Posted on August 31, 2020 by Gordon Smith

Has the last six months affected the way you view your gym membership?

Over the lockdown period, many families throughout the UK have realised that the traditional monthly gym membership (whether individual, corporate or family) is of less value during lockdown. Some gym customers have chosen not to return to the high-street gym.

But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped exercising. In fact, we are more and more concerned with our health these days, with holistic health, fitness and good mental health becoming our new goals (rather than just physical strength).

And with talk of an economic recession on the horizon, people are looking to tighten their belts – literally and metaphorically.

That’s why many families have realised that creating a family gym at home is a great way forward. Not only do you get all the benefits of the high-street gym, you skip the monthly fees.

Plus you can get the kids and seniors in the family involved, and you can really design a gym that suits you and your family’s needs now and in the future. Since motive8 are expert home gym designers, let’s take a look at how each family member can benefit from a family gym.

Mother and daughter with yoga matsChildren

Caring parents want to instil a love of fitness and health into their kids from an early age.

Children want to be like the grown-ups they live with, so when they see mum and dad working out and enjoying staying fit, it sends a powerful message that will likely stick for life.

But, the key with children is to make sure that exercise never becomes boring. The best way to do this is to leverage kids’ love of games and gaming. With digital fitness programmes exploding over the Internet and on TV, and now being built into home gym equipment, exercise should be fun, challenging and exciting.

The NHS recommends children do at least 2 types of physical activity each week including both aerobic and muscle and bone strengthening. So, in the family gym, think about installing a treadmill with fun but achievable challenges and courses built in. Include a clear space for skipping, sit ups and press-ups. Perhaps even consider a climbing wall?


The most frequent users of the family gym might well be mum and dad. So their needs are super-important.

Adults use gyms for a wide range of reasons from pure strength and aerobic exercise to mental-health boosting activities such as meditation, mindfulness, Pilates and yoga. So for adults, we’d recommend a multi-functional machine such as the V2 Max Plus Reformer Bundle. It’s a machine which is designed with Pilates in mind but can do so much more.

Deck out the fitness space with yoga mats, Pilates rings, yoga belts and blocks. Standard equipment including dumbbells is almost always required.

Woman practicing Yoga with laptopFamily members with disabilities

For people with disabilities, the government recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week still holds true. Depending on the nature of the disability it could be particularly important to focus on core strength, heart health (if mobility is restricted) and muscle strength. There are some great workout videos available online such as Dom’s exercise playlist for people with Multiple Sclerosis.

For wheelchair users, space and accessibility is of course vital. But the requirements of plenty of light, space and good quality flooring also apply. Wheelchair users often focus on weights but consider HIIT exercises too. Heart health is key for wheelchair users.

Pilates is a form of exercise that can benefit almost everybody since there’s such a wide range of movements involved. So Pilates mats and machinery could be a great option.


Senior man keeping fit

Seniors need equipment that can help them to improve strength, balance, core strength for comfort and posture. So if your family gym is going to cater for an older person, consider a treadmill, bike or elliptical.

These machines can be set at varying speeds and resistances, making them perfect for people of all abilities. For those over 65 it’s recommended to do around 20-25 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio-type exercise daily (or 150 minutes per week). We recommend the daily approach because most people find it easier to keep up a daily routine rather than having to plan which days of the week they should exercise on.

Since it’s recommended that older people do at least some exercise that increases strength, balance and flexibility, equipment could include a balance ball or board or Pilates ball.

Family gyms have something for everyone

As you can see, there’s a terrific range of ideas for building a family gym. If you need even more inspiration, check out our home gym inspiration article. Nobody needs to be left out and there should be something for everybody, no matter their age, fitness or abilities.

If you’d like to find out how the professionals would build your family gym, we’d be delighted to talk to you. Contact motive8 on 0800 028 0198 for expert consultation into turning a space in your home into a customised, family workout space to keep you and your loved ones fit, healthy and on a lifelong health journey.