6 tips to create a home gym space— that works for YOU

Whether you’re new to working out or you’re a long-time fitness fanatic, you’ve probably contemplated the pros and cons of a home gym. In this article I’ll explain how to determine if setting up a home gym is right for you, and I’ll share valuable tips on how to create the right space and what equipment to choose for your fitness goals.

Things to consider when planning a home gym:

1. What type of exercise do you plan to do, and how often?

2. What goals do you have?

Are you working out for overall general health? Or, are you wanting to train for a specific sport or an event (like a half marathon or backpacking trip)?

Based on how you answered the above questions, will help determine the kind of physical space you’ll need and what equipment is required.

Physical space

1. Evaluate your options (spare bedroom, garage, backyard, driveway, etc).

If you’re able to make an existing room serve dual purpose that’s great, but it needs to be practical. If every time you need the space to workout you have to move a couch, bookshelf, dog bed, two floor lamps, and fish tank… this is probably going to create too much resistance and chances are you won’t be consistent with your workouts.

The best part of a home gym is that it’s YOURS. And just like any other place in your home, you can design it to fit your personal needs and unique style. Make the space inviting and inspiring by adding items like pictures, wall art, or plants.

2. Don’t forget to consider noise and ventilation.
If you live in an apartment, your neighbors might not be as pumped as you are during a 5 a.m. HIIT workout in your living room.
For serious sweat sessions, it’s a good idea to have a window that can open and/or a fan to circulate air.


1. Start with the BASICS and add as your needs or goals require

You may be tempted to outfit your home gym with as much as possible, but you want to make sure it’s equipment that you will actually use. Plus, clutter can result in overwhelm and interfere with your mental space for working out (more on that in my next blog).

2. Research budget-friendly options.

Basic Home Gym equipment:
  • Floor space
  • Wall space
  • Yoga mat
  • Dumbbell set and/or kettlebells (All-in-one, adjustable options are a great spacer saver and will accommodate multiple fitness levels.)
  • Resistance band set (These are very inexpensive, super versatile, can serve as a substitute for barbells or free weights, and you can take them with you when you travel)
  • Timer/stopwatch/clock
  • Towels
  • Workout log (notebook or dry erase board)
  • Storage solutions (baskets, hooks for resistance bands, etc)
Additional Equipment options:
  • Exercise (stability) ball
  • Jump rope
  • Mirror
  • Heart rate monitor (very helpful during aerobic training)
  • Phone/tablet/computer stand for streaming online videos
  • Treadmill or other cardio equipment (if unable to access outdoor walking paths or hiking trails)
  • Floor protectors (mats made of rubber, cork, or foam)
  • Exercise riser OR step
  • Sturdy box/higher step (chair, bench, coffee table) that can withstand your bodyweight
  • Pull-up bar
  • Squat rack
  • Barbell with plate weights
  • Adjustable position weight bench

Create the mental space for working out

Whether you decide to designate a space for fitness at home, update your existing home gym, or prefer to work out in a public gym setting, be sure to check out my next post (click here) where I’ll be sharing ideas on how to create the right metal space for working out— I’ll share helpful tools to keep you motivated and consistent with your fitness.

Do you currently work out from home? What tips, solutions, or hacks have you found that make working out from home work for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Adventure awaits… get ready for it!

Kristen, CPT and creator of the HIKE-ABILITY Training Program

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material (including associated text, videos, and links) on this website is provided in good faith and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. All exercise has inherent risks. Before beginning any type of exercise, please consult your health care provider.

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