proper gym etiquette

Knowing a few do’s and don’ts at the gym can ensure a better experience for you and those around you. Some tips you may already be aware of; for example, you likely know you should wipe down equipment when you’re finished. However, we can all use a refresher from time to time, and perhaps there are a few that you were unaware of. 


Wearing the wrong clothing at the gym can negatively impact your workout. Wear sweat-wicking materials to help with body odor. Ensure your clothing fits well, as baggy clothing can get in your way or can get caught on equipment.


Even if your sneakers look good on the outside, as tennis shoes age, they lose tread and provide less shock absorption. Depending on how often you work out and how much impact your workout has, you may want to change your shoes as often as every six months. 


Many types of jewelry can cause injury at the gym. A necklace might get caught in a piece of equipment. A ring might cause you to lose your grip. Beyond safety, your jewelry may get scratched or damaged by metal bars or weights. 


Don’t drop them loudly on the floor; the noise is annoying, and it isn’t safe and can cause damage. Replace them on their rack in the proper spots after use.

Clean up

Keep your area clear of clutter. Be mindful of where you place gym bags or other carrying bags and tuck in straps so they do not cause a hazard for you or others. When finished using any equipment, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes. 

Cell phones

Remember, not everyone is interested in hearing your conversation. If you need to take a call, stepping outside or away from others is polite. Use headphones when listing to music or an audiobook. 

Be on time

It’s always good manners to arrive on time, especially when entering a quiet class like yoga. Arriving a few minutes early to register and get settled is not only polite, but it will help you get the spot you want and will lead to a better experience.


When using gym equipment, it’s important to remember that other people may be waiting for the machine you are using. Be aware of the time. If you need to use the restroom, drape your towel over the machine and return quickly. Once you’ve finished with the machine, clean it up and move on. Hanging on to equipment when you are not actively using it while you check messages or texts isn’t polite.


Respect personal and physical space. If other machines are open, try not to get on a bike or treadmill right next to someone. If you do have to use a machine next to someone, keep your eyes on your own screen and workout stats, and try not to be chatty unless the other person clearly wants to chat. When using weights and other equipment, it can also be unsafe to be too close to others.


Avoid grunting, groaning, loud conversations, and phone calls. 

Making conversation

Be friendly but don’t offer unsolicited advice. Chances are you are a certified nutritionist or trainer, so it’s best to leave the advice to the experts.

Always read the rules at your gym, as they might have things specific to that location. Using common sense and courtesy in any situation will always set you up for success.