“I don’t think you should limit yourself,” Clayton says. “Do I think you should be doing dance cardio? No. But as far as HIIT workout, totally. Use your modifications and then you can do anything you want, really.”
2. Try using sliders.
Another way to modify your movements to be quieter is with sliders, which Morit Summers, NSCA-CPT, founder of Form Fitness in Brooklyn, recommends. She explains that you can use them for moves like modified burpees, where you slide your knees in and out and stand up rather than loudly jumping. Or you can use them for reverse lunges by sliding your leg behind you rather than plopping your foot on the ground. The options are endless. (In fact, check out these slider exercises for more ideas.)
“There are a ton of movements you can do where you’re moving in that fast motion, but not hitting the ground,” Summers says. “It’s an aspect of control you have to have; otherwise, you can slide out of control.”
That control comes with an added benefit: Slider exercises tend to work your core harder, which can give any move you choose more of a core focus.
Plus, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a set of sliders. Summers says that using household items like socks or towels on a hardwood floor will do the trick, making it an accessible alternative to any at-home workout routine.
3. Build a cushioned workout space.
Aside from making quieter alterations to your workouts, you can also dampen noise through some padding on your floor. Clayton recommends investing in a thick yoga mat to absorb some of the force of louder movements, and to work out in socks rather than clunky sneakers.
If you’re serious about creating a more permanent at-home gym in your apartment, you can consider putting down removable gym flooring. It will cover more space than a yoga mat—ideal for kickboxing—and can be relatively inexpensive.
But depending on the age of your building, noise can still seep through even with the proper padding.
“Even if you got really good flooring and you’re in a really old apartment, I’m not sure it’s going to matter,” Summers says. “I jump in my apartment and my apartment shakes—and I’m on the ground floor.”
But that doesn’t mean padding won’t do anything. While it may not do much for high-impact moves like a jump squat, it can help muffle the noise for softer moves, such as lunges, to not disturb your downstairs neighbors.
4. Get quieter equipment.
If you’re thinking of investing in cardio equipment at home, it’s important to think about your living situation. Some equipment is just more conducive to at-home use than others.
For instance, an indoor cycling bike is generally going to be quieter (and smaller, if space is an issue, too) than a treadmill. But even indoor cycling bikes are not all the same for quietness: Magnetic resistance bikes, which use magnetic resistance to create tension against the flywheel, produce very little sound, which makes them a safer choice for apartments. (Bikes with friction resistance can be a little noisier.) I’ve gotten away with pedaling on my magnetic Echelon bike in the early hours of the morning and haven’t had one complaint from my landlord.
Another quiet cardio machine? A rowing machine, suggests Clayton, which she says won’t rattle the ground while using it. There are even some unique models out there that fold to slip under your bed for easy storage.