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How to Turn Your Basement into a Home Gym

If you have trouble getting off the couch and driving all the way to the local health club, maybe it’s time you created a setup right in your own home. Transforming your dusty old basement into an exercise zone can give it a visual facelift, and it’ll eliminate some of the roadblocks that stop you from working out. Here are some things to consider as you turn your basement into a home gym.

Make a Plan for the Space

Before you start setting up and bringing in equipment, you should plan the layout and placement of the components you want to add. Some basements are a single open room, while others have multiple sections. The former type is easy to work with because you have more flexibility regarding where you can place things.

If you have a multi-room basement, however, you may consider one of two options. First, you can create specialized areas. For instance, make one room devoted to weights and another made for cardio exercises. Second, you may opt to knock down the walls and unify your basement into one large space.

Whatever you decide, take note of how large your desired equipment pieces are and whether they will fit comfortably (if at all) in your basement. Some larger pieces may be too bulky or too tall for your space, so take some measurements of your basement to avoid this mistake.

Decide on Flooring

Since most basements are made with concrete, more likely than not, you already have a good basis to work from when it comes to transforming your basement into a gym. A concrete floor provides all the durability you need to support heavy weights and machines. It’s also easy to place additional layers on top of it.

A popular choice to lay over the bare concrete is rubber. With its firm and slightly bouncy qualities, it’s great at absorbing impacts and diminishing noise when you drop weights on it.

Put in a Mirror

It may not seem like it, but mirrors serve an important role in the gym. As you lift large loads, even a slight deviation in form can have serious repercussions. To keep yourself free of injury and ensure you perform each exercise correctly, you need a mirror to monitor your movements.

Think about where you want to place a full-body mirror for this purpose, and coordinate with where you will use it the most during your workouts.

Add Lighting

Along the same lines as the mirror, light is necessary so that you can avoid injury as you navigate the room. Basements are usually pretty dark because of their location, but you can counteract this with a combination of light sources.

Illuminate the room without encroaching on available space by putting lights in the ceiling. You can go for LED lights to save energy. You may, however, want to avoid the fluorescent variety because they tend to flicker, which can make some people experience headaches and lethargy.

If you don’t have any, install egress windows to let in more natural light. The sun’s rays can be more energizing than artificial light alone, so having these windows will help motivate you as you exercise during the day.

Written by Kevin O'Neill

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