Garage Doors November 22nd2013

Garage conversion ideas: Turn your garage into your family's private sports training facility

Whether you’re struggling to find the space to play sports with your children or are simply tired of paying for over-priced gyms, your garage could offer a pleasantly surprising alternative. What’s more, you don’t even have to deprive your car of its resting space – there are a number of simple, flexible solutions that can fit your lifestyle.

Invest in mats

One of the biggest issues with garages is the cold, hard, uncompromising floor. Luckily, there are several affordable solutions to this problem. Interlocking foam mats, for example, provide the perfect cushioned alternative to concrete floor. If you’re doing more running than rough and tumble, then adaptable rubber tiling could be a better option.

Keep it simple

Before buying a lot of expensive gym equipment, think about your key goals. There are a number of basic pieces of kit that tick all the boxes for the primary areas of fitness, strength and co-ordination. A medicine ball (sometimes called an exercise ball) is a great start for all three, and can be used for a vast array of stretches, exercises and games. Make sure you have sizes suitable for all the family.

For more serious strength training, free weights are much more compact and versatile than costly machines.

Fit a basketball hoop

Pundits are always bemoaning the decline of street football, but instead of mourning a bygone era, you could usher in a generation of basketball pros with one small hoop.

If your driveway is nice and flat, a wall-mounting hoop is a great option. But if you need to shift the gameplay away from the garage (and your windows), you could invest a little more and buy a free-standing hoop. Some models are adjustable, and can easily be stored in the garage and wheeled out when it’s time to tip-off.

Make the most of leftover paint

Badminton is a popular garden game, and most dads enjoy a kickabout, but squash is a sport that is often avoided at home. If you’ve got a clear wall inside your garage, simply paint a white line across the middle to create your own squash court. To avoid the garage clutter, you could even paint a line across the outer wall.

For more conventional sports options, paint a square on either the interior or exterior wall and use it to practice tennis rallies, or to improve your accuracy with a football. And remember, tennis star Sara Errani honed her technique by playing against her parents’ garage wall, so there’s no reason you can’t help your children to do the same.

Harness your gadgets

If you struggle to tear yourself away from consoles and smartphones, fear not – you can use these high tech-addictions for your own sporty aims. There are dozens of apps available that offer workout tracking and tips. Among the best are Nike Training Club and Fitocracy, both of which are free and available from the iTunes and Google Play stores. What’s more, you can use these apps independently or as a group with your whole family, making it easy to keep fit in your garage together.

Obviously there are other places you could convert if you want a bit more space to do what you love. If that’s something you’re interested in then read the posts below for a bit more information:

• Converting a spare room into a gym, home cinema or library
• 5 cutting edge home improvement innovations you can use today (I particularly like the Sharekey lock that you open with your smartphone)
• An overview of tiled roof extensions

'Garage conversion ideas: Turn your garage into your family's private sports training facility'

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