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So, you’ve decided you’d like to create a home gym – congratulations! Having a home gym means that you no longer have to leave to get in a good sweat, or worry about the squat rack being taken by the guy texting on his phone for 20 minutes.
While having a home gym is one of the best investments you can make in your body and your time, you’ll want to plan out beforehand how you’re going to set things up. We have the top 5 tips for setting up a home gym right here, so you get the best results possible!
1. Consider the Space
Where are you going to place your home gym? Do you have a nice open space to work with like an empty garage or do you have a corner in your bedroom? Obviously, the more space you have, the more options and flexibility come with that.
If you are limited on space, consider basic exercises that will make the most out of your workout. You may pick some adjustable dumbbells that you can easily tuck in your closet or under your bed when you’re not using them. These work great for upper body exercises like chest press, shoulder presses, bicep curls, and more. You can also use them for weighted squats and walking lunges for the lower body.
Alternatively, you may want to look at some more full-body workout gear, like a TRX system. If you have a bit more room, even a more compact home gym system like a Bowflex could be the perfect option.
2. Multipurpose Equipment
If you’re limited on space, multipurpose equipment is your friend. We already mentioned dumbbells, but there are also other great options that you can incorporate into your routine:
- Yoga Mat – Yoga mats or exercise mats should be an essential in your home gym. If your gym is carpeted, then a large exercise mat that covers the entire workout area is crucial to keeping it in good shape and avoiding the growth of bacteria caused by sweat. Yoga mats are great for pilates, stretching, and yoga, obviously.
- Resistance Bands – Resistance bands are wonderful pieces of workout equipment that take up very little space – even less than dumbbells. Not only do they work well for strength training exercise, but for stretching and rehabbing muscles. They’re often used by physical therapists to restore muscle strength and symmetry without placing a great risk on the body.
- Kettlebell(s) – Even one kettlebell can make a great tool for strengthening and toning the body. For full body workouts, even one kettlebell can get the job done and they take up very little space.
- Foam Roller – If you have really tight knots and pain in your muscles, you may benefit greatly from picking up a foam roller.
We’ve already mentioned a few great options. Realistically speaking, you can easily fit a kettlebell, a pair of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and resistance bands all in a closet whenever you’re not using them.
This way, you just have to pull whatever you need out and don’t have to worry about sacrificing space in a small apartment or your bedroom. If you already have a storage container, you may also be able to make use of it by placing your equipment in there as well.
While it’s obviously tempting to purchase affordable and cool-looking gear, make sure that it’s actually a quality piece of equipment. Low-quality exercise equipment is not going to work to your benefit. Not only do cheaper products typically last much less, they can actually pose a risk of injury. Imagine if your dumbbell broke as you’re using it for chest presses!
If you’re going to invest money in anything, it should be this. You really can’t run the risk of gear that you’re literally throwing around, lifting over your head, etc. breaking on you. If they don’t break, they may not perform as they should. All in all, just don’t do it!
3. Make it More Entertaining
Sometimes, working out can just seem a bit boring. Not only that, but it can be tough to motivate yourself when you’re uncomfortable and really pushing your body to its limit. We all know that music can change that right away! When we’re listening to our favorite tunes, a boring workout can immediately become exciting and even fun! If you’re not a fan of wearing headphones or earbuds, try using a Bluetooth speaker.
Not everyone prefers to listen to music while exercising, though. Watching TV or even looking at fitness videos help others and are a great way of maximizing your time while keeping entertained. Your workouts will go by quicker, too!
Last but not least, you need to be comfortable! If you don’t have AC in your home, purchase a fan – if not just for while you’re working out so you don’t overheat or start sweating buckets. If your feet hurt and you’re working out on the hard cement floor of the garage, get an exercise mat to add cushion, protect you, and the floor! Your home gym should be a place you look forward to going to.
4. Add in a Mirror
Our form is the first thing we should check before doing any exercise. While you may see people using the mirrors at gyms to check out how good their new activewear looks, they’re actually there to ensure your form is correct (believe it or not). This is crucial when not only avoiding injury, but also correcting any muscular imbalances you may have.
As most of us are sedentary a good part of the day, muscular imbalances can easily form.
What kind of mirror should you get?
Try to get a full-size mirror that lets you easily see all the way from your feet to your head. You should be able to take a look at your stance and the placement of your head and neck.
Now that you’ve read our top 5 tips for setting up a home gym, do you have a bit more insight into how you’re going to configure it? No matter what you do, make sure you stay safe and enjoy yourself. We hope our guide has helped you out. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!