How to Set Up a Home Gym in an Apartment
Photo via Peloton
It’s always important to allocate some time to exercise, especially now that many of us spend most of our hours sitting in front of computers. However, it's not always easy to make time to get to the gym. Even a 10-minute session of stretching or foam rolling can help offset the consequences of slouching in front of a computer for 8 straight hours. In an ideal world your apartment would come with a gym or have one nearby, but this is not always possible. And even if there is one, if you like to use your workout as a form of meditation or prefer to exercise in solitude, you may be looking for a more private solution. The good news is there are many ways to set up a home gym in your apartment without taking up too much space. Follow our tips for setting up your home gym and buying apartment friendly equipment to get your home exercise ready.
Home Gym Setup
Setting up a home gym in your apartment can be easy and require minimal space. Follow these tips below to get yourself set up for success without overwhelming your entire living room.
1. Find a dedicated spot to work out.
Before you start buying any equipment, you need to decide where you want to set up your gym. If you don’t have a designated spot, you’ll have to make that decision before each workout, wasting precious time. Having a space reserved for exercise will also make it easier to get into the right mindset and focus on your training.
2. Use furniture storage.
If you live in a small apartment, you might already know about the magic of hidden storage. If not, check out our articles on making small spaces appear larger. Long story short, you want to furnish your apartment with pieces that have built-in storage to keep all your home gym equipment out of sight when not in use. Good examples of such furniture are ottomans, footrests, and even beds.
3. Take advantage of wall space.
Another great trick to keep your gym equipment out of the way is to use vertical space to store it. Just get some hooks or shelves at IKEA and you can easily fit your yoga mats, foam rollers, resistance bands, and even some weights on the wall.
4. Add wheels to your furniture.
If you don’t have a dedicated furniture- and clutter-free spot in your apartment that can serve as a mini-gym, you’ll have to figure out how to easily move your belongings around. Of course, moving furniture can be a workout in itself. However, it can be dangerous, and some people might find it boring. A great solution is to add wheels to all tables and chairs to be able to easily get them out of the way when you have a 30-minute window for a quick yoga sesh.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Home Gym Equipment
You can get fit at home without investing in a ton of equipment. A few purchases will provide you all you need to get sweaty at home.
1. Pick appropriate weights.
If you live in an apartment, chances are you don’t have space for a squat rack and a barbell. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up weight training. There are a couple of options that will provide you with enough resistance and won’t take up too much space:
- Kettlebells. Although Kettlebells have been known as an effective exercise tool since the 1700s, they’ve been garnering more love from the fitness community recently. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise! You only need a couple of them to perform a full body workout; even one might be enough. Kettlebells also require very little storage making them perfect for small spaces.
- Adjustable weights. Most of the time you’ll want to use different resistance for different body parts. For example, you can lift way more weight squatting or deadlifting than doing bicep curls. If kettlebells are not your jam, opt for adjustable dumbbells. They allow you to select the weight to load on the dumbbells by turning a dial. This way, instead of buying a set of 30 dumbbells, you can just get a set of adjustable ones.Use resistance bands. Another great alternative to classic gym equipment is resistance bands. They can be used both for resistance training, mobility exercises and stretching. The best part is that they require very little space and can be stored almost anywhere.
2. Invest in a Peloton.
Some people love the energy of a group class. Motivational instructors push you to your limits and you compete with those around you. Unfortunately, attending one can be difficult if there is no gym nearby and you are pressed for time. In this case, a Peloton is a great investment for you! It’s a high-tech stationary bike equipped with a touch screen that provides a selection of on-demand cycling workouts and live studio classes. Top instructors will keep you motivated while you are working out in the comfort of your home. It’s nearly silent, and some people swear that they can get a workout in with their baby sleeping in the same room.
3. Replace bulky foam rollers with lacrosse balls.
Foam rolling has a ton of benefits - it improves mobility, decreases muscle tension and soreness. However, foam rollers can be bulky and take up space, especially if you live in a tiny studio. Here is where lacrosse balls come in handy. Most physical therapists recommend them as an alternative to foam rollers. They might be even more effective for smaller muscle groups such as calves, biceps, and triceps.
4. Purchase a removable pull-up bar.
It can be easily attached to your door frame without taking away from your limited floor space. Just do a pull up every time you pass by it and you’ll be in shape in no time!
5. Get creative with your workouts.
Some workout equipment can be replaced with items you already have in your household. Large water jugs can serve as weights, and chairs as benches. If you are into martial arts like jiu-jitsu, you don’t necessarily need a mat and a partner to practice holds and locks. You can just buy a dummy online and stuff it with old clothes and towels.