20 Home Gym Hacks for Small Spaces
The benefits of a home gym are endless. There’s no need for a pricey gym membership, you don’t have to wait for someone to finish using a piece of equipment before you can jump on, and best of all, you save time and money on commuting to and from a commercial gym.
But creating a home gym takes more than just buying some equipment and storing it in a corner—especially if you live in a bustling city where small apartments are the norm. Creating a space that you’ll actually feel inspired and motivated to work out in will make all the difference in your fitness journey. We’re here to offer some of our top home gym hacks to help you create the perfect workout environment in your small space.
Wherever you live, you can build yourself a home gym by working with the space that you have. Whether you have an entire spare bedroom or office to dedicate to a home workout space or you need to get a bit creative with limited space in a compact studio apartment, there’s always a way to get in a good workout at home.
You can make your home gym more appealing by making it a place you genuinely want to spend time in. A few ways you can do this are by stocking it with the right workout equipment, installing a good sound system, setting the mood with the right lighting, and adding your favorite decor such as plants, photos, art, etc.
Outside of blasting top 40 and waiting for someone else to finish before you can use a piece of equipment, you can make your home gym feel like a commercial gym by filling it with workout equipment, sanitizing spray bottles, a TV, towels (for you and for your equipment), a clock, ceiling fan, sound system, and of course, some mirrors.
Equipment that can be used in multiple ways for a variety of exercises is essential for any home gym—especially if you’re working with a small space such as a spare bedroom, an office, or a living room.
Compact equipment that can offer you a great workout and be stored easily is what you should be looking for when outfitting your home gym. Equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, and ankle weights are a great place to start.
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When it comes to adding a functional workout space into your home, it’s best to approach it with a space-saving mindset. If you plan to work out in your spare bedroom, consider investing in a Murphy bed instead of a regular bed that will take up precious floor space. If you plan to work out in the living room, buy hollow furniture such as ottomans, which make a great place to store your dumbbells, kettlebells, ankle weights, yoga blocks, and foam rollers.
When possible, bundle your equipment together to save on space in your home gym. For example, bundling your yoga mat with your foam roller and yoga block in a basket keeps them contained and maximizes space.
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Forget about investing in expensive gym flooring. Instead, look for horse stall mats made from recycled crumb rubber that will offer you the same benefits at a lesser cost. These mats can be purchased online through Amazon or directly from a flooring retailer. They’re also great for shock absorption and minimizing sound transfer from your floor to your downstairs neighbor’s ceiling.
Instead of buying expensive, pre-packaged, and branded gym equipment sanitizing spray, make your own. Take an empty spray bottle and add rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and water. Fill the bottle with one-third of each and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add a pleasant scent.
Mirrors help you check your form as well as brighten up a space and make it look bigger. When you have a small space, however, you want every piece of decor to have multiple purposes when possible. Investing in an interactive smart gym like The Mirror not only acts as a sleek, reflective piece of decor when turned off, but also acts as a portal to an endless fitness library and live personal training sessions.
Get access to over 10,000 home workouts and classes across 50+ categories, as well as live personal training sessions and real-time form fixes when working out.
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Floating shelves are a great way to utilize vertical space in your home gym. You can use them to help decorate by adding small plants or pictures on them and even use them to hold your water bottle, sanitizing spray bottle, and speakers while working out.
Get the cubby-style floating shelves and store your phone, towel, and ear pods in there to make that section of the room feel kind of like a locker room.
Store your dumbbells with a vertical dumbbell rack and save precious floor space. If you’re not ready to purchase a formal dumbbell rack, consider using a leveled cart to store your dumbbells. Be sure that the cart is made from a durable material like steel, and tighten the screws every two weeks for support. If your dumbbells are heavier than 5lbs., consider storing them on the bottom shelf with lighter items on the top shelves. You can also store your running shoes, towels, sanitizing spray, kettlebells, and more in these types of carts as well.
Hanging an exercise log or workout calendar in your home gym can help with motivation and accountability. You can schedule upcoming workouts and mark completed workouts as a way to keep yourself on track.
MIRROR tracks your workouts digitally and sends you weekly stats on your progress. Learn more about the full experience. Experience MIRROR
When it comes to at-home gym storage, the key is to use as much wall space as possible to leave floor space free for activity. Pegboards aren’t just for holding your leaf blower and garage tools, they can also be used to hold your gym equipment like resistance bands, yoga mat straps, heart rate monitors, and more.
You can even install floating shelves into the peg board so it can serve multiple functions.
In addition to floating shelves and pegboards, utilizing hooks as part of your vertical storage will come in handy. If a pegboard is too bulky, hooks are the perfect alternative and can hold your resistance bands, yoga mat strap, towels, clothes, heart rate monitor, and more.
Another fun hack and storage idea for your yoga mats is to store them vertically on the wall. You can do this with a simple IKEA container that’s usually used for plastic bags, but can instead be used as a simple wall mount for your mat. This hack may only work for lightweight yoga mats. If you have a thicker mat, consider simply rolling it up with a mat strap and placing it in the corner of your home gym.
Home tech like Google Home or Amazon Echo can be a great addition to your home gym that elevates your entire workout. Using voice command to start playing your workout playlist or dim the lights while stretching can make stepping into your home gym that much more enjoyable.
If possible, try to position your home gym in a place that offers some views. For example, if there’s a specific window in your home that you enjoy looking out of or that gets lots of natural light, see if you can create your gym space in that area. If your home gym happens to be a garage gym, consider setting it up so you can open the garage door when it’s nice outside so you can enjoy the scenery and fresh air while you work out.
Whether you’re painting the walls or creating a feature wall, be sure to add some color to your home gym that gives off an uplifting vibe so you feel energized and ready to work out when you step into that space.
Pro tip: If you want to make your space look bigger, certain patterns will achieve that illusion. For example, wallpaper with horizontal stripes will make the space look wider, while vertical stripes will stretch the room from floor to ceiling. Busy patterns like chevrons, marble, or simple geometric designs will also help make the room look bigger.
When exercising, make sure there’s enough lighting to see where you’re going and watch your form in the mirror. Try to stay away from floor lamps or installing hanging overhead lights since you’ll need as much space on the floor and above you as possible—otherwise, you might be limited from performing certain movements.
Decorating your at-home workout space is personal. You can hang your favorite art, photos, macrame, etc. If you’re working out in a small space, make the space feel bigger by adding landscape photos. For example, a large canvas or framed picture of a wide open, scenic lake can make the room feel expansive.
Whether it’s a Bluetooth speaker or a surround sound system, music helps you get pumped up before and during a workout and can also be used to amplify the volume of your online exercise class so you don’t miss any instructions.
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Adding a TV to your home gym can make it feel more like a commercial gym and allows you to multitask while you work out (e.g. get caught up on your favorite show or on the news while you’re getting a sweat on).
Consider adding a mini-fridge to your home gym so you always have cold water and a post-workout snack or shake on hand. A mini fridge can also double as a shelf to hold your phone, decorations, etc. while you work out (and who doesn’t love more counter space?).
A Home Gym You Can’t Stay Away From
Follow the home gym hacks above, and you’ll be excited and motivated to “hit the gym” for a good sweat. Go one step further and install The Mirror to implement multiple home gym hacks at once. Not only does MIRROR teleport you into a limitless library of health and wellness classes, it also serves as a mirror to make your home gym space look bigger and brighter and includes a digital workout calendar and exercise log to help keep you on track, motivated, and accountable.
The biggest home gym hack on the market is The Mirror. Gain access to over 10,000 live and on demand fitness classes across 50+ categories from the comfort of your own home.