When a commercial gym is the only gym setting you have seen it would be almost impossible for you to imagine fitting a fully functional gym into a low ceiling room. Seeing those pieces of equipment, you may feel that you can’t even fit one of those in your home gym room.
You are mostly right. If the area which you can spare for setting up the home gym has a low ceiling height, then you won’t be able to fit commercial-grade gym machines in there.
But don’t worry, it is not impossible to build a low ceiling home gym. There are many alternatives available for the big gym machines that can function a similar way yet fit in low ceiling gym rooms.
Along with choosing the right machines and accessories, you might need to make some adjustments for ventilation, lights, mirrors, and flooring for setting up a basement gym in a low ceiling room. Let us more about how you can do it.
11 Steps To Build A Home Gym In A Low Ceiling Room
Building a home gym is not like putting some random things together to help you work out.
You need to follow a certain approach to make sure that you build a functional home gym in a suitable gym room, and don’t end up with a load of metal occupying some space in your home.
Especially when you working under the constraints like low ceiling height, you need to be extra vigilant about the steps you follow right from planning the layout to installing the last piece of equipment.
So, let’s start building your low ceiling home gym with a proven step-by-step approach to avoid mistakes, wastages, and accidents.
Measure Ceiling Height
Just having a generic idea that the gym room in which you are planning to set up your workout equipment has low ceiling height won’t help you in planning the layout or selecting the equipment. You need to measure the ceiling height with a measuring tape.
You can get a good estimate of ceiling height by comparing it with your height. But getting exact measures will help you select tall fitness equipment like power racks more effectively.
When you measure the ceiling height to the last inch, you have the upper limit for the gym machine height and the limit for your hand and free weight movement. This will help you in optimally selecting the squat rack, benches, etc.
Get A Power Rack Or All-in-one Home Gym
For a home gym, you can have either one from power cage, half-rack, squat rack, or all-in-one home gym machine. These would probably be the tallest machines in your basement gym.
All these machines come in different sizes and shapes. Once you measure the height of your ceiling you can easily compare it with the installed height of these machines provided by the manufacturer.
If you favor free weight lifting exercises more than the resistance machine movements then a squat rack, half rack, or power cage would be great for your home gym setup. But if you prefer a variety of movements with a resistance machine then an all-in-one home gym would serve the purpose better.
Along with height, the rack or the machine you choose should be suitable for your fitness goals and body size. A power cage is of no use if it cannot accommodate you with a barbell.
Get A Cardio Equipment
No home gym can be completed without a piece of good cardio equipment. It can either be warm up equipment, one day a week exercise equipment, or it can be the only gym machine one has in their home gym.
Cardio equipment not only helps you in burning those extra calories but can also act as a full-body workout machine. Treadmills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and stationary bikes are the most popular cardio equipment due to their ease of use and ability to offer an effective full-body workout.
For the low ceiling basement gym, cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical won’t be suitable. As you work out while standing and bouncing on these types of equipment, the ceiling needs to be more than 8 feet high to accommodate these, even if you are of average height.
A spin bike or rowing machine can easily fit in a low ceiling gym room. A full-body workout fan bike takes a little floor space and can be accommodated in a low ceiling room as you would be exercising on it while being in a sitting position.
A fan bike is a safe and most effective gym machine that offers a full-body workout without inflicting unnecessary stress on your joints. And it is also suitable for low ceiling gyms.
Install Cable Pulley
The cable station is one of the best multi-functional gym machines. With the unique ability to offer many degrees of freedom and ease of resistance adjustability, the number of exercises you can do on a cable station is endless.
But the stations are generally big in size. They are also generally more than eight feet in height. Some cable stations are low in height but they would still take up floor space so significant that your home gym would not accommodate anything else.
Instead of a full-fledged cable station, you can install one or more cable pulleys in your home gym. If you have got a power rack or an all-in-one home gym, you will have more than one option to easily install the cable pulley for performing a different set of exercises.
Combined with a power cage, a single or a pair of cable pulleys can serve better than a cable pulley station itself. If you don’t have a power cage, you can put anchors on the wall to install the cable pulley.
Get Barbells, Plates & Weight Storage Pegs
It might seem insignificant at first but if you think about it the choice of barbells and weight plates do affect the functionality of your low ceiling gym.
Storing a seven feet long barbell on a vertical storage post would be impossible if your ceiling height is just 7 feet. If your arms extended up reach seven and a half feet height then you can’t perform overhead press using 20-inch diameter weight plates safely if your ceiling height is below 8.5 feet.
Choosing the 6 feet or smaller barbells will make it easier to handle them in a low ceiling gym.
Opting for smaller diameter weights or using a bunch of 10-pound plates instead of big 45-pound ones can save an inch or two. It might not seem much but in some cases, it can be the difference between whether or not you can perform overhead press in your home gym.
Installing a few weight storage pegs will save a lot of space, help you keep the gym tidy, and protect you from mishaps like falling over some random plate lying where it shouldn’t be kept. Irrespective of ceiling height, every home gym should have weight pegs either on the power rack or separately installed on the wall.
Get Adjustable Dumbbells
Which dumbbells you pick does not relate to the ceiling height requirement, but getting a pair of adjustable dumbbells instead of many sets of different weights saves you a lot of floor space and money.
Many options for adjustable dumbbells are available. Almost all major fitness brands offer adjustable dumbbell sets weight adjustable from 5 pounds up to 100 pounds. You can get increments as small as 2.5 pounds with adjustable dumbbells.
Get Adjustable Bench
For working out in the gym with low ceiling height you will be doing most of the upper body exercises in a sitting position. So, you must have a good quality adjustable bench to allow you to target different muscle groups.
The adjustable benches can be used with different backrest angles including flat and declined positions. Some of these benches come with dual-action leg developers. So, they don’t just provide you a comfortable platform to sit on while exercising, but also enhance the capabilities of your home gym.
Install Gym Mat
Installing a gym mat on the floor would further decrease the already low ceiling height by half or ¾ inches. But you cannot work out safely without the gym mat cushioning. You will also be generating too much noise and damaging your equipment if you exercise on hard concrete or tiled flooring.
To save on the height you can do some other changes but cannot skip putting a good quality gym mat on the floor.
You can remove the existing tiling or wooden flooring to have some more headroom and then place the mat. Cutting holes in the mat for placing the feet of the equipment directly on the floor will also help in placing the tall equipment.
No matter whether you choose to remove the existing flooring to compensate for the mat’s height or compromise a little on the headroom, but it is necessary that you put at least half-inch thick gym mat on the home gym floor.
Set Up Proper Air Circulation
Every home gym needs a functioning air circulation system. It is more important to set up proper air circulation fans and plan better ventilation in a gym with low ceiling height as it has more chance of getting stuffy and hot.
It is preferable to have a few windows to your gym room, if not at least install an exhaust fan and a wall fan combination to keep the air flowing through the room.
Sometimes the feeling of being cramped up in a small space can be a demotivating factor for working out in a home gym, and we don’t need that. Mirrors, along with helping you see how you are moving in real-time, also give the illusion to make your space look bigger.
You should have at least one full-size mirror installed in your home gym. Observing how you move in a mirror while exercising is the first step towards improving your form.
The low ceiling gyms are often planned in a basement or garden shed. Cause that is some places in a house that has low ceiling height. These places are often ignored in terms of proper lighting.
But when you are converting the space to a home gym, you need to install adequate lighting. As you are working with low ceiling height, you should go for recessed lights. The hanging lamps, chandelier, or even a pop-out lamp would not do the job.
Low Ceiling Home Gym Ideas
We believe we have explained every minute thing about the steps to follow for setting up a home gym in a low ceiling room. But if you still can’t visualize a home gym setup with low ceiling height, you need to see some examples. Here are a few ideas you can follow for building your own low ceiling basement gym. You can either copy from one of these or mix a few and come up with a new one.
Most of the gym machines can easily fit in a low ceiling room the only major issue with a low ceiling gym is you can’t perform the exercises that involve jumping or standing with arms stretched up.
Thankfully, we have equally effective alternatives to such exercises. So, with a little alteration in your workout regime, some planning, and following the approach described in this article, you can switch to home gym workouts even if the room you can spare for set up has a low ceiling height.