exercise without rattling the neighbors
May 29, 2012 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for some kind of mat or other DIY contraption to deaden vibration when exercising.

When I jump rope, my whole apartment shakes. The banister, the windows, you name it, it rattles. Tried in the kitchen, instead of the living-room carpet, and it's (predictably) worse. The only time that's convenient for me for exercise is ~5am, so I need a way that won't bother the neighbors or wake up the kids.

I've read this thread, (mostly about noise) in which folks recommend just finding different workout options.

Is there anybody out there with any experience with any type of mat or other vibration-dampening contraption that one could use? I tried dragging my standing-in-the-kitchen mat into the living room, and it helped a bit, so I'm wondering about some combination of mats, or maybe there's something purpose built for this?
posted by colin_l to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
I tried a ton of different approaches when I was trying to play DDR with driving my neighbors insane. You basically are making high power ultra-low frequency bass. That is extraordinarily difficult to deal with. With padding and stuff you can smooth out the waveform, but you're still going to have your weight on and off the floor lots of times each minute, and if your house is not stable enough that it shakes from that, well it's going to shake.

You might be able to find somewhere in the house that is structurally more rigid. A basement or garage with a cement floor directly on the ground would be the best - there padding would still be nice to protect you, but the sound and vibrations would be minimal. I found I could get minor totally inadequate gains by staying near load-bearing walls.

Really the best solution is: go outside.
posted by aubilenon at 6:04 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

load-bearing walls ftw!, Thanks aubilenon! There's a spot between two of them that's dead as anything!
posted by colin_l at 6:40 PM on May 29, 2012

We put our treadmill on top of those interlocking "shop" mats that you buy in the automotive department of places like Sears. They are sort of like jigsaw puzzles, and we bought 6 interlocking pieces for around $30 total. They're about 1/2" to 3/4" thick if I recall correctly. I can't imagine it would totally solve the problem, but it might be part of the great solution aubilenon provided above.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Beyond finding a structural dead zone, you might have to change your exercises to do things that don't involve airborne body weight. Some alternatives that are as hard as jumping rope:

- Mountain climbers
- Plank jacks

- Sumo pushups
posted by benzenedream at 9:59 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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