Functional fitness equipment differs from your normal home gym equipment. From kettlebells and resistance bands to body weight leverage trainers, the focus on whole body training requires targeted gear. This guide provides a breakdown of why functional fitness equipment is different, the types of gear, and top 10 best to consider when building a functional fitness focused gym.
What Makes Functional Fitness Equipment Different?
Functional fitness is a physical fitness philosophy that emphasizes how muscle groups work together during daily activities around the home or office. It also emphasizes sports that you participate in regularly. This type of exercise can help you remain healthy and have a better quality of life by avoiding injuries from everyday activities.
Isolation vs. Full Body
Functional fitness equipment can include resistance bands, battle ropes and indoor rowing machines. The difference between functional equipment and standard equipment is that this type of equipment works more than one group of muscles at once. Standard gym equipment works a muscle group in isolation. However, as we go about our daily routine, we rarely use a single muscle group in isolation without engaging others.
Functional Fitness Blends Well With Other Workouts
Functional fitness philosophy prepares you for daily life. You can combine that this type of exercise routine with other kinds of strength, aerobic, and CrossFit programs. This is an excellent type of fitness program for older adults to prevent injury and keep them healthy as they age. It is also an excellent addition or younger people who want to add something new to their routine.
Focused to Overall Health vs. Health Goals
Another way functional exercise is different from standard training programs is that often with conventional training, you are doing it to reach a goal. You may be training for a marathon, or to perform well during the next sports season. Functional exercise philosophy is ongoing. It does not stop after you reach a specific goal. You can either choose to stay at a certain point and maintain your fitness level or continue to push to higher levels of fitness. Either way, you will achieve better overall health by engaging in this type of fitness program. The philosophy is fitness for life, rather than to reach a short-term goal.
Functional Fitness Equipment Types
Functional fitness equipment falls into two different categories. There is equipment made for professional gyms and that which is designed for home use. One thing that is different about this type of equipment is that it allows for greater freedom of movement and range of motion that mimics what you do during your day. The key to building a good home gym is too include as many types of equipment as possible that work different muscle groups. The focus of functional exercise is to work as many groups of muscles as possible and focus on fitness for the entire body. The following are some examples of a few things you might include.
Home Gym Fitness Equipment
Perhaps you do not have room for larger functional exercise equipment, but there are some things that you can include, even in a small space. You do not have to spend a fortune to be able to take advantage of the benefits of functional exercise training. One thing that you might want to think about is that nothing can replace the expertise and watchful eye of a professional trainer. If you choose to go the home gym route, make certain that you are using proper body alignment and do not overstretch your limits. It is always best to start small and work your way up. Home workout equipment can include:
- Kettlebells and dumbbells
- Pull-up bar
- Body weight leverage trainers
- Boxing equipment
- Massage Equipment for myofascial release
- Steps and platforms
- Resistance bands
- Medicine balls
Professional Gym Equipment
One of the benefits of going to a gym is that you can have access to larger, more high tech equipment. You also have access to personal trainers who can help you achieve your goals in a safe way. You are also more likely to challenge yourself during a workout at a gym, as opposed to at home when no one is watching. Commercial gym equipment includes:
- Recumbent bikes
- Elliptical trainers
- Rowing machines
- Cable crossover machines
- Crossfit machines
These are some of the types of equipment that you may be able to purchase for your home or encounter at a professional gym. Do not be afraid to include traditional equipment such as jump ropes, balance balls and ab machines. Even though these types of equipment only target one or a small group of muscles, they are still a great addition to a whole-body workout.
Functional exercise concentrates on the whole body, but you still need to include aerobics and flexibility into your routine. You can also target your routine to your specific needs, such as balance or strengthening a particular part of your body.
Top 10 Best Functional Fitness Equipment for a Home Gym
If you have been thinking about home gym equipment specifically targeted for functional fitness, you may be wondering what types of home gym gear are available. We have compiled a list of the top home gym functional fitness equipment and the pros and cons of each.
When it comes to home gym gear, you need to consider your needs and goals as a top priority. Although realistically, budget is always a concern, it should not be your priority. You want good equipment that performs well and will help you to meet your whole body fitness goals.
1. Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebells
Yes4All powder coated kettlebells are a great way to exercise your whole body. This set includes weights ranging from 9 pounds to 71 pounds. One thing that we liked about them is that they are made from cast iron. They have no welds, seams, or potential weak spots. The powder coating protects them from rust and gives you better grip than a gloss finish.
- Made from heavy cast iron
- Wide, textured handle for better grip
- Can perform many different exercises with them
- Color coded for easy identification
- Take up space and must be stored flat on the floor
- Set may be too big for beginners who do not need the higher weights
2. Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar
This pull up bar allows you to have a full range of motion to work the upper body. The bar extends 1-inch above the door trim and is out from the wall. This means that you will not hit the door or be limited by the top of the door trim. It can support up to 300 pounds.
- Allows for full range of motion
- Fits all residential doorway with molding up to 3.5-inches wide
- Secure fit and can be used as an anchor for additional accessories
- Can be used for floor exercises
- Maximum weight of 300 pounds
- Cannot be used with resistance bands or for swinging
3. Body Solid GLGS100 Corner Leverage Gym
If you are looking for just the basics and want something that will tuck easily into a corner, this machine may be the right pick. It is sturdy and allows you to do chest, leg, and arm movements. It is a basic machine, and it is not very complicated, making it perfect for the person who is just starting out.
- Aircraft-grade cables
- Small footprint, tucks into a corner
- Rounded metal tubing for strength
- 600-pound capacity
- Does not have a bench
- Limited in the number of movements you can do
- Basic machine, not many accessories
4. Century BOB XL with Base Unit
Martial Arts and boxing are great ways to tone your whole body. We like his punching bag because it has a solid base and you do not have to have a separate stand or ceiling mount. This freestanding punching bag can hold up to 270 pounds of sand or water. It provides excellent stability and resistance.
- Allows for targeted training
- Heavy, provides good resistance
- Has a large striking surface
- Can be used for punching or kicking
- Heavy to move
- Must be stored on the floor, takes up floor space
5. Rep Fitness Sandbags
This fitness sandbag is perfect for many different types of training. The sandbag can be filled to between 25-75 pounds. They are sturdy and made from durable material. They are triple stitched and built to last. As you reach higher levels of fitness, you can add more sand to increase the level of challenge.
- Durable and sturdy material
- Soft handles that allow for strong grip
- They have heavy-duty zippers and have multiple rows of stitching
- You must provide your own sand
- Not recommended for slamming
- Sand shifts around as you workout, proper body alignment is necessary
6. Monument Phenom 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
A vibrating massage is a great way to release tension and prevent soreness. It also speeds recovery. This 3-speed vibrating foam roller is excellent for deeper tissue massage. This massager is ergonomically designed and feels great. It has three vibration speeds, and you can use it on any part of your body. It is great for releasing trigger points.
- Portable and rechargeable
- Well designed and ergonomic
- Has a built-in handle for easy carrying to the gym or studio
- Three speeds that are demonstrated to decrease recovery time
- Knobs on the roller might be too big for some
- Vibration may or may not be enough for some people
7. Yes4All Adjustable Aerobic Step Platform
When it comes to purchasing a step or platform, stability, shock-absorbing ability and grip are the most important qualities. You also want one that is just eh right height. This one allows you to adjust the height from four to eight inches. It feels stable and does not move, even when you crank up the intensity of the workout. The surface has a good grip, and you feel solid on the step.
- Good grip on the surface
- Adjustable height
- Feels like durable material
- Excellent shock absorbing ability
- Maximum weight capacity of 200 pounds
- Must be placed on a solid non-slip surface
8. WOD Nation Pull Up Assistance Bands
Resistance bands are a necessity for any workout program. We like these bands because they are wide and easy to grip. They are 41-inches long and thick. These bands offer resistance in a range between 40-80 pounds. Highly versatile, they can be used for traditional resistance, pull-ups, or chin-ups.
- 1 1/8-inch wide, 4.5 mm thick
- 41-inches long
- Provides moderate resistance on larger muscle groups
- Can use two bands at once to increase your resistance
- All bands are sold separately, you may need to buy multiple packages
- May need assistance choosing the right band for your fitness level
9. Fitness Solutions Wall Ball Medicine Ball
This is one of our favorite medicine ball sets. Many balls are sold separately. We like this one because you can choose the level of resistance that you wish. They are durable and heavy-duty. They are also a good side for your hands.
- Balls come in different weights
- They feel durable and have strong seams
- The fabric feels tough and able to last a long time
- Perfect size, feels good in the hands
- Ball may feel to small for those with larger hands
- Cannot be used for slamming
10. Doeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick
This stick massager works great. It is a great, small size for travel with spinning rollers that give a deep massage. It is small enough to be used on any part of the body, including the bottoms of the feet.
- Small and compact
- Easy to tuck into any part of the body
- Smooth action, does not feel jerky
- Only has one speed setting
- May not be big enough for larger persons
- Hard plastic can be difficult to get the pressure right
With the high range of functional fitness equipment available, its critical to focus on a core body weight platform before adding to your workouts. An incline bench can be a great place to start, as well as kettlebells and medicine balls.
- What Makes Functional Fitness Equipment Different?
- Functional Fitness Equipment Types
- Top 10 Best Functional Fitness Equipment for a Home Gym
- 1. Yes4All Powder Coated Kettlebells
- 2. Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar
- 3. Body Solid GLGS100 Corner Leverage Gym
- 4. Century BOB XL with Base Unit
- 5. Rep Fitness Sandbags
- 6. Monument Phenom 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller
- 7. Yes4All Adjustable Aerobic Step Platform
- 8. WOD Nation Pull Up Assistance Bands
- 9. Fitness Solutions Wall Ball Medicine Ball
- 10. Doeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick