Build a Home Gym in Your Basement

Thursday, September 12, 2013 3:44:00 PM Categories: Basement Remodeling Home Improvement Tips Home Renovation

If you like to work out, but you never seem to be able to make it to the gym, a home gym might be a good idea for you. Building a home gym in your basement gives you the freedom to work out when it’s convenient. You don’t have to fight traffic to get across town to the gym, and you don’t have to work out in front of other people, using machines that may not be as sanitary as you’d hope.

A home gym is convenient, private, sanitary and less expensive in the long run. You have the initial set-up cost for a home gym, but won’t have to pay a monthly fee, and won’t have to spend money on transportation to the gym several times a week.

If you want to set up a home gym, the first thing that you need to determine is if your basement is a good fit. Next, you will want to outfit your basement and then finally, purchase the accessories that every good home gym needs.

Is Your Basement a Good Fit?

When creating a home gym in your basement, there are a few things you should consider.

First, how much space do you have? If you have a large basement, you should not have a problem setting up a home gym. If your basement has been divided into several smaller rooms, then you might not have adequate space. Gyms do not require an expediential amount of space; however, you do need room to move around safely.

Second, what is your ceiling height? Most basements have low ceilings. If you have a low ceiling, you might not be able to stretch comfortably or use tall exercise machines, so factor that in when outfitting the basement.

Still, if you have a small basement with a low ceiling, you may still be able to create a home gym if you are willing to scale back. For example, decide on just one type of exercise machine, such as a bike or a treadmill, instead of several. You can also create an area to perform stretching exercises and yoga, or where you can use things like free weights and resistance bands instead of large exercise machines.

Outfitting Your Basement

home gym in basementNow that you have determined what your basement can hold, the next step is to start outfitting the space. Before you bring in equipment, you want to make sure that your basement is ready to go. This means that you need to consider the walls, the flooring, the ventilation, and the lighting.


Exercise equipment can be noisy and loud which in turn usually results in music or the television being cranked up even louder. Although you are in the basement, you might still disturb your family upstairs with all the commotion involved with exercise. This leads to the next consideration of a home gym, adding walls that absorb sound.


Most basements have concrete floors which work great for a home gym because they can easily support heavy exercise equipment. If you’re looking for a more aesthetically pleasing look, another option is rubber flooring. It works well in home gyms, and you can even purchase inexpensive, interlocking rubber tiles. Some people choose to purchase rubber flooring, and then put carpet over it to absorb sound and impact.


If your basement is not climate controlled, you should consider ventilating your basement prior to adding a home gym. Even if you do have heat and air in your basement, you might also want to consider adding overhead fans. This will help you stay cool while you are working out. If you do not have the room for overhead fans, because of low ceilings, you can purchase freestanding fans to help keep the air circulating.


The more light there is in your home gym, the better. Light helps to keep you awake and alert, and you can see what you are doing. If adding more lights in your ceiling is not an option, consider adding a couple of floor lamps to keep the room well lit.

Purchasing Gym Equipment

Once the new home gym is outfitted, the next steps are to purchase equipment and accessories that will make for a more comfortable environment. This is the fun part! What do you want in your gym? Choose from treadmill, stationary bikes, ellipticals, free weights, or all – depending on the space you have available. If you plan on using large exercise equipment, put them into your gym first, and then add your other accessories.

Other considerations include storage, such as a cabinet to store your small items such as towels, heart monitors, yoga blocks, etc.

Do you need entertainment while you run, or cycle? Consider mounting a television to the wall, or installing surround sound speakers to pump music into the space. This is a great example of something you should consider after outfitting your space with sound absorbing wall finishing.

Add any decorations that make your home gym feel more inviting or sparks motivation. One idea includes large mirrors to see what you are doing while you are exercising and to ensure that you are using the proper form. An added bonus is that the mirrors will also make the room appear larger and brighter.

Creating a home gym in your basement is not very difficult, and it gives you a private and easily accessible place to achieve your exercise goals. Have you converted your basement to a home gym? If so, leave a comment with your favorite part of your new gym.