13/05/2017 6:21 AM AEST | Updated 13/05/2017 6:21 AM AEST

Don't Be A Dumbell. Observe Gym Etiquette.

Sometimes sweating the small stuff is a worthwhile exercise.

Cameron Whitman
“Being aware of gym etiquette ensures a safer, cleaner, conflict-free and more positive environment.  Every member of that community deserves the same level of respect.”

We've all been there -- jumping on a treadmill at the gym, only to find that the inconsiderate user beforehand has left behind most of his sweat. Yuck! Not cool, in more ways than one.

But that's not the only thing that can be annoying in the gym. There are plenty of other things too.

So, what exactly is appropriate gym etiquette, and why is it important that we abide by it?

"Gym etiquette is about respecting the gym as a communal space and therefore being prepared to respect other gym members," says personal trainer Emma Thompson.

"Being aware of gym etiquette ensures a safer, cleaner, conflict-free and more positive environment. Every member of that community deserves the same level of respect."

Remember, getting a great workout isn't always about physical space, but more about mental.

Thompson says that someone who abides by gym etiquette is someone who's self-aware, prepared to share and clean up after themselves, and not take up too much space.

She also adds that it's someone who's aware that the gym is not for personal use only.

"If people don't abide by gym etiquette it means that fellow members aren't getting the most out of their gym memberships, particularly if they don't have access to their workout space and equipment," says Thompson.

"The gym should be a community for everyone to enjoy and benefit from."

So, to ensure you're not one of 'those people' who don't abide by gym etiquette, consider the following rules when you next workout;

Return equipment

There's nothing more annoying -- or, in some cases, potentially dangerous -- than finding dumbbells left on the floor, yoga mats haphazardly pushed into one corner or dirty boxing inners mixed in with the clean.

Therefore, at the end of your workout or class, make sure that all equipment is returned to its rightful place. Think of the space as if it were your own, and consider the fact that you wouldn't just walk away from it there.

Wipe down equipment

For the purposes of hygiene and to avoid the reputation of being disrespectful of others, it's important to wipe down your equipment after use. The poor user after you has no desire to touch your sweat.

Whether it be with a hand towel or wipes that are provided by 'most' gyms, ensure that you've cleaned off all surfaces that have come into direct contact with your body. This includes seats for those of you who've just ridden a 10k!


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Avoid mobile phone calls

Texting, scrolling through social media or, worst of all, having a loud conversation, can be really annoying for other gym members -- particularly those waiting for your equipment.

Therefore, this one's pretty simple. Unless listening to music, separate yourself from your phone. Put it away in your locker or bag and just, for once, try to enjoy a technological detox.

Time limit your equipment use

During peak times at the gym, equipment and machines will be in high demand. However, if you're hogging the treadmill for an excessive amount of time, don't expect fellow members to greet you with smiles.

In this situation, be considerate and aware of others waiting for equipment. Limit your time to something reasonable and even let those waiting know that you won't be long.

Exercise appropriate mirror use

Many gym goers use the mirror to ensure that they have good form -- particularly when it comes to lifting weights.

Therefore, it's important to be conscious of these people. Stand well back and give them space to use the mirror and avoid walking or standing directly in their line of sight if it can be helped. If you like a mirror to pose in, then save it for home!

Limit your workspace

Most gyms don't have the floor space for multiple members to spread out a lot of equipment. Because of this, it's important that you try to limit the space you're occupying and keep your equipment spread to a minimum.

Remember, getting a great workout isn't always about physical space, but more about mental.