man looking in gym mirror

Most gyms line their walls with mirrors. If you go to the gym often, you’ve more than likely seen people setting up in front of a mirror before they start lifting weights, doing squats, or other similar workouts. This might seem like the peak of vanity for bodybuilders to show off and nothing more, but there are actually real fitness benefits to using a gym mirror for working out.

It might not be something you’re comfortable with, especially if you’re unhappy with your appearance, but that’s actually one of the reasons to make use of your reflection.

Here are some reasons there are mirrors in gyms and why you should consider using one during your next workout.

Reasons To Use A Mirror In The Gym

To Monitor Your Technique

One of the most important reasons for having mirrors in gyms is that when working out, you can monitor your own technique during an exercise. You don’t always have a trainer or workout partner that will point out if your posture is wrong when weightlifting, if you’re not getting deep enough in your squat or if your back in incorrect during a deadlift. When you work out in front of a mirror you can watch yourself and adjust your form or fix problems that you see immediately. You can also make the best use of the space that you have available.

weightlifter looking at his reflection in gym

Proper posture and technique when doing any kind of physical training are important. If you don’t lift properly it won’t be as effective but, more importantly, you risk injuring yourself. By looking at yourself and adjusting your position, you see you’ll be able to prevent injuries or accidents that can occur from improper technique.

To See Areas For Improvement

You’ll also be able to critique yourself as you exercise. You’ll be able to constructively criticize yourself to improve your body. For example, while working out your upper body while looking in the mirror you might notice that you’re lacking strength and muscles in your legs and can remember to concentrate on them more in the future.

Mirrors help you have an all-around view when they’re set up properly. Some gyms will have plastic mirrors set up in a curved or circular pattern so that you can see yourself from different angles as you work out. You’ll be able to see the back of your body as well as both sides so you can monitor every angle as you’re in the gym.

women lifting dumbbells in glass mirror

This will help you with your balance too as you can make sure you’re evenly distributing your weight, keeping your legs, hips, and shoulders, aligned, and that your back is straight. Similarly, you can check that your stomach is tucked in and your pelvis is tilted properly.

To Improve Focus

By paying attention to your body as you are in the gym, you can also focus more on what you’re doing. Without a mirror, you may be staring at a wall as you do your barbell curls so you may as well have something to focus on, yourself.

If you’ve seen videos of The Rock in the gym, you can see the level of focus he has

Sometimes, when you’re doing reps with your weights your mind might wander because there’s nothing to really focus on other than the monotonous task. When this happens you can be more prone to an injury and limit your progress as you’re not paying as much attention. By looking at yourself in the mirror, you can concentrate on the minute details of the exercise you are doing and push yourself harder.

Less Need For A Personal Trainer

Personal trainers are not cheap and a mirror means its less likely that you will need to shell out the money for your own coach. This is especially true if you’re experienced in powerlifting or weightlifting and you know the proper techniques on your own. If you’ve had any previous tuition from a personal trainer, you can apply what you’ve learned using a mirror without the need for them to be there with you.

Particularly if you are exercising in a home gym, it’s unlikely that you will have someone there with you. So looking in the mirror will allow you to monitor yourself. You’ll also see if you are being lazy in your reps or hurting yourself in some way. You don’t need a high-quality expensive glass mirrors at home either. Just a cheap plastic one or a simple mirror that you hang on a wall can be fine.

Motivate Yourself

You know that exercise is important, but you might not always feel motivated to push yourself as hard as you can. By looking at yourself in the mirror you can stay motivated by looking at yourself doing the work to get the results you’re looking for. You can actually see your hard work paying off by watching your muscles work and strain.

Motivating yourself by looking in the mirror is something that you might only understand by trying it out

You’ll also be able to monitor your progress from one workout to the next. You will naturally take note of your physical appearance during one session then look again during your next sessions and see how much you’ve gradually progressed. Seeing the results from one week to the next will help you stay motivated and fully engage in your workouts. You’ll also be able to take note of your problem areas and make sure you work on those parts.

woman using a chest press machine in a mirror

Similarly, you’ll be able to see if you’re being lazy or not pushing yourself hard enough. By physically looking at yourself you will be able to push yourself further if you’re not making progress or slacking off in your training. Even running on a treadmill in front of a mirror can be motivating because you can use your own image as competition and push further because you feel more accountable to yourself.

Keep Yourself Company

Working out can be a group activity but sometimes you might prefer to go it alone or your workout buddy might have taken the day off leaving you feeling lonely. However, when you exercise using a mirror you can keep yourself company and be your own fitness buddy.

Yes it might sound strange using a motor to keep yourself company, but hear me out…

You can pretend that your image is your competition and you have to outdo them or you can pretend that you’re your own admirer and show off for yourself. There are many different scenarios and it can be a great motivational tool that can keep you going when you feel like you have nothing left in the tank.

Using the Mirrors Properly

While using a mirror is beneficial for your health and performance when in the gym, you have to use them the right way. Some workouts will require you to face the mirror head-on to best view yourself while others will require you to turn to the side to best check your form.

  • When you’re not facing the mirror, you have to take care not to turn your head to the side to look at yourself. This will take you out of proper alignment and strain your neck.
  • For these types of exercises, it’s best to position yourself near mirrors that allow you to see yourself from multiple angles at once.
  • If there is nothing like this available, use your peripheral vision to monitor yourself without turning your head.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now see just how beneficial looking at yourself in a mirror during your workout can be. If you already do this, you see that it isn’t all about vanity but that you’re actually doing yourself a world of good and improving your performance by watching yourself. For those of you that shy away from the mirror, bite the bullet and take advantage of that reflective wall in your gym—you won’t be disappointed.