3 Ways I'm Turning My Tiny Living Room Into a Workout-Friendly Place

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Motivated by my New Year's resolution to exercise at home on the days I just can't get to the gym, I've already signed up for three different at-home workout streaming services. What I needed a little bit more help with was somehow transforming my teeny-tiny apartment living room into a space suitable for working out.

For that, I turned to Sam Goltz, an NASM-certified personal trainer and instructor for the exercise streaming service obé fitness, for her tips on the gear I should own and how to manipulate my area for maximum results.

The Space

I knew I was going to have to move my coffee table out of the middle of the living room, but I was surprised when Goltz told me that the size of a yoga mat should be sufficient for exercising.

"People often think they don't have enough space," says Goltz. "We're [obé fitness] based in New York City and are used to small spaces, so we keep that in mind with our programming."

My goal is to incorporate more Pilates, yoga, and arm and ab work into my at-home workout sessions, so I decided to clearly mark out my "workout space" by investing in a new yoga mat — the Gaiam Print Reversible Extra Thick Non-Slip Yoga Mat ($25), which is about 5'6" long and provides just enough cushion for my back.

The Gear

While there are plenty of cardio and strength training exercises that only require your own bodyweight — planks, burpees, push-ups — Goltz says that they recommend members to invest in some extra tools as they get stronger. Think hand weights, resistance bands, sliders, and ankle weights.

Already paying for a streaming services and my regular gym membership, I didn't want to shell out too much cash for these tools, so I picked up some affordable options on Amazon — a 10-pound set of AmazonBasics Vinyl Dumbbells ($25) and the Letsfit Resistance Loop Bands ($11).

I also created a storage space under my couch specifically for my new gear so my living room doesn't always look like a workout studio.

The Screen

My last question for creating an at-home workout-friendly space was regarding screen size.

Most of my streaming services are available through an app, but are certain workouts better followed from the larger screen of a laptop or TV?

"For yoga or more functional movements a phone works, but if you're doing movements where you're moving from side to side or dancing, a larger screen is generally better," Goltz notes.

However, Goltz also said it really comes down to personal preference.

Me? I've set up screen sharing on my TV so I can follow along without getting distracted by Instagram — phones aren't usually an approved accessory in workout studios, anyway.