take some time out for a quick sweat session.
2. Be Realistic When It Comes To Space
As much as you might want to create this sprawling gym space that would make even Equinox jealous, it’s important to be realistic when it comes to what you can create in your home. If you’re not working with much in the way of space, then buying that massive treadmill and elliptical might not be the way to go. Instead, opt for fitness tools that are just as effective but don’t require too much space. There is a lot to be said for body weight workouts as well as those that only require a few pieces of smaller equipment (think kettle bells, a multi-purpose workout bench, etc.).
When creating your at-home fitness oasis, visualize the types of workouts that will best help you achieve your personal goals and carefully craft a space that reflects those. Also, invest in workout accessories at are multi-purpose and can help you work multiple parts of your body. Some essentials every at-home gym should include are: A bosu ball, kettle bell, hand weights, resistance bands and ankle weights. None of these items will break the bank or take up too much space, making them perfect for an at-home gym.
3. Diversify Your Workouts
If there is one thing we’d want you to walk away with from this at-home gym primer it’s this: Diversify, diversify, diversify! If you are looking to get your body right, then keying-in on workouts that target a variety of body parts is essential. Yes, you could whip out the yoga mat and do crunches until you’re blue in the face, and while you might see some change, it’ll pale in comparison to the toning you’ll see with a variety of workouts that activate several muscle groups at once.
When it comes to an at-home gym space, think of it in three categories: cardio, strength and toning. Whether you opt for a large piece of cardio equipment which, if you have the space, can be awesome, or you go a little simpler with weighted jump rope handles, cardio is essential for losing weight. From a strength perspective, bust out those hand weights or kettle bells for deadlifts, Bulgarian splits and a variety of other challenging strength workouts. While strength and toning very much go hand-in-hand, we distinguish toning here as less weight based and more flexibility and body weight-focused. Make sure that your fitness center has a comfy yoga mat, a foam roller and other necessities to take your flexibility game to a new level.
4. Stay Organized And Stay Motivated
Ultimately, how you decide to approach your at-home fitness nook is very much contingent on the space you have to work with and what you want to accomplish. But we can’t emphasize enough the importance of staying organized and making your space appealing. If you come home after a long day’s work and the first thing you see if a tangled mess of jump ropes, weights thrown about and resistance bands all in a disorganized pile, we can’t imagine you’ll be incredibly motivated to work out.
In addition to making sure your space looks fresh every day, it’s also important to make it your own, to make it inviting and motivating. For some that might be having a bomb sound system cranking their workout playlist, making them feel like that can conquer the world. For others, that might be making sure they have a TV set up in front of their cardio equipment to mindlessly watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Real Housewives of Atlanta” or anything else that doesn’t require that much brain power. And still others might want a tranquil, yoga studio-esque space that allows them to really focus on their workout. Regardless of the approach or styling, make sure it’s all you. If you wanted a sterile environment not catered to your needs, you’d just renew that gym membership. But this year, give something new a try and see if crafting your own personal gym can be just the way to reinvigorate your love of fitness. Believe, it’s done wonders for us.