Tired of paying for a gym membership you don’t use?
Save time, money and get in shape by creating your own home gym with this minimalist approach.
You wont need a spare room, a lot of space or money to create a motivational workout space.
What is your current workout status?
You want to exercise more, but don’t have the time or money for a gym.
You do some exercise, but not as regularly as you would like to.
You don’t exercise much but would like to start, even if it’s just a little.
Keep Reading – this post is for you!
The main object is to stay healthy and get fit!
Exercise not only improves your health it can increase your happiness and even build your confidence. More than any special equipment or clothing, you need some inspiration and motivation.
How about living longer, feeling energized, visiting the doctor less often and being happier to help motivate you?
What are your excuses?
Don’t have enough time to exercise? You won’t need much time! Just 10-15 minutes a day, 3 or more times a week is enough to get you started.
Don’t have money or time for a gym? You wont need one, working out at home is completely workable.
Don’t have any space for a gym? You wont need much space at all.
Main Ingredients of My Minimalist Gym
some floor space, not too much is needed
a kettle bell or hand weights
a step or two, a whole flight of steps also works
a padded couch arm, back of the couch or the floor
some motivation, inspiration and willpower to stick with it
energizing music to keep you moving
A nice place to walk, if you can find some hills that’s a bonus!
Yoga mat or a folded blanket works well much of the time
So what does my Home Gym look like?
My gym looks exactly like my den! I don’t give up a room in my house to make a gym, I simply get creative with my use of space and furniture. The only real evidence of my den also being my gym, is when I forget to put away my kettle bell. No set-up means, no cleanup for a minimalist gym – extra bonus! I don’t need to get dressed, my pajamas/yoga pants work fine for my gym attire. The only travel time I have, is walking from my kitchen to my den!
Some people have a work triangle in their kitchen, I have an exercise triangle in my den.
If I don’t have to dress and leave the house I am much more likely to work out early in the morning. There is no way I would be driving to any gym at 5am. When I do a morning workout, especially with some weight and cardio, I am full of energy for the rest of the day. In my exercise triangle, I can do planks, push-ups, dips, squats, stair exercises and stretching.
If I am breaking a sweat, getting winded and feeling some muscle burn, the exercise must be working. If I am maintaining or losing weight, it’s working. When my pants are comfortable, a little loose or I can wear my skinny jeans, I know it’s working!
What Keeps Me Motivated?
There are so many ways I can answer this question!
The Short Answer: When I exercise regularly, I feel energetic and good about myself.
Other Ways I Keep Myself Motivated:
When I exercise, I have more energy all day long. I love days like that, I get a lot accomplished!
I feel younger and can totally ignore the fact that I’m over 50. Who cares about age? I feel better now than I did in my 40’s. Many friends and colleagues think I am younger and are surprised to learn my actual age.
My clothing, particularly my pants aren’t tight! When I gained weight during pregnancies, fine. When some of that weight stayed on – not okay! Wearing tight clothing, can make you grumpy! More here about how I lost my pregnancy weight.
I can eat dessert, brownies or cookies if I want with a clear conscience. No guilty or negative feelings.
Other people noticing your improved fitness feels nice! When people ask if am working out or losing weight, it’s good to know that it is noticeable, not just to me.
Even if I don’t want to exercise, I try it half asleep some days. Once I start moving, I usually wake up and get motivated to keep going.
My Typical Weekday Morning Workout 10 – 15 Minutes
Stretches and planks using the couch = 4-5 minutes
Regular planks, Left & Right side planks, one leg planks
Squats 120 to 200 total, in sets of 30-40 = 2-4 minutes
Regular squats, curtsy squats, Plié squats
Pushups & Dips using the couch = 2-5 minutes
20 pushups, 2-3 sets
15 dips, 3 sets, regular or one ankle crossed over opposite knee
On the days with more time I may add:
Step workout to add some cardio
Walking somewhere out in the sunshine, hopefully with hills. In Winter, my husband and I go to the local mall for indoor walking. Our preference is early morning before the shoppers arrive. When I retire, one of my dreams is to build an indoor walking track!
What exercises can you do on the floor?
For the floor, you only need enough space to stand for Squats, Lunges, Jumping Jacks, Yoga moves or your own favorites. There are countless standing and bodyweight exercises that don’t require equipment or a lot of space. For more ideas of which exercises to try, see this post.
You may want a little more floor space if you like working out on the floor. The floor is never my first choice! The floor is often too far away for me at 5am. I just got up for the day, so the last thing I want to do is lay down again! When I workout on the floor I get too relaxed and take longer to complete my sets. If I do choose to use the floor, it is usually a weekend workout when I have more time.
Related Exercise Posts
What exercises can you do with a kettle bell or weights?
You wont need a full set of kettle bells, just one or two is plenty. If you prefer hand weights, they can work fine as well. You want to work all your arm and shoulder muscles and your core will also get some attention.
My favorite kettle bell exercises include kettle bell swings, figure 8s, kettle bell rows, goblet squats and more. Using hand weights, I like to target the back of my arms. Grandma refers to these as “batwings”, which I am keen on avoiding! I sometimes like to shadow box with hand weights. A personal trainer showed me this type of workout years ago. I love the boxing moves and have kept them up over the years. I can feel it in my arms for the rest of the day and sometimes even the next day.
What exercises can you do on the stairs?
Think back to step aerobics from the late 80’s. A step or two is all you really need.
On the steps, I do the basic step, kick step, repeater knee, V-step and more. It depends on my mood and the music. I probably make up my own moves, just as long as I’m getting a cardio workout, it’s fine.
The step is also great for calf stretches, and calf raises.
If you have a full set of steps, walking or jogging up and down several times is a perfect warm up.
What exercises can you do on the couch?
No, you are not lying on the couch for this part!
The couch in my den happens to be the center of my workout space. Using the arm of my couch I do several types of planks, pushups, dips and stretches.
I start my routine with stretches and planks as my warm up. During the cooler months I need to warm up literally, because the heat has just turned on for the day. A few stretches and a minute or two of planks and I’m totally warmed up.
Why do I do planks and pushups on the couch arm instead of the floor?
Mostly because I’m too lazy at 5am to get down on the floor. The couch is so much closer!
The couch works just as well and I have a whole routine that works well for me. I have my favorite workout couch and a back up choice too. At times, when my kids have sleepovers, there is a person sleeping on my workout couch- the nerve kids have!
When I work out on the floor on a comfortable yoga mat or blanket, I tend to rest too much. I spend an inordinate amount of time “resting” between sets, instead of moving. It is not as easy to “rest” while I am balanced on the edge of the couch.
If you want to do planks and push-ups on the floor, by all means, please do. I only use the floor if it is completely necessary!
You will want to use a couch with a solid arm that won’t hurt your hands when you lean on the edge. The back of the couch or the 3rd or 4th step on a carpeted staircase also works. A heavy overstuffed chair can also be used as a substitute. Note- check the sturdiness of the furniture before you put your full weight on it! You don’t want to have to explain why you tipped over a couch or chair on its end!
Why do you need a home gym at all?
Because none of us are getting any younger and being active can help you live longer and promote good mental health.
Having a home gym saves space, money and time. When you don’t need to get dressed or travel to your gym, you are more likely to work out more consistently.
Even short workouts are better than no exercise at all. What better place to get fit and healthy than in your own home? If you are “gym-shy” and don’t like exercising in front of other people, the home gym is a great solution for you.