New Year’s Resolution time brings up the topic of the gym. So what is better than a gym in your own home? Most people think of purchasing workout machines and believe home gyms are an option for the boujee, but with these tips and tricks, we can go over the home gym essentials so you can get fit from the comfort of your own home.
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What sort of equipment do I need?
The start of any home gym collection is investing in a pair of dumbbells. This piece of equipment will be worth the investment. For greater organization, you can purchase a rack with your dumbbell set. Choose a range of four to five weights as you increase in strength.
Pull-up bars are key pieces of equipment for strengthening your back, your biceps, and your triceps. You can install one permanently or use a temporary one you can take in and out of a door frame. Just make sure your ceiling provides the height you need so you don’t bang your head!
A bench is another good investment piece. Choose a bench that can easily be adjusted. Benches are useful for a variety of exercises, especially ones including dumbbells.
A jump rope is an inexpensive option for increasing your cardio and working on your plyometrics. With a jump rope, you do need to consider ceiling height and adequate space, but otherwise it is an easy and effective exercise to do at home.
Medicine balls serve multiple purposes as well. You can choose to get a range of weighted medicine balls or a standard one for your core strengthening exercises. Choose a medicine ball of soft material so as not to break anything.
Lastly, if your budget permits it, invest in barbells and weighted plates. Some barbells are adjustable while others are more permanent. The permanent barbells are set at a specific weight and tend to be sturdier. The adjustable barbells might be less sturdy, but are a more affordable option.
How much space do I need for a home gym?
The truth is, you do not need a ton of space to have a home gym. You can store your equipment away if the space you intend to use serves other purposes. You can even make your ‘home gym” outside on your deck or in your backyard. Or, if you have the extra room, you can devote an entire space to a permanent gym.
What should I use for my home gym floor?
Regardless of what sort of activity your home gym is intended for, it is undeniable that the floor in that area will take an extra beating. Even if the area is carpeted, you should still take the time to protect your floor.
Interlocking mats or tiles are easy on the budget and a good portable option. They are easy to clean and wipe down if the area happens to get sweaty. Since they are an interlocking option, there is flexibility in size and shape of this flooring.
If you intend to use the space for yoga purposes, you need flooring with a little more grip. Some tiles and mats have grooves that assist with this purpose. For a more permanent studio-like option, you should use bamboo flooring.
Installation for bamboo flooring is straightforward, the area looks clean and stylish, and with a protective coating, you don’t need to worry about scratches or slipping and sliding.
What sort of lighting is best for a home gym?
In order to increase energy as well as desire to workout, make sure your home gym is in a well-lit area. Natural light is the best to aid with this and having multiple windows in the area will brighten it immediately.
If you cannot install windows, you can install recessed lighting or imitate that style with tap lights. Adding mirrors to this space will not only allow you to check out your form, it will also help to brighten a room and make it feel much larger.
Painting your walls white will also help increase the brightness of your room and allow light to reflect off the walls for greater illumination.
How should I ventilate my home gym?
Ventilation is important to a home gym for multiple reasons. You need to be able to breathe properly as you exercise and the room needs to air out once you are done being sweaty in it. Otherwise, you will end up in a stuffy, smelly gym that no one wants to be in.
Windows with open and close options allow for great ventilation.
Installing fans or working out with a portable one creates an option for airflow. Adding plants to the space provides an increase in the oxygen levels in the room. Spider plants and ferns fall at the top of the list of best plants for air purification.
Room selection- When deciding whether or not you have the space for a home gym, don’t forget to consider the following spaces to use to get your fitness on. A home office is an obvious choice for a gym especially if you have a large enough room to fit both purposes.
A basement is another common area to incorporate a home gym into your house. If your basement is unfinished, it shouldn’t be a hard project to add in electricity in order to expand your options for equipment, lighting, and ventilation.
Don’t forget about the garage! This area is gym-ready with ventilation options, great lighting (just lift the door), storage space, and electrical outlets. If you want to use your home gym year round, make sure to insulate your garage to keep the temperature from getting too hot or too cold.
Sound system- Honestly, how can you think about working out without getting your jam on? A sound system is good investment piece for your home gym. You can install overhead speakers for surround sound or you can use a portable speaker to downscale. Just make sure you give yourself beats to get pumped up!
Additional equipment- Although we have already covered the essentials, there are additional equipment options that are worthy of consideration and don’t have to break the bank.
A foam roller and stretching bands are good ideas for those who involve themselves with a lot of cardio. Foam rollers help break down the scar tissue that can form and build up over time. This will allow your muscles to grow properly and without pain.
A punching bag is a good stress-reliever and provides an option for a high intensity workout. Just make sure you have enough space around the bag for when you are really swinging or kicking at it.
A spin bike is a good piece of equipment to have if you are recovering from an injury where you should avoid high impact. It is also a passive cardio option during which you can read a book, text your friends, or watch a movie.
Organization- Get fit and trim is hard to do in a messy gym, especially if the mess provides a hazard. To avoid injury and create decorum, invest in an inexpensive bookshelf or repurpose a bar cart to store your dumbbells and kettle bells.
You can use a coat rack to hang your bands and your jump ropes from. If you have extra wall space, you can install shelving to hold your foam roller and sneakers. Open shelving is a better option for gym equipment to air out any smell from usage.