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Home Gym Space Needed: How much space do you need to exercise?

Spending money on a gym membership can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have the motivation to go there on a regular basis. A home gym may workout better but what if you have limited space? The thing is, exercising can be done anywhere, even if you’re short on room.

So, the question is…

How much space do you need to exercise? 

The amount of space you need to exercise can be as little as 36 square feet. In this amount of space, you would be able to do calisthenic workouts such as; jogging in place, jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, squats, and lunges or even add in a small piece of exercise equipment.

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Limited Space Exercises


Maybe you’re just planning on using your gym for some simple cardio. If you’re just looking for a space to do some yoga or aerobics without any equipment then the room size needed could be as little as 36 square feet. There are plenty of exercises that can be done in small spaces.

Here’s just a few:

  • Jump rope – Jumping rope is a mega blast cardio workout. It’s an upper and lower body workout and all you need is a jump rope. The thing is, you don’t even need that. You can skip the jump rope altogether and just mimic the motion, it’s just as effective.
  • Bodyweight – One of the best ways, not to mention the cheapest, to get fit is to use your own body weight. From lunges and squats to tone legs, push-ups and tricep dips for arms and mountain climbers and planks for your core, your own body weight may be the best equipment needed.
  • HIIT workouts – HIIT workouts stand for high-intensity interval training. HIIT combines short periods of intense exercise with less intensive recovery. You can scour the internet for all sorts of different HIIT exercises that can all be done in a small space. Cardio moves like jumping jacks and high knees following by pushups and wall sits are perfect for small spaces and will still have you breathing hard and sweating buckets.

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How much space do you need for a home gym?

The amount of space you need for a home gym according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is approximately 50–200 sq ft for a Multi-station gym and 35 sq ft for a single-station gym.

Home Gym Space Needed

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There are certain guidelines for the amount of space needed, based upon the equipment and exercise you want to do.

If you’re planning on using cardio equipment and have determined where it will go in your space then also think about the type that will get the most use. Don’t buy a treadmill if you hate running. Get a machine that will make you want to work out.

Minimum area required for gym:

Home Gym EquipmentMinimum area required
Treadmill
30 sq ft
Elliptical trainer
30 sq ft
Stationary bike
10 sq ft
Rowing machine
20 sq ft
Stair climber
10–20 sq ft
Ski machines 25 sq ft

In order to save some space, instead of purchasing dumbbells at different sizes consider investing in adjustable dumbbells. With a simple click, you can go from ten pounds to twenty. These dumbbells will save you a ton of space but be aware they can be pricey and you may be shelling out a couple of hundred dollars for a good pair.

Another space saver would be an adjustable bench. Benches are necessary for weightlifting to work out different muscles in the body so a bench that can incline or decline in a variety of positions would be helpful. Most are reasonably priced and can usually be stored in a flat position when not in use.

With all this weightlifting going on, it would also be prudent to install a full-length mirror so you could keep an eye on your form. Bad form can lead to injury so keeping an eye on yourself can help prevent that.

Choosing A Workout Area

Where will your home gym go? That question, along with what exercises do you plan on doing, are the most important. Home gym measurements can range anywhere from 10 square feet for a bike or stair climber, all the way to 200 square feet if you’re looking for a multistation gym. Planning ahead for the equipment you want, along with options for the best flooring, is imperative.

While basements can be a great option – they’re usually cooler; they can also smell musty or have poor lighting. A spare room might work too but it should be a square or rectangle, oddly shaped walls may just waste potential storage space. Maybe the garage would work? It has higher ceilings but may be much hotter in the summer months. Whatever space you decide on you need to be prepared to make a plan for the equipment and flooring.

Home Gym Flooring

One important factor to think about in your home gym is flooring. Since you’re going to sweat a lot, it’s best to have flooring that can be cleaned, durable and is low maintenance. Not only that but you’ll need it to be comfortable and easy on your body. The following options make for some great choices:

  • Rubber Tiles – easy to install and keep clean, the rubber is also an excellent shock absorber.
  • Carpet Tiles – simple to use and move around but may wear out faster.
  • Soft PVC Vinyl – very durable and easy to install but may not be the best shock absorber.

Remember, you’re planning on using this space often so you want the aesthetic to be pleasing so you keep coming back.

The Takeaway

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t exercise if you have a small space. There are many different types of exercises to do, along with plenty of space-saving equipment to keep you fit and healthy. It’s important to plan your space accordingly so it becomes a gym that you frequent often.

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Topic: Small Space Workout