Get Ripped: The Best Functional Training Machines

Whether you’re looking to set up a gym in your neighborhood or want to work out without leaving the comfort of your home, a functional training machine is a must consider, and even possibly, a must have! Cable crossover machines or cable gyms, as they are sometimes referred to, are not only perfect for full-body workouts but are also extremely versatile and durable. Basically, they’re a gym all in one, which also means that they’re a much cheaper option to build strength in all those muscles instead of buying different individual pieces of gym equipment.

If you’ve been considering getting a functional training machine or just want to know what’s selling hot on the market right now, you’ve come to the right place.

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Getting one without knowing what to look for is obviously not the best thing to do and even with functional trainers, one size may not fit all! This article will not only cover ‘Functional Training Machines 101’ but also tell you why having one could be advantageous and what to look for when getting yourself this equipment.

As Maria von Trapp famously sang, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!”

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine with Dual 200 lb Weight Stacks, 19 Adjustments, and Accessory Package XM-7626 (Gray)
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XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and well reputed for its large product line and quality product offerings, XMark is an obvious choice when it comes to gym equipment. This functional trainer from the company is highly versatile, catering to users of all age groups in the household/gym, and comes with an array of impressive features!

Features

  • 200-pound dual-stack system
  • Quick-adjust pulleys that come with 19 different settings (spaced at 3.5 inches)
  • Interchangeable accessories
  • Included accessories are:
    • A pair of 17-inch long strap handles
    • A short bar
    • A 42-inch long bar
    • A pair of 8-inch hand straps
    • A 23-inch triceps rope
    • A leg extension curl strap
    • An ankle strap
    • A workout poster (with 36 different exercise options)
  • A heavy-duty 11-gauge 2x3 inches steel mainframe
  • Commercial-grade pulley system and pull-up rig
  • Cables extend 81 inches from the pulley
  • Weight of 827 pounds (65 x 43 x 83 inches)
  • Space between pulleys and weight stacks is 60 and 48 inches, respectively
  • Powder-coated scratch-resistant equipment and rubber-coated weights

Extremely durable and smooth, the equipment presents unlimited training opportunities, including isolateral-based movements, muscle targeting, pull-ups and chin-ups. The equipment can be bought at its most basic or upgraded version and with a bench, as well; the price varies accordingly, though around $2,100 seems to be the base. Overall, an excellent option!

What Is A Functional Training Machine?

Despite the fancy-sounding name, a cable machine or a functional training machine first found popularity among rehabilitating athletes and specialists at sports clinics for their use in functional training, where the goal is to perform day-to-day activities or Activities of Daily Living (ADL)in the safest way possible while applying the least amount of effort. And like they say, practice makes perfect, which is what a functional training machine enables, with its adjustable pulleys and unlimited range of motion (more on this later!).

Cable cross over machines are a great addition to any gym. They offer a wide variety of exercise options in a small amount of space. Increasingly, these machines have found a wide fan base among home-workout enthusiasts, possibly for the range of exercises you can do on them.

This is the piece of fitness equipment that every gym owner has and everyone uses.

You literally can do so many exercise with it. Some common ones are the tricep extensions with the rope or cables. You can do chest cross overs, tricep kickbacks, pull ups, curls, use the leg attachments on the cables to do glut kicks, shoulder shrugs and on and on...... You can throw an olympic workout bench in there too and you will have everything you need!

For an ever wider variety of workouts, there are combination units that can be used with power racks and smith machines. This is simply a must have for any gym owner or any home owner who has the cash to take their home gym to a level they will never need to leave it to workout!

Best Functional Trainer Cable Machine Reviews

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine with Dual 200 lb Weight Stacks, 19 Adjustments, and Accessory Package XM-7626 (Gray)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine

With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and well reputed for its large product line and quality product offerings, XMark is an obvious choice when it comes to gym equipment. This functional trainer from the company is highly versatile, catering to users of all age groups in the household/gym, and comes with an array of impressive features!

Features

  • 200-pound dual-stack system
  • Quick-adjust pulleys that come with 19 different settings (spaced at 3.5 inches)
  • Interchangeable accessories
  • Included accessories are:
    • A pair of 17-inch long strap handles
    • A short bar
    • A 42-inch long bar
    • A pair of 8-inch hand straps
    • A 23-inch triceps rope
    • A leg extension curl strap
    • An ankle strap
    • A workout poster (with 36 different exercise options)
  • A heavy-duty 11-gauge 2x3 inches steel mainframe
  • Commercial-grade pulley system and pull-up rig
  • Cables extend 81 inches from the pulley
  • Weight of 827 pounds (65 x 43 x 83 inches)
  • Space between pulleys and weight stacks is 60 and 48 inches, respectively
  • Powder-coated scratch-resistant equipment and rubber-coated weights

Extremely durable and smooth, the equipment presents unlimited training opportunities, including isolateral-based movements, muscle targeting, pull-ups and chin-ups. The equipment can be bought at its most basic or upgraded version and with a bench, as well; the price varies accordingly, though around $2,100 seems to be the base. Overall, an excellent option!

REP FITNESS Functional Trainer with Performance Attachment Package and AB-3000
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

REP FITNESS FT-5000 Multi-Grip Functional Trainer

This functional trainer boasts 16 different selectable cable positions and a 220-pound dual-stack system; a great challenge even for the Paul Anderson aspirants! Bigger, better and easy on your pocket, the FT-5000 is strong and reliable.

Features

  • One of the biggest weight-stack options in the market
  • An 11-gauge steel-constructed frame for durability
  • Larger pulleys
  • 16 different cable positions and multiple pull-up grip options
  • Included exercise guide
  • 6 hooks for additional attachments
  • Dual-layer electrostatic metallic-black powder coating

Accommodative of users regardless of their age, height or fitness level, the FT-5000 is great for full-body workouts as well as split training. Its heavy-duty construction doesn’t restrict its range of motion and smoothness. For its price, it’s a worthy investment.

Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer Cable Machine, Dual 160 Lb. Weight Stacks
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer

One of the cheaper options, the Powerline Functional Trainer is a great buy regardless of your fitness level. The dual weight-stack system is designed for extraordinary performance and has a ton of features to back it up.

Features

  • A dual 160-pound weight-stack system that can be upgraded to 210 pounds.
  • Pulleys that can be adjusted vertically and have a 180-degree motion range.
  • A no-cable change design for seamless transitioning between exercises.
  • 20 different starting positions, spaced 3.2 inches apart.
  • Two adjustable nylon cable handles that facilitate a range of exercises.
  • A knurled chinning bar included.
  • Weight of 509 pounds (42.3 x 62.6 x 83 inches).
  • 10-year warranty on the frame and 1 year on all other parts.

With or without an added bench or stability ball, this functional trainer facilitates a variety of different exercises, such as fly and crunch movements and isolateral-based movements. Whether your goal is performance, flexibility, rehabilitation or strength training, the Powerline Functional Trainer is a must consider!

MiM USA Full Gym Equipment Set of Functional Trainer Smith Machine Power Cage All in One Gym Machine SM+FT 1001 Pro (Machine Combo)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

MiM USA Functional Trainer and Smith Machine Combo

Another excellent functional-trainer-option, the MiM USA Functional Trainer is a safe bet for strength training and rehabilitation. Its asymmetrical design facilitates better weight balance and space saving while its “all-in-one” nature can facilitate a range of exercises such as chest presses, squats, tricep extensions, arm curls, seated rows, chest flies, morning exercises and the like.

Features

  • Combo multi-functional trainer.
  • Weighs 480 pounds.
  • Dimensions of 60 x 80 x 87 inches.
  • 555-pound weight-plate storage.
  • Includes a solid weight rod, copper bushing and adjustable cable length.
  • The chrome-plated sleeves enable barbell bars, lat bar storage, curl and straight bars storage, plate positions and standard and Olympic bars storage.
  • Spring clips of different sizes.
  • Rubber stopper and long slide tube for a smooth slide.
  • Knurling handles with a variety of grips and angle design that facilitate a variety of pull-ups.
  • Safety hook.
  • Short and long safety catch.
  • Alloy knobs and study dip grips.
  • Digital adjustable height.

Remember, as we’re sure you’ve figured, it’s a Smith Machine Combo, which means you’ll have to use olympic weight plates instead of stacks. You can either buy the machine combo or the machine-and-bench combo.

Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer (150 lb. Stacks)
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HFT Functional Trainer

Despite its weight of 710 pounds, the HFT FunctionalTrainer is one of the more compact options available. Whether the goal is strength building, sport specific or functional training, this trainer has you covered and even better, lets you customize the machine based on your needs and speed.

Features

  • Independently adjustable cable columns that can manage 31 different positions.
  • 180-degree range of motion in the cable columns pulleys.
  • The cables can extend 79.5 inches from the machine.
  • Flexible nylon-coated construction combined with heavy plate steel and 11-gauge platinum-gray-coated oval steel tubing.
  • Powder coating for an excellent finish.
  • 7 x 19 strand aircraft cables that can max out over 2000 pounds of tensile strength.
  • Dimensions of 56 x 40 x 82 inches.
  • Accessories include:
    • Long and short bars
    • An assisted pull-up/push-up strap
    • 2 chains
    • An ankle strap
    • A triceps rope
    • An attached exercise book
    • Two single handles
  • Built-in multi-grip chin-up bar.
  • 150-pound dual weight-stack system (that can be upgraded to 200 pounds each).

Designed specifically for home usage and light commercial workouts, the HFT is a great buy. It is ergonomically designed and its aesthetic appearance screams “quality”! Just as a side note, don’t fall for cables that provide significantly higher amounts of tensile strength than 2,000 pounds; these have a much less effective stack weight.

Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer
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Inspire Fitness FTX 7

All of 544 pounds and 40 x 54 x 85 inches, we have the Inspire Fitness FTX 7 in the blue corner, ladies and gentlemen! This functional trainer is the epitome of “simple yet effective”, versatile and durable in every sense. With a heavy-duty steel construction powder coated to a matte black finish, the FTX 7 is as pleasing to the eyes as Holly Flax is to Michael Scott.

Features

  • 165-pound dual weight-stacks
  • 30 pulley positions
  • Accessories include:
    • A pair of deluxe D-Handles
    • A curl bar
    • A chin/dip belt
    • A triceps rope
  • Facility to isolate each pulley to allow independent movements
  • Limited Lifetime warranty on the frame as well as the parts

The FTX 7 is every bit a one-stop-shop as its award-winning sibling, the FT1. Especially great for functional training, this functional trainer has found fans among critics and users alike!

Inspire Fitness" Ft2 Functional Trainer/Smith Station
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Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer

Like its awesome elder brother, the FT2 trainer is guaranteed by its manufacturers to be the “take her home to meet your mom”, “cream of the crop” functional trainer. Uniquely designed to integrate a Smith machine with Olympic weight stacks and a bar, this trainer comes with a dual pulley system and lets you achieve any fitness goal, be it strengthening, weight loss, rehabilitation, functional training, or sport-specific improvement through exercises that incorporate your core and stabilize your muscles.

Features

  • Two 165-pound weight stacks with magnetic weight pin for ensured safety.
  • Accessories include:
    • A triceps rope
    • 2 rubber D-Handles
    • A dual-hook straight bar
    • EZ curl bar
    • An ankle strap
    • 2 water bottles
    • A sport handle
    • A multi-function belt
    • 2 5-pound additional weights
    • An exercise booklet
  • The option of adding a preacher curl, leg extensions, leg conversion kit, abdominal bar and SCS bench.
  • Precision steel ball-bearing system for seamless and maintenance-free action.
  • Dimensions of 61 x 58 x 83 inches.
  • 32 pulley positions.
  • Height-adjustable pull-up bar.
  • Residential: Limited Lifetime warranty on the frame and parts.
  • Light Commercial: Limited 10-year warranty on the frame and parts.

Despite its slightly pricey tag, the FT2 is sure to be a great addition to your gym!

FORCE USA Monster G3 Power Rack, Functional Trainer & Smith Machine Combo Base
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FORCE USA Monster G3 Power Rack, Functional Trainer & Smith Machine Combo Base

Few functional trainers come as loaded as the Force USA Monster Functional Trainer; its range of included accessories truly make it a one-stop-shop! The trainer manages to perfectly combine a Smith machine, a cable pulley system and a power rack to give you the best of all worlds, facilitating 75 different exercises!

Features

  • Highly space effective.
  • Includes commercial-grade adjustable J-Hooks and Safeties.
  • 992 pounds and 51 x 55 x 87 inches.
  • Includes a multi-grip chin-up station with knurling.
  • Includes a landmine (with handle) to meet core training needs.
  • Compatible with Olympic and standard barbells.
  • Band pegs for increased resistance.
  • Built-in storage for accessories and weight plates.
  • 2 mm nylon-coated aircraft quality cables with the ability to withstand 2,000 pounds of tensile strength.
  • Optional attachments include a stability bar, lat pull-down seat and a leg press.
  • 50 different adjustment options.
  • Accessories include:
    • A cambered bar
    • A straight bar
    • A small-grip frame bar
    • A V-Type Handle
    • An ankle strap
    • Nylon Stirrup Handles
    • A triceps pull-down rope

Coming in at a very competitive price, the deal doesn’t get much sweeter than this; the Monster G3 functional trainer can definitely meet all your training needs!

Why Own a Functional Training Machine?

There are a ton of advantages that come with owning a functional training machine, such as:

  • Extremely cost effective as they are a relatively cheap option when compared to buying individual gym equipment.
  • A full-body workout or split training.
  • Requires less space to set up.
  • Versatility and therefore, increased enthusiasm due to the variety in your exercise routine.
  • Ensures safety despite the lack of a spotter due to the minimal effort required.
  • Multiple attachment choices, such as handles, tri-bar attachments, straps, rope attachments, barbells, and harnesses.
  • Great for rehabilitation due to the gentle resistance and facility of progression.

To further its cause, the following exercisescan be performed using a functional training machine:

  • Pull-ups and push-ups.
  • Arm exercises such as bicep curls, hammer curls and overhead tricep extensions.
  • Back exercises such as rows, straight-arm pushdowns, pulldowns, and single-arm rows.
  • Rotations.
  • Chest exercises such as bench press exercises and cable flies.
  • Leg exercises such as squats, lunges, glute kickbacks, leg raises and straight-legged deadlifts.
  • Shoulder exercises such as lateral raises, reverse flies, cable crossovers, upright rows and shoulder presses.

What to Look for in a Functional Trainer

The best functional trainers should be able to run longer than The Simpsons has on television, have pulleys smoother than MJ and be backed by a superb warranty. In addition to this, they should offer a wide range of exercise possibilities and fulfill their intended function of a home gym system perfectly. The right equipment will negate the need for you to ever step into a gym again!

Here are some features you should look for while choosing your functional trainer.

Pulleys

Safe to say, these are the most essential parts of a cable gym which means they should be smooth in functioning and fully adjustable. 

Most high-end trainers will let you adjust the pulley by 3 inches or so. 

Also, ensure that you can access both the lower and upper pulley positions to make the best use of the system for a varied exercise regime. Additionally, look for long pulleys; these offer a larger range of motion and will facilitate better lunges and weighted sprints.

Unless you’re buying the machine straight from the store, you won’t be able to try out the pulleys prior to your purchase; in such cases, user reviews will tell you everything you need to know!

Weight Stacks

The best thing about weight stacks, which most machines use today, is that you don’t have to bother about switching out your plates or buying and storing your plates separately, as the resistance is built into the machine itself. However, if you’re looking for a trainer that accommodates a power rack combo unit or is part of a Smith machine, you may need to stick to plates.

The most important thing to consider, though, is whether you want a single or dual weight stack system. Dual weight stacks are recommended unless you’re working on a budget, as this doubles the total available resistance and also facilitates two-person workouts, depending on the exercise.  

Additionally, remember that the weight of the weight stack will differ based on the machine itself. The standard stacks come at 150, 165 and 200 pounds; however, you’ll only be lifting half the selected weight while the machine bears the rest, so 200 pounds will feel only like 100 pounds. Therefore, if you want a workout that really challenges you, pick the one that offers the most resistance. If that’s a piece of cake (and with effort, it will become, in due time), you can always buy additional weight stacks up to 50 pounds or so per stack (at a separate cost, of course).

Warranty

As we said, a great warranty offer is highly important given that the machine is subject to wear and tear. Additionally, parts could break, so most sellers offer warranties for the frame and parts. Better yet, look for a lifetime warranty; if that isn’t available, 10 years is a pretty decent offer to settle for. Generally, the more expensive the machine, the higher the offered warranty, so don’t fall for the price tag and invest in a cheaper set which doesn’t give you a good warranty; you’ll be thankful in the long run.

Attachments

Some of the common attachments that come with trainers are:

  • Short and long bars
  •  
  • D-Handles
  • Sports bars
  • Triceps ropes
  • EZ curl bars
  • Multi-purpose belts
  • Ankle cuffs
  • Pull-up bars

The number of attachments varies depending on the brand. Sometimes, this could be the defining factor when it comes to similar equipment. Benches, preacher curl attachments and leg developers (if compatible) are sold separately.

Size

Of course, you’ll need a functional trainer that fits into the designated space in your house. Considering that they can take up quite a bit of space as well as additional space for exercising and the bench (if used), pay attention to the dimensions of the equipment. Additionally, the average dual-stack trainer can weigh up to 800 pounds, so moving can be a problem; ensure you have the logistics all planned out.

The Last Word

XMark Functional Trainer Cable Machine with Dual 200 lb Weight Stacks, 19 Adjustments, and Accessory Package XM-7626 (Gray)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Though this guide gave you a list of the best functional trainers available in the market, the only opinion that matters finally is your own. This doesn’t mean you discount user reviews and guides such as this one, but remember that one size doesn’t fit all and finding the right functional trainer requires an investment of research and a little effort.

Consider your training needs, your budget and the available space before you decide on the final candidate. Most importantly, know what to look for! Once you have that sorted, you may not even need a guide or list of the best functional trainers in the market (though we’ve always got your back!) and can even start to look outside of these.

That being said, there’s very little room for error if you go with one of our picks, honestly. These machines are super easy to use, highly effective, easy on the wallet, and most importantly, all-in-one gyms. Think of the money you could save on gym memberships throughout the years! What more could one ask for, right?

Additionally, especially if you’re still learning the ropes, take it slow! Make sure you have ample space to work out, ask for assistance if you need, check your purchased equipment carefully for any sign of damage and don’t modify the equipment if you don’t know what you’re doing! Keep these in mind to prevent injuries and safety hazards.

So, then! Let the workouts begin!

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