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Level Up Your Home Workout Zone in Five Simple Steps

You’ve found your when – it’s time to make your where.

Lola Rose Wood

Dec 6 2023

8 min read

We talk a lot at Boxx about what to do if you don’t have enough time, but what about if you don’t have enough space? To (butcher) a quote from the theoretical physicist John Wheeler, “Space tells matter how to move, and time tells matter when to move.” Hopefully, with the help of our on-demand workout library, you’ve managed to find your when, but maybe you’re still struggling to find your where

If you’re like most people living in crowded mega-cities, your living room or bedroom won’t be a full-time gym – but that doesn’t mean it never gets sweaty. If you want to work out from the comfort of your own cosy house (which is exactly what our at-home workouts are designed for) you may have to shift a lot of furniture around before you can roll out your yoga mat. But willpower is a finite resource and if you’re using your last reserves to open the Boxx+ app and pick a workout, it’s likely there’s not much left over to sledge-push the coffee table or deadlift the double bed. 

The key to consistently working out at home? To make it so easy that it becomes a no brainer. You’re already saving yourself time, money and effort by swapping a gym commute with an at home workout – but if you’ve not got a space that makes you want to workout you could be falling foul at the final hurdle! Here’s how to carve out a corner of your kitchen, lounge, garden, bedroom or balcony and transform it into a space that invites you to put your trainers on and motivates you to get moving. It’s time to revamp your home fitness zone – put those cats out in the yard!

FROM THE GROUND UP 

Hardwood floors or plush pile? Grass in the garden or wipe-clean kitchen lino? Picking an appropriate floor is the foundational step for a good workout. After all, it is going to see a lot of activity. First of all think about what kinds of activity you’ll be doing: are most of your workouts bouncing around on your feet like our BoxxKick classes? Or do you spend a lot of time on the floor, crunching and chest-pressing? For the former you may want to choose harder floor with a gym mat over the top – something that will give you good grip and support. For floor-work, a carpeted area could be easier on the coccyx, or invest in a thick rubber mat you can place anywhere. Be honest now, how sweaty do you get when you work out? Because no one wants their living room rug to smell like sweaty socks in summer or to slip and slide across salty puddles in the kitchen. Remembering to hoover or wipe down your workout space regularly will not only keep you safe and reduce accidents, but also keep you motivated to move. No one wants to lie down and Deadbug on a carpet full of actual dead bugs. That’s what gardens are for!

KEEP IT LIGHT

If you’re strapped for space (who isn’t?!)  then one of the best things you can do is invest in efficient and lightweight furniture that’s easy to move. If you need to shove your bed to one side in order to star jump, opt for a lightweight iron-wrought frame over a mahogany sledge. If you have to rearrange your coffee tables every time you tricep dip, then choose ones you can lift with one hand for an easier game of table Tetris. 

It’s not just your furniture that should be lightweight, your workout space needs to be light too. If you can’t find a clear corner by a window (the better the view the better the workout) then turn your lights on full brightness. Good lighting is key to a safe workout so you can see where your punches are going and stop the sofa making you feel sleepy. 

GIRL, PUT YOUR RECORDS ON

You’ve got the aux! The best bit about working out at home is that you get to control the playlist – no more heavy metal music while you yoga (unless that’s your jam.) There are countless studies which show people run further, bike longer and swim faster than usual when listening to music – often without realising it – so make the most of your home stereo system, whatever your set up.  Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, has written that we can think of music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug”. Mixing the perfect motivational playlist isn’t as simple as just queuing up a bunch of fast, high-energy songs. Studies show the songs that really speak to you on an emotional level are the best motivators, able to increase endurance during a workout by as much as 15 percent. Scientists have known for decades that there are direct connections from auditory neurons to motor neurons, meaning that listening to music improves coordination and motor control too! ‘High groove music’ is a genuine scientific term to describe music that makes you want to boogie –  which we know all about at Boxx London. We’ve made it super easy on the Boxx+ App to connect your Spotify to your workout – just one simple tap and we’ll DJ all the pain the away! We bring the groove so you can bring the moves. 

FRONT OF HOUSE IS FRONT OF MIND

If you have to tidy before you can start squatting, the chances are you won’t do either. To help maintain your focus and motivation, try not to let other household clutter, like laundry, books or kids’ toys, encroach on the space. Set a boundary for your boxing ring, inform the rest of the household, and keep your workout space sacred. 

Whilst having good storage is key – like wicker baskets to stash towels in or a rack to stack dumbbells – make sure to keep your gym equipment visible throughout the day instead of tucking it away. I like to put my boxing gloves at eye level on my bookshelf where I can see them – that way they serve as a motivational reminder to work out rather than watch TV. Make sure to pick workout equipment that you like looking at and you’re excited to use – ugly dumbbells are never going to motivate you to pick them up. Personally, I think you can never go wrong with monochrome

Keeping the space decluttered is essential, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide your workout gear – what’s the big secret? Wall hooks and shelves can be an aesthetic way to store lightweight gear like skipping ropes and hand wraps in plain sight. Turn your rainbow of resistance bands into a feature wall, or display your boxing gloves like you would a trophy –  because front of house is front of mind. 

MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL 

Nothing says ‘gym time’ like a full-length mirror. Not only do mirrors reflect light, making your workout space lighter and brighter, a mirror is also essential for checking and correcting your form. Watching yourself in a mirror while you workout isn’t narcissistic – it’s a necessity. Focusing on your form in the mirror is a great way to improve your mind-muscle connection –  that’s the conscious, deliberate, and mindful contraction of a muscle to recruit a high number of fibres within that specific muscle (rather than  waving your arms around whilst thinking about dinner) 

Mirrors are also great motivators as they provide an external focal point to help you get through your workout. Seeing yourself in motion can also inspire you to work harder and give it your all – there’s nothing like making eye contact with yourself in the mirror and telling yourself ‘you came here to eat!’ to power you through the last dozen squats. Mirrors also assist with spatial awareness and choreography (very important for boxing) plus you’ll have an imaginary opponent to spar with – your own reflection! 

That said,  in order for your reflection to be helpful in correcting your form, you have to know what the correct form looks like. Which is where our coaches on the Boxx+ app come in – watch their form on your phone, then match your form in the mirror.

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Article Summary

willpower is a finite resource and if you’re using your last reserves to open the Boxx+ app and pick a workout, it’s likely there’s not much left over to sledge-push the coffee table. It’s time to revamp your home fitness zone – and put those cats out in the yard!

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