For some, creating a home gym might mean establishing a tiny corner in your apartment to stash weights. For others, it could mean turning a whole room into your personal fitness sanctuary. Regardless of how much space you have, it’s important to make your gym-away-from-the-gym as enjoyable as possible. After all, you won’t want to work out somewhere that looks “meh,” right?
That’s where Pinterest comes to the rescue. If you thought pinning was great for workout ideas, beauty tips and recipes, just wait ‘til you see the fitness ideas below. These nine easy (yet impressive) DIY projects will help turn your own personal gym into a place where you actually want to squat and lunge your way fit.
9 Ways to Make Over Your Home Workouts
1. Create a Deck of Cards WOD
If your home workouts usually consist of no more than a few bicep curls (while watching Marco Polo on Netflix), it’s time to step up your game. Stash a deck of these Workout Labs exercise cards in your space — or make your own version. Just shuffle and draw to build your own workouts, and don’t worry if your gym isn’t fully stocked. These bodyweight moves require no equipment. We guarantee you’ll get better results than if you were winging it.
2. Paint a Chalkboard Wall
Go to a CrossFit or HIIT class, and you’ll likely see your instructor write out your whole workout on the wall. Why not recreate the same for yourself? Pick up some chalkboard paint and get to work. Not ready to go balls to the (entire) wall? Try mounting mini chalkboards — they’ll look pretty and keep you motivated.
3. Splash on Color
Channel the energy of your local spinning or boutique fitness studio by brightening your walls with some inspirational decals. Simply tack the stencil up, pick your favorite colors, and paint away. You can find decals that stick straight to your walls, too, for an even easier spin on this project.
Painting an accent wall could be a big help when it comes to gym-spiration, too. Not sure which hue to choose? Go green. One 2012 study found that people who bicycled while staring at a green-colored screen felt less fatigued and had fewer mood disturbances than those looking at black, white or red. A SoulCycle vibe in your own home? Yes, please.
4. Install a Joint-Friendly Floor
Nobody wants to do burpees on a concrete floor. It turns out installing your own cushioned flooring is actually a breeze. Just look for one of these puzzle-like floor mats, and piece it together. Your knees will thank you.
5. Organize and Disguise Your Space
Tripping over your dumbbells or yoga mat on a daily basis pretty much guarantees you’ll abandon your home gym, rather than embrace it. The key to making it work may be to organize — and disguise — your fitness nook. Stash a shelf between your treadmill and the wall, build a bench that you can use for storage…or tricep dips. Or invest in some baskets and containers to keep your stash of towels and yogi gear contained.
6. Make Streaming a Cinch
No need to install a whole TV or sound system in your home gym (ain’t nobody got time for that). Just hang this small mount, and you can attach your tablet to the wall. You can use it to stream workouts, so you don’t get bored doing your own thing. Or, simply ditch the headphones and blast your favorite Pandora station as loud as your heart desires.
7. Hang a Mirrored Wall
Putting up mirrors on your gym wall will not only make the space feel brighter, it will enable you to check your form while you get your sweat on. Find one large mirror, or mount several narrow ones next to each other for a similar effect.
8. Display Your Race Bling
Nothing says, “Keep at it,” like staring at a wall full of your hard-earned race souveniers and medals while you work out. Create a collage of race bibs to paste on the wall, and install hooks to hang your hardware. We have a feeling you’ll be inspired to shoot for your next personal best before you know it — after all, the motivation will be staring you in the face every day.
9. Build Your Own Foam Roller
Get your recovery on by making your own foam roller. Before you groan, know that it’s easier than you think. Pick up a PVC pipe from your hardware store, find an old yoga mat and glue it on as a cushion. Wrap the mat around the pipe based on how much squish you prefer when you roll. Done and done.