Is a lack of space preventing you from building your ultimate home gym? Do you live in an apartment where you’d have to sacrifice your living room or bedroom to build something? Maybe you live in a house, but you don’t have any space in your garage for equipment.
The good news is that space constraints don’t have to stop you from building a solid home gym. In fact, you can get full body workouts in a small space if you know what equipment to get and which exercises to perform.
Here are some suggestions for building a home gym in a small space.
1. Start with professional gym flooring
Proper flooring is important regardless of where you set up your gym. However, flooring will be absolutely necessary if you’re working out on concrete or another hard surface. When you only need to cover a small area, professional gym flooring is affordable for any budget.
There are different types of mats you can get. Some fit together like interlocking puzzle pieces, while others come in large rolls. The type of mat you choose matters. If you’re using heavy equipment and you’re going to drop barbells on the ground from deadlifting, you need a mat thick enough to withstand repeated impact.
2. Start using bands
For some reason, bands have an inaccurate reputation for being inferior to free weights. The truth is that bands can build muscle just as well, if not better than free weights. Bands also have more benefits and advantages than free weights, including:
· Tension at all times. With free weights, you only get tension when you perform your rep, not when you release the exercise. For example, when you do bicep curls with dumbbells, you only get tension on the way up.
Doing bicep curls with bands provides tension on the way up and on the way down, thereby increasing the amount of time your muscles remain engaged, which helps you reach muscle failure faster – often with just one set. This method is called “time under tension” and produces optimal results with bands.
· Less stress on joints, including knees and elbows. Many people with arthritis and other conditions are told to ease into strength training using bands. Perhaps this is why bands have a reputation for being inferior to weights. However, many people have been able to build significant strength using only bands.
· Ability to use heavier resistance than you can with weights. This should seal the deal for you. With flat bands and a footplate, like the X3 Bar system, you can actually lift heavier than you normally would with free weights. Many companies make heavy-duty flat bands, but X3 makes an Elite band that provides 600lbs of resistance when doubled.
There are also two types of bands – flat and tubular. A good workout will usually require having both. While Bodylastics makes amazing tubular bands and door anchors, other companies like Undersun make high-quality flat bands. You’ll need both to get a complete workout.
3. Get a low-profile workout bench
There’s nothing more frustrating than catching your big toe on the foot of your workout bench because you have nowhere to stash it away. Traditional weight benches don’t fold and they’re easy to trip over.
For a small space, you need a compact bench that you can fold up and stash away. Better yet, a bench like the Reebok Aerobic Deck that not only folds up, but is essentially a solid rectangle with no feet sticking out. You can use it as a footrest if your gym is also in your living room, or you can tuck it under a shelf in your garage to get it out of the way.
4. Get Powerblocks
If you’re still not sold on the power of bands and you really like your free weights, you need Powerblocks. While the Bowflex brand makes Select Tech adjustable dumbbells, they’re not as good as the Powerblocks. If you’re not familiar with either, check out this review to compare both options.
5. Utilize door anchors
Door anchors are perfect for small spaces. If you don’t have room for equipment, door anchors make it possible to work out right in front of a door.
Door anchors come in a variety of styles from simple straps you throw over the top of the door to anchors that span the entire width of the door and have a variety of anchor points.
Working out in a small space is easy
Small spaces make building a traditional gym challenging, but with the right equipment, you can still get a complete workout.