You don’t need to spend big bucks on expensive weight systems or cardio machines to transform a room in your home into an effective gym or workout room. Starting with items you have around the house, you can create a space that lets you perform aerobic or muscle-building routines at the beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. The key is to organize your room and choose a variety of versatile exercise items.
You’ll be more likely to exercise on a regular basis if you don’t have to set up the room every time before you work out. Choose an extra bedroom or space in the basement for a permanent workout area, if you can.
Start with your flooring. It should be soft, but firm. Carpet is a good choice, but won’t let you use equipment like an ab roller. If the carpet doesn’t have padding underneath and the subsurface is concrete, that might be tough on your joints if you’re doing high-impact aerobics. Look for some type of padding or mat, if your carpeted floor is hard, or if you will be working out on a tile or wood floor.
Your room should have good ventilation, adequate lighting, and preferably have a ceiling that’s high enough for you to jump while your arms are raised. Put a table in the room for water, towels, your cell phone, and a music player. If you can put a TV in the room, you can exercise along with workout programs or watch TV during repetitive cardio workouts.
Use a variety of smaller items to create a versatile workout room, rather than focusing on one or two large machines or a weight system. Inexpensive items that are perfect for a home gym include dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, a jump rope, an ab wheel, a medicine ball, hula hoops, a chin-up bar, and exercise balls. Buy a bike stand so you can turn your bicycle into an indoor exercise bike. A gallon of water in a plastic milk container weighs eight pounds, which is more weight than you may even need in the beginning. Two milk jugs make affordable dumbbells that you can fill with more water as you build muscle.
It’s easy to make your own jump rope. Jump ropes should be seven inches to 11 inches long, depending on your height, according to the Jump Ropes website. The website recommends measuring the length by folding your rope in half, placing one end on the floor at your feet, then raising the other end along your sides. The ends should reach your armpits.
Place two stable chairs in the room so you can perform chair dips for a great upper-body workout. Place the two chairs about a foot apart with the backs facing each other. Stand between the two chairs and put your hands on the tops. Raise your feet off the floor by bending your knees backward, and hang in the air between the two chairs. Raise and lower yourself to work your biceps, pecs, triceps, shoulders and lats. Put your hands behind your hips and in front of your hips to emphasize different muscle groups. Place one chair against a wall and stand in front of it, facing the opposite way. Lean back and place your hands on the chair with your legs straight ahead of you to perform dips that work your back, triceps and shoulder muscles.