Working out at home has many benefits! However, if you live in an apartment, like many of us, it would be nice of you to pay special attention to not annoying your neighbors while you exercise. Generally speaking, you do not need to worry about your next door neighbors as much as your downstairs neighbors, unless you have loud music blasting during your workout. This section provides many tips on how to minimize the complaints from your downstairs neighbor, and prevent them from protesting and knocking against the underside of your floor. (Yes, it is a true story that happened to us)!
Time of Workout
The time of your workout is probably the most important factor. It's usually a good idea to avoid exercising during quiet hours, e.g. 10pm – 7am. However, if you like to get your exercise done early in the morning to kick start your day, you can consider the following factors.
An important factor that affects how much noise and impact transmit to your downstairs neighbors is the building structure. In general, concrete buildings are sturdier and do not vibrate and create as much noise compared to a wooden building. Newer buildings also have better soundproofing. Therefore, if your apartment is built from concrete within the last 10 years, you generally do not need to worry about disturbing your downstairs neighbor. However, it would still be wise to follow the guidelines below.
Your floor solution is also important when trying to minimize the noise and vibration from exercising. Flooring that absorbs impact, such as carpet or a thick but also dense yoga mat helps.
Most of the disturbances that your downstairs neighbor will notice is the thumping from exercising, and thumping comes from the impact between your body and the floor. Therefore, lower impact exercises are more suitable for apartments.
What Exercises to Avoid?
Avoid any jumping or hopping exercises with your knees staying at approximately the same angle. Think of your legs as shock absorbers. The more your knees bend during landing, the more your muscles absorb the impact. The amount of impact that does not get absorbed from bending your knees is transferred to the floor. Therefore, exercises with small amount of knee bend while your weight moves downward will create more impact. Example of these exercises are 1) jumping jacks, 2) agility ladder training, 3) running on the spot, 4) high knees, 5) jump ropes.
On the other hand, there are exercises that include knee bend in their proper form. However, please consider that when you are pushing your limits, your form might not be perfect all the time, and therefore, will inevitably create high impact. When you perform exercises such as 1) jumping knee tucks, 2) box jumps, and 3) long jumps, it will be a good idea to pay extra attention to your form and land as quietly as possible.
What Exercises to Do?
For conditioning exercises, you can consider mountain climbers (basically running horizontally as opposed to vertically), squat thrust, air squat, kettle bell exercises, suspension training, or shorten the rest time between strength training exercises.
For plyometric exercises, make sure you pay attention to proper form and the eccentric movement while landing. Another good way to reduce the impact is to not end your motion at the squat position while landing. Continue to move downwards until your hands touch the floor, like a spider man.
As for resistance training, there is not much to worry about in terms of disturbing your neighbors, unless you are combining resistance training with plyometric training or conditioning. In this case, you can simply follow the tips on top.