With the advent of the pandemic, many industries incurred heavy losses, which also included the health and fitness sector. Gyms, in particular, are facing sporadic opening and shutdowns, making it a hassle for regular users.
Moreover, you also have to deal with a needless commute, waiting your turn to use a machine, rack or dumbbell, and exorbitant membership fees in some cases. To avoid all these troubles, setting up a home gym is an excellent solution. But before worrying about the equipment and infrastructure, it’s vital to figure out the dimensions of your home gym.
What is a good size for a home gym?
The short answer is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to dimensions of a gym. Those who are serious about fitness might make it a primary criterion while buying a home, as they would like to dedicate an entire room for it. Others might take a more casual approach and perhaps go for a simple set-up in a garage or even the backyard. Either way, it is important to consider factors like these when purchasing, leasing or renting out a new property.
However, if you already own a place and want to set up a home gym, you should still consider its size in relation to the layout of your property. At the very least, make sure that there is enough space for stocking up all the gym equipment as well as room for movement between different machines. With that out of the way, it’s time to see the 8 essential home gym elements that will inspire you to work out consistently.
8 must-have elements in an inspiring home gym
The mirrors you see in commercial gyms are not just for vanity so that you can admire yourself while flexing your muscles. They also serve a utilitarian purpose, as they help you check your posture and form when you are performing different exercises, especially compound movements. Moreover, they also help in boosting the light in your gym room if there are little to no windows. Now, it’s not essential to cover all walls of your gym room in mirrors, but it is important to invest in a sturdy, high-quality custom fabricated glass mirror that will stand the test of time. Hence, before buying any equipment, make sure you procure the right type of full-length mirror for your gym.
2. Stability Ball
While intense compound movements do help in strengthening your core, it might not be possible to perform all these exercises in a home gym setup. Hence, it’s crucial to give special attention to your core muscles with the help of a stability ball. There are multiple benefits of using a strong stability ball, the most notable one being the toning of your abs. Lie across the ball to give your abs and obliques a crushing workout, or use it to perform stretching exercises, for it is also an essential part of recovery. Apart from these merits, this equipment is also great for improving your posture and strengthening your spine.
A staple of any weight training regime, dumbbells are an absolute must if you are looking to perform a non-calisthenic workout. However, it’s important to understand that for optimal hypertrophy (muscle growth), it’s necessary to slowly increase the weights or the resistance between sets. To pull this off, invest in at least three to five sets of dumbbells, and continue to add more as you get stronger in the long run. While dumbbells of any kind are effective at their job, it is highly recommended to go for hex-shaped dumbbells that come with a rubber coating, for they provide better grip and stability when compared to round dumbbells.
4. Resistance Band
While dumbbells are highly effective, they are not always ideal for performing certain exercises and movements. Moreover, if you are starting your fitness journey, you might not be strong enough to lift heavy dumbbells. For these situations, it is best to use resistance bands, for they provide an excellent and safe alternative to perform weight training exercises. These resistance bands also come in different ranges such as light, medium and heavy, hence choose one or more bands to perform various exercises. Apart from helping in your weight training regime, these bands also help in stretching and toning the entire body.
5. Non-slip Floors
If you are putting maximum effort into your workouts, chances are you are sweating a lot. Moreover, you might also be performing quick, explosive movements during some exercises, with or without resistance. In such cases, it’s paramount to also focus on safety, for slick flooring can become very slippery and lead to serious injuries. To prevent a mishap like this, always go for non-slip floors in your gym. Take inspiration from commercial gyms and install carpet tiles in your room or else simply go for hardwood or other similar floorings that might prevent slipping. Ultimately, the onus falls on you to prioritize your safety while working out.
6. Low Table
In this context, a low table doesn't mean a conventional gym bench. Instead, this table can be an additional accessory in your setup where you can place your phone or music system, a bottle of water, towels, inspirational memorabilia, or even a scented candle if you prefer. Moreover, whether you are performing pelvic floor exercises, indulging in a yoga session or simply meditating, it will be easy for you to access different items placed on the low table from the floor. This will save you precious time and energy in between sets and help you stay focused on your training routine.
7. Push Up Stands
You can consult any gym trainer, fitness influencer, or expert on the planet and they will all provide the same consensus, push-ups are an absolute must in a resistance training routine. An excellent compound exercise, push-ups not only engage your chest muscles but also engage shoulders, biceps, triceps and even your core. However, depending on your fitness level, they can be quite challenging, and it’s not uncommon to face wrist-related injuries while performing the exercise. To prevent such injuries, do install push up stands that will stabilize the movement by providing a strong grip. Moreover, it will also engage your shoulders, arms and chest more effectively.
8. Rolled White Towels
Apart from focusing on form and safety, you must also pay attention to hygiene when it comes to working out. While you are no longer in a gym and using the same equipment as other people, you might still be sweating profusely over your equipment. Hence, to keep yourself dry and your gym room clean, you need to dab yourself with a towel or towels regularly. Hence, always keep a stack or a basket of rolled white towels in your gym room. Not only will they come in handy when you are breaking a sweat, but they also provide a more aesthetic look to the entire setup.
In the end, setting up a home gym is a completely personal choice, so you are free to add or subtract any equipment at your convenience. However, if you do have these elements in your gym room, you will discover that your fitness journey is pretty much on track and you don’t really miss going to the gym.