Exercising on a regular basis is an essential part of staying fit and healthy, but sometimes finding the motivation to go to the gym can be tricky. Creating a space in your home that can be used as a home gym will make working out more convenient. Whether your workout involves yoga, lifting weights, pilates, cardio, body weight exercises, or another type of fitness, it’s entirely possible to create a budget-friendly and beautiful home gym in a compact space.

We asked fitness bloggers, personal trainers, and studio managers for their best home gym ideas, including how to design a home gym, what types of equipment to include, and how to invest in your fitness without spending a fortune.



Before you start buying equipment, it’s important to determine where your gym will be located. A basement or garage is a natural choice because these areas tend to stay cooler and cement flooring drowns out noise, but a spare room or even a corner can also make a great workout zone.

“If you love to have super intense and empowering strength-based workouts, set up a squat rack in your garage, buy chalk for your hands, and get rubber plates you can drop,” said Body Acceptance and Confidence Coach Jessi Kneeland. “If you love to have relaxing and flowy yoga-based workouts, set aside a part of your home to be your yoga sanctuary, and fill it with things that make you happy, like incense or candles, beautiful decor, and yoga blocks and straps. Set up whatever will make you most excited to go into that space and move your body.”


Measure the dimensions of the space to ensure you have enough room to move around and access your equipment. Generally speaking, you’ll need a minimum of 20 square feet to use free weights, 30 square feet for treadmills, and 50+ square feet for more than one machine.

“Measure ceiling height to ensure that any weight training equipment or cardio equipment can fit into your fitness room,” said Personal Trainer Kathy Ekdahl.


Your home gym can be as elaborate or plain as you like. The goal is to create a zone that will motivate you to achieve your fitness goals. Consider adding:

  • A 1/2″ thick mat
  • Fresh paint, posters, or artwork
  • Wireless speakers or sound system
  • Whiteboard
  • A/C unit or fan
  • A full-length mirror
  • A TV

The most important thing is to let your space reflect what you want and need from a workout, so customize it based on the fitness goals you hope to achieve.

“I personally love mirrors, both because it provides accurate feedback about what your body is doing in space and because the aesthetic makes me think fondly of dance classes,” said Jessi. But I know plenty of people who feel self-conscious in front of them. I think the key is to discover what works for you, what makes you happy and feel excited to go into that space and move.”


Choose a paint color that evokes the mood you hope to set in your home gym. A bold color like orange or red can encourage a high-energy workout. If your practice is all about stretching and grounding, consider an off-white or a pastel to evoke feelings of calm. Weight lifters might choose a shade of blue, as blue is associated with productivity.“You’ll need to stay inspired because let’s face it: we don’t always feel like working out. So, add a motivating poster or quote to your wall that will help get you started or keep you going,” said IanFitness Owner Ian Weinberg. “One of my favorites is: ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.’”

“I decorated the pilates studio in Exclusive Plum from Sherwin Williams. It possibly my favorite color of all time,” said Absolute Pilates Owner Allison Zang. “I think you need to pick something that balances the need for energy and zen. You want the space to move.”

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