How to Protect Exercise Equipment Outside

Keeping your exercise equipment outside is an excellent idea if you have the proper setup. It’s also a perfect way to keep kids active and healthy while saving space inside. Can I put my treadmill on the patio? Can I leave my barbells out in the rain? Read this article for help with outdoor gym setups that are safe and accessible to all members of your family!

Protecting Exercise Equipment Outside?

Exercise equipment is often made of iron, steel, rubber, and even plastic. UV radiation and water tend to leave an impact on all of these materials. Because, when exposed to moisture and heat, they can rust and degrade. So, your first concern has to be protecting your equipment from rusting and damage from UV rays.

So, here are some tips to protecting your exercise equipment outside:

  • Get covers for your equipment. You can buy customized covers for your machines, weights, barbells, and treadmill. If you have a tarp lying around at home, use it to cover your exercise equipment. 
  • Some tools and machines will need regular lubrication. Do not ignore the routine of lubrication if you want things to be rust-free. 
  • Keep things in check. When paints come off or flake, repaint them and coat them with protective layers. 
  • Use UV and rust protective solutions and sprays on the equipment made of iron and steel. 
  • To protect items with rubber, keep them under a shade.
  • Set up high bars to keep the weights and barbell above the ground away from moisture. 
  • Keep everything clean. Your equipment should be clean as well as the outdoor gym area. Do not let debris and dust accumulate on the floor and near the tools. 

 The Perks of Outdoor Gym Setups

Having a home gym has lots of perks. It can become a great inspiration for you and your family members to stay fit. If you have some extra space in the backyard on your property, you should definitely consider building your own private gym. 

Potential advantages of an outdoor gym: 

  • An outdoor gym saves a lot of space inside your home. You do not have to keep your large and heavy exercise equipment inside your living space anymore. Your family can use the extra space for some other purpose.
  • Backyard gym at home inspires the entire family to stay fit and active. Seeing a well-equipped gym, everyone wants to do some cardio workouts in good weather.
  • It will allow you to spend some time outside. Many people either work long hours at the office or at home. While working in an outdoor gym, you can enjoy some fresh air.
  • Kids these days even spend very little time playing outside. The gym can be a space for fun exercise for your kids.
  • Having your own gym means no need for gym memberships. Hence, you can save thousands of dollars.
  • Home gyms save you time. Sometimes, you might get busy and not have the time to go to the gym. You can do your quick exercises at your outdoor gym. You do not even have to change your clothes or spend time in traffic.
  • Outdoor gyms are best for people who take care of their children. You can work out and keep an eye on your kids.
  • Your gym is your private space. Hence, you can exercise anytime you want.

 How To Set Up An Outdoor Gym, Removable Or Stationary

You might want to invest in an outdoor gym after seeing all of these benefits. But where will the gym be constructed? Do not worry. We have several proposals for you.

Follow these steps to set up your outdoor gym: 

Step 1: Choose Outdoor Gym Type

The first step to building an outdoor gym is deciding the gym type. Is it going to be removable or stationary? If you prefer heavy workouts, you should get large exercise machines and tools like a weight bench, treadmill, elliptical trainer, or rope climber.

These tools and machines are not easily movable. Hence, you will need a permanent or stationary outdoor gym to place them. Stationary gyms need a specific space and shelter to protect the tools and machines.

On the other hand, exercise tools and equipment like yoga mats, dumbbells, step platforms, resistance bands, folding Pilates mats, and such are portable. You can have a simple setup for a mobile or temporary gym in an open space.

Yoga or other freehand exercises require open space. It doesn’t have to be at a set location. You will only need a space to store your exercise tools and machines.

Step 2: Choose A Spot For Your Outdoor Gym

For stationary and portable gyms, choosing the right spot for an outdoor gym is crucial, especially for electric gym machines and tools. They will require electric outlets to operate them safely. If you are serious about the gym, build a structure with electric outlets and other setups.

Also, the space should be private. It should not be used for anything else while you are exercising. In the case of keeping big machines, the gym should have space in between the equipment.

Step 3: Should You Keep It Covered Or Uncovered? 

You may have found a spot, but should it be covered or uncovered? You can leave it exposed for portable gyms, but stationary gyms with exercise equipment and tools should be undercover. They can get damaged by elements like heat and rain.

So, use a covered patio, backyard space, or a garage as an outdoor gym spot. The bottom of the line is to protect the exercise machines from getting damaged, rusted, or stolen.

However, make sure there is enough light in your outdoor gym. When you see the covering is affecting the lighting, install supplement lighting.

Step 4: Choose The Right Kind Of Flooring

Flooring is a huge concern for an outdoor gym. Building one on the patio or backyard is fine if it has concrete or non-slippery flooring and drill drain holes. Rainwater may find its way to reach your gym floor even if you have covered it. A conventional lawn will get muddy and slippery after rain.

Again, there can be previously constructed flooring, but make sure it is not slippery. Exercising on a slippery floor causes serious injuries. Therefore, your outdoor gym must be solid and slip-resistant. In this case, paving stones are best. For temporary workout space, you can place a yoga mat or rubber playground surface on the ground of the gym.

Step 5: Secure The Gym Area

Many people love to work out openly, watching the surrounding view. However, you may want to work in private without being interrupted by others. Or, you may not feel comfortable exercising in front of others. Hence, you can consider covering the sides of your outdoor gym.

Measure the gym area, and get some hanging planters, trellis, or privacy screens to install around the gym. Your exercise equipment must be secured from not only natural threats like weather but also theft. Build a fence or any other strong protection for the gym and fitness equipment like exercise bikes.

Types Of Equipment You Should Get For You Outside Gym

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Once you have set up your outdoor gym, it is time for you to think about the exercise equipment. There is a wide range of options for outdoor home gyms these days. Before you buy any machines, you should consider your options carefully. Evaluate your available space and weather elements before splurging money on the equipment.

Here is a list of equipment to choose from for a covered outdoor gym:

  • Stationary exercise bars
  • Pull-up bar
  • Rope climbers
  • Balance beams
  • Climbing domes
  • Step-climbers
  • Exercise bike
  • Ski machines
  • Barbells
  • Outdoor exercise bench

If your gym is well protected, you can even place a treadmill and an elliptical machine there. Remember, exercise equipment should not be outdoors in case your gym is uncovered.

For an uncovered gym in the open air, you should buy less expensive & with less maintenance needed for equipment and tools. Here is what you can get:

  • Free weights
  • Folding or portable exercise machines
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mats
  • Jumping ropes

Can I Place The Treadmill On The Patio? 

Although manufacturers are against the idea, you can place your treadmill on the patio. However, there will be some risks. The direct heat of the sun can damage the paint and rubber of the treadmill least not forget electronic components found on most cardio machines. Rain is another potential threat. To maintain the treadmill on your patio and reduce the risk, you must follow some regulations.

The patio must be a covered area, and you have to place the treadmill in a spot where direct sunlight or rain will not touch it. The ground should be clean and dry as well. It must be covered with concrete, a strong rubber mat, or another material with a flat surface.

Dust, debris, and dirt can enter the treadmill. So, get a treadmill cover to cover the machine when you are not using it.

How Can I Preserve My Equipment From Rusting? 

So, how can you keep your equipment rust-free? To do that, identify which equipment is prone to rust. The weights are often made of iron, which can get rusty in contact with water. Make sure they do not come into contact with water frequently. Fortunately, many solutions are available to keep the equipment rust-free like a fresh coat of silicone spray. You may also want to look into drain holes and covers and regular maintenance on moving parts on a monthly basis to protect any harsh elements.

Repainting the equipment is also another way to keep it rust-free. After exercise, clean all the machines and tools. Some people use oil coatings to protect their weight. Try not to keep the dumbbells on the ground, as they can get moistened for various reasons.

Can I Leave My Barbells Out In The Rain? 

Barbells often have a protective coating or cover on the metal. Hence, it seems to be safer to leave outside compared to weights with a not protective coating. But this may not be true all the time.

After regular workouts with the barbells, they can eventually lose their protective cover. As a result, after constant exposure to rain, you may find your barbells rusty. So, for better protection keep the barbells and other weight equipment like a squat rack undercover. Make a stand for it so that you can place the barbell above the ground where rainwater cannot touch it keeping them in good shape use custom covers or a tarp.

Final Word

After careful consideration of your space for outdoor workouts, you can choose the equipment for an uncovered outdoor gym. Try to buy less expensive and smaller machines that are more attuned with the weather conditions outside use a custom cover for weight equipment.

For covered areas & outdoor use of new equipment splurges on high-quality machines with electronic components must be protected from direct sunlight and rain. Keep your exercise equipment dry by covering it to prevent moisture, repainting or thin coating them with cold-pressed linseed oil. You can also make a stand for the barbells to keep them out of reach from rainwater to avoid rust.

Thank you! I appreciate your readership and support! Drop a message underneath to let me hear what you think of this topic.

Sources of Information

M. (2021c, November 16). How To Protect Your Outdoor Gym Equipment: Rust| UV | Etc. Home Gym Resource. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

Whittaker, L. (2021, November 24). Backyard & Outdoor Home Gym Ideas | Install-It Direct. INSTALL-IT-DIRECT. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

S. (2021d, June 18). Can You Leave Gym Equipment Outside? (& How to Protect it). Home Gym Hideaway. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

E. (2020, July 2). Three Tips for Storing A Treadmill Outdoors. Equip Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

Ste, M. (2021, January 27). Can You Keep a Weight Bench Outside? [Tips & Tricks]. EverPhysique. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

Chandler, B. (n.d.). Can You Keep a Treadmill Outdoors? | LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

J. (2021b, October 1). Best 9 Outdoor Exercise Equipment For Backyard Gym. FitBodyBuzz. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

7 thoughts on “How to Protect Exercise Equipment Outside”

  1. I use my covered back porch to exercise. I had a tread mill but I did not take care of it and it stopped working. This article has helped me a lot as I non cover all my equipment and spray it down with wd40 and paint ever thing that needs it This site is a great help to me.

    • A lot of this is common sense, some times we need a reminder for things we already know with the investment in exercise equipment important we care for it.   

  2. I use to have an outdoor gym. I would keep my weights outside but then it started raining on them leaving them rusty. I eventually moved my gym to the garage. I absolutely regret my outdoor gym. Also because I did not know how to properly take care of my equipments. This article has helped me a lot so maybe I will consider an outdoor gym again 

    • Well I guess now you have the knowledge to take care of your equipment so you can still enjoy the outside environment when training.    

  3. If you do fitness professionally or if it is in your job description, you should listen to these important tips. I really like the idea of an outdoor gym, as well as how to protect equipment from the weather. I think these tips will help many and I will of course share this with my friends.

    • You, hit it on the nail. Outdoor fitness is more energizing although in the hot sun can be dangerous to a bit of shade is good or doing your exercise in the morning or evening when it is cooler. But above all having your gym in the backyard will bring joy to home life and save money so it is vital to protect the exercise equipment outside. 

      Many Blessings 

  4. I think that this well written article points to the lack of marketing skill of companies that make gyms. If a company wanted to differentiate itself — if a company wanted to command a higher selling price, and fulfill a need, it would design equipment that could be used out doors. Especially those companies that make home gyms with moving parts. These type of gyms are large and most people don’t have the luxury of dedicating large volumes of inside space for such equipment. Most people wouldn’t even consider buying them because they don’t have the inside space for a gym. These companies should Google “addressable market.” Instead, they market marginal differences in the number of exercises that can be done. Even simple things are missed by these companies. Example: Find a company that makes a cover(s) fitted to some or all parts of their home gym products. Companies can design gyms with corrosion resistant coatings, lubrication ports, and use stainless steel for critical parts. They don’t. There’s just not much innovation in that industry.


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