Functional trainers are worth investing in, even if they are expensive because they train several body parts well and also give you many advantages. You can build muscle and do much more using a functional trainer.
If you want to know specifically which body parts are trained using a functional trainer and how it supports your muscle-building journey then check out this article where you will get to know the most details and will help you decide what suits you best if you are looking to purchase one.
The double-height adjustable pulleys available with functional trainers are capable of providing a variety of resistance options that target different body parts. This facility works almost all muscles of your body.
When you perform the exercises with proper intensity and volume, you can build muscles on a functional trainer effectively. For more details on how to use a functional trainer for your benefit, keep reading.
How To Use A Functional Trainer?
A gym machine with two cables that are connected to two weight stacks is known as a functional trainer. The pulley system allows the movement of cables where you get to pull the weight stacks using them, which then act as resistance providers. It can be done using a wide range of heights.
Usually, a functional trainer comes with adjustable pulleys, 2 weight stacks with upgradability. It helps in building strength and is effectively safe for everyone. It is popular because it fits in a home gym easily and is highly versatile when compared with other exercise equipment.
This comprehensive equipment is incredibly useful for fitness enthusiasts and fits most of their needs. Even though it is expensive, it does provide apt value for its price. The weight stacks on a functional trainer are flexible as you can choose the weight you want to lift.
You can do so by using the pin to limit the weight the pulleys can pick and the cable lifts the chosen weight when you attempt to exercise. The user can add several kinds of attachments for extracting various exercises that target different muscle groups.
The plethora of attachment options when combined with a bench or stability ball makes the functional trainer even more useful. The 80” high to floor adjustability of pulley height is responsible for providing resistance from different angles when you maintain proper body position.
The constant resistance is provided to the cable in a functional trainer and it is adjustable using the pin as already mentioned. When you change the position of the pin in a weight stack, the resistance curve is different than dumbbells or barbells in comparison to a cable machine.
As you understand how each body part can be trained using a functional trainer, you can use it efficiently to tone your body and to achieve your fitness goals effectively.
What Muscles Can You Work On A Functional Trainer?
To activate a muscle or to train it you need to contract it with enough resistance which stimulates the muscle and makes it stronger or bigger based on the technique you used. A functional trainer is highly supportive of this activity and gives you versatile options in this regard.
You can conveniently and effectively train almost any muscle in your body using a functional trainer as you can apply resistance from almost any direction. All you need to know is how to apply it using various weight values and proper angels to get the job done.
As already mentioned, you can work almost every muscle in your body using a functional trainer excluding a few such as facial muscles. However, facial muscles are sensitive and require special attention and equipment so, it is not much of a concern with a functional trainer.
Getting the most out of a functional trainer is possible when you know how to position it aptly for working various muscles. Using a functional trainer, you can train your total body meaning you can work your back, biceps, chest, core, glutes, legs, shoulders, and triceps.
These body parts contain several muscles and you can focus on every muscle within that muscle group. For doing that you need to know which muscle you need to work to attain a certain goal and how to use the functional trainer to get to it.
The easiest way to do it is to find out the way that muscle works and to apply the resistance in opposite direction. Since it is possible to vary the body height and pulley position, it is not so difficult to find an angle and a position that resists the action of a specific muscle.
For instance, if you observe, your biceps get your wrists closer towards your shoulder. So, for targeting your biceps you need to adjust the cable function to perform the opposite of the aforementioned action for providing resistance to your biceps.
Knowing little biomechanics is useful to perform various exercises effectively and a more efficient alternative is a good program that can get you a total body workout where you need not worry about itsy-bitsy things.
When you attach different attachments to the cables you can perform different exercises that add a little twist to the existing ones and allow better targeting of the muscles. Most functional trainers do come with double stack weights and a decent number of attachments.
If you need more intense training with precise target options then there are several attachments in the market that help you do the same. You can purchase them according to your need. If you want to target a specific muscle then get an attachment that supports your requirement.
If you are wondering how does a functional trainer influences the resistance when you pull the cables in the same direction when the muscles in your body move in a different direction then worry not. It is achieved by changing the height of the pulleys.
If they are placed at a high position then the resistance comes from above, when in middle it impacts the mid-section and when at the bottom you get to experience resistance at the bottom. The machine indeed pulls in one direction and its resistance application is limited but you can expand the range of resistance by changing the position of your body which gives it more versatility.
Can You Build Muscles On A Functional Trainer?
You might be concerned about the quality workout a functional trainer can provide as it offers so many kinds of exercises. Also, if it helps you grow muscles or makes you stronger. Users in beginner and intermediate stages of lifting training benefit the most from a functional trainer.
It allows these users to grow muscles by providing enough resistance. Though for advanced users, few exercises do not provide enough resistance and they need additional resistance to work their muscles. In this case, they can combine barbell setup and functional trainer to achieve their goal.
When using a functional trainer, if you follow a good workout routine and your diet is in check, you’ll be able to grow muscle and get stronger with a functional trainer. As a functional trainer puts stress on your muscles to which they were not used to before, your muscles develop by becoming stronger and bigger.
When you combine it with enough sleep and proper food, this transition is smooth and ideal as your muscle recovers well. While this is a simple explanation there are several intricacies involved in this process and it is a vast subject.
For most beginners, this much detail is enough to get through their phase and achieve strong muscles. However, an advanced lifter should consider applying more complicated tactics that suit their level of fitness.
While sleep and diet are unrelated to exercises, they do support muscle recovery excellently which is supportive of your motives. A functional trainer provides sufficient stress that promotes muscle growth by inducing enough stress.
You can apply progressive stress in different areas with varied resistance by increasing the weight to provide the perfect training necessary for growth impulse. Most users find free weights intimidating when they are yet to try them.
However, weightlifting gives you excellent muscle build with the right workout and a functional trainer is a highly approachable method for this purpose. Even if you are working with free weights or planning to work with them, combining them with a functional trainer will compound the results.
The cable exercise routine can add to your free weight session to improve your muscle gain better than when you use any one of the methods. Each method has a different kind of beneficial effect on your muscles. Means your muscles are loaded with more growth impulses of various types.
This equipment not only enhances your strength but also improves your physique in a good way but does not make you huge. If your target is purely muscle growth and you are an intermediate lifter, a dumbbell and barbell setup is a little bit more effective.
Though it is not a huge difference in results, a functional trainer is more fun than free weight especially if you are not looking to get big. You grow bigger muscles using barbells big means big as you can lift a lot of weight.
But if you are looking for a fit physique and decent build, a functional trainer provides ample support. When you stimulate your muscles with enough repetitions and sets you get enough resistance volume to grow them. Meaning the volume of muscles does not depend on the equipment you use.
With most functional trainers you get 75 to 100 lbs. of resistance for each pulley which is enough intensity to tone your muscles.
Also, if you need to target a specific muscle group then you can achieve it using a functional trainer and few attachments that support your goal. For instance, if you want to make your quadriceps and glutes strong then you will need a built-in smith bar or a separate barbell setup.
Why Is A Functional Trainer Functional?
You can train on your feet meaning you can involve your whole body in moving your weight. When you are targeting a specific muscle, not only does that muscle gains strength but also the other muscles supporting its movement will also become strong.
Your body becomes more stable and gains real-world strength. These machines keep your body stable while you stand on your foot meaning it utilizes your whole body for this purpose making them ‘functional’.
The whole kinetic chain from the floor to the whole body is necessary to move the weight stack by creating the required force. As this action translates to building strength usable in the real world they are termed as functional machines.
Isolating a single muscle and making it stronger does not offer much in the real world as you need the support of all the other small muscles around to perform some actions such as moving a fridge.
When a fully developed kinetic chain is compared against an isolated muscle strength you have lesser chances of injury when you use it in the real world.
Adding a bench can help you do combination workouts as it allows isolated muscle workouts and a functional trainer gives you an overall workout if you need both a better look and a strong body.
In short, a functional trainer is a safer and less messy option for free weights for beginners and intermediate lifters. Its functionality can be extended by adding attachments, and upgrading it as you go for a total body workout.
It does seem expensive but when you need to account for all the benefits it provides and if you need to buy separate equipment for each purpose, it will seem reasonable.