5 Easy Steps To Create The Perfect Home Gym

You've heard the many reasons why working out at home beats going to the gym and want to take the plunge but you're not sure if you have room in your home or your bank account. Not to worry. These 5 steps will help you create the perfect home gym for any space and budget.

1. Dedicate a Space

First, you need to decide where you want to set up your home gym. The spare bedroom, garage, or unused office are great spaces to exercise. If you don't have a spare room, a small area in your home (the living room) or outside (patio or porch) that can double as your workout space will do. With just a bit of arranging, you can create an organized, functional space that'll help motivate you to keep moving.

2. Make it You-Friendly

Clear your exercise space of clutter and distractions. Try to remove all gadgets, gizmos, papers, or other items that might call your attention away from your workout. If you stream workout on your laptop, you'll want to make sure you've setup your TV or laptop at a level that is easy to see and follow along with the workout routine.

Now, think about the equipment you need during your workouts. Do you use weights? Resistance bands? Yoga mat or blocks? What about a towel and water? Picture yourself in your new workout space and get a sense of where it's most convenient to grab them before, during, and after your workout. Now think about ways to create storage as close to those spots as possible.

Last of all, you may want to consider adding a mirror to your workout space. Mirrors are extremely helpful in providing feedback during exercise. They are great for visualizing muscle movement and ensuring your keeping proper form and posture. Additionally, a mirror can help open up a space which may help you feel less cramped in a smaller workout area.

3. Stock and Organize for Efficiency

You don't need a ton of equipment or bulky machines to make your home gym an effective place to get a great workout. In fact, some of the best home exercise equipment is fairly small and relatively inexpensive.

At a minimum, you will probably need an exercise matt and a set of quality resistance bands with a door attachment. To give yourself more options, you may want to invest in one set of adjustable dumbbells, medicine ball, and a step with risers. A foam roller is another versatile piece of equipment useful for "kneading" out muscles, core strengthening, or as a prop for yoga poses.

Once you've got all your equipment, you'll need to store it in during and between workouts. You don't have to get fancy here. Stack your weights neatly or pick up a weight rack at a discount store or yard sale. You can hang bands from a coat hook or even a pegboard. If your workout space spends the rest of the day as something else (living room, perhaps?), check out storage boxes that will slide neatly under your bed / sofa or dedicate a shelf or two in a nearby closet.

The point is to keep your area tidy and your equipment close at hand. Organization creates a sense of calm and an orderly workout space will make it easier for you to focus on your workout.

4. Decorate to Inspire Yourself

What's your fitness goal? Are you trying to lose fat or get more muscle definition? Maybe you're getting in shape for an event like your wedding, a high school reunion, a marathon, or an epic tropical vacation. Perhaps you're just making healthy changes to your overall lifestyle and you're looking forward to just being more active and spending time with family and friends while hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or whatever else you can imagine.

Decorate your workout space with pictures that express your target goal to help you envision your transformation. Engage in creative visualization. Clip or print photos showing flattering clothes you’re going to wear, exciting activities you plan to do, exotic places you intend to travel. If you're more of a word person – clip, print, and post motivational quotes, phrases, and even whole speeches where you can easily read them during your workout and rest sessions.

These pictures and/or phrases are practical motivation. On a day when you're not as fired up to workout or you lose steam midway through, just look to your motivational wall. You'll be greeted with a visual reminder of the reason you're working so hard. A strong why and subsequent reminder will help you dig down and find renewed energy to push yourself to new heights.

5. Use Your New Workout Space

Now that you're all set up, put your new home gym to good use! Just like a gym membership, having a home gym doesn't do you any good unless you use it regularly. Determine the best time of day for you to workout, schedule your workouts, and stick to it. Need a little more human interaction? Invite a workout buddy over to train with you or ask your partner to sweat it out by your side.

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