"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

woman unfolding a yoga mat

What You Need to Do Before Building a Home Gym

With no certainty as to when gyms can reopen again, it may time to consider building your own little workout space at home. This can be a great way to encourage exercise at home because it takes away the travel time. If you want to start building a gym of your own, then here are some things that you need to consider.

Change the flooring

The key to a good home gym is the foundation, and it starts with the flooring. If you exercise directly over your hardwood flooring, not only is it dangerous, but it can also damage your floors. It is dangerous because your grip on the ground is not that great. The floor can become slippery with sweat, and you can fall over and injure yourself.

Aside from that, rubber mats can handle the weight of exercise equipment. Most are generally shock-resistant, so even if you drop a heavy kettlebell, it won’t damage the flooring beneath it. Otherwise, the floors would become scratched up. In some cases, the weight would make it uneven as well. This is especially true for large gym equipment. In these cases, you can at least put padding and mats where the equipment will be placed and where your exercise space will be.

Rubber is the top choice for home gyms. Although it is the most expensive, it is well worth the price because it is more durable, shock-absorbant, soundproof, and has a long life span. Foam is also a good second option. Others like vinyl are possible if you are working on a budget, but it can be punctured easily. Some use artificial turf, but this may be uncomfortable if you have to be on your hands or knees.

Think functional for equipment

Ideally, we want all the latest gym technology and equipment, but we are working with limited space. Most equipment is large and takes up a lot of space. It wouldn’t be an issue, but they usually only cover a handful of exercises. You want something flexible to maximize the area of your home gym.

For instance, power racks are great because you can do a variety of exercises on them. You can use it for squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and even bench presses. Having a variety of kettlebells and dumbbells is also good to have. Different weights are good because sometimes strength varies per muscle group. How much you can carry while doing kettlebell swings and farmer’s walks will differ from how much you can carry while doing overhead tricep curls.

To make sure that you cover all the basics, plan your home gym before buying anything. Analyze what you really need depending on your goals and if the equipment you have will bring a balanced workout all around.

man doing push ups

Reduce noise, increase privacy

As much as possible, you want to avoid disturbing the neighbors when you work out. Exercise, especially weight training, can be really noisy. Even if you don’t realize it, all that heavy lifting can be heard outside, and this can cause you problems later on. The rest of the people in your home might also not like hearing you workout so early or late in the day. You also want to make sure that you have a bit more privacy.

The best way to make sure that your neighbors aren’t creeping on you is to install roller shades for your windows. With this, you can comfortably exercise without having to worry about people looking at you from your window. Aside from that, it can reduce the light’s glare, allowing you to work out even during the daytime.

Soundproofing is the best way to reduce noise while you exercise. The rubber flooring already has these characteristics, but you can also do something similar to the walls. You should also double-check whether your equipment is screwed into place.

Plan for safety

Being organized is essential to safety. Along with organizing the room, make sure that there is a storage area for everything. You should not leave dumbbells lying around, or else you can trip on them. Plates and such should be racked properly to avoid having them fall on your foot.

Gyms come with a lot of accessories, and they all need their own place. Aside from the equipment, there are yoga mats and resistance bands as well. Put some extra towels and water bottles nearby too. If you do boxing, then your gloves and hand wraps need to be kept safely. Last but not least, a first aid kit needs to be placed in accessible locations.

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