Quiet Workouts For Small Spaces That Will Still Break A Sweat
If recent times have taught us anything, it’s that home workouts can be just as effective as sessions at the gym. But if you don’t have a lot of space at home, or you live in close quarters and you’re conscious of making noise that could affect your neighbours, it might be time to change up your typical routine.
Rest assured, working out at home doesn’t require a lot of space and don’t need to be noisy — with room for a yoga mat and some quiet workout moves, you’re set for a powerful training session in the comfort of your own home.
How to set up your workout space in a small area
While you don’t need a lot of equipment to work out quietly in a small space, a couple of key pieces will help to keep the noise down.
Use a mat
Not only does an exercise mat provide grip to keep you from slipping in downward dog, but if you live in an apartment building or block of flats, it provides cushioning for floor-based exercises like sit-ups, and helps dampen the sound of any impact.
Invest in wireless headphones
Music might be key to your fitness motivation, but not everyone wants to hear “Eye of the Tiger” at 7am. Invest in a pair of good quality wireless headphones and your neighbours will thank you.
Choose home gym equipment wisely
You don’t need gym equipment to work out at home. High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla Itsines (formerly BBG Zero Equipment) workouts use your bodyweight as resistance, and High Intensity with Kayla (formerly BBG) workouts can be done with household items in place of equipment (here’s a list of household swaps to get you started).
If you’re a fan of using equipment or want a variety of exercises you can do at home, you might consider investing in home gym equipment that can don’t take up a lot of storage space, such as small dumbbells, variable resistance bands or suspension training bands.
How to make your quiet workouts effective
Worried that working out at home won’t be as effective as working out in the gym? If you’re smart about consistently working out with bodyweight or resistance exercises, you can still build your strength and fitness at home just as you would at the gym.
Master essential functional movements
Mastering your form in functional movement patterns, such as push, pull, squat, hinge and lunge will help you get the most out of your workouts, and make everyday tasks easier to perform. Here are some examples of functional movements you can include in quiet workouts at home:
Try to remove or minimise distractions as much as possible, and make time to complete your workout when you know you won’t be interrupted. It might be early morning, or at a time when the kids are asleep or busy with school.
Don’t forget about warming up and cooling down
Many studies show that warm-ups prime your body for a workout, boosting muscle strength and power, and reducing the risk of injuries.
Gradually increase the intensity
Start slowly, listen to your body, and gradually increase the pace, reps or weight used in your workouts when you’re ready for a challenge.
The key to keeping your home workouts effective and avoiding a workout plateau is to have a structured exercise program or a goal to work towards.
Quiet workout exercises that can be done anywhere
There are dozens of quiet bodyweight exercises that can be done almost anywhere. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Squats are one of the most popular bodyweight exercises and for good reason. They work the entire lower body, including your glutes and hamstrings, and also help to improve bone and joint health.
How to squat with proper form:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Bend at both the hips and knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor, ensuring your knees remain in line with your toes. Your back should remain within a 45-to-90 degree angle to your hips.
- Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to the starting position.
The glute bridge works your glutes hamstrings, and helps to open up the hips too!
How to do a glute bridge with proper form:
- Lie on your back, bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring they are hip-width apart. Your back should remain in a neutral position and your arms resting by your sides.
- Press your heels into the mat, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms a straight line, resting on your shoulders.
- Pause for one second at the top, then lower your pelvis to return to the starting position.
The plank strengthens your core muscles while engaging your whole body at the same time.
How to plank with proper form:
- Place your forearms on the floor, directly under your shoulders
- Extend both legs behind you and elevate your hips off the floor, resting on the balls of your feet.
Engage your core muscles and hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply.
The tricep dip not only develops and defines your tricep muscles, biceps and shoulders but also works the core. This exercise can be performed with any stable, sturdy surface.
- Begin seated on a chair (or bed, sofa or bench). Place your hands on the edge and under your glutes, directly below your shoulders. Ensure your fingers are facing forwards.
- Shift your glutes forwards and off the chair with your legs straight or slightly bent out in front of you
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor, ensuring your shoulders, elbows and wrists remain in line until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle
- Push through the heels of your hands and straighten your arms to return to the starting position. Avoid using your legs to assist you.
Low-impact, quiet workout ideas
Are you ready to sweat without making a sound? There are different training styles that offer low-impact, quiet workouts.
Yoga is perfect for squeezy space and you don’t have to be super flexible to give it a go.
If you’re a yoga beginner, Yoga with Phyllicia is a gentle and accessible way to learn the fundamentals. The 20-35-minute classes will guide you through traditional yoga poses and sequences and there are also weekly Yin yoga classes to help you relax your mind and body.
Once you’re ready to take your at-home yoga practice to the next level, you can try Yoga with Ania or Sjana Elise’s Body and Mind (BAM) program. Ania Tippkemper’s program is a six-week, Vinyasa yoga practice to help you build confidence with a more athletic style of yoga, while Sjana offers 24 weeks of Vinyasa yoga to progressively challenge you.
If you've never tried a barre workout before (a hybrid of ballet and Pilates), get ready to feel the burn!
Not only does barre fire up all your major muscle groups, but this low-impact, high-intensity style of exercise also is super quiet, and requires minimal equipment – you can use the side of your kitchen worktop (or any hip height stable surface) for support.
Work out quietly from the comfort of your home!
Want more options? You can find even more minimal and no-equipment at-home workouts for small spaces on the Sweat app. So push back the sofa, clear out any clutter, load up your headphones with your favourite training playlist and get ready for quiet, at-home workouts you can do in small spaces.
What’s your favourite quiet at-home workout? Let us know in the comments below.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.