For some people, heading to the gym is quite the chore. You have to bring an extra bag with your workout clothes. You have to spend extra time commuting if your gym is far from your home. The monthly membership can be mind-blowingly expensive. These are enough to put some people off of working out completely.
Pair this with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it would seem like all the odds are stacked against working out. Gyms are closed, people are stuck at home. We don’t know how gyms will figure out in this “new normal” that everyone is talking about.
However, we have to remember that keeping healthy and working out is important, especially during times like these.
Since we don’t know how long this pandemic is going to take, maybe we have to take matters into our own hands. Now is the perfect time to invest in exercise equipment to do your workouts at home. An at-home workout could be as effective as a workout in a studio, as long as you know what you’re doing and you have the right equipment for it.
Don’t think you have enough space? Don’t know where to start with even considering what to buy? Don’t worry, it’s easy – here are a few tips on building your home gym!
Set a dedicated space in your house
A good starting point is to figure out how much space you have in your house that you can dedicate as your “workout space”. This will, of course, influence what type of exercises you can do, and how much equipment you get. But the biggest benefit here is that you condition your mind for fitness, as you associate that space with working out.
Do you have a garage that you just use as a storage space? That’s perfect then – with a little bit of tidying up, this can actually be your "Home Gym". You can then invest in the big equipment, like squat racks, rowing machines, or even a treadmill. You’re set for a full life of fitness after that.
But, the truth is you don’t need a lot of space. You can make do with what you have.
When you think of “Home Gym”, you think of the fancy equipment and the vinyl flooring. While it’s great to have that, for some, that’s really just not an option. Here’s where the power of dedicating space in your house comes in. You don’t really need a “Home Gym” – all you need is the right mindset for fitness. And a little bit of space.
Maybe the spot in front of the TV would do, if you just move the coffee table a little bit. Maybe you have that extra space at the foot of your bed where you can lay out an exercise mat. It’s time to be creative!
Plan out what you can and want to do, with the space you have
A little planning goes a long way. If you dedicate a “workout space” in your house, you might even start to see your 'Home Gym' as your 'Gym At Home'. It's a minor shift in the mind which will help you stay focused for exercise and want to workout.
So now you've got your area sorted, it's time to think of exercises you can do in it.
Those who have had sessions in a cramped yoga studio would know that you don’t need that much space in order to break a sweat. Really, it’s just a matter of knowing what you can do to target the different muscle groups of your body.
Make sure that you cover all the basics – chest, legs, back, core, shoulder, biceps, triceps. Try yoga, or pilates, or maybe some high-intensity interval training (HIIT). There are a ton of resources online on routines that you can do. Just be sure that your form is okay so you don’t injure yourself!
Sometimes, bodyweight exercises are enough. You can actually do a lot of exercises with just an exercise mat. But, if you feel like you need that extra boost, it’s time to invest in a little equipment.
Stick to the essentials
Bodyweight exercises can only get you so far. If you want to really ramp up your workout routine, consider buying exercise equipment for your home. You only need a few pieces of equipment in order to workout effectively and efficiently.
Maybe you’re just trying to start working out at home. The very first thing that you need is a good quality exercise mat. These are very versatile and portable. You can do a lot of exercises on it (as we mentioned above, you can do yoga and pilates on your mat). This also ensures your safety, by providing extra padding. Get a mat, so you won’t be kneeling or lying down directly on to your floor.
Next, we have to think of cardio. Maybe you don’t have space for a full treadmill, but maybe you have some space to do skipping rope exercises. This is an excellent exercise – it’s also good to develop coordination, and it increases your stamina as well. Try it, it’s not as easy as it looks!
Want to start with something a little more challenging? Consider buying some adjustable dumbbells or kettlebells. These exercise staples are also very versatile, enabling you to cover and target more muscle groups. The fact that they’re adjustable means that you only need maybe two sets, and you’re set for life. And they take up minimal space in your home.
For those with the extra space, consider getting a bench press. This provides stability for your workouts, and will help you target muscle groups that you couldn’t with just dumbbells. It also assists you with your form, so that you can work out effectively and safely.
Finally, to round everything out, try getting a pull-up bar, if you have the space to install it. Don’t underestimate the pull-up and chin-up. These two workouts target your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back. Yes, it’s as hard as it looks, but pull-ups and chin-ups give you the most bang for your effort. At the start, a couple is enough, and you’ll see yourself being able to do more if you do it consistently. Purchasing this will also be a matter of safety too – you won’t end up destroying your house by trying to do pull-ups on random poles and pipes!
I hope that these tips get you to at least start thinking about working out at home. Don't forget, you don't need a big area or lots of equipment. Even if you just have one or two pieces, you can create a dedicated area that will help you to work out more consistently. It’s a rewarding experience, not to mention that you save a lot of money too!