For most of my life, I had to deal with setting up a home gym in a spare room. And when I was still living at home, I even used a very cramped attic space.
While I now have a great garage gym where I live with multiple pieces of equipment, I have a lot of experience with making the most of a small space.
And to help our readers, our team spent about five weeks visiting the home gyms of our colleagues to see if we could come up with a list of ideas.
Here's what we found.
- While a garage is an ideal space to set up a gym from a space and noise perspective, there are many ways you could use smaller and even non-dedicated spaces.
- A spare room and even your living room can become a temporary workout space that gives you a load of flexibility for working out.
- You'll find quite a few pieces of workout equipment that you can store under a bed or in a closet for even more flexibility.
How Can You Make a Home Gym Without a Garage?
The best way to make a home gym without a garage is to use small and foldable equipment in one of the spare rooms.
Most people are surprised how a few smaller items will allow them to do a load of different cardio and strength exercises.
Here are some simple ideas the get started with:
- Exercise or yoga mat
- Resistance bands
- Jump rope
- Stability ball
- Flat workout bench
If you're really stuck for space, then a run or cycle outdoors will be the best way to get more cardio done.
But the above few items will give you a load of flexibility when it comes to varying your strength training .
Let's take a look at some options for you.
Setting up in a Spare Room
Even if you don't have a garage where you can put all your workout equipment, weights, and smelly gym gear, you can adapt your setup to using a spare room in your home.
One advantage I hear from people regularly is that it's not freezing cold like a garage in winter, so there's a comfort benefit to this as well.
If you're going to dedicate a spare room to using it as a home gym, then the first thing I would do is look at installing a home gym floor.
You can buy rubber mats to stand your essential home gym equipment on.
These will also dampen any noise from dropping free weights.
Then, you want to take a careful approach to buying equipment that won't take up a huge amount of space.
That might mean a basic stationary bike rather than a treadmill and a half rack rather than a full-size Smith machine.
Storing Workout Equipment Out of the Way
If permanently setting up a gym isn't an option for your spare room, then I would suggest looking for foldable and easy-to-store exercise equipment.
You'll find treadmills and rowers in this category work very well. But I have yet to find a good elliptical that you can easily store.
For strength training, I would then suggest a workout bench and some adjustable dumbbells.
These will allow you to do a wide range of strength training that won't require a spotter as you would have with barbells.
Safety in the home gym should always be a top priority, as you can suffer a wide range of injuries by misusing your equipment .
"At-home exercise injuries resulting in an emergency room visit increased by more than 48% from the end of 2019 through the end of 2020."
- Ashley Mateo, Journalist at WSJ.com
How Can You Exercise in Your Living Room?
You can exercise in your living room by making enough space available for a yoga mat. With just a few resistance bands and a stability ball, you'll have enough equipment to do an intense workout while remaining on the mat.
Can a Home Gym Be Outside?
Yes, a home gym can be outside, and this is common in places where the climate is favorable all year. Whether you have a small section of your yard or a sheltered section where you can set up your gym, this can be an excellent solution for working out in fresh air.
Get Your Home Gym Set Up Even With Limited Space
Not everyone has the luxury of a large garage where they have full control over how much space is dedicated to gym equipment.
But there are plenty of ways to make full use of a spare room or even a living room corner.
If you're going to set up a dedicated gym in a spare room, then I would suggest you look at our recommended exercise floor mats.
We have tested dozens of these products to come up with a list that is affordable and highly effective.
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