Home Gym Ideas And How To Set Up One To Help You Work Up

Home gyms have been a thing for quite some time but it was only recently that they took off and became inspiring ideas more popular than ever. 

Home Gym IdeasView in gallery

With many gyms out of order or inaccessible over the past couple of years working out from home has become not just common but natural.

If you’re thinking to set up your own home gym or upgrade your existing one, we have some ideas that can help.

Budget-Friendly Essentials For A Home Gym

Budget-Friendly Essentials For A Home GymView in gallery

If you’re starting from scratch it’s important to prioritize your purchases, especially if you’re dealing with a small space. You can’t have everything in a home gym nor should you. So what are the essential equipment items for a home gym? Well, here’s a few:

A quality mat

A lot of exercises that you can do at home require a mat. There’s two main types that you can choose from. One is the yoga mat which is slim and doesn’t take up a lot of space and the other is the jump mat which is thicker and can be used for more intense exercises. If you’re unsure which one you want, the jump mat is a safe choice because you can use for everything.

A jump rope

Jump ropes were a lot of fun when we were kids and they’re still great now as adults because they’re considered gym equipment. Before you dismiss it thinking you’re never going to use it, just consider this: there may be days when you don’t have the time, the energy or the determination to do a full workout. On those days you could still use a jump rope to at least sneak in some light exercise.

A set of dumbbells

Dumbbells are quite versatile and considered by many a must have in a home gym. You can use them for light or serious workout routines and what makes them great is the fact that they don’t take up a lot of space and they can be used without any other gym equipment. There’s plenty of dumbbells to choose from but many trainers recommend getting an adjustable set so you can customize your workout whenever you want.

A kettlebell

All you really need is one kettlebell if you want to supplement your dumbbell exercises or get some cardio training in without relying on complicated gym equipment. Kettlebells are great because of their simplicity and versatility. You can use them for a lot of different exercises and they don’t take much space at all.

A workout bench

The workout bench isn’t necessary for all types of fitness exercises but it is very versatile and useful in other ways. If you have the room for it, get an adjustment bench and integrate it into your workout routine. It really makes a difference if you’re doing weight training. If you’re short on space you can fold it down and slide it under the bed when you’re done with your training.

A pull up bar

Another great accessory to have in your home gym is a pull-up bar. It takes up very little space and you can install it above the door. It’s great for upper body and core exercises and it’s just fun to have around. You can even store it away when you’re done using it if you feel it ruins the aesthetic of the room.

Resistance bands

Resistance bands are a must in a home gym and there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t have them. They take up virtually no space at all and they’re super versatile. You can use them to warm up, in combination with other gym equipment and they’re not expensive.

Home gym vs gym membership

Both a home gym and a gym membership have their own pros and cons and deciding between them can be quite challenging. At the end of the day you should make the decision based on what works for you, your lifestyle, schedule and personal preference.

The pros and cons of a gym membership

The pros and cons of a gym membershipView in gallery

Pros:

  • a gym gives you access to a wide variety of gym equipment which you wouldn’t normally have in a home gym. This makes it better if you want to get a full-body workout.
  • gyms are social spaces where you get to work out with other people. This means it’s less likely to get bored while working out plus it can be nice to go to the gym with a friend.
  • gyms have personal trainers who can teach you and guide you through your workout routine. They also show you how yo use the equipment correctly and efficiently which is great if you’re a beginner.

Cons:

  • gym memberships can be quite expensive and this can be a big pain point for some people and even a deal breaker.
  • gyms can get crowded at certain times of the day such as in the morning or after work. This means you might have to wait around to get access to certain equipment.
  • it’s pretty easy to lose motivation to go to the gym mainly because it requires you to physically go there. There might be days when you don’t have time or when you just don’t feel like getting out of the house because of bad weather or something else.

The pros and cons of a home gym

The pros and cons of a home gymView in gallery

Pros:

  • a home gym is always there and lets you exercise whenever you feel like it. There’s no schedule that you have to stick to and you don’t waste time on the road.
  • at home you can listen to your own favorite music while working out and that can make it way more fun and enjoyable than being at the gym
  • in a home gym you have privacy which a lot of people value. There’s nobody around to judge you and you can be totally comfortable working out
  • you can customize your home gym however you want based on your own needs. You can start small with just some basic equipment and add more as you create your own personal workout routine
  • it’s more cost-efficient to invest in a home gym than to pay a membership in the long run. The initial investment can be pretty big but you only pay this one time and you can use the home gym for years after that.
  • you don’t need to share the equipment with anyone if you have a home gym. You don’t have to wait in line to use anything and you don’t need to worry about strangers sweating all over the place and spreading germs.
  • it’s easy to get distracted at home. There’s all sorts of things that can seen more appealing than the workout equipment at any time like that comfortable sofa and the TV in the living room. Also, there might be other family members around that can disrupt you while working out.

Cons:

  • home gyms are not as motivating as regular gyms because you’re all alone with no one to encourage you. It’s also not as easy to become focused at home because you feel too comfortable there and you don’t get in the zone the same way.
  • a home gym requires space which you may not have. Some gym equipment can be too big for your place and you may not have enough room to do your exercises properly at home.

What’s a Good Flooring Material For A Home Gym?

One detail you should pay special attention to when setting up your home gym is the floor. Give special consideration to the material that its made of and its durability and choose it based on the type of exercises that you plan to do. Here’s our top 3 picks:

Rubber tiles

Rubber tilesView in gallery

These are tiles made of recycled rubber which you can use to create a custom workout area. They’re like puzzle pieces that fit together. They’re durable, easy to install and shock-absorbent which is great if you work with heavy weights or heavy equipment in general. They protect the floor from scratches and damage from the gym equipment and they also provide traction.

Hardwood flooring

Gym Hardwood flooringView in gallery

If you want a more permanent flooring solution, consider hardwood. It gives you a solid and durable surface and it looks a lot better compared to rubber mats and foam tiles. Hardwood floors are also waterproof and easy to clean and they’re also strong enough to withstand heavy equipment and intense traffic.

Carpet tiles

Carpet tiles for home gymView in gallery

Carpet tiles are a good option if you want a second layer of protection to add on top of your existing floor. They’re also great if you want a softer and more comfortable surface for your home gym. It prevents scratches from the gym equipment and it’s easy to install. Be sure to choose tiles that are waterproof and not particularly thick because you don’t really want a thick carpet to get soaked with sweat.

22 Creative Home Gym Design Ideas

Bright and spacious home gym

Bright and spacious home gymView in gallery

Not everyone has the option to turn an entire room into a home gym and assigning a large room is an even bigger challenge. If you do however have this option, make the most of it.

Open up the room, expose the windows and let the sunlight in. It fills the whole space with energy like this one designed by HK Interiors.

Simple and modern

Simple and modern home gym with saunaView in gallery

It’s easy to get excited about setting up a new home gym and wanting to fill it with absolutely everything. Try however to keep things simple and to only include the equipment that you actually need.

This will give the gym a clean and stylish look and it could even leave space for some extra features. This design by studio Brion Jeannette Architecture is a really nice example.

A nice view

House Gym with A viewView in gallery

Try if at all possible to set up your home gym in a room that has a nice view. This way you’ll have something beautiful to look at while you’re working out.

It doesn’t have a full room. The corner of your living room could work just fine, as demonstrated here by Masa Studio Architects.

A well-organized space

A well-organized space gymView in gallery

Keeping your home gym clean and organized is important not just because it looks good but also because it’s safer and more enjoyable and inspiring.

Having dumbbells scattered around the floor is just an accident waiting to happen. Check out this space by studio Anthony W Design if you want some ideas in this regard.

Multipurpose room

Multipurpose room gymView in gallery

Although it would be cool to dedicate an entire room to just your workout equipment and turning it into a gym, realistically that rare happens. What is however doable is creating a multipurpose space where you can have your gym equipment as well as some storage, laundry machine or whatever else would fit.

We really like this combination between a dressing room and gym designed by studio Pascal Liguori & Son.

A cozy attic gym

A cozy attic gymView in gallery

There’s multiple options when it comes to choosing a location for your home gym. It could be down in the basement but it could also be up in the attic or on the top floor which would give it a nice view and would make it look super cozy. A gabled roof would have a similar effect. Let this space by NC Design Studio-Architects inspire you.

A practical and stylish setup

Home gym with A practical and stylish setupView in gallery

There’s no reason why a home gym can’t be both practical and good-looking. This design by Brandon Architects is the perfect example.

The floor is covered in rubber tiles for traction and durability and the design is simple and monochrome with a bit of warmth added by the wooden accent wall. There’s also a large wall mirror which makes the entire room seem bigger.

Moody lighting

Turn a low ceiling room into a gymView in gallery
Image from eladgonen.

Unless you prefer your home gym to be very bright, some moody lighting can make this space look super nice and stylish. Here the ceiling lights and the sconces really help the beautiful wooden floor stand out and they also add warmth and color to the gym. 

A minimalist approach

A minimalist approachView in gallery

If the rest of your home is designed in a contemporary and minimalist style then you should keep the same aesthetic in the gym, with the necessary adjustments of course.

The gym designed by studio Aesthetic Renovations has a special vinyl floor on top of the existing wooden panels and super simple floating shelves for storage.

Home gym with Large mirrors on the walls

Home gym with Large mirrors on the wallsView in gallery

Installing large mirrors on the walls of your home gym is a great idea for multiple reasons. It lets you actually see yourself and make sure you’re exercising right and it also makes the room look bigger and brighter. Combine this with white walls and a white ceiling to amplify the effect. Check out this design by studio Silver Leaf for more inspiration.

Simple but still diverse

Simple but still diverseView in gallery

You don’t need a lot of stuff of equipment to make your home gym serve you well. Include a few major things that you want to be part of your workout routine and if there’s still space set up a nice little area where you can sit down and relax.

This design by studio Cleft Painting shows how simple it is to make it happen. 

A view that inspires

A view that inspires working on gymView in gallery

When you have a great view like this to look at working out is a real pleasure. The scenery fills you with energy but also relaxes the mind at the same time, putting you in a great zone. This gorgeous home gym was built by studio Cabex Construction.

Light colors and tons of light

Light colors and tons of lightView in gallery

Sunlight has a very positive effect on our body and mind. It fills us with energy and positivity which are both important when working out.

This is why this home gym designed by Young & Borlik Architects is so amazing. Of course, the light wooden floor, exposed beams and beige walls also help to make it feel inviting and to look stylish.

A contemporary home gym with extra features

A contemporary home gym with extra featuresView in gallery

There’s all sorts of things you can add to a home gym to make it more enjoyable to be in and nice to look at.

Apart from the gym equipment you can also add a wall-mounted TV so you can have something to look at while doing fitness exercises and you can install speakers so you can play music while working out. Check out studio Multimedia Solutions for more ideas.

Inspired by nature

Inspired by natureView in gallery

Another cool approach can be to create a home gym inspired by nature using materials like stone and wood. You can add lots of plants to create an immersive ambiance and perhaps even a water feature or, even better, a pool. Check out this cool-looking home gym designed by studio Apex Mountain Homes for more inspiration. 

Pops of color

Pops of colorView in gallery

There’s no reason why gyms should be all gray or white or boring when it comes to their color palette and overall design. Adding pops of color to a gym’s design makes it look more fun and gives you a nice boost in energy and motivation.

There’s plenty of ways in which you can incorporate color into a gym’s design. An easy option is with rubber or  foam tiles. Check out this space by studio Legacy Custom Built Homes as an example. 

An industrial style

An industrial styleView in gallery

Instead of making your home gym look all zen and cozy you could also go a different route and give it a rough and industrial aesthetic.

This one for example has a polished concrete floor, an exposed concrete wall and all these metal accents. It was created by studio Kelley Design Group.

A transitional home gym

A transitional home gymView in gallery

If you want to you can also blend two or more styles to give your home gym a little bit of everything.

How about a transitional design with modern and traditional elements put together in harmony? 

Trendy and versatile

Trendy and versatile home gymView in gallery

This is not a very big home gym but those big glass windows and the mirror wall help a lot to make it look large and spacious. Also, the design is simple and modern and makes it easy to combine two rooms into one, a laundry area and a gym. 

Fresh and fun

Fresh and funView in gallery

Design your home gym with a fun twist so it doesn’t feel like an austere space where you have to work but a space where you can enjoy working out. Give it a bit of color and look for a some fun equipment or details to add to the design. Perhaps this design by studio Smiley Renovations can inspire you.

A classic look

classic home gym ideaView in gallery

If you like your home gym to have a classic, traditional design that’s ok too. This usually means a simple and neutral color palette based around tones of gray and white with stainless steel accents. A bit of wood on the floor is always welcome. It adds warmth and beauty to the room. This space by Arc Design Group can give you an idea of what this looks like. 

A cabin-inspired design

A cabin-inspired designView in gallery

This stylish home gym has a rustic air to it and a nice cabin-inspired feel. The wood paneling on the walls makes it feel very inviting, the ceiling is high and the windows let it lots of light as well as a nice view. It’s a space that feels like home created by studio M.T.N Design.

What Exercises Can I Do In My Home Gym?

The whole point of setting up a home gym is so that you can exercise without having to leave the house or pay for a gym membership. So what kind of exercises can you do in your home gym? Well, all sorts, starting with these 10 simple fitness moves:

What Exercises Can I Do In My Home GymView in gallery

  • Stationary lounges – it’s more comfortable to do this on a mat but that’s not necessarily a requirement. To do a stationary lounge position yourself with the right left in front and the foot flat on the ground. Keep the left foot on its toes and bend the knees and lounge until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and switch legs.
  • Forearm plank – you can do this either on a mat or on the floor. Start by assuming a plank position on your forearms so your body makes a straight line. Hold this position for 30 sec – 1 minute.
  • Bicycle crunches – this is an exercise for your abs and you can do it on a mat. Lie on your back, bring your knees up and the legs at a 90 degree angle. Put your hands behind your head. Bring your right elbow to your left knee and at the same time straighten your right leg. Return to the starting position and do the same thing for the opposite side.
  • Chair squats – you need a chair for this exercise. Start in front of the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body until you touch the chair with your bottom while at the same time extending your arms in front. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Knee pushups – a simpler version of standard pushups for beginners. You can replace this exercise with standard pushups if you want to. First get into a high plank position from your knees, then bend your elbows and lower your body down to the ground. Keep the elbows at a 45 degree angle. Push back and repeat.
  • Superman – do this on a mat. First you lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Raise your arms and legs off the ground as high as you can simultaneously. Maintain that position for a second, then slowly lower them back to the starting position. 
  • Dead bug – start on your back with your legs and arms raised in front of you at a 90 degree angle. Extend your left leg and at the same time drop your right arm above your head, then bring them back up and repeat for the opposite side.
  • Overhead squat – a good exercise for an advanced workout. It’s basically a standard squat but done with your arms extended overhead.
  • One leg/ one arm plank – an exercise that takes the plank to a new level. While holding the plank position, lift one arm or one leg up and hold it there for as long as you can, then switch sides.
  • One-legged pushups – start by assuming a pushup position then lift one leg off the ground. Complete the pushup and repeat or switch sides.