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Joining a gym and getting in better shape is always a top New Year’s resolution, but by the time you’re reading this, close to 80 percent of those new gym members have already dropped out. While gym dropout factors range from travel time to cost of membership, one of the recent trends includes the rise of online fitness and the home gym. Millennials are spending more time at home than previous generations, so it’s only natural that they bring the gym to them. 

Do you dream of simply walking downstairs to squeeze in a workout? Read on to learn more about the benefits and trends that are making a home gym more attainable than ever. 

Twenty years ago, a home gym meant a room filled with gear, from weight racks to treadmills and an elliptical. Nowadays, home gym equipment is slicker, sleeker, and in some cases, on your smartphone. 

The quality of workout you can get at home can rival that of a boutique fitness studio or personal trainer. It also means you’re not traveling to get a good workout in, so you have fewer reasons to skip a workout. Depending on how often you work out, installing a home gym could save you money in the long term. Plus, keeping equipment at home means you can workout anytime, on-demand. 

Depending on your exercise preferences, you may only need a bike and yoga mat in your space. While there’s always the classic bike, treadmill, or elliptical, here are a few new products shaking up the home fitness space.

Smart Workout Equipment

Want a home workout that rivals a group class at a boutique studio? Look no further than new connected tools like Peloton’s smart bike or Mirror, the personal trainer inside a smart mirror. Depending on how you get your sweat on, there’s a library of smart devices at your disposal. From smart boxing gloves to a digital weight room, these new workout systems are oftentimes smaller than traditional home workout equipment. Many also include guided workouts and classes, ensuring that you get the full benefit of the equipment.

Shop Secondhand and Discount Aisles

If smart workout equipment is out of your budget, look to online marketplaces like Craigslist and Letgo for gently used machines. When it comes to shopping for weights, bands, and mats, find them for a steal at stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. 

A Workout on Your Phone

Depending on your workout preferences, you might be able to sidestep equipment with a suite of smart apps designed to bring the gym to you. With Neou you can stream a library of workout classes from across the country at your convenience. If personal training is more your speed, try Ladder, which pairs you with a digital fitness coach that suits your needs and personality. Aaptiv can help you take your workout from the home gym to the road, including guided runs, weight training, and yoga. 

With a mat and enough space, an app might be all you need to get your sweat on.

Location, Location, Location

With apps and tools ready, now all you need is space in your home to work out. The size of the space will hinge on the size of your equipment, but no matter its square footage, you’ll need to keep the following features in mind. 

  • Ventilation. Some people don’t consider this until it’s too late, but making sure your space has proper ventilation will ensure your bench press doesn’t transform into a bacterial breeding ground. That means your home gym needs to have airflow, whether that be windows, fans, or an air purifier. 
  • Flooring. Your home gym should have slip-resistant padded floors that are easy to clean, no matter what you decide to stock the space with. You can place rubber mats over the flooring or install floor mats for a permanent solution.
  • Mirrors. Whether the space is big or small, you’ll need a mirror to watch your form and make corrections. Without a gym buddy or work with you, you’ll need to be your own cheerleader. 

Ready to work it out, inside your home? If you’re willing to put in the work and consider what you’ll need to exercise safely and efficiently, you won’t even break a sweat building your home gym.


Words by Emma Diehl