The Clever Way I Sound-Proof My At-Home Workouts

I am light on my toes and quiet on my neighbors' ears.

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Anyone who knows me can attest to this: I am not the quietest person at the gym. I'm totally that girl exhaling sharply with every punch I throw in my boxing class and doing quick feet as hard and fast as I possibly can during every HIIT workout.

So when I started exercising from home in my 3rd-floor walk-up, I wanted to be respectful of my roommate and neighbors, but I also wanted to make sure I could still bring the same intensity from the gym to my at-home sweat sessions.

In other words, I needed to sound-proof my workouts, so that I could leave everything on the mat—er, hardwood floor. I already had a cushy Gaiam Performance Jute Yoga Mat (Buy It, $40, and wireless headphones—I swear by these JBL Reflect Flow In-Ear Wireless Sport Headphones (Buy It, $150,—however, I was still afraid that slamming down on my jump squats and pivoting as I threw my right hooks would have my downstairs neighbors wanting to murder me.

But then it dawned on me: I could work out in grippy barre socks! Grippy socks are super lightweight and obviously less chunky than training shoes, and yet they still offer their own unique benefits, like a heel tab that protects your Achilles tendon, arch bands that provide lift and support, and a design that allows your toes to naturally spread. Not only are they insanely comfortable, but I can also be light on my feet and whisper-ish quiet in all of my movements.

I own three pairs of barre socks, but my favorites are the Half Toe Ballerina Grip Socks (Buy It, $18, They go on like a normal sock but are designed to be worn without shoes—and remain on your foot through tricky moves, thanks to the snug fit and no-slip bottoms. They're also made of breathable organic cotton, so they don't stink or hold onto sweat like my other socks (gross, I know).

While the socks are technically designed for Pilates, yoga, or dance, I've found that they work equally well in my boxing, HIIT, and strength workouts at-home. The grippy dots on the sole provide traction for my mountain climbers, stability for my Romanian deadlifts, and keep me from sliding on my hardwood floors while I pivot on my power punches. Plus, I land *so* much softer with the ToeSox on my jump squats and burpees.

On the days when the ToeSox are in the wash and I think I can do my workouts barefoot, I'm rudely mistaken. When I box, I can't pivot as fast as I'd like, which leaves my punches weak and my form crappy; during strength training, I wobble so much on single-leg movements that I fear I may roll an ankle. If you're thinking, why not put on a pair of sneakers, I get it—but there are actually a lot of benefits to barefoot training.

When I'm wearing the Half Toe Ballerina Grip Socks, I definitely feel like I'm able to move faster and get the same sweat equity I get from an in-studio fitness class all while not disturbing the people around me. And I know I'll keep using this hack even once I'm out of quarantine—these ToeSox will be perfect for vacation workouts, since they are way easier to pack than sneakers.

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