If you have space to turn an entire room into a home gym, you’re one of the lucky ones. Most of us manage with a corner in an existing room, but that’s fine too because there are plenty of ways to keep equipment looking neat, orderly and, most important, to hand.
Open shelves may not be suitable for heavier gym equipment like kettle bells or weights, but they’re great options for smaller, lighter items. Rolled up yoga mats, towels, your sound system if you like music while you work out. As well as keeping smaller gym items neat and tidy, a shelf in your workout space is a great place to stash a cold drink so you don’t get distracted going into the kitchen.
If open shelves don’t appeal, other vertical storage ideas include a pegboard that you can customise however you like. This too can hold towels or sweatbands, resistance bands or provide hanging space for rolled exercise mats. Because a pegboard is infinitely versatile, you could also hang a few containers to hold hairgrips, headphones or ear buds, keeping tiny things right where you need them.
One final idea, that’s more about motivation to carry on than actual storage, is to fix a row a bulldog clips to the wall. Use these to hang up achievement photos, progress charts, or favourite exercise sets or routines.
Choosing home gym equipment that doesn’t take up much room is a great option when you’re trying to fit more kit into a small home area. You could go for:
- A pull up bar that you fit over a doorframe. It doesn’t get in the way of the door or doorway, and it’s a subtle reminder to do a few pull ups every time you pass under it.
- Push up stands are the next best thing to a bench press. Plus, they put your wrists into a more comfortable position so they take less stress, while the rest of the body does a little more work.
- Exercise bikes are normally pretty hefty pieces of kit, but a mini exercise bike is something you can put in front of any chair. Its very small size makes it ideal for a home gym as it’s so easy to store it away after use.
- Resistance bands can be used anywhere, whether you’re doing mobility exercises or a normal workout. You can even carry these around in your bag and keep them in a drawer when you’re not using them.
Unless you have one particular form of exercise or a favourite piece of gym equipment, your routine is likely to go in cycles. Maybe this summer you’re using the rowing machine every day, but in winter you’ll switch over to the treadmill so you can go running without braving sub-zero temperatures.
Giving houseroom to larger pieces of equipment that aren’t in daily use is not the best way to maximise a home gym. Because they’re expensive to buy, they’re not items you’re likely to discard easily. One solution is to move larger gym items into self storage when they’re out of your personal routine. With self storage facilities being in handy locations around most towns, your kit will be easy to retrieve when you need it. Meanwhile, getting it into storage is easy too since there are pallet trucks and lifts to help with bulky or heavy items.
By moving underused equipment out of your home gym, and optimising storage for the kit you keep, you create extra floor space for workouts. When your gym area is neat and organised, you’ll feel more motivated and find fewer excuses to skip sessions.