Home workouts are convenient, but they sure can be loud. You can jump and stomp as much as you want in a fitness dance class, or even drop barbells if you’re in the right kind of gym. But at home, your downstairs neighbours or sleeping toddler might not approve. Instead, tailor your workout to your environment.
Look for “low impact” workouts
Plenty of workout videos are labelled “low impact” to be nicer to the knees of people who have trouble running or jumping without pain. But since they mainly just take out the bouncy moves, they’re also great for when you’d rather step in place than jump up and down.
Some dance and HIIT videos will give low impact options as part of the workout (stepping into and out of a lunge instead of doing jumping lunges, for example). Once you’ve seen a bunch of the typical modifications, you can bring those to any video you watch.
Work out in a carpeted room
If you have a room with wall-to-wall carpet, it tends to be underlaid with extra padding. Those layers help to muffle the sounds of your feet stepping around or your dumbbells clonking on the floor.
Whether you have carpet or not, you can also add mats. On top of carpet, sturdy rubber mats can give you a solid footing. And if you have to work out on a hardwood floor, soft foam mats can absorb some impact and noise.
We often think of headphones as a thing to wear at the gym, but you can use them for home workouts, too. Bluetooth headphones are particularly great for following along with a video that has music or a loud instructor cheering you on.
If you’ve got a sleeping baby or partner in the next room, work on their auditory environment as well. Set up a white noise machine for them to block out whatever soft sounds you’re still making.
Even if you’re trying to be quiet, it’s easy to forget yourself and stomp on the floor as you’re doing exercises. In socks, though, you have some tactile feedback. Without the squishy sole of a sneaker, you’ll naturally step a little more quietly.
Find a soft place to set weights down
Lifting weights is pretty quiet; it’s setting them down that can be loud. So if you’re lifting something from the ground, focus on setting it down as gently as possible.
It’s easy to forget to be quiet, though, when you set your weights down to move on to the next exercise. So designate a place to put your weights down between sets. This could be a folded up yoga mat, or even a milk crate with a pillow in it. Get into that habit and you’ll eliminate one of the biggest sources of accidental workout noise.