Ways to Create an at-Home Gym in Any Small Space
An old bodybuilding saying goes, where there’s a rack, there’s a way. Fine, it may not be a saying (yet!), but it’s a wise starting point for any of your fitness endeavors at home. There is so much you can do with just this one piece of equipment, that many others will be made redundant, although more advanced enthusiasts will want to have a more diverse selection at their disposal.
So, without further ado, let’s see how you can use up that spare room (or corner) of yours and turn it into a superb training spot for all those snowed-in days of winter – so there’ll be no more excuses to skip your workouts during the cold season!
Design your space
There are certain elements of design that are not purely aesthetic, but they also increase functionality – which is particularly important when you have limited space to use for your home gym. By using vertical storage options, for example, you can clear out most of your gear that you’re not using at any given moment, and perform your movements safely.
Then again, if you add sleek sliding doors to your space, you can separate your little workout nook from the rest of your home for added comfort, without restricting the amount of light that will flood your workout space. Add protective flooring to prevent any dents from heavy deadlifts, and your downstairs neighbors will also appreciate the effort!
For serious lifters, as well as novices, you should, of course, start with the pièce de résistance of your ensemble, and that is the power rack. This piece of fitness gadgetry is something of a life-saver when it comes to performing heavy lifts, literally, so look for one with safety pins. Add to that a few handy attachments such as the dip and pull-up bars, and you’ll be able to expand the list of exercises you can perform in this little square of space.
Make sure that you choose high-quality gym equipment that is suitable for your personal goals and that will last you years of dedicated lifting! That means you’ll need an Olympic barbell, a few dumbbells and kettlebells to increase the intensity of your workouts from time to time, while the resistance bands can be used both for stretching and workouts. Of course, adjustable dumbbells are a great option, but heavy lifting is limited with them, so you should also consider investing in weight plates to meet your training needs from day one.
Your very own bench
It’s not only for the bench press, although it is the main movement for this piece of equipment – you’ll use your bench for a wide array of exercises. Rest assured, this slightly chunkier item will not just sit there idly, as you can perform leg-lifts, hip-thrusts, the Bulgarian split squat, and the seated overhead press if you have an adjustable seat (which you should).
You can store it under your rack, for when you wish to use the rest of your space for warm-ups or stretching while placing it right next to the wall is simple for when you wish to use the rack without the bench underneath.
There may be not enough room to keep your elliptical machine, your beloved cycling or rowing machine or your treadmill in your home gym, but that’s no excuse to skip those valuable cardio hours that improve your endurance and cardiovascular health. To that end, you can stick to simple, yet effective options, such as a jump rope, which you can hang on the wall or in your vertical storage compartment.
Other options include an elliptical trainer, which is a worthy substitute for the whole-body item, and easy to keep in your limited gym room. Then again, if your space is not that limited, a punching bag offers not just an exquisite cardio session, but lets you tone your abs and strengthen your core and your entire upper body!
Finally, there is no such thing as a powerful training session if it’s not followed by recovery measures to keep your body in excellent health. Some of those strategies start in your gym, so you’ll need a few handy things to challenge those sore muscles. For starters, you can use a foam roller to massage those tight spots on your entire body, and use lacrosse balls to target those hard-to-reach spots in your hips and back.
For fitness freaks who are also into yoga, a sturdy yoga mat is another essential for those challenging, but healing stretches. Remember those wonderful resistance bands? Use them during your cool-down, and your muscles and connective tissue will be forever grateful.