Simple shed gym ideas – create a space to keep up your fitness regime at home

Welcome a workspace to stay motivated and improve fitness without the gym

The nation has been looking for ways to carry out exercise at home, as gyms continue to be closed. Many people are setting up savvy shed gyms, to provide a smart exercise solution.

Exercise inspiration: 12 easy ways to exercise at home: stay fit and well from the comfort of home for free

This alternative space, outside the home, can help to create a safe space to focus on exercise and nothing else. While your existing shed may be filled with garden essentials, it's time to rethink how useful a shed space could prove when it comes to your fitness regime. It could be the perfect space to house all your workout gear, away from the house.

Simple shed gym ideas

shed gym with yoga mats and towels

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Shed gyms. Really? Yes – trust us they are trending right now as the latest home gym innovations. Leading the way with her shed home gym is Olympic weight lifter Noorin Gulum. Take a leaf out of her book by creating a permanent space to workout while at home.

If you have a shed, you are ready to go. Just be mindful of the size of the space, before you embark on exercising. Is the roof high enough if you plan on jumping, for instance. And while sheds are ideal in summer, you might not be so keen for workouts outdoors over the freezing cold winter months?!

We'd advise taking the equipment indoors for an hour before you need to use it, to allow it to warm up. Alternatively, if your shed has mains power you could pre-warm the space with an electric heater.

However you use the shed to exercise be sure to invest in a sturdy lock, to ensure any valuable equipment is safe and secure. Here are some simple ideas to transform your shed into a motivational workout space...

1. Add mirrors

Create the feel of a Barre studio by introducing mirrors to the space. Not only will it help to welcome light into the small space, mirrors are actually very helpful to ensure your postures are correct. Seeing a reflection is also a good way to stay grounded in the space, meaning you can remain remain mindful and focus on being in the moment.

2. Stay organised with shelving

Make your home gym feel just like the real thing, with every piece of equipment returned to its rightful place after each workout. Keeping the space clutter-free will help to create a better environment for exercise.

3. Lay supportive flooring

The standard shed concrete base and wooden standing will provide strength, but very little in the way of comfort. Add a layer of cushioning and insulation with the help of simple interlocking foam floor mats.

4. Furnish with homely touches

Not essential for the workout, but good for the mind! Welcome a touch creature comforts, such as a decorative patterned rug, to make the space feel more inviting.

5. Cushion the impact

blue shed with plant pot and stool

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Cushions are another everyday indoor furnishing that's not only pretty, but practical too. 'Have a soft cushion nearby to protect knees during especially intense stretches,' advises fitness expert Annie Deadman

6. Repurpose furniture

garden bench with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Use furniture you already have, if you're looking to keep costs low. A simple garden bench is ideal as a sturdy base for all manner of workouts. This or a chair are 'great for incline push-ups, for pistol squats and for holding onto during trickier balance move,' Annie explains.

7. Put down bigger foundations

garden shed with blue doors

(Image credit: Green Retreats)

If your shed gym solution is something you plan to use forever more, ditching the gym membership as a result, it's worth investing in a larger garden structure. Upgrading your tool shed for a purpose-built garden building is a worthy investment. The money you're saving on your £100 a month membership will soon add up to contribute towards the costs.

8. Insulated for use all year round

Insulated for use all year round

(Image credit: Green Retreats)

Invest in making your garden gym a gym for all seasons. Ensure the building is properly insulated to get the most use from it. Green Retreats uses premium insulating materials to create a warm and dry environment for you to workout in any season. 'The walls of the building allow for the directional transfer of heat and moisture to eliminate the risk of dampness and condensation whilst keeping the outside elements at bay' say the garden room experts themselves.

'Every building comes with heating included as standard within the price with optional upgrades for air conditioning and underfloor heating.'

9. Paint a chalkboard

Paint a chalkboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

A splash of blackboard paint can go a long way in a home gym. From setting out a workout plan to adding motivational messages or goals – the walls can be used to help guide and improve your workout.

10. Brighten with festoon lights

Festoon outdoor lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Give sheds a stylish touch with a string of on-trend festoon lights – made famous by the Love Island Villa.

Related: Garden rooms – design ideas and expert advice to create an idyllic garden retreat

Feeling motivated to give up the gym to workout in the shed?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.