7 Backyard Gym Ideas

man doing pushups in a fenced in yard with weights

We’re all ready to get back to “normal,” but there are some things we might just continue doing at home—like working out. Who wants to go back to that shared space filled with other people's cooties? Not to mention the sweaty equipment. Yuck! Those of us who weren't drawn to the gym in the before times aren't pining for it, but for those who are, we daresay, look into your heart and consider: what's the draw?

Perhaps it's time to cancel that gym membership and install something a little more stay-at-home-ish. Presenting for your approval some at-home, backyard-ish gym ideas:

1. Wooden Calisthenics Station

Yes, it's just like it sounds. A full wooden structure that uses your own body weight to provide a workout. A few two-by-fours and metal bars assembled just so turns into a mini gym where you can do pull-ups, dips, and inverted rowing. Use pressure-treated wood to ensure the structure can hold up to the weather.

Of course, we know that lumber prices have skyrocketed, so another option for those with grown-up kids, consider upcycling an unused swing set. Hang a heavy or speed bag, add a bar for pullups, or stall bars for strength training, and voila! An outdoor gym without the pressure of having to perform in front of an audience.

2. Cross-Fit Fix

Not everyone has a backyard space, but that doesn't mean you can't get swole at home. Dedicate some space in the garage, a carport, covered deck, basement, or attic for your own cross-fit fix. Equipment is minimal, for example, gymnastic rings securely attached to steel beams for strength training, barbells, and thick, padded gym mats for floor work. The key is ensuring you have the space for other elements of your workout like lunges, running, and burpees.

person doing pull ups on an outdoor gym setup

3. Install a Rock Wall

Yes, you could install it inside, but if you have space and/or a view, why not enjoy the fresh air and cooling breeze? Isn’t that one of the reasons you’re not going to the gym? We love rock walls because they don't take much floor space since it’s a vertical installation.

Climbing holds vary in price based on the number and variety of holds included. They generally come with mounting hardware and are made for quick and easy installation.

4. Raise the Barre

Barre workouts require strength, balance, and flexibility. You might be inclined to think it's just dancing, but just because it doesn’t involve a ball doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult. Ballet dancers are incredible athletes, making it look effortless when in truth, it's the exact opposite. You don’t need a full studio to practice your plies. Try creating your own portable, stand-alone barre using supplies readily available from any hardware store.

5. Outdoor Yoga

You don't need much to create a space for yoga, but a few items will enhance your early morning workout. Install a row of garden mirrors to make sure you’re poses are en pointe. Switch to white or neutral colors to lessen distractions and calm the spirit.

Surround yourself with soothing sounds by installing a Bluetooth sound system to encourage focus and meditation. If you're using your deck or lanai, a little cleanup to keep the space minimally furnished will allow for maximum focus. And add some deck storage for your mats, blocks, and other yoga equipment to keep your space tidy until you're ready to salute the sun.

woman doing yoga on a mat in a yard with a laptop

6. Build a Shred Shed

If the garage is no longer a space where you can work on your car or other home projects, it's time to consider moving all that workout equipment to a dedicated space where you can get your pump on. Kits are available for ease of assembly, or you can go full DIY and create the Shred Shed of your dreams. Evaluate your priorities to make the best decision for you.

7. Battle Rope Station

For a high-intensity workout station that doesn’t take up too much space, this is perfect. Weighted ropes or even garden hoses filled with sand can be attached to the patio wall for a workout that strengthens the core and helps build up arms, legs, shoulders, and back. Hang the ropes out of the way when not in use, or store them in a deck box if they are too burly to hang.

Who needs the gym to get into shape? Get back to your gym routine without getting back to the gym!