If you are a "serious" exerciser, you're probably already aware of the reasons why you should avoid baggy clothes when you work out: not only do they get in the way when you're trying to manipulate weights or stretch out, but they also completely conceal your body.
In the same way, if you're working out without mirrors, you are approaching your exercise regimen just as blindly. The bottom line is that you have to see what you are working with in order to make sure you are working out properly.
Here are some more reasons why mirrors are essential when exercising and some tips on how to choose the right one for you.
The Magic of Mirrors
When it comes to gym mirrors, there are definitely certain types that are better suited to specific exercises than others.
Fairly Straight Forward & Functional
If your gym consists of a piece or two of cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stair-climber or bicycle, etc.) and a few free weights in the corner, you may be perfectly fine with a single mirror mounted on one wall. This mirror does not need to be mounted close to the floor and as long as it provides a way for you to check your form during your weight-lifting, you should be good.
*Tip: Using a mirror during cardio can give you the motivation to keep going just one more mile. Since we can see ourselves, we realize, "it's not as bad as I thought...I can keep going!"
Head to Toe
For pilates, yoga and other mat-based workouts, make sure you have a long mirror mounted close to the floor that extends at least as long as you do during your extensions and if you can have one large enough to encompass your whole body when standing upright as well, even better. After all, in addition to checking your posture, Scapular Stability and your "V angle" during the Teaser, you can also confirm proper form during Warrior and Pose of the Dancer or Triangle.
Full Body Coverage
For comprehensive disciplines like martial arts and dance, multiple mirrors are best – mount one in front and one on the side to cover all angles, literally!
Sizes and Shapes
Although the most commonly used thickness in the mirror market is ¼" thick, if you order custom mirrors (rather than grabbing something off the shelf at a home décor store, for example), they are just that: customizable to suit your specific needs.
You can adjust the thickness and shape and since mirrors installed in gyms are attached directly on the wall, by ordering a custom mirror, you can include cutouts for electrical outlets, vents, speakers and even TV mounts.
Finally, most gym mirrors do not have decorative beveled edges, but rather a flat polished edge. Nor do they have decorative frames all the way around – the point is to have as little getting in between you and your mirror image as possible so the most you should have is as thin a seam as you can manage if you are mounting multiple mirrors next to each other or a thin band on top and bottom of the mirrors for support.
What type of gym mirror do you want for you workout needs?