Building a Home Gym 

Strength-Training-at-Home

A major advantage of building a home gym is that it is convenient. Time is precious, and not having to go to the gym and back will give you more of it to spend on your workouts. Exercising at home is also convenient on the weekend. It means you don't need to take so much time away from your family, and it helps you stay consistent with your fitness program.

Home workout gives you an extra reason to feel good about yourself since it is arguably more difficult to feel motivated at home than when you have the external stimulus of the gym. It can also contribute to your self-esteem and self-image.

These advantages are balanced by the potential difficulties of exercising at home. Unless you have space and money to buy several different types of equipment, you probably won't be able to vary your workouts at home as much as you could at a gym. It is very important to vary your workouts. Changing your routine keeps your body from getting too familiar with one movement or exercise. Challenging your joints and muscles in new ways by changing angles, using different equipment, and so on targets more muscle fibers and gets your joints used to being stressed in different positions. This enhances your ability to lift the weight, helping you reach your strength goals more quickly. Lacking a variety of equipment at home could limit your workouts somewhat.

Another potential challenge of working out at home is that you might disturb people who live with you or around you. You need to be aware of others in your home who could find your workouts disruptive. If you have enough room, try to set up your workout space far away from anyone who is usually around at that time of day. You should also consider whether your workouts could bother people who live above or below you - people who might hear your dumbbells banging on the floor over and over again! You should always set dumbbells down quietly, but just in case you forget once in a while, you need a dumbbell rack or a thick mat or carpet on the floor where you can put the weights between sets without making too much noise.

Distraction can also be a problem when you work out at home. You are obviously motivated since you've made a commitment to exercise, but at home, there are many things around you that could divert your attention. Potential distractions are very individual to you. Maybe you suddenly notice dirt on the floor of your home and start cleaning that up instead of continuing with your workout. Others might tend to get sidetracked by the telephone, the computer, other people, or any number of things. It's smart to prepare for these distractions ahead of time so you can deal with them successfully, or avoid them altogether. If the phone rings during your workout, for example, can you let it ring, or do you feel compelled to answer it? If you answer it, do you feel comfortable telling the caller that you can't talk at the moment, or are you tempted to get into a conversation? Maybe you should just turn the phone off during your workouts.

If you live with other people, they can prove to be either a distraction or a source of support for your exercise program. You could enlist their help in leaving you the time to get your workout done and even develop some kind of reward for your kids if they don't disturb you. On the other hand, if time permits, you can invite your kids to work out with you. Ask them to try some of the core exercises that are done with just body weight. Working out in front of and with your kids is a great way to instill in them the habit of exercise, as well as the feeling that it's not an unusual occurrence! Working out at home takes some planning, it's not as easy as just walking into a gym, buying a membership, and heading for the machines. There are several considerations to keep in mind. The physical space you exercise in can be a big factor in how comfortable you feel during your workout and how motivated you are. It's worth putting a little time into arranging your home workout space. Seeing your weight bench covered with unfolded clean laundry might not be the most inspiring way to get going. If you organize an area of your home either as a permanent space for working or at least as a spot where your equipment is easily accessible, you’ll be able to get to your routine with less wasted time.

 

6 Ways To Improve Your Home Workout

 Workout Space

If you can set aside a workout space of about 10 feet by 10 feet, you have enough space for a weight bench, a stability ball, a few pieces of resisting bands, some dumbbells, and room for you to move a little. If you have the extra space, keep this area designated for your workouts only, which will also motivate you since you’ll see it all the time. If you don't have enough space to devote this area solely to your exercise routines, then you need to have some storage space where you can keep your equipment in between the days you use it. This can turn into a hassle, you might find yourself having to dig deep into the closet to find those dumbbells. Planning ahead to avoid this scenario is key. If you have space, you can buy a rack for your dumbbells; if you don't, you need to have a mat or a carpet that you can put on the floor during your workout, as explained previously. You also need either a mat, a rug, or even a thick towel for the floor exercises. Just be careful if using a towel when you perform standing exercises as it could be slippery.

Clear away any objects that might cause you to trip or twist an ankle, such as toys, shoes, and the like. Also, clear away any clutter that might encourage you to lose your focus. Have a towel handy, and fill up your water bottle in advance. On a safety note, if you live alone, make sure you have a plan in case you need emergency help. Either make sure that your neighbors are around when workout and could hear you calling out, or have a phone close by to use just in case you feel ill or drop a weight on your foot!

 

Lighting

 Think of the days when you wake up in the morning to find the sun shining brightly into your bedroom. You feel more energized on those days than when you wake up and the weather is dark and dreary, don't you? If you like to work out in the morning, either natural sunlight or artificial light that simulates it as closely as possible, helps you reset your body's natural clock so that you can focus on your exercises instead of trying to wake up. If you have a window in your workout space, try to have drapes or a shade that you can open; if you prefer to keep the window covered, you can get a thin, light-colored curtain that will still let in some natural light. If there's no window or if it's dark out, make sure you have good light so that the room is pretty bright. If you don't, you might want to buy another lamp. You can even buy full-spectrum lightbulbs that mimic sunlight.

 

Ventilation

 It's more pleasant to exercise if you're not doing it in a space with stale air, so make sure you have proper ventilation in your workout area. Think of the times when you open the windows, fresh air streams into the room, and you take a deep breath. You feel great, right? Compare this sensation with the way you feel in a room with no windows or with air that feels like the windows haven't been opened for a long time. The first scenario is much more conducive to self-motivating. Having fresh air circulating through the area where you exercise means you’ll get plenty of oxygen into your lungs and on its way to your muscles, helping you feel alert and ready to work. Try to set up your workout space in an area that cross-ventilation, with air that moves from one window or door to another. If this is not an option, then get a fan to increase circulation.

 

Temperature

 The ideal temperature for working out is approximately 20-22 degrees Celsius. It will be easier to get started with your workout if the room is the right temperature, neither too warm nor too cold. A room that is too warm can make you feel lethargic, especially if your bed is close in sight! If it's too cold, on the other hand, you won't warm up efficiently and will risk injury. A warm-up is necessary to get your blood sugar circulating and to get your joints lubricated and ready to handle the weight you are going to lift. Exercising is all about muscles contracting, or shortening, and then relaxing, or lengthening, over and over again. If the muscle fibers and joints are not warmed up, the muscle fibers don't shorten and lengthen efficiently, making it easier to overstretch or pull a muscle. This is particularly important if you are exercising in the morning. If you exercise later in the day when you've been up and about for a while, the temperature in the room is not so crucial, since you're already warm from the inside out. Try to make sure the room is heated properly, but if you still feel a little cool as you start your warm-up, it's a good idea to layer a light shirt on top of what you usually wear and take it off as you get going with your workout.

 

Music or Other Sounds

 This is a very personal choice. What motivates you while you are working out? Does a quiet environment allow you to focus better on what you are doing, or does it make it harder to wake up and get going? Perhaps you like to listen to a radio station with some balance between news and music. You can also create a special playlist that is perfectly timed for your favorite workout, 30, 45, or however many minutes long, consisting of whatever music gets you moving. You can put the songs in the exact order you like. For example, if you want a little more inspiration at the beginning of your routine, then put that music first. Or you might be someone who likes music to really match the workout. In that case, choose some quieter music for the warm-up and beginning of your routine, with the more energetic songs from the middle to the end. Finding the right music or another audible stimulus can help you have fun and get the most out of your exercise routines

 

Equipment

You can do many of the workouts in with one bench, a few sets of dumbbells, some pieces of tubing, a medicine ball, and a stability ball. You can also substitute other items for the equipment you don't have. If you lack the space for the foam roller, you can put three tennis balls in a sock and use that for the self-myofascial release instead. If you don't have a medicine ball, you can use a dumbbell in its place. If you don't have a stationary bicycle, you can get some cardiovascular intervals by using a jump rope.

Your dumbbells should vary from being light enough for overhead presses to heavy enough for a set of lunges or step-ups.

The tubing should be strong enough to provide resistance for upper-body exercises such as rows. There should be something stable in the room, such as a power rack or a doorknob, that you can either attach the tubing to or wrap the tubing around. You should be able to lengthen the tubing to 1.5 times its resting length, if that doesn't give you enough resistance, you should get a thicker piece of tubing. 

If you can get a stability ball, you will find it a wonderful tool for challenging your balance and core integrity. A stability ball should be big enough that your knees are at right angles when you sit on it. Keep it fully inflated. You can buy a stability ball that comes with a pump, or you can just use a bicycle pump if you have one. 

If you have space and the money, you might consider buying a power rack for your workout area at home, they are great for doing the upper-body exercises. They are designed with a bar across the top that you can use for chin-ups and hanging leg raises.

Another type of purchase to consider if you have space and the money is a cardio machine such as a stationary bike, an elliptical machine, or a treadmill to complement your strength routines. There are many companies that make cardio machines for home use. These are designed to take up less space than the machines you'll find in health clubs, but the biggest difference is the degree of sturdiness. Machines built for commercial use have to be very strong to withstand the hours of use and abuse. This is why when you shop for home machines, they might look a little wimpy in comparison.

If you only exercise at home and don’t have a multi-station gym machine, you’ll have to make slight changes to some of the routines. For example, if the exercise is leg press, choose another leg exercise that you can do at home, such as step-up or one of the many lunges or squats. If the exercise is a row done on a machine, then do the row standing with the resisting band instead, or the single-arm row with a dumbbell and your bench.