If you are undecided as to which piece of strength equipment you should own and keep in your home or fitness studio, a functional trainer is an excellent option. These pieces have the most diversity of any plate loaded machine and can allow you to break away from the standard “Old School” training to literally be more functional and fit.
So what is a functional trainer?
A functional trainer is a piece of equipment which incorporates multiple cables (usually 2) and attachments so you can perform any directional movements such as pulls, fly’s, curls and everything in between. The pulley system on these units can be calibrated both up and down as well as internally and externally for a great range of movement during your exercise.
A functional trainer means there are no limits, you have total control of all your body parts when it comes to training! If you have or have had a gym membership you probably noticed that the functional trainers are always in use and there’s plenty of good reasons for that!
Let’s look at 5 awesome benefits of functional trainers…
1. Mega Variations / Spoilt for choice
The biggest benefit of owning a functional trainer is the sheer amount of exercises you can perform on them. You really can work every single body part in such dynamic fashion.
You can enjoy full and varied sessions on a functional trainer whether you are into full body training or split training.
Below are just a few examples of exercises you can perform on a functional trainer:
- Arms: Bicep curls, hammer curls, overhead triceps extensions.
- Shoulders: Cable crossovers, shoulder press, lat raise, reverse fly’s, upright rows.
- Back: Rows, pull downs, single arm rows, straight-arm pushdowns.
- Chest: Cable fly’s, chest press from any angle.
- Legs: Glute kickbacks, straight-legged deadlift, cable squats, leg raises.
These machines deliver excellent functional training for everyone especially as assistance movements for athletes.
Here is a great video outlining some of the excellent choices you can use from this great piece:
2. Attachments galore
Because of the nature of functional machines and the cable hooks you can indulge in a variety of different attachments.
This is a huge advantage as having different attachments allows you to target different heads of the muscle groups and progress exercises. For example to train biceps you could do hammer curls with a rope attachment and bicep curls with a straight barbell.
You can indulge in rope attachments, barbells, handles, straps, harnesses, tri-bar attachments and much more. With a variety of attachments your workouts can remain varied and different.
A big problem that occurs in gyms with free weight equipment is that people shy away from certain exercises and equipment because they either haven’t got the confidence or a spotter to assist with the exercise.
A functional machine is nice and easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck on a weight bench or getting buried under plates.
All you have to do is move the pin to the weight you can manage so there are no embarrassing mishaps. This makes them perfect for a home gym as you will feel confident and in total control of all your movements.
The other great thing about functional machines is that you don’t have to keep purchasing extra weight as they come pre-loaded with all the weight you need.
4. Beneficial for rehabilitation
Functional machines are also super for rehabilitation. Functional training is actually from the world of rehabilitation.
The machines were developed to mimic those exercises prescribed by therapists to enable patients to develop strength in muscles after operations or injury.
They can provide a very gentle form or resistance for most muscles in the body. They are also excellent for progression as you can increase the weights you use accordingly.
5. Extremely cost effective
Functional machines are extremely cost effective. Though they may seem to carry a heavy price tag (Generally around $3K) these units allow you to train almost every single body part and you don’t need to purchase extra weights, dumbbells or any other expensive machinery.
If you want to perform highly effective workouts and really benefit from excellent resistance training all from the comfort of your own home, there’s no better machine than the functional trainer. There is no better bang for the buck in a fitness studio either. Ad a set of dumbbells and you are set from the strength side of things.
What’s more you don’t even need much space for it, just enough for the machine will do. Effectively the machine is an all-in-one gym! It doesn’t matter what your ability level is.
Functional trainers are an excellent piece of equipment to use. They are hugely versatile in every way. Perfect for resistance training as well as assistance exercises to excel in your chosen sport or hobby. You can enjoy a whole host of beneficial attachments to progress or change up your exercises if you need to. They also allow you to work out safely alone with the confidence of knowing you will be just fine.
These pieces are also great for rehabilitation and are extremely cost effective. What’s more there are so many available exercise plans on the net if you need a helping hand. You can download whole functional machine exercise plans so there’s no stopping you!
What more could you want from a piece of equipment?