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Create and Maintain a Home Gym

Exercise is such a great way to keep your stress levels low and your energy levels high. If you have been working from home and missing your trips to the gym, it may be time to dedicate some space in your home to your daily or weekly workout routines.

When the pandemic hit, I was told that all the recreation centers would be closed indefinitely. I pivoted quickly and brought my workouts to Zoom and teach them from my living room. Some gyms have re-opened with limited access, but the places that I taught my fitness classes still have not opened and do not plan to until maybe April 2021. With that said, I am still prepared to teach from my living room and may just continue because of the convenience alone.

One thing I had to teach my students is that you can use pretty much anything in your home for resistance. When we first started some were using cans of dog food, peanut butter jars and filling water bottles with sand to give them some resistance. I think most of them have found their groove in where to place their tablet, computer or phone when taking the class as well as being prepared in their space.

Looking at your space for a home gym or workout area will depend on what type of workouts you enjoy doing. If you are doing online yoga or Pilates classes you really only need the space of two-three yoga mats wide and long. You may need props like a blanket, bolster, belt, light weights, bands and a towel.

If you like doing more weightlifting and strength training you may need a bit more space in order to store the equipment you need. How about clearing space in a corner of one of your rooms? There are some simple and affordable shelves that you can put baskets in and then your weights, bands, and other equipment so that it is out of the way. Keep your mat rolled up and stacked next to the shelves if it doesn’t fit or designate a basket just for the mats. Don’t forget the foam rollers and I would recommend having at least two different types. One a little firmer and one with nodules to help get into some deep fascia work so that you’re joints don’t take the brunt of your workouts. Foam roll before and after each strength training workout for the best recovery.

If you are able to expand and use a whole room or more space in your basement you can really create a fun space for yourself. You can use padded flooring, bigger shelving and increase the amount of dumbbells or kettle bells and benches you want to use in your workouts. I had friends expose their beams in the basement and set up their own TRX bands. Be creative and see what you can put together to motivate you to do some form of movement or exercise every day.

The key is to keep it simple, clean and easy to put things away so you know where they are the next time you are squeezing in a workout. Create a space you like to work out in and not one that you “have” to work out in. When you love the space, you will love the workout. When you love the workout you will do it more often.


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