Quiet Workouts For Small Spaces That Will Break A Sweat
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that home workouts can be just as effective as a gym session.
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 annoy your neighbours, it might be time to change up your routine when working out at home.
Rest assured, not all home workouts require a lot of space — 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 that won't leave you with a noise disturbance complaint.
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 when practising your downward dog, if you live in an apartment building it provides cushioning for floor-based exercises while helping to dampen the sound of your movements.
Invest in wireless headphones
Music might be key to your fitness motivation, but not everyone wants to hear “Eye of the Tiger” at 7 am. 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 effectively at home. High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla Itsines workouts use your bodyweight as resistance, and Kayla's original High Intensity program can be done with household items instead 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 don’t take up a lot of storage space, such as 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
Make sure you set aside enough time to warm up and cool down before you begin your at-home workout.
A good warm-up helps prepare your body and can set the tone for your workout and helps reduce the risk of injury. Cooling down is just as important as it allows for a gradual recovery of your heart rate and blood pressure.
Gradually increase the intensity
If you're new to exercise, 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 program or 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.
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.
This move not only develops and defines your tricep muscles, biceps and shoulders but also works your core. This exercise can be performed with any stable and 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? Try a training style that offers a low-impact and quiet workout.
Yoga is perfect for small spaces 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 master the fundamentals.
Phyllicia's 20-35-minute classes will guide you through traditional yoga poses and sequences and there are also weekly Yin yoga classes to help relax your mind and body.
Once you’re ready to take your at-home yoga practice to the next level, 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 barre (a hybrid of ballet and Pilates), get ready to feel the burn!
Not only does it fire up all your major muscle groups, this low-impact, high-intensity style of exercise is also 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 to Sweat.
What’s your favourite quiet at-home workout? Let us know in the comments.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.