What Would Your Ideal Home Gym Look Like?
Away from the annoyances of a crowded gym, a workout space at home is a sanctuary that can be tailored to your every whim and desire. You can give the soulless house music a miss, mute the mindless chatter, skip waiting lines and travel times and really focus on what matters – getting fitter.
Creating the ideal home gym depends on your goals, but there are some must-haves whatever pre-conceived designs you have.
Protect your body and your flooring with foam
Having some kind of covering for the floor of your home gym is essential, and there is an abundance of flooring types to choose from. Not only does it give you the comfortable padding that is a prerequisite for a range of exercises, it also protects your floors from marking and damage. A single yoga mat could be enough for certain exercises but shaped foam mats that fit together like a jigsaw provide versatility making them perhaps a stronger choice.
Strength training – barbells or dumbbells?
It goes without saying that weights are a necessity for a home gym. Whether you decide to invest in barbells or dumbbells is more a matter of preference than anything else.
Barbells are the most commonly used out of the two, and give you an even distribution of weight which is ideal for number of exercises that target major muscles of the body. With the rack that generally accompanies them; they also take up the most space.
Adjustable dumbbells are perhaps the most economical choice space-wise. They allow you to target both sides of the body individually, excelling where barbells fail.
Of course, to make the most of these weights, you need to invest in a bench to activate certain muscles in the body and you need a mirror to ensure your form and posture is correct.
Spin bikes are a versatile bit of kit
An indoor bike is less demanding on your body than cycling and its stationary nature gives you the freedom to move the TV cabinet into your home gym and binge watch your favourite Netflix series as you burn calories. Going through the motions on a spin bike is the perfect way to get some low intensity heart rate training in, especially if you aren’t usually a fan of cardio. A bike is equally adept at allowing you to pursue more vigorous interval training if you so wish.
Customise your surroundings
If you are in the early phases of allocating a room to be the home gym, it is worth electing for the brightest and airiest room possible. The separation between home and gym really helps to rid your mind of distractions, allowing you to devote your attention solely to your workout.
Bathed in light and distinctly separate from the rest of your home, a gym located in your garden can be strikingly elegant. Recent research has shown that gardening or setting up a gym in a garden, can make the training experience more enjoyable and therefore more productive.
Music is a motivator
Music has been proven to have a genuinely motivating effect, and electing for some upbeat music or songs with particularly rousing lyrics will help you power through even the most tiring workouts. I prefer to blast either something with a beat for MetCon workouts, or something heavy for strength training. Try mixing up your training soundtrack to see what effect the different tunes have on your training.