How to Set Up an Outdoor Home Gym? 

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Do you want to build an outdoor home gym? This article will help you get started.

outdoor home gym

As a personal trainer, I get asked all the time if it’s possible to build an outdoor gym at home. The answer is yes, an outdoor gym can be a great solution, especially if you don’t have enough space for an indoor home gym.

However, it can be overwhelming at first. So I created this guide to help you set up an outdoor home gym.

Follow these 9 steps, and you’ll have a fully functional outdoor gym in no time. 

Table of Contents

9 Steps on How to Build an Outdoor Home Gym

Step 1: Decide if you want a temporary or permanent outdoor gym at home

Deciding whether you want a temporary or permanent outdoor gym is necessary, because the two options require different equipment and maintenance.

temporary or permanent outdoor gym

Temporary Outdoor Gym

If you are in the following situation, I recommend building a temporary outdoor gym.

  • You are renting and plan to move out in the near future.
  • You are renting, and your landlord does not allow you to build permanent structures on the property.
  • You have a workout routine that needs an open space for exercise. Exercises like yoga and tai chi are best performed in an open space.
  • You have limited space, so you have no option but to create a temporary outdoor gym.
  • You use lightweight and portable gym equipment, which does not require a permanent space.
  • You are a beginner who wants to try different forms of exercise first, before building a home gym.
  • You have no budget to build a home gym yet. If this is the case, check out our article on home gym ideas on a budget.

Permanent Outdoor Gym

If you are in the following situation, I recommend building a permanent outdoor gym.

  • You own your home and have plenty of space to build a permanent outdoor gym.
  • You have the budget and time to build a permanent outdoor gym.
  • You have a workout routine that uses heavy equipment or requires permanent structures on your property.
  • You want to use your outdoor gym any time, without the hassle of setting your gym every workout session. 

A permanent outdoor gym requires budget, time, and effort upfront. But when you start building one, it will be a great investment that will pay off in the long run. Plus, it does not require as much maintenance as a temporary outdoor gym.

Step 2: Choose a location for your outdoor gym

If you want to build an outdoor gym, it is crucial that you choose the right location for it. Dedicate a space that is safe and accessible.

It should be a space away from potential hazards, such as cars and power lines. Ideally, you should find an area where you can potentially expand if you want to add more equipment in the future.

Also, choose an area where it is possible to work out regardless of the weather. Once you have chosen the right location, it is important to clear it and level it out before you start building your outdoor gym. 

Step 3: Decide if you want a covered or uncovered outdoor gym at home

Once you choose an ideal location, you can decide if you want a covered or uncovered outdoor gym.

covered or uncovered outdoor gym

An uncovered outdoor gym is great if you want an open space for your exercises. An uncovered gym gives you the freedom to exercise in nature and enjoy the fresh air.

However, if you live in a location with extreme weather conditions or need to protect your equipment, it is best to have an enclosed outdoor gym.

If your chosen location is already covered, you can skip this step. A covered home gym allows you to work out even if it is raining, or too hot outside. It also protects your equipment and prevents it from getting damaged.

So if you don’t have an important reason to build an uncovered gym, I recommend you go for a covered one.

Step 4: Level the ground, add a ground cover, and install gym flooring

Leveling the ground

Most of the time, the ground outside is not leveled, and there are other elements, such as plants and rocks, that you need to remove. So before you start building a gym, clear out the unnecessary elements and level the ground.

A leveled ground is safer and more stable than uneven ground. This ensures your safety and prevents damage to your equipment.

Ground Cover

If your chosen location is already cleared out and has a ground cover, skip this step.

Take into account the weather; when it rains, the ground can get wet and slippery, which could damage your equipment or cause accidents. So I recommend building an elevated floor to prevent this from happening.

You can build an elevated floor using concrete, stones, or wood that is strong enough to support heavy equipment. A good rule of thumb is to build the gym floor at least four inches above ground level.

A ground cover is important for a permanent outdoor gym, because your gym will also serve as the storage area for your equipment. So you have to add a ground cover.

If you plan to build a temporary outdoor gym, ensure the ground is leveled and cleared out. A ground cover is optional.

Gym Flooring

Once you added a ground cover for your gym, it is now time to install gym flooring. There are many types of gym flooring to choose from, such as rubber mats, artificial grass, tiles, yoga mats, and more.

It is important that you choose gym flooring with a non-slip texture to prevent accidents such as slipping.

If you are building a temporary outdoor home gym, adding gym flooring is optional. You can use natural grass or a portable yoga mat as your gym flooring.

Floors like concrete and wood are hard and provide no cushioning for your joints, so I recommend adding gym flooring. 

You can choose various gym flooring for your permanent outdoor gym. If your space lacks greenery, you can use artificial grass as your gym flooring.

Check out our article on the best home gym flooring, if you want to know which type of flooring is best for your home gym.

Step 5: Build walls, posts, or bars for mounted equipment

If you plan to add mounted equipment to your outdoor gym, you’ll need to build walls or posts to support it. There is also equipment that you can install on a ceiling, so building overhead bars for hanging equipment would be a great addition.

mounted gym equipment

Since it is an outdoor gym, you don’t have to build walls around the space. Doing so will make it an indoor gym; you just need to build on areas where you need it.

If you plan to build a temporary or uncovered outdoor gym, you can build posts or use the trees or fences nearby to support your equipment.

Before installing these, plan where you want to place your equipment. If you plan to add light fixtures and fans, choose a place where it is convenient to install these fixtures.

Step 6: Ensure proper lighting

Your home gym must be bright enough to allow you to see clearly. Taking advantage of natural light is a great way to create an airy and bright space. You will also save on the electricity bill.

However, if your gym space is too dark or you want to use it at night, install light fixtures. Adding gym mirrors will also help spread the light in your space.

Step 7: Increase privacy and control noise levels

If you want to make your outdoor gym a little private, you can add fencing, hanging plants, or a privacy screen. This is a great option if you are too shy to work out where your neighbors can see you.

outdoor gym fencing

Fencing will also help prevent kids or pets from getting into the gym unattended. Increasing privacy will also help reduce noise levels in your gym space. 

If you are worried about disturbing your neighbors with noisy equipment or workout routines, try to control the noise by using exercise mats, using headphones instead of speakers, or  purchasing silent equipment. 

Step 8: Build or buy storage areas

When you plan to include a lot of equipment in your home gym, it is important to create enough storage space. You can build some shelves or buy a storage unit.

This will help you keep all your equipment in one place, so it’s easy to find and not scattered around. You can place the storage area inside your home if you don’t want to leave it outside.

Having storage areas will also protect your equipment from theft.

Step 9: Choose gym equipment for your outdoor gym.

Now it’s time to choose the right equipment for your outdoor gym. There are many outdoor exercise machines to choose from, like bikes, shoulder presses, ellipticals, twisters, and more.

buy gym equipment

You can also opt to use portable equipment, so you can also use your equipment indoors. The right equipment for your outdoor gym depends on how you build your gym.

If you built an uncovered outdoor gym, then buy exercise equipment like those used on playgrounds. If you built a covered gym, you can buy equipment that uses electricity, like a treadmill.

So plan your outdoor gym well and be smart when choosing your equipment.

FAQs about outdoor home gym

  • Can a home gym be outside?

    Yes, you can build a home gym outside. Outdoor gyms are a great solution if you don’t have the space for an indoor home gym. Having a gym outdoors will allow you to exercise in nature and enjoy the fresh air. 

  • Can gym equipment be kept outside?

    Yes, you can keep some gym equipment outside. There are gym structures that you can buy or build; these use the same material as the structures in playgrounds. However, gym equipment that uses electricity or is prone to wear and tear should not be left outside. 

  • Can you build muscle with an outdoor gym?

    An outdoor gym can be as effective as an indoor gym. So you can still build muscle with an outdoor gym. You can still do the same workout routine that you usually do. The only difference is that you will have to do it outside.  

What to do next?

An outdoor gym can be as effective as an indoor gym. Perhaps, an outdoor gym might suit your preference more. You can exercise in nature, have a wider space, and enjoy the fresh air.

So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of your outdoor space and start working out this year.

Photo of author


Inge van Haselen is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritional Coach. For over 17 years, she has been coaching hundreds of clients in her gym. Inge published several programs on health and fitness. It is her passion to help you have the best Home Gym for your needs, so you can be in the best shape of your life. More info: About Us

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