Prefer to exercise at home? It can be done. From clever compact equipment to smart space-saving ideas, we’ll show you how you can make your workout room dreams come true.
Make the most of a living area
If you’re using your living room as a part-time gym then you’ll want to make the switch from one to the other as seamless as possible. Consider adding wheels to your coffee table so you can quickly move it out the way. Keep your equipment on hand by storing it in a chest, cupboard or wicker basket, and have an exercise mat that you can simply unroll when you need to use it.
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Convert a garage or loft
A garage is ideal for a home gym in a small space. There’s plenty of room to fit an exercise machine or two and no lack of storage space. If it has a concrete floor you might want to install rubber or foam gym flooring. Cushioned floor mats also work and are useful if you need to move them out the way. Try doing something similar in a converted loft if it has the right dimensions.
Create a yoga (or barre) studio
The beauty about yoga at home is that it requires minimal space and equipment (basically a yoga mat and somewhere to put it). However, if you have a spare room that you can partly dedicate to your practice then add unobtrusive touches such as a yoga mat holder or storage for bolsters and blocks (an upcycled school locker painted in a bright colour is great for this). Barre is another form of exercise that doesn’t require much space or equipment – just a mat and ballerina bar, which is relatively straightforward to fix to a wall. This would also be a good place to set up your home meditation space.
One practical addition to your yoga room is a large mirror so you can check your form. They are also useful in a general work out area as well, especially if the room is cramped as they add a feeling of spaciousness. Very large mirrors can be costly, so think about using a row of inexpensive ones for a just-as-dramatic effect. Check our guide here for tips on how mirrors can brighten your home.
Decorate for inspiration
Try painting your home gym a bright, motivational colour. Have your exercises and work-out routines to hand – use a wall planner, hang clipboards or use a chalkboard wall to keep track of fitness goals. Paint your favourite motivational quotes on the wall and put out any medals or certificates earned from your sporting prowess.
Buy a compact home gym
If you want the full effect of a commercial gym in a small space then consider a compact home gym. There are a range of models available, from those that look like elaborate benches meant for strengthening work, to those with weights and power rods designed for a full-body workout. You can also find foldaway cardio apparatus, such as exercise bikes and rowing machines. Other equipment may just provide an upper body workout but will be more compact – some fold down to the size of a briefcase, which is perhaps the ultimate for a small home gym.