6 Basement Home Gym Ideas to Try After Dropping Your Gym Membership

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated September 29, 2021
Woman in workout clothes working on on an elliptical machine with a wood floor, mirror and other workout equipment
StockPlanets / EyeEm via Getty Images

Bring your basement to life with these home gym ideas

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If you’re one of many people who have an unused basement space, then you may want to consider converting it into your own personal home gym. Not only will the space be put to good use, but it’ll help you crush any excuses to reach your workout goals. Bad weather, your crazy schedule, or limited gym hours won't impact your commute down the stairs. Additionally, an unfinished basement, with its concrete floor and exposed joists, are a blank canvas waiting for your creative basement home gym ideas and vision.

What To Consider Before Making a Basement Home Gym

Before jumping in headfirst into any commitments, ask yourself the following questions to help you make a plan and understand what considerations you may need to address first:

  • Does your basement have space for a gym? Is it big or small?

  • Is your basement finished or unfinished?

  • Does your basement need a deep cleaning?

  • Do you want to incorporate a specific design aesthetic?

  • What is your workout style and what equipment will you need?

  • Is there adequate natural lighting?

  • Are there electrical requirements that need to be addressed?

  • What type of flooring do you want to install?

  • Are there health and safety issues that need to be addressed?

Unfinished vs. Finished Basement

Before you make any big decisions, think about the status of your basement — is it finished or unfinished? Your basement is “finished” if stable flooring, drywall, and insulation have been installed. While it’s exciting to work with a space that isn’t finished since it’s more of a clean slate (and it’ll add to your home’s value!) it’s important to consider if you want to finish the space since it’ll cost more. 

Of course, the cost will depend on a few factors like where you live and what you need to be done, but finishing a basement costs about $7 and $23 per square foot with an average of $15 per square foot. To put it into perspective, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $2,800 to $34,000, or about $18,500 on average, for a 400 to 1,500 square foot space. This price includes labor, materials and any permits you need (plus more if you use pricy materials and adding furniture and décor).

Basement Home Gym Layout

If you’ve ever worked out in an overcrowded gym, you know it isn’t a fantastic experience. Take time to carefully plan, measure, and consider how you’d like to layout your basement home gym, so it doesn’t become too cramped. Ideally, your workout area should be as spacious as possible to allow for floor exercise and accommodate training equipment and storage. 

For example, if you prefer to zone out and watch TV while you run on the treadmill, place your cardio machines in front of it. If you have windows in your basement, place the TV in a darker area to avoid glare and consider using the window area as a spot for yoga. Going through this process will help you balance your exercise goals, your available space, and your budget.

Consider Gym Equipment

It’s easy to tell ourselves that if we have a home gym, then we need to deck it out with every piece of gym equipment possible. While that may work for some gym rats, you’ll probably be more likely to use your basement home gym if you design it for your wants and needs.

Do you prefer to lift weights instead of doing cardio? Then create a space that facilitates strength training. If you prefer to practice more meditative workouts, then design your space accordingly.

If you’re on a tight budget and you’re new to training at home, then invest in gym equipment for your basement home gym slowly and build momentum. If you’re interested in starting with the basics then get a box that can hold a kettlebell, some small dumbbells, a yoga mat, foam roller, and resistance bands. Once you train consistently, invest in different pieces of gym equipment.

Choose Basement-Friendly Flooring

Investing in a new floor can elevate both the look of your basement home gym and your training game. Since there are a lot of options for home gym flooring, it's hard to decide which one is right for your space. Most importantly, the flooring you select for your basement home gym needs to be durable to withstand the impact of your routine and equipment. 

Some of the best materials to consider for your home gym floors include rubber, foam, vinyl, wood, and carpet. The most popular basement home gym flooring option is rubber since it’s a great covering for most surfaces, including hard concrete floors, and can support even the heaviest exercise equipment. 

Create a Bright Space

Since there isn’t usually a lot of natural light available in basements, it’s essential to choose lighting options that’ll help your basement home gym reach its full potential. There are plenty of lighting solutions available for your style, budget, and needs, including ceiling-mounted lights, wall sconces, floor lamps, and table lamps. Lights that are closer to the ground will create a cozy vibe, but ceiling lights will help to brighten the entire space, which is best for a basement home gym.

Basement Home Gym Ideas and Inspiration

Check out these 6 home gym ideas that change the way you’ll think about your basement space.

1. Modern, Clean Gym

Simple modern home gym with a treadmill, stationary bike, and mirror
Kristina Blokhin - stock.adobe.com

2. Zen Yoga Studio

Woman in gym clothes doing a yoga pose in her relaxing basement home yoga gym on a black yoga mat
AzmanJaka / E+ via Getty Images

3. Weight Lifting Haven

Basement home gym with a wood floor and weight lifting equipment
dowell / Moment via Getty Images

4. Gym and Spa Combo

A basement home gym, fitted with exercise equipment including weights, a bench, ball and floor mat. A pine-panelled sauna and shower room are also part of the space.
phototropic / E+ via Getty Images

5. Fitness and Fun

Basement home gym with gym equipment, a TV, pool table and fireplace
Iriana Shiyan - stock.adobe.com

6. Industrial Vibe

Man in gym clothes stands with his hands on his hips in an industrial basement home gym with concrete walls and weight machines
bernardbodo - stock.adobe.com
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