For many of us, our gyms have been closed for months due to shelter in place ordinances. While some areas of the country are opening back up again, others will remain closed for quite some time. But we can’t just sit around waiting for the gym to open again to break a sweat!
We’re huge proponents of getting outside and going on walks or runs where it’s safe to do so. But sometimes the weather doesn’t allow it, or you just want to do a different type of activity. That’s where a home gym comes in. With just a little bit of space—or a lot if you have the square footage available—you can create an at-home workout zone with a few of our home gym ideas and tips.
It’s time to get moving, break a sweat, and work out some of that angst. Keep reading for a couple of our favorite home gym ideas, from creating a workout space, integrating exercise equipment into your home, and different ways to approach layout for gyms at home!
If you have a whole room to dedicate to your home gym…
First off, lucky you. If you have a separate room that you can work out and store all of your equipment in, take a little time to make this space feel really special. We like the idea of making this room as close to the real gym as possible.
Start by breaking up the room by activity—a cardio machine, a space to roll out your mat and stretch or practice yoga, a zone for weightlifting. In this room, we have two cardio machines and extra floor space—but you can tailor your space to your preferred workouts and needs! Perhaps you want to install a wall-mounted ballet barre instead, or dedicate a part of the room to weight machines!
But it’s not just about the equipment. If you have a whole room to work with, a few small upgrades will make it feel much more like a real gym! Consider hanging up some mirrors to help spot check your form while you’re working out! In this room, we mounted three infinity mirrors on the wall to give the effect of the gym’s wall-to-wall mirrors. Then, make sure you have the proper ventilation. You don’t want this room to get stinky! We recommend installing a ceiling fan in addition to having a plug-in floor fan going throughout your workout. You could even mount a flatscreen TV in the corner for watching a show while you’re on the treadmill or for streaming online workout classes!
It’s also essential to have storage and organization for your workout gear—from resistance bands and foam rollers to dumbbells and jump ropes! In this space, we used baskets for simple, stashable storage and easy access. But we also love the idea of rolling storage pieces, which are easy to move around if you need to rearrange for a specific workout. You could also add wall hooks for towels or jump ropes and resistance bands if you prefer that to baskets.
Want to add a moment of indulgence? Place a mini fridge in the corner, where you can keep bottled water chilled—and perhaps even some cool, rolled towels dabbed with essential oils for use after an intense workout! A refreshment station isn’t totally necessary since you’re already at home and your kitchen is probably nearby—but we love the idea of treating yourself to that small indulgence and making your gym at home feel like more of a destination!
If you’re rearranging your space to make room for working out…
You may not have a whole room to dedicate toward working out—most of us don’t—but that doesn’t mean you can’t create space to break a sweat within your home! In fact, there are some creative ways to create a workout space that doesn’t take over your whole room.
Obviously, every home has a different layout, but in general, we recommend letting your practice help you reimagine how you’re going to move things around. So, look at the furniture and objects in your space, and make layout changes based on what you preferred workout is. You want to make sure you have enough space to comfortably work out and engage in your practice!
You don’t necessarily need to get rid of any furniture. Simply get creative in how you’re using your space! And if you do need to rearrange, start by moving around pieces that are easiest to move—like chairs, versus your sofa, or shifting side tables and plants.
Below are a couple of specific home gym ideas for ways you can rearrange your living room layout to accommodate space for a workout zone. We designed these home gym ideas within a living room, but the same principles apply if you’re integrating a gym in your bedroom or another space.
Integrate your gear into your existing layout.
If your preferred at-home workout involves a cardio machine—whether it’s a bike, treadmill, or elliptical—you can potentially get by without making any layout changes! In this living room, we simply placed the machine behind the sofa. It’s out of the walkway, so it doesn’t interfere with the space when it’s not in use. And having it in your living area, rather than tucked in the dark basement, will hopefully remind you to hop on and break a sweat more often!
We strategically placed the machine near the built-in storage in this living room. Using the bottom shelf or two gives you the perfect place to store towels, a phone charger, or whatever other workout gear you may need.
We love that this approach fits seamlessly into the rest of the space. You’re relying on pieces and elements of your existing layout (like the built-in shelves) to help incorporate the new needs of your now-multi use space. So, lean into the existing elements of your space to make this layout work!
Do a little rearranging.
For this approach, we slightly rearranged the space to make room for spreading out. We shifted the accent chairs to be perpendicular to the sofa rather than directly across from it and pulled all of the furniture back a bit. We also moved the plant from the left side of the fireplace to over by the window.
Both of these more “permanent” moves allow for an open, multipurpose space within a layout. It’s perfect for those who want to roll out their mat to practice yoga or pilates or do some mid-day stretching. It also gives you space to do more high-intensity workouts like zumba, kick-boxing, or jump-roping! Since the open space is facing the TV, it allows you to stream workouts and easily view the screen. And you can even move the coffee table out of the way if you need more space!
More of a weightlifter than a yogi? Use the open space for a bench—whether a weightlifting bench or just a solid backless bench that you can use for sitting on when not weightlifting! Just make sure any furniture that you’re using to assist in a workout has a solid enough build to handle the weight and strain you’ll be putting on it.
However you end up using your workout zone—whether for yoga, cardio, or weightlifting—the open space gives your kids room to play on the rug and opens up the walkway on the left half of the room, even when you aren’t working out.
Need help imagining how to design an at-home gym?