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The REP FT-5000 was our top pick because of the combination of value and versatility. The spectacular build quality, high weight capacity, and competitive price made it hard to beat
Functional trainers are some of the most versatile and beneficial pieces of home gym equipment. In the past few years, functional trainers have become more popular because there are now more portable and affordable options.
Nowadays, even home gym owners on a budget or with space limitations can still find a functional trainer that works for them.
In this article, we will go over our picks for the best functional trainers for 2023 and explain why this machine can be an excellent addition to your home gym. Whether you are looking for some of the more advanced, technology-filled functional trainers or more basic, pin-loaded options, this guide should have you covered.
Best Functional Trainers 2023
Every single functional trainer on this list has been tested hands-on by the team of personal trainers and athletes at FitDominum. Aside from hands-on testing, the team also compared specs, customer reviews, and pricing to determine this list.
- Best Functional Trainers 2023
- REP Fitness FT-5000: Best Overall Functional Trainer
- Titan Fitness Functional Trainer: Best Value Functional Trainer
- Inspire Fitness FT2: Best Premium Functional Trainer
- REP Ares Functional Trainer: Best Functional Trainer With Power Rack
- XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine: Best Functional Trainer On Amazon
- REP Fitness FT-3000: Best Budget Functional Trainer
- Bells Of Steel Functional Trainer : Best Home Functional Trainer For The Money
- Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Functional Trainer: Best Plate Loaded Functional Trainer
- Force USA G20 All-In-One Trainer: Most Versatile Functional Trainer
- Inspire Fitness FT1: Best Commercial Functional Trainer
- Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer: Best Portable Functional Trainer
- What Is A Functional Trainer?
- How Did We Rank And Compare These Functional Trainers
- Functional Trainer Benefits
- Final Verdict On Best Home Gym Functional Trainer
- Key Feature: Combination of quality and price makes it the best functional trainer for most people
- Dimensions: 45 ” L x 84″ H x 72″ W
- Weight: 1,0001 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 110 pounds
- Price: $2,500
Summary Of REP FT5000
We picked the REP Fitness FT-5000 as our best overall functional trainer due to the relatively affordable price and abundance of features.
The functional trainer itself is extremely durable and clearly designed to last a lifetime. The machine’s frame is made of 11-gauge steel, weighs 1000 pounds, and has an electrostatic powder coat that is very hard to chip.
This functional trainer has two weight stacks, each of which can hold up to 220 pounds. However, the weights operate at a 2:1 ratio meaning that 220 pounds of weight will be 110 pounds of effective resistance.
A pull-up bar is included and features three grip options: supinated, neutral, and wide.
During our use, the starting weight and length of the cable were the only real problems we ran into. At 12.5 pounds, this is definitely on the higher end and can be a bit much for some isolation exercises like cable lateral raises.
The cables are also only capable of reaching 52 inches off the ground. Some of the taller members of our team had trouble getting a full range of motion in with such a short cable length.
Also, the REP functional trainer only comes with one pair of handles. The handles themselves are nice and most cable attachments are not that expensive, but some other functional trainers come lots of attachments included.
On a more positive note, the REP Fitness FT-5000 comes partially assembled which drastically cuts down the assembly time. Functional trainers often take hours to put together.
The REP FT-5000 really does offer lots of value at the price of $2500. With an included lifetime warranty, it is what we recommend for most people.
For more details, read our full REP Fitness FT5000 2.0 review.
- Very durable with 11-gauge steel and electrostatic powder coating
- Dual 220-pound weight stack
- Smooth cables with aluminum pulleys
- Ships partially assembled
- Lifetime frame warranty
- Multi-grip pull-up bar
- Heavy starting weight at 12.5 lbs
- Cables only go up to 52 inches
- Does not come with any attachments
- Key Feature: Number of included attachments and affordable price make it the best value functional trainer.
- Dimensions: 44″ L x 82″ H x 64″ W
- Weight: 672 Pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 100 pounds
- Price: $2,500
It was a close race between the Titan Fitness Functional Trainer and REP FT-5000 since both come in at $2500 with free shipping. REP edged it but the Titan functional trainer is still a great option and may even provide more value at this price point.
The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer features double-weight stacks and a dual cable setup. each stack has a maximum weight 0f 200 pounds with a 2:1 ratio. So the 200 pounds will provide 100 pounds of resistance per side. This should be plenty for most cable exercises.
The main selling point of the Titan Fitness Functional is the wide variety of included attachment options:
Dual Stirrup Handles
Single and Double D-Handles
Compared to the REP’s, the Titan Fitness Functional Trainer is a bit more compact and lightweight.
However, despite the fact that the Titan functional trainer is over 300 pounds lighter, it still felt very stable and did not need to be bolted to the ground. There was some minor shaking with heavier weights but nothing serious.
The main downside of the Titan Fitness Functional Trainer is the 1-year warranty and shorter height. I think that Titan’s quality has improved drastically over the past few years but I would still want more than 1-year for such an expensive purchase.
Also, the shorter height again means that taller lifters may not be able to get that full range of motion.
For more details, read our full Titan Fitness Functional Trainer Review.
- Very competitive price
- Highly durable aluminum pulleys
- Dual 200-pound weight stacks at a 2:1 ratio
- Lots of included attachments
- Only comes with a one-year warranty
- Can be shaky\unstable at higher weights
- Only 82 inches tall, may be harder for taller lifters to get a full range of motion
The Inspire Fitness FT2 is our pick for the best premium functional trainer. With a functional trainer and smith machine all in one, the FT2 is one of the most feature packed functional trainers on the market.
- Key Feature: Includes built-in smith machine along with functional trainer.
- Dimensions: 58″ L x 83-88″ H x 61″ W
- Weight: 700 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 85 pounds
- Price: $4,699
Summary Of Inspire Cable Machine
If you want to take up the versatility even more, the Inspire Fitness FT2 is both a functional trainer and a smith machine. Inspire Fitness is typically seen more in more commercial settings which should speak volumes about the durability and quality of this product.
At $5,000, it is certainly one of the more expensive options on this list but just keep in mind that you are getting both a functional trainer and a Smith machine. Buying these separately would easily cost more. Also, there are financing options available as well.
The actual functional trainer is made with heavy-duty steel and clearly built to last. Inspire clearly believes this as well as the FT2 comes with a lifetime warranty.
Read our full Inspire Functional Trainer review for more details.
The Inspire Fitness Functional Trainer has eight different pulleys allowing for a variety of setup and exercise selections.
The dual-weight stack has a maximum weight of 165 pounds at a 2:1 ratio. If you want more weight, there is also a 50-pound add-on available to give you 107.5 pounds of effective resistance.
The genius of the FT2 is that the smith machine connects directly to the weight stack eliminating the need for extra weight plates. The ease of use and overall compactness makes it one of the best ways to get a smith machine in a home gym.
In terms of other add-ons, the FT2 also includes a number of attachments:
Two Rubber D Handles
EZ Curl Bar
Multi Functional Belt
2 x 5 lbs Add-On Weights
If money is no object and you truly just want one of the versatile functional trainers on the market, it is hard to beat the Inspire Fitness FT2.
- Smith machine and functional trainer in one machine
- Very good, heavy-duty build quality
- Lots of pulley options
- Comes with diverse attachments and accessories
- One of the more expensive options (financing available)
- Max weight is only 165 pounds with 2:1 ratio
- Cables are not the most durable
- Smith machine bar can get in the way
- Key Feature: Can attach or be ordered with a REP squat rack.
- Dimensions: Will depend on the rack configuration chosen
- Weight: 965 Pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 130 Pounds
- Price: Depends on your rack
Summary Of Rep Functional Trainer
In the home gym community, the REP PR-4000 is often considered the rack to beat for home gym owners. The main selling points of the PR-4000 are that it is very customizable, comes with a variety of attachments, and is affordable.
REP recently added to the versatility of the PR-4000 by releasing the Ares Functional trainer.
If you already have a REP PR-4000 or 5000, you can of course purchase the Ares and attach it to your rack.
If you do have a rack or a functional trainer, getting an Ares functional trainer with PR-4000 added on can be a great way to save money and get added versatility for your home gym.
With a REP PR-4000, you can customize nearly every aspect including:
Pull Up Bar
In terms of the Ares, there is also a lot to like. Unlike other power rack cable attachments, the Ares actually feels quite natural.
With over 30 pulleys, REP really ensured that the weight felt smooth like a normal function trainer. The cables are adjustable via pop pin and glide up and down the rack very easily. The attachment points also swivel a full 180 degrees, making them practical for any exercise.
The dual-weight stacks each have a maximum weight of 260 pounds at a 2:1 ratio. If you want more weight, you get the 50-pound add-on as well.
The Ares also comes with some included attachments as well:
Lat Pull-down Bar
Four 2.5 Add-Ons
Overall, if you are looking for a rack and functional trainer combo, the Ares would be a great way to start your home gym.
- Save money and space by combining a functional trainer and power rack
- 260-pound weight stacks with 50-pound upgrade available
- Comes with pulleys for low rows and pull-downs
- Knurled handles on the pop pin are very nice
- Assembly takes a long time with over 30 pulleys
- Low rows are lower than you would want
- Lose access to the back of the power rack
- Key Feature: Very durable and available on Amazon with prime.
- Dimensions: 65″ L x 43.5″ W x ” 83″ H
- Weight: 810 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 100 pounds
- Price: $2700
Summary Of Xmark Functional Trainer Cable Machine
We understand why some people exclusively shop on Amazon given the ease of use and free shipping and returns. After trying out some of the options, we found the best functional trainer on Amazon to be the XMark functional trainer.
This functional trainer is made with 11-gauge, 2-inch-by-3-inch steel making it one of the heavier-duty options on this list.
One of the best things about these functional trainers is the fact that it goes all the way up to 78 inches from as low as 12 inches. With 19 attachment points, this makes it one of the more adjustable functional trainers on the market.
The dual-weight stacks have a max weight of 200 pounds each at a 2:1 ratio. This Xmark also comes with a split-grip pull-up bar.
The XMark Functional Trainer also comes with one of the best attachment bundles we have seen:
Triceps Pressdown Bar
Multi-grip Revolving Curl Bar
Two Single-Grip Handles
17″ Strap Handles
Pair of 8″ Strap Handles
Leg Extension/Leg Curl Strap
The only downside we found with the Xmark was the frequent customer complaints with assembly. It took us several hours and was certainly not the easiest, but it is doable.
Overall, the X-Mark would be higher on our list if it were not for the $2700 price point. This is still competitive and good value just not as affordable as some of our other options.
- Lots of attachments and accessories included
- Up to 19 different adjustment points allow for more versatility
- Cables are high quality resulting in a smooth, sturdy feel
- Dual weight stacks with a max weight of 200lb at 2:1 ratio
- Slightly more expensive than other options
- Hard to assemble with missing parts and poor instructions being a common complaint
- Key Feature: Smaller and more compact design makes it more affordable and easier to fit in home gyms.
- Dimensions: 78″ H x 53″ W x 34″ L
- Weight: 770 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 90 Pounds
- Price: $2150
Summary Of REP FT3000 Functional Trainer
When it comes to budget functional trainers, the options are few and far between. At $2,150 and made by a quality company like REP, the REP FT-3000 is the cheapest functional trainer with weight stacks that we would feel safe recommending. Anything lower than this likely has questionable build quality or features.
The biggest upside of the REP Fitness FT-3000 is the compact design. With only 34 inches in depth and 53 inches in length, it should fit in most home gym setups with no issues.
The compactness may cause some trouble for taller lifters, but it is nothing you cannot work around.
The main compromise you will be making at this price point is your maximum. The dual-weight stacks have a max weight of 180 pounds at a 2:1 ratio.
This should still be enough for most people, but it is less than other functional trainers. The other drawback is that other than two D-handles, there are no included attachments.
However, I think small compromises like that are to be expected with a budget option. On a plus side, the REP FT-300 ships partially assembled and come with a lifetime frame warranty.
Also, you can find many attachment bundles online and still come out ahead with this REP functional trainer.
- Lower cost
- Comes partially assembled
- Very compact and lightweight for home gym owners
- Dual weight stacks with 180 pounds at 2:1 ratio
- Lower height makes it harder for taller lifters to use
- No attachments included
- Takes some time for cables and pulleys to break in
Elevate your home gym to the next level with the Bells of Steel Functional Trainer. This exceptional piece of equipment offers a multitude of exercise options, superior durability, and an affordable price point, making it the perfect addition to your fitness routine.
- Key Feature: Affordable price and versatility
- Dimensions: 30″ L x 53″ W x 81″ H
- Weight: 560 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 80 Pounds
- Price: $1,899
The Bells of Steel Functional Trainer stands out as an exceptional choice for those seeking affordable yet high-quality equipment. Priced under $2000, it offers one of the best value propositions in the market. Bells of Steel is a renowned company known for producing top-notch gym products at remarkably affordable prices.
Featuring dual-weight stacks with 160 pounds each and a 2:1 pull ratio, this functional trainer delivers sufficient power for most casual to mid-level workout enthusiasts. It enables a wide range of movements, targeting various muscle groups effectively.
One standout feature of the Bells of Steel functional trainer is its aluminum pulleys and smooth bearing set, ensuring minimal drag even during heavy lifts. This enhances the overall user experience and allows for seamless workouts.
The unit also boasts a durable powder coat and four accessory storage spots, providing convenient organization options. While the accessories need to be purchased separately, Bells of Steel offers excellent options in the $19.99 to $59.99 range.
One particularly noteworthy accessory is the multi-grip pull-up bar, which is typically reserved for higher-end trainers. This feature adds versatility to your workouts, allowing for a greater variety of exercises and muscle activation.
For more details, read our full Bells Of Steel Functional Trainer review.
- Excellent price tag below $2000
- Impressive build quality for a budget-friendly functional trainer
- Limited Lifetime warranty for added peace of mind
- Unique multi-grip pull-up bar offering a wide range of muscle-activating options
- Minimal drag, especially considering its affordability
- Maxes out at around 16ls at 2:1 ratio
- 14-gauge steel is on the thinner side
- Key Feature: Much cheaper than other functional trainers and allows you to use your own weight plates.
- Dimensions: 61″ W x 53″ L x 81″ H
- Weight: 178 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 300 pounds
- Price: $1,200
One of the main things that drive the cost of functional trainers up is the weight stacks. Both in terms of material and shipping, the weight stacks are what really make functional trainers one of the pricier items for home gyms.
The beauty of the Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Functional Trainer is that it allows using the weight plates that you likely already have in your home gym.
At just $1,260, you can dramatically cut down on the cost of a functional trainer by using the weights you already paid for.
The way it works is that Titan functional has two Olympic sleeves where you can load your weight. Each sleeve can hold over 300 pounds, meaning that you should have no limitations with this functional trainer.
Despite the low price, this Titan piece also comes with a number of pulleys so you can do low rows and pull-downs. A pull-up bar is included as well.
The main downside to this design is that the process of loading and unloading weights is obviously not as easy or smooth as a pin and weight stack.
However, given the drastic price difference (less than half the cost of most functional trainers), it may something worth dealing with.
- Much cheaper than other functional trainers (less than half)
- Can use weights you already have in your home gym
- 660 lbs weight capacity
- Not the most stable options, moves and shakes with higher weight
- Low row position is not very comfortable
- Key Feature: 11 gym machines in one.
- Dimensions: 79″ W x 67″ L x 91″ H
- Weight: 992 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 144 pounds
- Price: $5,999
When it comes to functional trainers, most can easily be described as versatile. However, most would pale in comparison to the Force USA G-20.
The G-20 can essentially be described as 11 pieces of gym equipment. Sure it may be pricey at $6,000 but it comes with, a power rack, smith machine, functional trainer, core trainer, leg press, and much more.
If that was not enough, the dual weight stacks on this beast are 289 lbs each at a 2:1 ratio for maximum resistance. The frame itself is also made of 11-gauge steel, not that this functional trainer lacks sturdiness.
The entire setup comes with 29 different attachments and 51 adjustment points on the rack thanks to the Westside hole spacing.
The bottom line is that this is truly the one piece of gym equipment to rule them all.
If you have the space and can justify the large price, there is not really anything you can get on the market that comes close to the G-20 in terms of features and versatility.
- 11 gym machines in one
- Westside hole spacing
- 2:1 ratio 289 pound weight stacks for max resistance
- Multiple attachments and accessories included
- Highly durable
- Very expensive
- No barbell storage included
- Complicated assembly
Introducing the Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer: a compact powerhouse designed to elevate your fitness routine. With its expandable weight stacks, adjustable pulleys, and commercial-grade attachments, this versatile trainer offers endless exercise possibilities.
- Key Feature: Commercial grade build quality and adjustability
- Dimensions: 47″ L x 54″ W x 81.5″ H
- Weight: 980 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 80 pounds
- Price: $2,699
Summary Of Inspire Cable Machine
The Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer, a remarkable choice for fitness enthusiasts seeking a compact yet versatile training solution. Built to withstand the test of time, this functional trainer impresses with its durable construction and smooth glide rails, ensuring optimal performance for years to come.
While the FT1 features dual 165-pound weight stacks, its true potential lies in the ability to expand each stack by an additional 50 pounds, delivering an effective pull of 215 pounds. This customizable feature allows for progressive resistance, accommodating users of varying strength levels and goals.
With 30 adjustable starting positions, the fully adjustable pulleys offer a wide range of exercise options, providing ample room for creativity and targeting specific muscle groups. The FT1 includes a comprehensive set of attachments, including a Multi-Functional Belt, Easy Curl Bar, Straight Bar, Ankle Cuff, Swing Handle, Tricep Rope, 2 Single Handles, and two 5-pound add-on weights. These attachments, boasting commercial-grade quality, further enhance the versatility and functionality of the trainer.
Ideal for home gyms with limited space, the FT1’s dimensions of 47″ depth, 54″ width, and 81.5″ height make it a space-efficient choice without compromising on performance. Its narrow design appeals to garage gym owners, ensuring maximum utilization of available space.
Although the pull-up bar may not offer as many grip options as some competitors, its fixed design still allows for various grips, contributing to a well-rounded upper body workout.
Moreover, the Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the frame and parts, providing peace of mind and reinforcing its reputation as a reliable investment in long-term fitness goals.
- Boasts a build quality that rivals commercial-grade equipment, ensuring exceptional durability.
- Includes a wide array of accessories to diversify your workouts.
- Compact design perfect for those with limited workout space.
- Smooth operation with minimal resistance for seamless movements.
- Provides an extensive range of handle positions for versatile exercises.
- Backed by a lifetime limited warranty for residential use and a 10-year light-commercial warranty, ensuring long-term peace of mind.
- Max effective resistance is 80 pounds
- Pull up bar is not as versatile as other options
Discover the BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer: a compact powerhouse offering versatile workouts with its pull-up bar, 7 included attachments, and lifetime warranty. Experience the convenience of 31 height positions and unleash your fitness potential today.
- Key Feature: Small dimensions
- Dimensions: 56″ W x 40″ L x 82″ H
- Weight: 150 pounds
- Max Effective Resistance: 100 pounds
- Price: $2500
The BodyCraft HFT Functional Trainer stands out as an excellent choice for individuals seeking a high-quality functional trainer that offers affordability. While it shares similarities with the Inspire Fitness FT1 and the XMark trainer, it possesses several distinct features.
One notable advantage of the HFT is its weight stacks, which are set at 150 lbs. Although relatively lighter compared to other models, this is justified by its more affordable price. Additionally, users have the option to purchase extra weights if required.
The HFT boasts fully adjustable pulleys that can be used independently, enhancing the versatility of your workouts. Moreover, it includes seven different handles and an exercise booklet to facilitate a comprehensive exercise routine.
In terms of space efficiency, the HFT excels with its compact design, measuring only 55 inches in width. This makes it ideal for individuals with limited space available for workout equipment.
However, the most impressive feature of the HFT is its lifetime warranty, covering both the frame and parts. This exceptional warranty is unparalleled in its price range, making the HFT an even more enticing option.
Overall, the BodyCraft HFT surpasses expectations as an outstanding investment and is arguably the top choice for those seeking a budget-friendly functional trainer.
- Ideal for compact spaces.
- The pull-up bar enables versatile grip variations, including wide and narrow movements.
- The trainer comes with a remarkable assortment of 7 attachments, one of the most extensive selections found.
- A high-quality workout booklet is included to assist you in your exercise regimen.
- Residential Warranty: Lifetime coverage for the frame and parts.
- The trainer offers an impressive 31 height positions, surpassing many other options in the market.
- Only 150 pounds weigh stacks, however you can upgrade for only $200
What Is A Functional Trainer?
Functional trainers have become a bit of a broad term in recent years but it generally refers to pieces of gym equipment that allow you to train (functional) everyday movements.
Since these normally require moving your body through all the ranges of motion, they most commonly use dual cable pulleys and weight stacks.
Since they are very adjustable, a functional trainer can be used to virtually train any muscle you can think of. You could easily do any style of full body workout that you wanted to.
While they can be used for more functional exercises, most people tend to use them for more isolation based movements.
Functional trainers are usually some of the more expensive pieces of gym equipment. Even with modern companies designing more affordable options for home gym owners, they are still quite pricey for most people.
When it comes to the price, you just have to remember that you are getting a versatile piece of equipment in a rather compact form.
How Did We Rank And Compare These Functional Trainers
Since there are so many functional trainers on the market, we had to set some clear criteria to pick the best. Here are the main factors our team used to pick the best functional trainer:
Since this is very expensive equipment, we wanted to make sure that each of the functional trainers that we suggested was built to last. Frames made of thicker steel like 11 gauge scored higher. The same could be said of the cables and pulleys used.
We also made assumptions based on how the functional trainers performed with the max weight stacks being used. The more rugged functional trainers remained stable while some of the cheaper options tended to be shakier.
After assembling every functional trainer on this list, I can tell your firsthand that functional trainers are a burden to assemble.
Functional trainers that came partially assembled, had good instructions or had no missing parts scored higher.
Aside from budget, one of the main limiting factors that prevent home gym owners from getting a functional trainer is the size. Most people are operating with certain constraints in their home gym.
In our eyes, the best functional trainer carefully walked the line between being too big to fit in most people’s homes and being too small and not allowing for a full range of motion. Compact functional trainers were preferred if they did not make any compromises in terms of weight or range of motion.
Cables and Pulleys
Most functional trainers will just feature two pulleys with one on each side. Functional trainers that featured additional pulleys and allowed for rows and pull-downs were better in our opinion.
Also, the overall experience was considered. The smoothness of the cables and ease of adjustment were taken into account.
Weight stacks were easier to rank as this is a case where more is always better. We focused on effective resistance instead of maximum weight as this would be a more accurate measure of what resistance the functional trainer could actually produce.
Another factor that we considered was the increments. Weight stacks that went up in smaller amounts and allowed for more adjustments scored higher.
Attachments and Accessories
On their own attachments are not that expensive. But if you are buying lots of them, the prices can begin to add up quickly.
We liked functional trainers that included large attachment bundles. The more the better in this regard.
Accessories are things like weight add-ons and pull-up bars. Naturally, functional trainers with multi-grip pull-up bars that allowed you to perform pull-ups in different styles were preferred.
For versatility, the main thing we looked at was whether or not the functional trainer came with additional machines as well.
From our point of view, the best functional trainer in terms of versatility would not just be a functional trainer but also come with other functionality like a power rack, smith machine, or more.
Another minor factor here were the total attachment points. Functional trainers that had more options for setting the pulleys were better off.
With few exceptions, most functional trainers on the market will have a lifetime frame warranty. You will want to look into the specifics in terms of the pulleys and cables as there can be more variance here.
Given the high cost of a functional trainer, I would suggest doing your research on the terms and conditions of your warranty.
The reality of the functional trainer market is that a high-quality functional trainer will easily cost you more than $2000. But while looking at and comparing these functional trainers, we sought out those that delivered the best value.
So a more expensive functional trainer would not necessarily be better. We instead compared how the price stacked up against the specs and features. The best functional trainers had a combination of rich features at an affordable price.
Functional Trainer Benefits
Here are the main reasons why you should consider making a functional trainer the latest addition to your home gym:
The biggest benefit of owning a functional trainer is that you can basically work any muscle in your body with just a few adjustments. I myself have had workouts that just consisted of functional trainers while I was testing all of these out.
It is really incredible the number of movements you can do for each body part. Here are just a few of the best functional trainer exercises:
Chest: Chest Cable Fly, Cable Chest Press
Back: Pull-downs, Low Rows, Single Arm Rows, Lat Pullovers
Shoulders: Cable Lateral Raises, Shoulder Press, Upright Rows, Facepulls
Biceps: Hammer Curls, EZ Bar Curls, Behind The Back Curls
Triceps: Extensions, Push downs
The cable hook style of functional trainers mean that you can use a variety of different attachments. Since there will not be any sort of compatibility issues, you can keep upgrading over time and trying the new things that companies keep on releasing.
The main advantage of attachments is that there is something out for every specific to target a specific muscle group or help with a particular issue. Here are some of the main attachments you should look into:
EZ Curl Bar
Lat Pulldown Bar
The other great thing about functional trainers is that there are some of the safest and most beginner-friendly machines on the market.
Unlike some free weight exercises that require precise form and spotters, the functional trainer is very easy to use and does not pose a significant risk of injury to the user if used incorrectly.
All you really have to do is move the pin to your desired position and attach whichever attachment you choose to use. From there, you are good to go and can let at any point with no risk of getting trapped under a barbell.
Great For Rehabilitation
Functional trainers were initially designed to mimic many of the same movements that physical therapists would suggest to their clients.
The constant resistance of the cables, high degree of variation, and ease of use make it a perfect tool for those coming back from an injury.
When you start out, just keep in mind that the lowest weight is likely all you need after a prolonged period of inactivity. From there, one position up on the weight stack is enough to continuously challenge you as you get stronger and stronger.
Offers Lots Of Value To A Home Gym
It may like a stretch, since most decent functional trainers retail for over $2000, but the reality is that compared to alternatives, functional trainers are very cost-effective.
When you consider that you can work every muscle in your body in almost every type of way. you begin to see the value in a functional trainer. The only somewhat comparable alternative is a set of dumbbells. But a full set of dumbbells can easily double if not triple the cost of a functional trainer.
How Long Does A Functional Trainer Last
I would put a functional trainer in the same category of gym equipment as barbells and squat racks in terms of durability.
If you buy a good functional trainer from a quality company then you can easily expect it to last a lifetime with basic maintenance.
The frame itself is highly durable, what you want to look out for is usually the wear and tear on the pulleys and cables. These pieces are usually not included in the warranty and may need to be replaced after a few years.
Final Verdict On Best Home Gym Functional Trainer
In our opinion, we think that the REP FT-5000 is the best overall functional trainer for most people. The affordable prices and abundance of features made it a winner.
If you are looking for something with more premium features and a smith machine as well, the Inspire Fitness FT2 functional trainer has exactly what you need.
Lastly, if you are looking for a more affordable option, the REP FT-3000 offers many of the benefits of the 5000 in a smaller, cheaper package.
What does a functional trainer do?
A functional trainer can essentially do anything when it comes to providing resistance. The dual cables and weight stacks allow you to adjust where the resistance comes from meaning that you work all of your muscle groups.
Are functional trainers worth it?
Functional trainers are very expensive in terms of home gyms. However, you have to realize that you are getting a lot of versatility for in a compact design. If you are looking for a piece of gym equipment that pretty much do it all, it is hard to beat a functional trainer.
Can you build muscle with a functional trainer?
Yes, you can build muscle with a functional trainer. Most functional trainers provide plenty of resistance and since you can adjust the direction, you can basically work every muscle in your body.
What if I cannot afford a functional trainer?
Functional trainers can be very expensive, so this is understandable. You should build a DIY pulley system while you save up for a functional trainer.