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Published on January 12, 2023

Planning guide

Home Gym Ideas for Fitness Inspiration

Getting regular exercise is key to an overall healthy lifestyle, and the easiest way to keep up your fitness is to set up your very own home gym. Find out how to set up a gym in any space in your home and how to choose the right equipment.

1, 2, 3… Go!

Joining a gym is always a great motivator for getting in shape, but you can’t beat the convenience of having your own gym at home. That way, no matter how busy life gets, you’ll still be able to stay on track. The first step is to decide where your gym should go and what it should look like. Read on for some top home gym ideas, tips on choosing equipment and flooring, and some DIY home gym inspiration.

Home Gym Ideas by Room

There are 3 aspects to consider when selecting a suitable space for your home gym:
  • Available space
  • Space needed
  • Comfort
To be motivated to work out on a regular basis, make sure you pick a room you feel good in.

Weightlifting equipment on a bedroom floor


In smaller homes, you might not have anywhere else for a home gym but in the bedroom—and that’s okay! With the right pieces of equipment, you can create a space that lets you stay on top of your workouts. Plus, having your equipment close at hand can inspire you to use it. If you have the room, then choose one piece of cardio equipment (like a treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine) and position it near an outlet. If you need to keep noise to a minimum, then a cross trainer is your best bet. Smaller equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and medicine balls are also a must.
Tidy basement gym


Basement gyms offer a lot more space and freedom to use different equipment. Depending on the size of the room, you can have two or even three larger workout machines and equipment like a spin bike or squat rack. The resilient concrete foundation also makes basements an excellent space for weightlifting and strength training, and you’ll have plenty of room for dumbbells, kettlebells, and a barbell. Basements are generally cooler, which is great for working out, but still temperature controlled.
Woman rolling a yoga mat

Living Room

Sometimes, the most convenient space to keep home gym equipment is in the living room. It’s not necessarily the most private space, but it should offer enough room for the equipment you need to stick to your workout routine. Best of all, you can easily work out along to music or while watching your favourite TV show, and having your equipment nearby will make it easier to start and finish your workouts. Compact cardio equipment like a stationary bike or a foldable will also help you save space. Exercise mats for yoga and dumbbells for strength training will be good to have as well.
Man working out in a garage


The garage is one of the best places in the home for serious, strenuous workouts involving strength, bodyweight, and functional training. It should provide enough space for a good deal of equipment, and you can even take steps to enhance it with the right lighting and motivational music. Some garage gym equipment ideas include a cardio machine, a half rack, a weight bench, and barbells. The concrete flooring will be able to stand up to you throwing some weight around, but you might want to reinforce it with some additional rubber flooring as well.
Woman running on a treadmillWoman using an elliptical fitness machineWoman using a rowing machine

How to Choose the Best Fitness Equipment


Treadmills are consistently among the most popular types of cardio equipment, and for good reason. The simple, conveyor-belt design allows for fantastic workout versatility, letting users run or walk at whatever pace they prefer. Changing the operating speed also allows you to keep your heart rate consistent and changing the incline lets you target different lower body muscles. Treadmills are used by fitness beginners, fitness professionals, and those who want to lose weight. They are a top choice for a home gym.


Ellipticals also enjoy a good deal of popularity, as they mimic a motion similar to walking, running, or climbing up stairs. These machines operate on a flywheel system which moves as the user steps down on the pedals. Users can adjust the speed and resistance of the elliptical to customize their workouts.

Stationary Bikes

A stationary exercise bike can be just as effective at working out the lower body and burning calories as a traditional bicycle. It is a fantastic, low-impact workout great for people with weaker joints or certain types of injuries, as the body weight is evenly distributed. It also removes the safety concerns inherent in riding on the open road or natural terrain.

Rowing Machines

Few pieces of exercise equipment can beat the full-body cardio workout of a rowing machine. Using a sliding seat and a cable, these machines stimulate the rowing motion and particularly engage the arms and back. They are an excellent choice for people of all levels of fitness.

Treadmill vs. Elliptical

Treadmills and ellipticals are both great choices for cardiovascular exercise, but there are some important differences between them. The one you choose should depend on your fitness goals.

Benefits of a treadmill:
  • More versatile and customizable
  • Easy to take your outdoor workout indoors during bad weather
  • Potentially burns more calories depending on workout intensity

Benefits of an elliptical:
  • Lower impact on the joints
  • Less repetitive pounding on a hard surface
  • Also incorporates the upper body

More Fitness Equipment

In addition to the main types of fitness machines, you can find many more types of equipment to help complete your home gym.

Weight Training Equipment

Weight training equipment is a great way to increase your strength and is easy to store at home. This includes equipment like medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, and weight benches.

Yoga and Pilates Equipment

Exercises like pilates and yoga let you stay on top of your fitness routine and improve your balance, low-impact strength, and flexibility with minimal equipment. All you need is an exercise mat, and additional accessories like yoga balls are easy to store as well.

Fitness Accessories

You can find even more fitness accessories to build out your home gym and incorporate into your fitness routine, including jump ropes, hang-grip trainers, balance training equipment, stretching accessories, and resistance bands.

How to Choose Gym Flooring

Gym flooring comes in many different materials and varieties, including rubber tiles, foam mats, and rubber rolls. Each has its own benefits and ideal uses.

Black exercise equipment mat

Exercise Equipment Mats

Exercise equipment mats are placed underneath heavy equipment like treadmills and exercise bikes to provide padding and protection for the floor below. They also come in handy if you do high-intensity aerobic workouts or strength training with weights. You can choose from many thickness options for just the right amount of padding.
Black rubber floor tile

Rubber Floor Tiles

Rubber floor tiles are similar to rubber exercise mats, except they come in interlocking designs that can be disassembled. When apart, the tiles look like big puzzle pieces. They can be arranged to cover irregularly shaped spaces and put away when you need the room for another activity.
PVC vinyl tile

PVC Vinyl Tile

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mats are a common gym flooring option that comes in an interlocking tile design. It is easy to install and also comes in many different colours to match the style of the space. PVC is known for its light weight, rigidity, and durability. It offers the same level of protection as rubber but, depending on foot traffic, it may not last as long. Some tiles have a more textured surface to prevent slipping, while others are more flexible for greater ease of installation.
Blue foam mat

Foam Flooring

Foam floor coverings are available in both mat and tile designs. The tiles can be disassembled for storage while the mats are easy to fold. Either option usually has a textured surface to protect against slipping, but the surface is easy to clean with just some water and mild soap. Foam flooring is great not only for exercise rooms but also for playrooms and basements.
Black rubber roll

Rubber Rolls

Rubber flooring rolls are the most efficient choice for larger home gyms, as it quickly and easily rolls out for installation. It is also a more permanent type of flooring than mats or tiles. First, measure the space and cut the rolls to size. Some products are made to float over the floor while others require an adhesive. Make sure you always confirm that the manufacturer’s specifications to check that the product is suitable for your space before you begin.

Pro Tip

If you know you will need to store your gym flooring away from time to time, then lightweight PVC or rubber tiles will save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you will be carrying it up and down stairs. However, keep in mind that lighter options are also less durable.

Home Gym Flooring by Room

Home gym flooring is important if you want to enjoy serious workouts with minimal worries. It will help protect the flooring underneath from scuffs and it can also reduce excess noise. Interlocking rubber floor tile is often the most efficient, effective, and budget-friendly option.

Bedroom and Living Room Gyms

To prepare a bedroom or living room gym, arrange the furniture in a way that leaves enough of an open area to work out in. You’ll want to use flooring products made for your specific flooring type, like carpet or hardwood. PVC plastic modular flooring typically works better over carpet while rubber mats are a top choice for wood floors. Interlocking flooring is also easier to remove in case you need to host a guest.

Basement Gyms

When choosing a flooring type for the basement, consider that basements are often prone to moisture that can cause damage or mould. For this reason, you will want to choose plastic flooring or a waterproof carpet mat that has a raised base to facilitate airflow. Another suitable material for the basement is rubber, as it is not only waterproof but will provide extra padding for your feet overtop of the cold concrete floor.

Garage Gym Floorings

If your garage will double as a gym while you still use it to park your car and store other outdoor tools and equipment, then the flooring will need to stand up to moisture, oil, and automotive fluids. Rubber flooring is not ideal, as it can be damaged or even dissolved by automotive chemicals. Instead, go with polypropylene, polyvinyl, or PVC. Interlocking tiles, floor mats, and flooring rolls are all good options if you may need to move your equipment and flooring around to create extra space. They can all be easily disassembled and stored away. Flooring rolls are more convenient for larger areas while floor tiles are great for irregularly shaped spaces. Tiles are also easier to replace.

Good to Know

Some garage flooring products may not be suitable for a garage home gym. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to make sure.

Home gymGym at homeMetal pull bar in a home gym

DIY Home Gym Ideas

There are many small DIY projects that can help make your home gym even better. For example, you can create a floor training area by laying down your choice of flooring material and hanging up a wall mirror that not only lets you keep an eye on your form, but that helps the space feel brighter and larger. Alternatively, you can make use of the vertical space in the room by installing a wall-mounted resistance band station on the wall or a galvanized pipe on the ceiling to act as a pull-up bar.

A good home gym is also comfortable and free of clutter. Consider installing a ceiling fan to keep you cool during your workouts and using some wall-mounted storage to keep your free weights, exercise mats, and other equipment out of the way when not in use.