5 Tips for Creating an Apartment Home Gym

So, you want to get into a workout routine. But your apartment doesn’t have a gym, and a membership to a local club isn’t exactly how you want to spend your hard-earned cash. What to do? Create an apartment home gym, of course! And hey– you don’t need to use bulky multifunctional equipment or invest in a treadmill. Here’s how to use the space you have, maximize your workout equipment storage, and create the perfect home gym in your small apartment.

1. Choose your workout equipment wisely. 

You might not have space for a barbell or a stationary bike, but don’t let that stop you. Choose small-but-mighty workout equipment like:

  • Resistance bands and loops: these can add resistance to a weight-lifting or bodyweight workout, and take up almost no space.
  • A compact yoga mat: Choosing the right yoga mat size can make all the difference between a smooth workout and a frustrating storage nightmare. Try searching for a “travel size” yoga mat to find the perfect mat for your home gym. 
  • Pilates ball: A giant yoga ball may not be the best option for a small space, but you can get some of the same benefits with a small inflatable Pilates ball. Add a challenge to a core workout or balance exercises with this basketball-sized item. And hey, if you do have space for a big yoga ball, make it double as your office chair for effortless core work during your workday
  • Small foam roller: Small foam rollers are great for stability challenges, perfect for releasing sore muscles, and small enough to tuck behind the couch or in a closet.
  • No equipment at all: There are plenty of workouts you can do with just your bodyweight! Look for free HIIT workout videos for an apartment-friendly cardio option, and choose a cushy, stylish rug for your living room to eliminate the need for a yoga mat entirely. Even without props or a dedicated apartment gym space, a quick bedroom workout can be just as effective as a boot camp class across town!

2. Use a spare bedroom. 

If you’re lucky enough to have an extra bedroom in your apartment, turn it into a dedicated apartment home gym! Or, use part of it for a home office (we’re all about that WFH life these days!), and the other as a home gym. Small apartments call for multipurpose spaces and out-of-the-box storage, which leads us to our next tip…

3. Get creative with space-saving storage. 

No extra bedroom? No problem. Set up a home gym in a small apartment with these workout equipment storage hacks:

Use a small cart you can tuck into a closet

Do you have unused space below your coats in the coat closet?  If so, it just became the home base for your portable gym. Use a small metal cart to keep your equipment organized and ready to use when you need it and tucked out of the way when you don’t. 

Use a shoe rack for lightweight dumbbells

If you don’t have a coat closet, use your entryway for storage. A shoe rack is a perfect place to stash a few dumbbells. And here’s a pro tip to get even more bang for your buck: a small storage bench for your entryway or storage ottoman for your living room can double as a weight bench for your workouts and keep your equipment out of sight. 

Make your shelves work double (or triple!) duty

If you can hang open shelves in your apartment, use open triangular brackets as supports. This way, you can easily roll up your yoga mat to store it behind the front of the brackets or stash a small foam roller there. Install small cup hooks on the sides of your shelf and create a spot to hang lightweight resistance bands, a yoga strap, or jump rope.

 Use a freestanding bookcase instead when you can’t put holes in the wall for shelving. Store your workout gear in style, and STILL get your security deposit back when you move out. Who needs a yoga mat rack, anyway?

4. Set the mood.

No, we’re not talking about hanging motivational posters on the walls. But there’s something to be said for creating a workout space where you want to spend time. To keep your apartment feeling homey—rather than feeling like a haphazard gym— incorporate your equipment storage amongst plants, decorative accessories, and wall art

Don’t forget to layer down rugs for comfort underfoot (and to prevent your downstairs neighbors from hearing your every footstep)! 

Even if you can’t paint the walls or hang shelves, try using inexpensive removable wallpaper to add a luxurious, spa-meets-gym vibe to your workout space and give you something interesting to look at while you break a sweat. 

Bonus: this gives you a stylish accent wall in whatever room you designate as your apartment home gym area and doesn’t eat up any extra floor space. 

5. Make some changes so you can have a home gym.

Is your apartment space already maxed out? Do you find yourself wishing you had access to multifunctional equipment, treadmills, and full weight sets? Maybe it’s time to make a bigger change. ApartmentSearch can help you find a bigger space with an extra bedroom or an apartment complex with a fully-outfitted fitness center for residents. Don’t sweat the search for your next apartment—use our advanced filters to find the perfect place today.