A home gym or 'multigym' is the ultimate: a complete workout machine, giving you a huge variety of exercises from just one piece of gym equipment. Home gyms exercise your heart and increase aerobic fitness, but they build strength too - thanks to weights and other resistance gear.
Gym exercises aren't just for people who want big biceps and a six-pack - they're equally effective for toning and shaping muscles without adding bulk. (Both women and men can benefit from them, but they're not recommended for children or the frail. Older people, however, can retain strength later in life by using them sensibly.)
With so much choice, some people find gym machines a bit complicated - all those weights and attachments. Once you start using one, though, you'll understand how all the parts fit together.
The parts of a home gym
Here’s what the jargon means…
|Backrest||The backrest provides support for your back while seated. (Back support is very important in weight/strength training.)|
|Frame||The frame is the structure, usually metal tubes, that all the moving parts of the home gym attach to.|
|Pec deck||A pec deck (found on top-end machines) is a pair of levers below the press arms, designed to exercise chest and arms in a different way.|
|Lat bar or lat pulldown||The lat bar or lat pulldown is the wide handlebar at the top connected by a cable.|
|Leg extension||A leg extension is the roller-shaped T near your feet as you sit on a home gym's seat.|
|Pulley||The pulley is the assembly of cables connecting the arms to the weight stack. Some gyms have a low pulley too, near your feet, for exercising legs.|
|Press arms||The press arms are the parts you pull or push with your hands to exercise your arms and upper body. In most home gyms it's the big metal upside-down 'U' at the top.|
|Seat||The seat is where you sit. On most home gyms you'll use the seat in a variety of poses - sitting, lying, and kneeling - facing both directions for different exercises!|
|Station||The station is where you sit, lie, or stand while exercising - take your pick! Some home gyms have more than one station, but this doesn't mean two people can use it at the same time - the different stations are for one person as he or she does different exercises in sequence.|
|Weight stack||The weight stack is the pile of heavy blocks that provide resistance as you exercise. You adjust the resistance by moving a metal pin that connects or disconnects weights from the stack without you having to move them. Some home gyms use bands to provide the 'pull' instead of weights.|
So now you know your home gyms, let's find out
what features you should look for.