Top 5 Functional Trainers of 2022

Functional trainers are excellent pieces of equipment for any and every training space, including both the commercial and home gym. The versatile functional trainer allows users to engage in a wide range of exercises without needing a ton of excess equipment. In addition, most functional trainers are relatively compact when compared to a power rack and their necessary accessories. Let's dive deeper into the basics of the functional trainer and our Top 5 Functional Trainers from 2022.

Functional Trainers: The Basics

There are many kinds of functional trainers out there, so we wanted to break down functional trainer basics before diving into our Top 5 for 2022.

Plate vs. Pin Loaded

Plate-Loaded Functional Trainer

In many commercial gyms, most functional trainers are either plate- or pin-loaded. A plate-loaded functional trainer means that you adjust using weight plates you already have (like 45's, 35's, 25's, so on and so forth). A pin-loaded functional trainer is more commonly seen. Pin loaded functional trainers have a weight stack into which you insert a pin to select your weight.

Single vs. Dual Weight Stack System

Rogue CT-1X2 Cable Tower

Functional trainers, especially for home gyms, can be purchased with either a single or a dual weight stack system. A weight stack is has regularly increasing weight increments that may range from 10-20 pounds. For some functional trainers, such as the Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer, you can choose to purchase additional weights in order to make your weight stacks heavier as you chase those gains.

Old School vs. High Tech

Image of Tonal: The Smartest Home Gym - Patented Digital Weight System - All-in-One Personal trainer

Many of the functional trainers you'll find in most commercial gyms are old-school. Made out of steel, cables and weight stacks, these trainers are familiar to many gym-goers. Smart functional trainers have made an appearance, though, in the last few decades. Some are portable, some stay mounted in your own personal home gym, but many of them track exercise data - including strength and number of reps - and connect the information via Bluetooth to your phone.

Top 5 Best Functional Trainers of 2022

The hunt for functional trainers can be intimidating, so we've ranked our Top 5 Favorite Functional Trainers of 2022:

Overall Best Functional Trainer: Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer


In our search for the best functional trainers of 2022, the Inspire Fitness FT1 Functional Trainer quickly made the top of the our list for a variety of reasons. This is one of the highest quality functional trainers out there, as its versatility, compact corner design and ease of assembly are impressive.

Complete with a pull up bar, dual weight stacks, two adjustable pulleys and eleven - that's right, ELEVEN - accessories included in the initial purchase, this functional trainer is necessary for rounding-off a complete home gym.

The maximum weight is 165 pounds, offering a wide range of desired weight. This is perfect for those who are just starting in their training or trying to get back into a routine. What impressed me further, though, was the ability to add to your initial weight stacks with Inspire's Weight Stack Upgrade.

Included in the frame is accessory storage and a tablet holder, which I thought was a thoughtful inclusion for those trying to follow along with a live workout class or video.

Reviews also cite assembly ease with two people on the job, making the purchase of this product even easier.

Price: $2,999

Best Smart Functional Trainer: Tonal

On the Tonal screen we see a man performing an exercise.

Tonal has become all the rage in the last few years for those wanting to upgrade their home gym. Backed by the some of the word's most elite athletes - including Serena Williams, LeBron James, Drew Brees, Steph Curry, Michelle Wie and Mike Tyson -, Tonal proved an easy choice as our favorite smart functional trainer of 2022. Tonal doesn't just add to your home gym - it becomes your workout space.

Tonal's adjustable arms provide all the benefits of a typical functional trainer, allowing for 245+ exercise movements ranging from tricep pushdowns to chest flies to RDLs. There are nearly endless workout possibilities!

Constructed with a durable steel frame, this smart trainer provides up to 200 pounds of resistance and is far from a flimsy wall piece.

A few of drawbacks of Tonal include its steep price, which includes neither installation nor its smart accessories, like the bench or roller. Many of the other complaints I observed were centered around shipping and customer service difficulties.

Despite these drawbacks, it seems that Tonal's benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Like having a personal trainer in your home, Tonal makes weight recommendations for your individualized movements, aids with form guidance, "spots" you to help you complete a rep, and tracks your real-time and long-term progress.

Price: $3,495*

*does not include Smart Accessories or subscription

Best Portable Functional Trainer: MaxPro SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine

If you're on the go and in search of gym equipment to tow with you, the MaxPro SmartConnect Portable Cable Machine is the best portable functional trainer out there. Highly rated and highly reviewed, this functional trainer is compact and portable, folding up to a piece of equipment weighing only 10 pounds!

Both the website and app offer a large library of live and on-demand workouts, perfect for those wanting to access them at home or on the go. Bluetooth connection tracks and records your progress in the app.

The initial purchase includes:

  • free coaching app and 1 free month of the premium membership.

  • 2 door brackets and a door mounting kit.

  • 1 longbar.

  • 2 ankle/wrist straps.

  • 2 workout handles.

  • 1 USB charger.

Additional accessories for purchase include a backpack into which you can pack your functional trainer (which I thought was ingenious), additional attachments and a foldable bench.

Reviewers cite its durability, ease of assembly, great customer service and user-friendliness. Some areas of improvement generally seem to be centered around sticky cables and app improvements.

Price: $699

Best Budget Functional Trainer: Titan Fitness Functional Trainer

Functional Trainer with Dual Weight Stacks

The Titan Fitness Functional Trainer ranks as our hands-down best budget functional trainer of 2022. It took a lot of effort - combing through all the online reviews - to find any negative comments about this functional trainer. Titan's Functional Trainer is the perfect addition to any home gym, as it provides commercial gym quality in the comfort of your space.

I'll start with the negatives, since I really only found a couple. Besides the occasional impossible-to-please Scrooge, the only complaint I saw about the product itself was its height, which isn't quite tall enough for pull ups (I'd go further to say this complaint mostly applies to taller people, but I can't say that conclusively based on the few reviews I saw).

Okay, now to the good stuff. The Titan Fitness functional trainer comes equipped with a fully enclosed dual weight stack system with weight plates that increase in 10 pound increments. Adjustable pulleys allow for exercise movements ranging from lat pulldowns to rows to tricep rope pushdowns and everything in between. Included in the initial purchase are a short bar, long bar, ankle strap, dual stirrup handles, rope handles, and single and double D handles. Hooks allow for efficient storage of your accessories.

Other pros include fast shipping, easy installation, though it is a two-person job, and smooth cables. This is hands-down one of the best functional trainers out there for those on a budget who want to add to their home gym.

Price: $2,499.99

Best Heavy Duty Functional Trainer: XMark Home Gym Functional Trainer Cable Machine

The XMark Functional Trainer designed for your home gym is another top-notch piece of equipment. Its steel frame is built to allow maximum distance between the two handles without taking up too much space. This inclusion gives the XMark functional trainer a slight edge over our other functional trainers, as it seems to offer a little more distance between handles.

The functional trainer's dual weight stacks each flaunt 200 pounds in 10 pound increments. Accessories included in the initial purchase are:

  • Pair of 8" hand straps.

  • Pair of 17" long straps.

  • 23" tricep rope.

  • Sports handle.

  • 42" knurled long bar.

  • Leg extension strap.

  • Ankle strap.

  • Poster with exercise examples with aforementioned accessories.

The only downside I saw from reviewers was the tedious assembly, which is honestly a project you're signing up for with an investment in most quality functional trainers.

Price: $3,175

Why Should I Get a Functional Trainer?

Rogue CT-1 Cable Tower

An essential piece of strength training equipment, the functional trainer allows for full body workout possibilities. As the name suggests, functional trainers offer the ability to participate in both functional training and isolation exercises for a wide range of muscle groups. As a bodybuilder and personal trainer, some of my favorite muscle groups to isolate using a functional trainer include:

  • Glutes.

  • Abductors and adductors.

  • Delts - yep, all the benefits for all the deltoid muscles.

  • Biceps.

  • Triceps.

  • Chest.

  • Back.

Functional trainers require the engagement of your core whether you're performing isolation or functional exercises, which helps strengthen your balance and your ability to stabilize in other free weight exercises.


The moral of the story? Functional trainers are a must have for the home gym, whether you have a dedicated room for your equipment or have converted your space into one of those killer garage gyms. The versatile functional trainer provides all of the benefits of the commercial gym from the comfort of your home. For any functional trainer FAQs you may still have after reading our article, this article breaks down everything you need to know about this piece of equipment.

There are plenty of options out there for all of your functional trainer needs, you just have to spend some time thinking about what you're looking for - happy shopping!

Functional trainer

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