Workouts from All Angles with Mirrors

Workouts from All Angles with MirrorsChances are that if you work out in an established gym, there are mirrors everywhere you look and you can’t avoid them even if you tried. But the prevalence of mirrors in gyms is a testament to their necessity: they are there because they work!

Not only do mirrors shed light on physical attributes or mannerisms that you may not even be aware of (like slouching or an asymmetry when you move), but they also encourage self-motivation; as anyone who has ever tried to push through with “just a few more reps” can tell you, the ability to persevere when you want to quit is crucial to reaching higher peaks of physical fitness.

So, if you are just starting a workout routine or looking to take your fitness regime to the next level, consider the enhanced benefits of adding mirrors to your home gym space. Here are a few of the options at your disposal, and some tips for selecting the right one for you and your exercise needs.

Multi-Faceted Benefits of Mirrors

If you are working out on your own, a mirror can be a substitute “trainer” in the sense that you can self-correct when you need to adjust your form.

Think about it: if you are lifting weights and are not shifting your body weight correctly (known as “countering”) or overextending your arms or back during reps, you can seriously injure yourself by straining your muscles and even tearing ligaments and tendons.

  • For strength training, make sure you have a mirror tall enough to show your entire body when standing upright. If you only have one mirror, you can simply turn your body when you need to view yourself from the side.
  • For calisthenics and exercises that require you to bend down, squat or jump, having a tall mirror that is also placed close enough to the ground allows you to see your form easily, whether you are doing push-ups and crunches or jumping jacks.
  • For strengthening, lengthening and flexibility exercises like yoga, Pilates and ballet, having mirrors that show different angles of your body is crucial to ensure proper alignment. Longer mirrors that reflect your entire body when stretched out to full length on a floor mat, coupled with an additional mirror placed on an adjacent wall (like placing your mirrors in a corner – one on each wall), can give you easy visuals of your form when you are in complicated positions, without requiring you to move to see yourself.

When you are working out from instructions in a book or an online video or exercise DVD, you don’t have an instructor moving your arms and legs where they need to go. And because your body has muscle memory, make sure you set a solid foundation from the beginning by checking yourself in your own home gym mirror.

Installation Tips

Before you hang your mirror in your workout space, determine where you would like to place it, grab a level and check the spot for differences in the flat surface. If you mount a mirror on a wall that has noticeable variations (more than 3/8″ from one point to another), you can end up with a distorted reflection that could do more harm than good.

To remedy discrepancies in wall depth, mark the low spots with a pencil and apply a bit more mirror mastic in those places to “build out” the wall and create a flat surface to mount the mirror.

If you are not drilling into wall studs, use drywall anchors to support the screws and ensure the weight of the mirror does not pull the screws out of the wall.

Finally, no matter the size, shape or placement of your mirror, it is not intended to be a substitute for good judgment and listening to your body during a workout. If it hurts, don’t do it! But if you just need that extra bit of motivation or assistance to make sure you’re doing whatever correctly, a mirror could be just the ticket.

What are some other ways mirrors can enhance your physical fitness efforts in your home gym?

Shahab Shokouhi
Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at Dulles Glass and Mirror, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.
Shahab Shokouhi

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