Over the course of the past year, a constant reminder to everyone has been the importance of home—not just as an intangible idea of family and memories and good times—but as a physical space. It is a place of work, space for entertainment and sometimes, even a gym.
For Smriti Mandhana, home is family, familiarity and the comfort of being around her parents, brother and sister-in-law. Her house in the city of Sangli, Maharashtra, however, is also about her day job—a professional cricketer and member of the national women’s cricket team. So it should come as no surprise that her home comes with a fully kitted out and well- equipped gym. And while we may not all have the same kind of motivation, or reason, to sweat it out, home as gym has been a necessary fallout of the pandemic. We take some cues from Mandhana’s professional-grade home gym to offer a lowdown on how you can get yourself one too.
Away from the floodlights and stadium sounds lies Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana’s simple yet soothing resting nest. Tastefully decorated with muted colours, textured walls, and clean lines, Smriti’s home exhibits simplicity and serenity. Maintaining the perfect balance between her play and family time, her home showcases a blend of memories and achievements. Join us and step inside her beautiful home.
FIND A DEDICATED SPOT FOR WORKOUTS
If you’re serious about a workout routine, then seriously consider finding a space in your apartment that can double up as a makeshift workout area. Mandhana had the space to convert what was their little-used TV room into a much-used home gym. If you have a spare bedroom, then nothing like it. And if you don’t, corner a nook in the living room or bedroom as your own, without fear of you being dislodged from it in the middle of a squat. Design and decor, in home gyms, do defer to functionality but your home gym shouldn’t be relegated to a dark and unused corner; that’s sure to counter any inner motivation you could drum up!
THINK ABOUT THE FLOORING
Jumping, jogging, lifting weights, contorting the body in a variety of poses—all of it needs you to have a firm foundation beneath your feet. The spot that you choose to workout should have firm, even home flooring on which you can place your yoga mat or plant your feet on directly if a high-intensity cardio routine is more your speed. However, a great option—and one that protects your joints and prevents injury—would be investing in a rubber or foam tiles that can be hooked together like puzzle pieces and pulled out when you’re done.
ENSURE GOOD VENTILATION
Given the high possibility of literally sweating it out on your yoga mat, a space that allows healthy and constant movement of air is
Ensure that the space is well lit and airy; the atmosphere can be an important motivating factor. Also think about the flooring; foam tiles that can be fit together and taken apart once done is a good idea.
imperative. A window nearby is a great idea—Mandhana’s home gym has them too along one wall—and ensures a continuous flow of fresh air. An air conditioner in your designated workout spot is a good idea too, though nothing beats fresh, clean air.
BRING IN THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF LIGHT
Setting the right mood to exercise provides the right kind of motivation, especially when you plan on getting in some workout at home—rife with distracting lures (the TV being a big one, followed closely by the latest joke on the phone). And while there isn’t much that can be done about those, the location of your home gym is in your hands. So make sure that it is bright, well lit and airy. If you’re one for natural light, then choose a spot that gets enough of it. If not, then light up the space well, especially if you work out in the evenings or at night.
AND FINALLY, OPTIMISE SPACE WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Get smart and go small when selecting equipment and accessories for the home gym. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need heavy machinery to get the satisfaction of putting your muscles through the wringer. Opt for functional workouts that use free weights and your body weight and follow a high-intensity exercise format to get more done in less time—and with smaller equipment. Functional training helps you with your daily life movements according to your lifestyle.
The family tries to have their lunches and dinners together whenever Mandhana is home on a break.
The spacious and well-lit living room in cricketer Smirti Mandhana's home in Sangli, Maharashtra.
A shelf with a collection of Mandhana's awards and trophies speak to the skill of the young cricketer.
Mandhana converted a little-used TV room for this frequently used home gym.
Professional footballer and personal trainer Jyoti Ann Burrett has recommended what kind of equipment you would need for a home gym (that measures 10ft by 4ft): a yoga mat, pull-up bar, thera band, dumb bells, kettleballs, pulley suspension trainer, a Swiss ball.
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