How To Use A Functional Trainer Machine: 7 Best Exercises You Can Do Using Machine

The functional trainer machine is incredibly versatile and great for your workouts.
The functional trainer machine is incredibly versatile and great for your workouts.
Aryan Bajaj

The functional trainer machine is a must-have for any gym goer, especially those who want to get the most out of their workout. Functional training machines are used to strengthen the smaller muscles in your body, which can help improve posture and reduce risk of injury.

These machines allow you to work the main muscle groups in your body by targeting specific areas that are often neglected during regular weight training exercises, such as bench presses and squats.

Best Exercises To Do With A Functional Trainer Machine

Here's a look at seven exercises with a functional trainer machine that can help get you back into shape quickly.

1) Incline Chest Press

  • Set the machine to an incline position, and sit on the seat with your back against it, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Adjust the height of the backrest so that there's no gap between your chest and chin when you're lying down in this position.
  • Take hold of the bar, and push it over your chest area at a slight angle (about 45 degrees). That'll put extra emphasis on your upper chest muscles by working them through their full range of motion in front of you instead of just pressing straight up. That would be the case if they were facing forward or down towards your body rather than across slightly behind them like usual (which can cause excessive stress on tendons).
  • Make sure not to arch too much here -- just enough so that it feels comfortable while still being challenging.
  • Squeeze hard at the point where contact occurs so that the entire upper body contracts properly throughout the duration.

2) Overhead Triceps Extensions

To perform the overhead triceps extension, place your feet on the platform, hands on the handles and your back straight. Straighten both arms while keeping them parallel to one another.

Next, lower the handles down behind your head till they're at an angle of 90 degrees with a slight bend in your elbows (that means when looking at someone's arm from above, their elbow should be bent about halfway).


Bring them back up to the starting position in a controlled manner before repeating this movement for another repetition. Continue doing so till you complete three sets of 12 repetitions.

3) Upright Row

Use a shoulder-width grip, and keep your back straight. Pull the weight towards your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in. Make sure to contract your core throughout the movement so that you don't arch out of shape at any point.


When you're using this machine, it's important to breathe out on the way up and breathe in on the way down. However, be careful not to hold your breath while performing this exercise.

4) Lateral Raise

This exercise is great for the shoulders, upper back and triceps. It’s also a great way to work your core as you'll have to stabilise your body throughout this exercise.

To do that correctly, stand on one leg with your free foot about three feet away from the machine. Slowly lower yourself into an upright position before slowly raising yourself back up again. Perform 10-15 reps on each side for up to two sets.

The muscles being worked in this exercise are:

  • Shoulders – front deltoids (front portion) and rear deltoids (rear portion)
  • Upper Back – Trapezius muscle complex and rhomboids muscle complex.


5) Bicep Curls

You can do this exercise while standing or sitting. If you want to use dumbbells, you should hold them at the sides of your body with palms facing in. For barbell curls, grab it with an underhand grip, and place it behind your head on top of your traps (you can also do this exercise lying on a bench).

To perform the move, curl both arms up toward your shoulders by flexing at the elbow joint. You can keep them straight, or have them slightly bent as long as they’re not locked out at any time during this movement.

However, keep in mind that slightly bending them allows for a greater range of motion (ROM), which will help strengthen those biceps more efficiently than if you kept them locked out throughout each rep.

Finally, make sure that when curling up off of a machine (or whatever surface you may be using) your elbows should stay flared out throughout each rep. That will prevent injury while still allowing for full ROM and maximum stimulation of muscle groups in those arms.

6) Tricep Push-downs

Before performing this exercise, adjust your body so that you're facing forward and can easily grip the handles of the machine. Once you're set, pull down to bring your hands as close to your shoulders as possible without touching them.

Pause for a second at the bottom of this motion before returning to the starting position for one repetition (you should feel the tension in your triceps).

Perform eight repetitions on each side before resting 30 seconds between sides and repeating two more times for a total of four sets per arm.

7) Cable Crossovers

This is a great exercise that targets the sides of your pectoral region and will help you build an evened-out, compound chest. The functional trainer machine allows you to perform this exercise efficiently, helping you get maximum stretch in your pctoral muscles.

You can do high-to-low or low-to-high variations of it.


For the best results, use the functional trainer machine three to four times a week for your workouts.

These workouts are great for beginners who want to get into shape, but also for more experienced users who want a new challenge.

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Edited by Bhargav


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