Many have dual functions, allowing you to perform numerous exercises on just one piece of equipment. Consider your goals, experience and workout schedule when planning your multi-gym workout.

Who the Multi-Gym is For

While free-weights are often considered the best form of training for building muscle, beginners may benefit from fixed-weight machines, according to the trainer and bodybuilder Lee Hayward. Tools are easier to use, require less balance and coordination, and carry a lower risk of injury for someone starting out. When choosing your multi-gym, look for one that has at least one exercise for every major body part– your legs, chest, shoulders, back, and arms.

Total-Body Workout

With a multi-gym, however, you’re limited in exercise selection, which makes full-body training a better option. Most multi-gyms will have all of these, but if not, work in a substitute exercise such as shoulder presses instead of lateral raises or machine rows instead of chin-ups.

Make the Most of Your Time

For a twist on a basic multi-gym workout, trainer Joe Wuebben of Muscle and Fitness recommends a timed circuit. You’ll pick six exercises and perform each for five minutes, getting a maximum number of reps but resting as needed. Perform chest presses, leg presses, lat pull-downs or seated rows, cable pushdowns, machine preacher curls and machine lateral raises.

The Details

Hire a trainer to help you learn the techniques required for performing multi-gym exercises if you’re new to weight training. Additionally, if you’re using a home multi-gym, make sure it’s installed and set up correctly before you use it. The way multi-gyms are designed allows you to make small weight increments, so aim to lift a bit heavier or increase your reps on every exercise in each workout.

The type of available activities depends on the particular model of the machine, but most equipment enables workouts for all of the major muscle groups. When you design a home gym workout, give priority to exercises that work for more than one muscle group simultaneously.

Upper Back Exercises

If you work at an office or spend most of your day hunched over a computer, you might have a muscular imbalance between your chest and back muscles. Two home gym exercises– the lat-pulldown and the seated row– address these muscular imbalances.

Chest Exercises

The chest press feature engages your pectoral muscles, which support proper breathing. Your triceps in the backs of your arms assist your pectoral muscles as you straighten your arms. Some home-gym resistance training gyms come with adjustable benches, which let you work your pectoral muscles from the incline position, to work your upper chest, and the decline position, to work your lower pectoral muscles.

Leg, gluteal and hip Workouts

The leg press and the squat facilitate multi-joint lower body exercises, which engage the gluteal, quadriceps and hamstrings muscle groups. Closed-chain exercise compresses your leg joints and enhances joint stability. The hamstring curl is an open chain, but nonetheless significant leg exercise.

Abdominal Workouts

A cable-based home gym machine lets you add resistance to your abdominal workouts. Cable home gym machines also facilitate standing wood chop exercises, which simulate the rotary movements used in various sports.

Aerobic Exercise

With a multi-gym, however, you’re limited in exercise selection, which makes full-body training a better option. Most multi-gyms will have all of these, but if not, work in a substitute exercise such as shoulder presses instead of lateral raises or machine rows instead of chin-ups.

When choosing your multi-gym, look for one that has at least one exercise for every major body part– your legs, chest, shoulders, back and arms.

Most home gyms allow either aerobic, or resistance training exercise, but some machines facilitate both. Jump rope for 10 minutes in between each strength training exercise.

If you’re new to weight training, hire a trainer to help you learn the techniques required for performing multi-gym exercises. The way multi-gyms are designed allows you to make small weight increments, so aim to lift a bit heavier or increase your reps on every exercise in each workout.