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Outdoor Gym Ideas

Many yards have outdoor play s...

Many yards have outdoor play structures for kids, with swings and slides for fun.

But there’s no reason adults can’t use these outdoor gym ideas to take advantage of the fresh air and sunshine while they exercise. 

An outdoor gym is an ideal way to take advantage of space, especially if you don’t have a spare room or garage to house your equipment. 

If you’re considering creating an outdoor gym, read on to get ideas on what to include and how to structure your area.

Outdoor Gym Design Ideas

There are many things to consider before you create your outdoor gym. These factors help you decide how you want your outdoor gym to look.


You can create a covered outdoor gym under a patio roof or pergola you already have in the yard. If you’re not using that space for relaxation and socialization, it’s perfect for a gym. 

You can even use it as a portable outdoor gym by pushing the seating out of the way when you exercise, then rearranging it later.

Outdoor Gym Ideas

If you don’t have a roof-like structure in your backyard, you might want to build one. This cover will protect your gym equipment when it’s not in use. 

If you plan on supplying lights and electricity to your outdoor gym, a roof gives you the structure necessary for wiring, outlets, and light fixtures.

Consider building a pergola or simple patio roof. You can even buy a gazebo or shade sail to provide sun protection when you’re outside. 

These items can also give you some privacy if you don’t want to be in an open view of the neighborhood.


You can have an uncovered outdoor gym to keep your yard wide open and eliminate the need to buy or build additional structures. 

Even if you want an uncovered space for workouts, you should consider buying or making covers for your gym equipment if you leave it outside. 

In the case of portable equipment, you can easily bring it back inside with you. But if you have bulky equipment that stays outside, you should cover it with shrink wrap or tarps, if nothing else. That will prevent rain damage and can keep the equipment in better condition over time.


A portable outdoor gym is the easiest kind to create. All you’ll need is an open area of grass or turf. You can even use a concrete or wooden patio if you’re going to stand up while lifting weights or exercise on a padded yoga mat.

A portable gym is best for people who can do exercises outside without needing to haul around a bunch of equipment. 

For example, people practicing yoga, tai chi, aerobics, or minor weight lifting can bring their small amount of gear outside and exercise without needing anything else.


If you have large, bulky gym equipment, like a treadmill or weight bench, you want to keep them in one place. 

Otherwise, your workout would consist of moving your gear into place, and then you’d be too tired to exercise.

When you create a permanent outdoor gym, you’re going to have other factors fall into place accordingly. 

Outdoor Gym Ideas

You’ll most likely want a covered gym area to protect your equipment from the weather to prevent quick wear and tear on your gear.

To create a permanent outdoor gym, you’ll want to find a dedicated area of your yard that can house your equipment. 

Be careful not to choose something too near your children’s play area or your partner’s garden because you’ll want peace and quiet for your workouts without getting in someone else’s way.

Ground Cover

Many gyms have a cushioned floor that protects your knees and can prevent slips when you’re working out. If you have an outdoor gym, you should consider a ground cover. 

People doing yoga, tai chi, and aerobics might love the feeling of standing on grass. But if you need more support, you might need a level surface.

When you consider your outdoor gym ground cover, think about the weather. 

Are you going to slip in a puddle of rain or be unable to balance while lifting weights? Pavers for a patio-type foundation are ideal, though a wooden deck is also effective.

If you’re going to stick with your grass, regularly check your yard so you know about the clumps and holes throughout the area. 

Outdoor Gym Ideas

You don’t want to accidentally trip when you’re carrying weights or holding gym equipment. After rain or watering your yard, you might find that the mud isn’t ideal for a workout, so you have to postpone your session.

Choosing a durable ground cover can prevent these issues. You might want artificial grass, which looks vibrant and natural but provides a level, breathable surface for exercising. 

You don’t have to mow, and you can wash it clean with a hose. Using turf means you don’t have to worry about your weight bench or treadmill killing a section of grass in your yard.


You don’t need to provide electricity to an outdoor gym, but it gives you more time to work out. You won’t be in the dark if you exercise in the early morning or later at night. 

You can install an overhead light with a ceiling fan or smaller lights near each piece of equipment.

If you’re wiring your outdoor gym for electricity, you get the added benefit of increasing your equipment potential. 

Outdoor Gym Ideas

You can plug treadmills and electric exercise bikes into these outlets or even use the electricity for a TV or sound system to help motivate you.

It’s not necessary to supply power to your outdoor gym. You might only need power for one or two things, so you could use a heavy-duty extension cord running from an exterior outlet, the garage, or through an open window in your home.

Outdoor Gym Equipment

The type of equipment you need for your outdoor gym depends on the exercise you want to do and the space you have in your yard. 

You might only have a small, covered area for your weight bench. Or you might have a larger patio that can accommodate a treadmill, free weights, and punching bags.

People wanting an open outdoor gym might use their existing equipment, carrying out a small bag full of items such as:

  • Ankle weights
  • Hand weights
  • Pedal machine
  • Portable rowing machine
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mat

A lot of the equipment options depend on the factors outlined above. If you have a cover or roof structure, you can hang rings and punching bags from the frame. 

You can also decide which treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals you need based on if you have electricity outside or not.

Outdoor Gym Ideas

Final Thoughts on Outdoor Gyms

There are a lot of things to consider before you create an outdoor gym. 

Make sure you know if you want the equipment to be permanent or portable, and think about the benefits of having a roof or not. 

You’ll also want something on the ground to provide cover to level out your exercise surface. 

Lighting will give you more hours in the day to take advantage of your equipment.

An outdoor gym is a great way to ensure you can get a workout at home, even if you don’t have a spare room or garage. 

Utilize these outdoor gym ideas to create the best space for your needs.


Spring Nee

Spring Nee is an outdoor furniture expert with 18 years of experience.


She has extensive experience in outdoor design, including choosing furniture materials, following trends, and adding useful elements.


As a thought leader in the outdoor furniture industry, Spring has been a regular contributor to various blogs, magazines, and design forums

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