One of the most common problems home gym users find when creating their own gym is the problem of space. Increasingly, the humble home gym is a space in which we can escape for an hour or two, improving ourselves both physically and mentally. But the average home doesn’t always allow the volume of space to have a dedicated home gym.
I’d love to have a gym in the garage, but there’s no room with the car in there”
There’s no way you’re putting a weights rack in the spare room! What about when we have guests?!”
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a separate annex, dedicated room or garden building, the majority of home gyms are found in spare rooms, garages and bedrooms. These rooms often afford less than 10 square meters of floorspace. Not only that, but they’re usually dual use. Garages need to contain vehicles, bicycles and household clutter. Spare rooms hold wardrobes, beds and other furniture. Very few homes have the luxury of a 100% obstruction-free space in which to base a home gym. The combination of everyday use, clutter and restricted space can make creating a home training space a difficult prospect.
Happily, helps is at hand. We’ve designed and installed countless home gyms across the UK and internationally. With over 15 years of experience creating gyms of all shapes and sizes, we’re happy to share our knowledge and experience in building your perfect home training space. In this blog we’ll discuss some of the various tricks, methods and advice we provide our home gym customers, from proper planning to recommended usage and space-saving equipment.
MEASURE YOUR HOME GYM FLOORSPACE
First thing first, you’ll need to work out how much floorspace you have in your home gym. Measuring the full area ACCURATELY is essential if you’re planning on having rubber gym flooring installed. This is something we can help with (read our blog on choosing the right rubber flooring for more help). Understanding the ‘footprint’ of all your items of gym equipment (as well as any furniture or vehicles etc) is also necessary to fully plan your home gym space.
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH CEILING HEIGHT FOR GYM EQUIPMENT?
Another valuable measurement is ceiling height. If you intend on having a weight rack in your home gym, you’ll need to know how tall it is. On top of this, if your rack includes pull-up bars you’ll need to know how much clearance you have above them to avoid hitting your head during training. This goes for wall-mounted pullup bars too.
CHOOSE WALL-MOUNTED EQUIPMENT
One easy way to save space is to select equipment which attaches to your home gym walls. Its first important to know whether your walls will take the weight of heavy, weight-bearing items of gym equipment. Plasterboard walls will happily take the negligible weight of smaller items like foam roller holders, but attach a full weight rack directly into to the same wall and you’ll find yourself picking up pieces of equipment and wall after your first training session. Only attach large items to plasterboard walls if you can attach directly into the load-bearing wall studs.
Some useful pieces of wall-mounted gym equipment include:
FOLD-OUT WALL MOUNTED WEIGHT RACKS – These sturdy, space saving weight racks easily fold back to the wall with a few simple pins or clips.
WALL MOUNTED STORAGE – Items like foam roller holders, barbell holders, rowing machine holders and barbell racks not only save on floorspace but keep your equipment safe too. Floor based storage is also beneficial, as barbell holders and vertical racks have a small footprint but all the benefits of keeping your gym organised and clutter free.
WALL MOUNTED PULLUP BARS – if you’ve got the ceiling height, these handy and versatile bars allow for all kinds of bodyweight based training. They also combine well with suspension trainers, which can be attached for even more variety of plyometric training.
CHOOSE MULTI-USE EQUIPMENT
Another good tip for saving space in your home gym is to use dual or multi-use equipment. There’s no point in wasting valuable floorspace on limited use equipment like angled leg presses or pectoral flies. Save yourself space (and money) by including more versatile, easily stored items which combine to create various workouts. A few examples include:
SUSPENSION TRAINERS – Often referred to as TRX Trainers, these hugely versatile straps have handles which allow the user to hang from a beam, pullup bar or wall for bodyweight based exercises.
SLAM BALLS & KETTLEBELLS – Simple, portable and easily stored, these gym equipment items are hugely versatile and popular with crossfitters all over the world.
LANDMINE ATTACHMENTS – Also known as core plate attachments, these simple pieces of gym equipment easily slip into the centre of an Olympic weight plate on your gym floor. Slip a barbell into the rotating outer hinge to perform all manner of hinged barbell exercises like single arm raises, squats, rows and abdominal twists.
RESISTANCE BANDS – These stretchy and hugely versatile pieces of home gym equipment take up barely any space at all. They can be used for all manner of exercises for power, recovery, performance, rehabilitation, warm-ups and warm-downs. They can also be combined with other pieces of home gym equipment like kettlebells, racks and pullup bars to create further strength and conditioning exercises.
POWERBLOCK DUMBBELLS – Another popular space-saving product which we’re proud to stock are Powerblock Dumbbells. Few home gym enthusiasts want to give up the space or funds to accommodate an entire rack of dumbbells. Powerblock Pro Series Dumbbells can replace an entire rack of up to 28 pairs of dumbbells in one compact unit. Simply slip the clip into your required weight level and you’re ready to lift. These dumbbells often also work out more economic than their full rack counterparts, thus saving money and space in your home gym.
CHOOSING MOBILE EQUIPMENT
Many gym equipment items, though slightly bulkier, have wheels or even wall-hanging options which make them easier to move and store in your home gym. Cardio and conditioning machines such as Wattbikes and Tornado Airbikes can easily be wheeled into corners to save gym space for floor work and stretching exercises. Concept2 Rowers are particularly space saving for such a large piece of gym equipment. They wheel around easily and can also be provided with a wall hanging bracket to save your home gym floor space entirely.
LET US PLAN YOUR HOME GYM
By far the best way to save space in your home gym is to simply let us advise you in person. Our friendly and experienced sales team are always on hand and happy to discuss gym equipment, gym flooring and space saving techniques for your home gym. Tell us your goals, your budget and the sizes of your space and we’ll be sure to create the perfect package to suit your needs. If necessary, we even offer a full 3D walkthrough design service to get a full idea of how your home gym could look once complete.