Functional Corner Home Gym




I was after another home gym, but I didn't want another big metal cage rusting outside or taking up valuable space inside. I wanted something more minimal that could suit a newly built house with a tidy(ish) carpeted garage where cars, bikes, paddle boards, surfboards and all sorts of other stuff was already stored. After much searching and not finding anything I liked to copy/adapt, I came up with my own design.

There are not much in the way of sizes and dimensions in this instructable. That is partly because it is a retrospective post, and partly because it would need altering/customizing for the size of the user and the width/positioning of studs in the wall which everything is attached. This is an ideas-based tutorial where you can see what I've done and copy/adapt if you like,

Top of the requirements were

1. minimal and space saving

2. Made from plywood (strong and easy to work with

3. ability to bench press

4. ability to squat

5. ability to do pull-ups

6. ability to do dips

7. ability to hang a punching bag

8. ability to add hooks for suspension trainers and resistance bands

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Step 1: Pull-up Station

2 x 50mm bars fitted to the top plates. These were ex scaffold bars, strong enough for enough for anyone of any size to pull themselves up on, cut with a grinder at 45 degree angles at the ends. They "drop in" to some slots cut with a hole saw & a hand saw so they cannot fall out

Exercises performed

pull ups, chin ups, hammer grip pull-ups, mixed grip pull-ups, around the world, towell-ups, leg raises, windmills etcls and variations

Step 2: Dip Station

Simply move the 2 x 50mm bars from the top setting to the bottom and it becomes a dip station. Luckily enough, the distance between my studs where I attached my wall mounts worked out that my dip bars were pretty much the optimal distance apart; about the distance from from my elbow to end of fingers (plus a few cm). Like the pull-up bars, they "drop in" to some slots cut with a hole saw & a hand saw so they cannot fall out

Exercises performed

1. dips + weighted dips

2. knee raises + variations

Step 3: Wall Clamps

Wall clamps are the essential pieces of this home gym to enable bench press and squats. These ones are the second versions after a less robust first version that weren't quite right dimensions and not robust enough These just slot on to the wall brackets and let gravity hold them in place.

Exercises performed

1. bench press

2. inclined bench press

3. squats

4. place them flat on the ground and they make great parallette type devices.

Step 4: Plyometric Boxes X 2

Polymetric boxes are an essential piece of kit of for crossfit workouts. I figured I needed two in order to join together to make it long enough for a bench for bench press. So I built two with the dimensions 30cm x 40cm x 50cm. These are 12mm thick ply, glued and screwed, with some 50mm x 50mm corner pieces

Tip -> Making them able to store things like medicine balls makes them even more functional.

Exercises performed
1.combine two boxes and make in to a bench

2. can be used for hundreds/thousands of exercises. Limited only to your imagination.

Step 5: Bench Press

Position the wall clamps on the lowest bracket position; line up 2 x plyometric boxes and you have a bench press.

Step 6: Squat Rack

Position the wall clamps on the highest bracket position and you have the ability to do squats

Step 7: Inclined Bench Press

Position the wall clamps on the highest bracket position; line up 2 x plyometric boxes like the attached photo and you have the ability to do do inclined bench press

Step 8: Skirting Board Cover and Situp Attachment

Cover the skirting boards with a strip of plywood to protect against knocks, and add an attachment to get your toes under for situps and inclined bench press.

Step 9: Eye Bolt to Hold a Punching Bag

Drilling a hole in the centre of the longer bar will allow you to hanging of a punching bag and use suspension trainers etc

Step 10: Put It Away

Put it all away in the corner when you've finished working out, and you free up the space for the car and use your garage like you normally do. A minimal, space saving design using the studs in the walls to hold the weight of the bars for squats, bench, pull ups and dips. All for the cost of a few sheets of plywood, glue and screws.

So easy, I cant believe someone hadn't thought of it already

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    12 Discussions


    Answer 13 hours ago

    Hi. Check the plan I drew for the wall clamps. The brackets on the wall are as wide as the wall clamps (goes without saying) and the height of the wall clamps will depend on a few things like the height of your ceiling. And you need to work out how high you'd want your wall clamps to be configured. I did some squats and bench press at normal, comfortable heights and measured how high off the ground they needed to be. So I worked backwards. I didnt get the height quite perfect the first time round with the first version of the wall clamps so remedied the height issues in the second, strnger set of wall clamps. Having said that it wasnt out by far; it was just a little tall to push the bar back after a set of bench press


    1 day ago

    what is the width of the plywood?! tnx

    1 reply

    Reply 13 hours ago

    it varies. The big sheets on the wall is only 5 ply but the rest is 12 ply


    6 months ago

    Great idea. Im hoping to install your design into a steel shed using the inbuilt supports. I have to talk to the shed experts first but I'm hoping to stick as closely as possible to your design but i dont think i can use large plywood panels due to condenstion issues. If I do manage to do it I'll post some pictures of the finished build. Thanks.


    1 year ago on Step 10

    this looks brillliant. kudos.


    1 year ago

    Been looking the past 2 weeks myself and haven't found anything... need something that is portable as I don't own where I'm living... will play around with your ideas... thanks for posting it...


    Question 1 year ago on Step 3

    Awesome design. Do you have any idea what the maximum weight capacity would be for the squat rack?

    1 answer

    Answer 1 year ago

    Not exactly. But it's not a problem doing the 100kg of weights that I currently squat, though I need to buy more shortly. I'd guess more than double that as I can hang off the bar loaded with all my weights and I'm 90kg. I have used massive 125mm screws to fix the wall brackets to the wall where the wall clamps attach for bench press and squats. So they go right in to the studs behind. I was very lucky with the positioning of the studs


    1 year ago

    That's very neat. Might follow in your footsteps.