Tips to set up your home gym
- Friday, December 27, 2019
The holidays have come and gone. All the food, festivities and indulging are behind you.
And now the New Year’s resolutions are on the table where the desserts once sat.
Time to get at that one resolution that seems to be on everyone’s list: get in better shape.
One of the least expensive and time sensitive ways to do that is to work out at home.
But you don’t have a home gym? Here are some tips to give you a leg up.
Make a dedicated space for your gym and create the atmosphere you want
If you have to put away your gym equipment, what is the likelihood you’re going to pull it out again? Make sure you can easily access what you’re going to use, that way you’ll use it more often. And more than just the equipment, make sure whatever else you might use — tablet, towels, water bottle, running shoes, etc. – are readily available, too. They can be put away on a shelf or just in the corner of the room.
But also keep in mind you’re creating a space for YOU. Think about what motivates you. Fill your space with motivational or inspirational pictures that will help you to reach your goals. Whether it’s hanging photos of physically fit people on the wall, using a Bluetooth speaker to pump the jams you enjoy, or even placing a mirror nearby to see your progress, make it part of your workout space.
As an aside, the floor on which you work out is important. Carpet won’t do. Hard wood/tile/linoleum are fine (remember to use your yoga mat). But foam flooring is best and not too expensive.
Equipment every home gym needs
Peloton is all the rage right now. And putting big bucks down for a treadmill might seem nice. But all you really need are a few things that are fairly inexpensive — and won’t take up too much space — to fill out your home gym.
- Jump rope — for all your cardio needs
- Yoga mat — make sure you get a durable mat for yoga, stretching
- Resistance bands — strength training and stretching
- Dumbbells or kettle bells — weight training
- Foam roller — for stretching and massaging tight muscles
Avoid those gimmicky pieces of equipment such as Shake Weight, Body Blade or ThighMaster.
But make sure you get the equipment for the type of workout you choose. Which leads us to….
Make sure you have a program
There are many different types of programs out there. But you need to find the one that works for you. And that depends on what your goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? Gain strength? Get your cardio up?
Find a workout you enjoy. That way you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
And when you find that workout, track your results. It will help build your confidence and motivate you to keep going. Again, keep in mind your space constraints when choosing a program.
Work with the space you have
If you have plenty of space to work with (like a spare bedroom or office) you don’t really have to worry about this tip. However, most people have finite areas available at home to exercise.
When space is limited, choose exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges and/or burpees that don’t require much room but are great for muscle-building and core-strengthening. For cardio, pick up a jump rope or even just run in place.
Now that you’re set up, put it to use. Invite a workout buddy over or maybe your partner will sweat it out with you. Just like a regular gym, you need to use it for it to be effective.