Picking the best functional trainer is no easy task. They are not all equal and have different features and price ranges.
It’s one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment you could get for your home gym. This means investing in one of these bad boys is bound to pay off in the long run.
To find the best functional trainer, I’ve spent 20 hours researching over 40 models. I also spoke to our in-house personal trainers to get their opinion about them.
The buyer’s guide later has more information about how we chose and explains which factors you need to consider when deciding on your purchase.
But if you’re in a hurry my top pick is the XMark Functional Trainer for overall quality and price.
- 5 Best Functional Trainer
- 1. Best Functional Trainer – our pick: XMark XM-7626 Functional Trainer
- 2. Best Functional Trainer – upgrade pick: Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer
- 3. Best Functional Trainer for Accessories: Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer
- 4. Best Compact Functional Trainer: HCI Fitness PTX Folding Functional Trainer
- 5. Best Functional Trainer – our pick: Body-Solid Best Fitness BFFT10R Functional Trainer
- Functional Trainer Buyer’s Guide
- Functional Trainer FAQs
- Best Functional Trainer- The Bottom Line
5 Best Functional Trainer
In a hurry to break a sweat? Check out the current price with any of the links below…
- Best Functional Trainer – our pick: XMark XM-7626 Functional Trainer
- Best premium functional trainer pick: Body-Solid Powerline PFT100 Functional Trainer
- Best Functional Trainer for Accessories: Inspire Fitness FTX Functional Trainer
- Best Compact Functional Trainer: HCI Fitness PTX Folding Functional Trainer
- Best Budget Functional Trainer: Body-Solid Best Fitness BFFT10R Functional Trainer
Here is why these models made the cut…
If you’re looking for versatility, the Xmark functional trainer is the perfect option for your home gym.
It’s a well-respected and trusted brand in the world of gym equipment, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best functional trainers currently available.
Dual-weight stacks provide up to 200 lbs of extra resistance on each side with a total of 400 lbs, so whether you’re a beginner or an expert who’s used to lifting heavier weights, this functional trainer is suitable for all.
Plus, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, short or tall, as it’s fully adjustable.
Set the pace of your workout with the quick-adjust pulleys. You have 19 speed settings to choose from depending on if you want a lighter session or if you’re looking to push yourself.
The pulley system is incredibly smooth for improved performance for both you and the machine.
It also comes with a number of accessories, including a pair of 8-inch hand straps, 17-inch long strap handles, short and long bars, and straps for your ankle or leg extensions. Whatever you’re in the mood for, it’s made possible by the Xmark functional trainer.
Built to withstand the most vigorous of exercises, the durable steel mainframe enhances the solid build of the equipment.
The split-grip pull-up rig is also commercial grade so you can perform comfortable chin-ups (if there is such a thing) on top of all the other functions this machine offers.
In addition to its sturdy construction, this functional trainer was designed with limited space in mind. When assembled, its dimensions are 65 x 43.5 x 83 inches and it’s suitable for corner placement so it’ll take up less space in the room.
- Multiple attachments included for versatile use
- Compact, space-saving design and high-quality construction
- Easily adjusted to suit the needs of the user
- Isolateral-based movements allow you to target different muscle groups
- Helpful customer service
- Some customers found installation tricky
- Expensive option
Another double weight stack option we reviewed was this functional trainer from Body-Solid, also a popular brand amongst home-exercise enthusiasts.
With two 160 lbs stacks on either side and a combined added weight of 320 lbs, it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels. It does have a less overall resistance weight than our top pick, but the 160 lbs stacks can be upgraded to 210 lbs if needed.
Enjoy a 180-degree range of motion thanks to the vertically adjustable pulleys. They’re extremely smooth as they swivel which provides superior levels of versatility when it comes to your workouts.
Additionally, the no-cable change design means you can quickly and effortlessly switch up your exercise routine.
Included with the PFT100 functional trainer are two adjustable nylon cable handles which you can adjust to suit your needs, and this further expands the already wide range of exercises you can perform using this machine.
It’s perfect for both low and high cable crossovers, bicep curls, triceps extensions, trunk twists, and plenty of other exercises. It also comes with a knurled chinning bar for exercises such as pull-ups and leg raises, in addition to integrated bar storage for all your accessories.
You can work on different muscle groups to improve your strength in all areas, as the PFT100 provides true isolateral-based movements, whether you want to focus on strength training, improving your flexibility or performance, or for rehabilitation purposes.
- Ergonomic design and compact size means it’s suitable for smaller spaces
- Multiple attachments included
- Fully adjustable to suit the user
- Smooth pulleys through a 180-degree angle
- Lighter weight stack so it will require upgrading if you need a heavier overall weight
If you’re looking to spend a little less on home gym improvements, then you may find the Inspire Fitness FTX functional trainer more suitable for your needs. Customers were seriously impressed with how much value for money it is, and it makes a great choice for anyone that wants a piece of equipment that is simple yet effective in its design.
Like any good functional trainer, this option from Inspire Fitness allows you to isolate certain muscle groups to build on them while you rest other parts of your body because the engineering of the design allows for totally independent movements.
It features two weight stacks like the previous options we’ve already reviewed, each with a weight of 165 lbs.
When combined, you have up to 230 lbs of built-in resistance so even if you consider yourself pretty strong already, the Inspire Fitness FTX will still find ways to challenge you. If you do need to add more weight, you’ll need to purchase a separate attachment.
Manufactured with a heavy-duty steel frame that features a matte black powder finish, not only is this a durable option, but it’ll also look good in any home gym thanks to its sleek, attractive design.
With the total freedom you get with this functional trainer, it’s hard to know where to start! Thirty swivel pulley positions give you complete control over the direction of your workout.
You can get creative as a number of accessories are included, and there’s even an app you can download so you can incorporate a range of exercises into your routine.
- More affordable option
- Takes up more space than some other models
- Durable steel frame with a matte black powder finish
- Smooth pulley system for ultimate control
- Easy to assemble
- Residential warranty with a limited lifetime warranty on all parts including the frame
- A fewer number of reviews
Next, we looked at this functional trainer from HCI. It’s great because it can fold away when not in use, so if you’re low on space then this might just be the perfect option for you.
It’s one of the most compact functional machines available and it’s also more affordable than some of the other options we’ve already reviewed.
The dual-weight stacks offer a total weight of 220 lbs so you can push yourself even harder on your next workout, or you can also convert it into free weights for a combination of different workout styles and to suit all abilities.
Seven adjustable positions allow you to get comfortable on the bench which also folds away for added convenience so it can be easily stored, and the wheels at the base allow you to effortlessly maneuver your machine into the corner of the room where it won’t be in the way.
It features an impressively smooth pulley system and durable steel casters that allow you to perform a variety of exercises, and accessories include a chin-up bar, handles, a short bar, and an ankle strap for versatile use.
You can quickly and easily adjust the height so that it’s suitable for different users’ heights, but some customers do report that taller people notice a slightly reduced range of motion.
If you do happen to run into any problems it comes with a lifetime frame and welds warranty with 5 years for parts and wear.
- Double-weight stacks for balanced muscle building
- The foldable bench has 7 adjustable positions
- Smooth pulley system and steel casters are durable for long-lasting use
- Adjustable to suit your needs
- A slight reduction in the range of motion for taller users
Last but not least, we picked a familiar brand to round off our list of the 5 best functional trainers currently available, but this time we’re taking a look at the BFFT10R machine.
Unlike the previous machine we looked at from this brand, it’s a single weight stack machine.
The 190 lbs single weight stack features a no-cable design for a cleaner look and uninterrupted pulley smoothness. Two adjustable nylon cable handles are included with your purchase, so you don’t need to buy these separately.
Workout whatever way you want, as the adjustable pulleys offer 180-degrees of swivel motion so you can make the most of this versatile functional trainer and utilize the numerous starting positions.
It’s another machine that’s on the smaller size with dimensions of 55 L x 61 W x 84 H, so it’s a great option if you have less space.
It’s also much more affordable than the double-weight stack options we’ve previously reviewed so it’s the perfect budget option.
- Most affordable choice
- Small, compact size
- Wide range of motion
- Adjustable pulleys
- A single-weight stack means you’ll have less overall resistance
Functional Trainer Buyer’s Guide
After reading about 5 of the best functional trainers currently available, you may still have a few questions about some of the features you should be looking out for.
We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help walk you through it!
The first and most important thing to consider before you get any further in your search for the perfect functional trainer is how much space you have for it.
Are you planning on putting it in your garage where there’s plenty of room, or has your home gym been relegated to a spare room where space is more limited?
Due to their multi-functional ability, these machines are rather large and therefore take up a fair amount of space.
However, there are smaller functional trainers that you can find which have been specifically designed for corner use, or some are foldable for more convenient storage when it’s not being used.
You’ll need to measure the intended area accurately before you decide, but if you have space for it and it’s within your budget, bigger is always better.
Remember to leave enough room on either side of where your functional trainer will be set up to allow for a full range of movement during your exercises.
There should also be a head’s length of space left at the top of the machine, as otherwise, you’ll bump your head on the ceiling when you’re trying to do pull-ups!
In order to compare how one functional trainer stacks up against another, it’s important to consider the weight stacks of the machine, as most now come with this form of built-in resistance.
You’ll have to first decide between a single or double-stack, which will depend on a combination of personal preference and the size of your budget, as well as the overall weight resistance it offers as this varies between models.
Functional trainers with a 2-stack system offer twice the amount of resistance that a single-stack machine would, which means they’re better suited to someone that wants an added challenge to their workout.
It also allows two people to work out together simultaneously, provided they’re performing the appropriate exercises.
Whilst double weight stacks are generally considered to be the better choice, they also tend to be a more expensive option.
They do leave room for growth as your strength improves, so you won’t need to upgrade your machine’s weight stack at a later date which would incur additional costs to you.
However, if you’re still nearer the start of your fitness journey, you may want to get a single-stack while you build up your strength.
As one of the key components of a functional trainer, it’s vital that you think about the quality of the pulleys when purchasing one of these machines.
The high-end models will have pulleys that offer smooth motion, as this results in better resistance.
More than just ease-of-use, pulleys that provide smooth resistance can actually improve your technique.
They allow you to perform slow, deliberate movements which will help build mass and faster, more agile movements which will strengthen your fast-twitch muscle fibers.
When buying online, it can be difficult to get an accurate idea of how smoothly the pulleys on your chosen functional machine are and how easily you’ll be able to adjust them.
While it might be included in the product description, you might find a slightly biased opinion here.
The best way to get a true understanding of the pulley quality is by checking customer reviews, as this will display comments from users who’ve had a chance to test them in person.
One of the things that make these exercise equipment machines so versatile is that they’re designed for use with multiple different accessories that allow you to carry our various different exercises.
You can, of course, purchase any cable attachments you want separately. But a lot of functional trainers will come with a number of attachments already included.
It might not be something that makes or breaks your decision, but it’s still worth checking to see which ones different machines have to offer.
Functional Trainer FAQs
Will a functional trainer help me to tone my muscles?
ABSolutely! Toning muscle is exactly what a functional trainer is designed to do, although the choice of which muscles to tone up first is up to you!
Ultimately though, you’ll get out of a functional trainer exactly what you put into it, so as long as you show up and put in the work, it won’t be long until you look like one of the Hemsworth brothers.
Can you do functional training every day?
The beauty of a functional trainer is that because it’s so versatile and allows you to perform a wide range of exercises, it’s easy for you to isolate different muscle groups.
This means that yes, you can technically use your functional trainer every day to strengthen certain muscles whilst allowing others to rest so you don’t overwork them.
However, we still recommend taking a day off to give your muscles a chance to repair.
What are the best exercises to do with a functional trainer?
Some of the most popular exercises to do using a functional trainer include tricep extensions, bicep curls, lat pulldowns, chest press, rows, squat and lunges variations.
This depends on which areas of your body you’re looking to strengthen as you can target pretty much any muscle group using a functional trainer.
What is the best functional trainer for a home gym?
The best functional trainer for a home gym is the XMark Functional Trainer. After comparing over 40 different models against a rigorous process this is the one that rose to the top. It’s hard to beat the quality for this price.
Best Functional Trainer- The Bottom Line
Investing in a functional trainer will seriously upgrade any home gym. You’ll go from needing endless different weights and equipment to having one machine that lets you do it all!
Our top pick is the XMark Functional Trainer for overall quality and price.
Be sure to check out our thorough all in one home gym guide where we compared over 125 models to pick the best ones.