Whether you can’t or won’t go to the gym, exercising in your own apartment is a good option. Some would even call it a better alternative.

But having apartments below can pose a few challenges. Like for example, working out without causing your neighbors to file a noise complaint.

This post has all the knowledge you need to turn your apartment into your personal gym and keep your downstairs neighbors happy. And of course, transform your body in the comfort of your own home.

Let’s get started!

1. Check your lease

Sometimes, whether you can exercise at home depends on an apartment complex you live in.

There are instances where a landlord might prohibit a specific type of exercise equipment, especially treadmills. So before you start assembling your workout arsenal, cover your bases by giving the lease a careful read.

Additionally, some types of exercises can be quite noisy. Find out if your lease has a ‘quiet hours’ clause that prohibits excessive noise at certain hours. If it does, you’ll need to keep that information in mind when planning out your workout schedule.

However, these tips will give you plenty of ideas on how to work out in an apartment without annoying your downstairs neighbors with excessive thumping.


2. Use noise-reducing floor mats

a woman lying on an exercise mat

The best way to drown out the sound of a workout in an apartment is to use a specialized exercise mat. These are typically made of PVC foam that absorbs the sound and allows for softer movements.

Exercise mats range in thickness which allows you to match its noise-reduction quality to your routine. Use thicker mats to help disguise the sound of high-impact cardio exercises such as jumping jacks or running in place. However, for push ups, situps, or yoga you will be content with a thinner yoga mat (typically being about 1/8” thick).

Even if you don’t have a downstairs neighbor with sensitive ears, getting an exercise mat is still an important step for your health. Use one to help minimize the stress on your joints, improves balance, reduces the risk of injuries, and eliminates the possibility of a carpet burn or damage to the floors.

Tip: if you follow video workouts you might want to invest in cordless earbuds. They will help you hear everything clearly and not bother anyone within an earshot.


3. Consider your footwear (or chuck it completely)

sports footwear and a set of weights

Most exercise shoes squeak and thud during a workout producing incredible amounts of noise in the apartment.

And while you can’t exactly chuck your shoes to the side in a gym, you can work out completely barefoot at home. If going barefoot is not exactly your cup of tea, make sure to give non-slip socks a try. These will allow your feet to get a good grip and are great for balance-based exercises such as yoga or pilates.

Note: Proper footwear is crucial for some types of exercises. Wearing shoes during high-impact cardio exercises or weightlifting can help prevent common injuries and cushion your feet from heavy landings.


4. Create an exercising zone beforehand

a set of equipment for working out at home

Chances are, that your living room apartment in its present state doesn’t have much space for working out. Make sure to clear out space before you start exercising. Otherwise, your exercise routine won’t be as quiet as your neighbors would like.

To avoid bumping into furniture, make sure to move it aside. Don’t slide a chair across the floor or it will cause a huge ruckus. If some furniture is too heavy to move quietly, slider pads can help you more even the heaviest stuff out of the way.


5. Find an apartment-focused exercise routine

Fortunately, the world has caught up to the fact that some prefer the comfort of their own living room to a fitness center.

My second most favorite way of exercising in my small apartment is working out to a video tutorial. You can find tons of follow-along home workouts that are perfect for apartments on Youtube. These are designed specifically to reduce noise and avoid disturbing the neighbors while still getting a good workout.

I’ll leave a few of my personal favorites below:


6. Use low-impact exercise alternatives

The noise from jumping exercises and weights thudding will cause any neighbor to complain.

But you can put an apartment-friendly spin on your favorite fitness routines you’ve picked up at the gym and keep living in harmony with your apartment complex.

Later, we will also get to substituting weights in your routine. But for now, let’s focus on altering your high-impact exercises to suit your neighbors.

High-impact exercises are those that involve a lot of jumping and usually result in more stress being put on your joints. To reduce the noise and risk of potential injury, you can substitute jumping jacks, for example, for side-steps; instead of running in place try marching;

Tip: Fitness Blender channel, for example, not only offer apartment-friendly workouts but tend to show low-impact versions of exercises in their regular fitness routines as well.


7. Use resistance bands instead of weights

When we think of strength-training, a set of weights is the first thing that comes to mind.

But it is actually not about weight. It is about resistance.

Research shows that resistance bands will give you similar results when it comes to lower and upper body exercises. And you can match the strength of bands to your level of fitness just like with weights.

Resistance bands also win when it comes to strength training in a small space as they are ridiculously easy to store.

Additionally, one of the more common complaints a neighbor can have is the sound of a weight being thrown on the floor. But with exercise bands this problem is non-existent.


8. Get the right workout equipment

Through years of exercising at home, I have found that having exercise equipment to work with is the best. Not only you can start exercising right away without having to browse through thousands of workouts online, but you can also jump on one to get a mini-workout at any time of the day.

We’ve already summarized the best exercise equipment for apartments that ticks off all the boxes for a small space. They are foldable, compact, easy to work with, and most importantly do a great job for weight loss.

You can also get workout machines that won’t bother your downstairs neighbors like a stepper or a foldable rowing machine.


9. Exercise while doing other things

cubii under desk elliptical exercise machine for small spaces

At this point, multitasking is a necessary part of life. And when we are working 8 hours from home we still need to squeeze in workouts into our daily routine to maintain our health in check.

Fortunately, some equipment allows you to exercise while you are doing other things. Some ellipticals and folding exercise bikes are designed for those who want to exercise while sitting down. This way, you may sneak in cardio workouts while working from home, taking calls, or playing on a console.

If you work at a standing desk, you can work while getting in a workout on a stepper. And for those who want to focus on their upper body, you can install a set of pulls and bands directly on your office chair. So you can flex your muscles during conference calls.


10. Set up a day-to-day routine

The most important step in exercising in an apartment is not giving up.

Set aside some time every couple of days (and later, every day) for your workouts. If a neighbor is still giving you hard time about the noise, try communicating with them. They may as well let you know when they’re not at home so you can get your workout then.

Establishing a routine can be challenging, especially if you don’t see the results right away. In the beginning, try to enjoy small victories. Like being able to push yourself through a whole workout that you usually tap out of after 15 minutes. Or having more energy than before.


11. Be respectful

Working out in an apartment has tons of benefits. There’s no monthly fee, no wandering eyes, no self-consciousness to struggle with.

It can also be an important step in maintaining your health in check at home. Or maybe you’d like to get in better shape before going back to the gym after a long break.

But it is also important that you going on a health streak and exercising where you live doesn’t get in the way of your neighbor’s life. Be respectful, communicate, and stay conscientious of the people around you.