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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN SETTING UP YOUR FIRST HOME GYM

There are many reasons why you may consider setting up a home gym. For one, in this era of the ‘new normal’, you may have safety concerns and prefer to work out at home. Another reason is so that you can fit in a short fitness routine on days when you have the urge to exercise but did not plan a visit to the gym. Many people also exercise at home to complement their gym routines, by alternating days and the types of workout that can be done at home using minimal equipment. Whatever your reason, here are some suggestions on things to consider to get you started.

19 Oct 2020

Finding the right space

Not everyone has the luxury of space, so that’s a good place to start. If you’re struggling to find the right space for the equipment that you want, why not think about finding exercises that can fit the space instead? You can consider calisthenics, which relies on your body weight instead of equipment. Research has shown that calisthenics has positive effects on your posture, strength, and body compositions, so it’s as good a workout as any. The thing is, you probably already know some calisthenic exercises, such as push-ups and planks. All you need is enough space to fit the length of your body so that you can perform moves that require you to be horizontal. This amount of space then allows for other options like yoga – the mat tends to be around your height – which offers a lot of strengthening benefits too.

Adapting items you have at home

Perhaps you’re not much of a handyman, or maybe you’re renting a home and so you can’t make too many alterations. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get the workout you want – all it requires is some creative thinking. For a full-body workout, consider suspension weight training like TRX. You don’t need to drill into any walls or the ceiling to mount the set, you could just use a door anchor. You’d be surprised by how many things you already have at home that you can use. Want to be able to make sure your technique and posture are correct? Instead of installing huge panels of mirrors on your wall, just move the full-length mirror from your bedroom to your exercise area.


Finding alternatives to make things work

One of the biggest issues with home gyms is space to store your equipment. What if you don’t need to store it but instead, find other uses around the house for them? Instead of storing an exercise ball, for example, leave it out in the living room as an alternative to a chair. Don’t use it to replace your office chair though – although this is increasingly being used, studies are mixed on the actual benefits of long-term use. If you have a room where you hang your laundry out, why not put your home gym station/rack there? It’s an ideal spot because you can also use it to hang your clothes out to dry. As for kettle balls, they are great door stoppers – put one in each room and you’ll never need to find storage space for them.

 

Saving some money

Gym equipment can be quite costly if you’re buying them brand new, so consider getting second-hand options. There are many reasons why this is a good idea: first of all, paying so much money for news ones mean that you’re stuck with what you purchased. A cheaper second-hand one means that if you discover it doesn’t work for you, it’s less of a burden to get rid of them or put them up for sale again without making a big financial loss. A home workout also means less options compared to going to an actual gym. With second-hand equipment, you can change them more regularly so that you keep your workouts interesting in the long term. Getting cheaper equipment also means you can upgrade more often – as you progress to heavier weights, you can get replace the older ones to suit your needs and fitness progress.