When you’ve made the decision to work out at home, investing in a multi gym can save you money and provide you with an all in one workout experience.
However, many home-use multi gyms do not provide the same quality or range of motion that you get in a commercial gym.
That’s why you need to do your homework. In this article, we break down what you need to look for in a great quality home multi gym. Then we kick the tyres on several of the best home multi gyms on the UK market, and narrow it down to a list of 7 that we’re happy to recommend. Finally, we provide you with an awesome multi gym workout to build muscle and strip off body fat once your home multi-gym is ready for action.
What to Look for in a Home Multi Gym
We’re fans of this home multi gym by York Fitness!
Many multi gyms look great on the retail shop floor or website page. However, there are some key things to check to make sure that these pretty looking machines are also functional. Here are six of the most important factors to consider:
- Range of motion – without full range of motion you will not get full muscle stimulation and, as a consequence, your results will not be as good as that otherwise could be. This a major problem with many home multi gyms. Exercise stations such as the bench press, pec dec and leg extension often offer a very limited range of motion. Check this out before committing to a purchase.
- Weight stack – there is great variance in the weight stack that is provided with multi gyms. Some of them will come with no weight stack at all because you need to load weight plates onto them. This will increase your costs considerably. Others provide you with selected weight stacks that generally range from 50 KG to 100 KG. Obviously, the higher the weight stack, the more potential for progressive resistance. Check, too, on the gradations between the weights in the stack – the smaller the better.
- Exercise stations – you want your home gym to be as versatile as possible so that you don’t have to invest in much more equipment. Look for a machine that includes the following:
- Lat pulldown
- High pulley
- Low pulley
- Leg extensions
- Leg Curls
- Not many home gyms include a leg press, but if you find one, make sure that it offers a full range of movement. The same thing applies to a machine that has a pec dec fly attachment.
- Pulleys and cables – make sure that the machine is fitted with quality pulleys and cables. These components will experience the greatest wear and tear and are responsible for the fluid motion of the exercise. It is worth paying a little bit extra for premium quality pulleys and cables.
- Assembly – Check user reviews to see how easy it is to assemble the machine. You should expect to get a detailed, easy to follow manual or even a video that details the assembly process. The last thing you want is to have to spend hours frustratingly trying to put your new home gym together.
- Warranty – you have every right to expect your compact home gym to last for many years to come. The warranty should reflect that expectation. A good warranty will provide at least 10 years on the mainframe with two years plus on the cables, pulleys and bushings.
York Perform Multi Gym
The York Perform Multi Gym is a high-quality, compact home gym that looks great and performs well. It provides you with a 100 KG weight stack and has a maximum user weight of 125 KG. The cabling and pulleys of this gym feature sealed bearings to ensure a smooth, jerk free pulley action. The Y-frame design of this machine enhances its ability and rigidity. In addition, a translucent weight stack shroud protects your fingers from the weight plates.
The York Perform Multi Gym features the following stations:
- Chest Press (Vertical)
- Pec Dec (Butterfly)
- Leg Extension
- Arm Curl (2 Position – Height Adjustable)
- Low Rowing Position (Low Pulley)
- Lateral Pull Down Bar (Hi-Pulley)
The range of motion of the chest press and pec dec are better than you find on most competing machines. The low pulley station has two adjustable settings to allow you to target your muscles from varying angles. The leg extension attachment also offers a full range of motion.
Overall, the York Perform Multi Gym provides you with a very solid, secure and highly functional home gym that will meet the needs of even the most hard-core trainer. This is easily our favourite home gym on the UK market right now.
- 100 kg weight stack
- 125 kg max user weight
- High quality cables and pulleys
- weight stack shroud
- High and low pulleys
Fit4Home 7080A Multi Gym
The Fit4Home 7080A Multi Gym Home Gym is a compact unit that is constructed from solid rounded tubular steel. The backrest seat and preacher curl attachment feature a generous amount of padding and a protective cover around the weight stack keeps you safe. This home gym provides you with a 68 KG weight stack. The weight increments are in jumps of 4.5 KG.
In addition to all of the standard home gym exercises, the Fit4Home 7080A includes a pec dec station, preacher curl attachment and leg extension. The leg extension has an ergonomically designed pivot point which tracks the natural biomechanics of the quadriceps. This ensures that your knees remain healthy as you perform this thigh exercise. An extended low cable pulley arrangement allows you to perform preacher cable curls with the preacher curl attachment.
The Fit4Home 7080A represents extremely good value for money. It arrives on your doorstep in three boxes and will take about two hours for two people to put together. The only disappointment we found is that the warranty covers just one year. Still excellent value for what you get.
- 68 kg weight stack or all
- Very good value for money
- Preacher curl attachment
- Well padded
- Solid tubular steel frame
V-Fit LFG2 Herculean COBRA Lay Flat Home Gym
The V-fit LFG2 Layflat Home Gym is a basic, but user friendly, introductory home gym. It provides you with a patented 2:1 pulley system that increases the effective weight lifted to 64 kg. Unlike any home gyms, this one includes a horizontal bench so you can perform a lay flat bench press as well as using the bench for free weight exercises.
A cool feature of this home gym is that it is foldable, with the bench folding up vertically when not in use. The exercises that you can do on the V-fit LFG2 include the flat bench press, pec dec, lat pull, triceps press, upright row, bicep curl, leg extension and hamstring curl. The maximum user weight of this machine is 125 kg. The range of motion on most of the exercises is good. However, this machine is not designed for people who are over six foot tall. We think the quality of construction of this machine is good in light of the reasonable price point.
- 64 kg effective weight
- Bench included
- 2:1 pulley system
- Pec Dec
Marcy MKM-81010 Home Multi Gym
The Marcy MKM-81010 is a serious home gym for serious weight trainers. It provides you with a weight stack that goes up to 90 KG and comes with a number of attachments to extend your workout options. This is a large home gym that measures in at 132 x 99 x 213cms and weighs 170 KG.
The weight stack is broken down into 13 separate weight plates. All of the usual home gym exercises are available on this machine including chest press, pec dec, lat pull down, high and low pulleys and leg extensions. A striker footplate allows you to perform seated rowing exercises with the low pulley. The chest press and pec dec arms can also extend beyond 90° to allow them to be used for pulling movements.
The frame of this machine is extremely solid, being made of 14 gauge steel. The cables are rated to 2000 pound aircraft quality. A cool feature of this machine is the weight stack lock which protects your children from it when the machine is idle.
The Marcy MKM-81010 comes with a generous warranty, providing you with lifetime frame cover, with three years on the parts and one year on the pads.
- 90 kg weight stack
- Aircraft quality cabling
- Child lock
- 14 gauge steel frame
- Generous warranty
Sportstech Premium 50in1 Multi Gym
The Sportstech Premium 50-in-1 Multi Gym offers up to 50 exercises all in one compact machine. It is built from very high quality materials, including 14 gauge steel framing and water repellent EVA padding. The cabling used on this machine consists of premium steel rope and these are coupled with extra wide high-quality pulleys. The low friction that results produces a very smooth natural cable action.
The weight stack that comes with this machine totals 55 KG in 12 separate weight increments. In addition to the Lat pull tower, biceps curl bar, butterfly arms, leg curls, leg extension, bench press station, weight bench and preacher curl that come as standard, you also get a foot cuff, tie rod, tricep strap, lat bar & handle. An integrated swivel mechanism allows you to quickly and precisely adjust the seat and other settings for your height requirements. This machine allows you to get a good range of motion on nearly all exercises.
- 55 kg weight stack
- 14 gauge steel framing
- Steel rope cabling
- Extra wide pulleys
- Preacher curl
Men’s Health 100kg Cable Cross Over Home Multi Gym
This machine from Men’s Health is quite unique in terms of home multigyms in that it provides you with wider cable settings than normal to allow you to perform such exercises as cable crossovers. You can also do the standard home gym exercises including curls, push downs, lat pull downs and chest press. There are multiple cable pulley settings to allow you to perform all manner of high, low or medium cable exercises. There is also a pull-up bar at the top of the main frame.
The Men’s Health 100 kg Cable Cross-over Home Multi Gym does not come with a leg extension or leg curl attachment. Neither does it come with a weight stack; you must add your own weight plates to it. This machine makes use of high quality cabling and pulleys and the up and down adjustment of the pulleys is very smooth with the result that it is a near commercial gym like training experience.
- Multi posiiton cables
- Cable crossovers
- Pull Up Bar
- High quality cabling and pulleys
- Weights not included
Opti 70kg Home Multi Gym
The Opti 70kg Home Multi Gym is a solid, compact unit that comes with a 70 KG weight stack. This two in one cabling system enables a maximum resistance of 105 KG. The exercise range of motion is very good on all movements and the quality of the cabling and pulleys is sound, providing a natural cable movement.
The following exercises can be done on the Opti 70kg Home Multi Gym:
- Pec dec
- Leg extension.
- Arm curl.
- Low rowing.
- Chest press.
- Back leg curl.
- Lat pull down.
You also get a slider plate so that you can perform seated rowing exercises. The preacher curl attachment is also included. The preacher curl, seat and back pad are well padded and covered in sweat resistant vinyl. This machine is a good choice for people who have limited space available for working out. The dimensions of this home gym are 205 cm x 110 cm x 190 cm and the total weight is 127 kg.
- 70 kg weight stack
- Preacher curl
- Max resistance 105 kg
- Slider plate
Is a multigym as good as using free weights?
A multigym can be as good as using free weights, depending on what is included in the machine. The most important parts are quality cable pulleys that are set in a high and low position and that are adjustable to different heights. If you have these, you will be able to perform many cable exercises that are as good as, if not better, than those done with barbells and dumbbells. When you use cables, you are able to put constant tension on your muscles from the beginning until the end of the rep. You cannot do this with free weights. Cables are also generally less stressful on your joints and tendons, especially when doing exercises like preacher curls.
What should be included in a good home multigym?
A good home multigym will include a vertical bench press station, A lat pulldown station, a high pulley exercises like triceps push downs, a low pulley for exercises like bicep curls, a leg extension and leg curl station and a shoulder press station. The gym also comes with a pull-up bar attached to the mainframe. If you can find a machine that has a leg press and a preacher curl attachment consider that a bonus.
Is it best to buy a home gym that has a weight stack with it or should you go for one that you add plates to?
The answer to that question really depends on the amount of money you want to pay. Home gyms that have built-in weight stacks are going to be considerably more expensive than ones that do not. However, these are far more convenient to use and generally provide a more fluid exercise movement. When you are looking to buy a home gym with the weight stack pay attention to the increments between each weight plate. Ideally, they should go up in increments of 2.5 KG. Make sure too that you are able to add extra plates to the weight stack as you get stronger.
The alternative to buying a home gym with a built-in weight stack is one that you have to add weight plates to. Make sure that the weight plate attachment bar is designed to take the type of weights that you already have at home. A lot of guys have bought a machine with the intention of adding the plates they have lying around home to it, only to discover that it is designed to take Olympic plates.
How much height clearance do you need for a home gym?
A floor-to-ceiling distance of 2 meters will generally accommodate most home gyms. However, if the home gym comes with a pull-up bar you also need to account for an extra 30 cm of height to accommodate your head going above the bar. Generally speaking, you should also allow a distance of around 1 meter in front of and behind the machine to allow you to comfortably work out without any impediment.
Home Gym Workout
Here is a sample workout that you can do in 30 minutes. It combines home gym exercises with bodyweight movements and assumes that your machine allows you to do the following exercises:
- Bench press
- Lat pull down
- Triceps push down
- Bicep curl
- Side cable raise
- Leg extension
- Leg curl
- Pull Ups
For this workout, you will be super setting a machine exercise with a bodyweight exercise. That means that you go directly from one to the other with no rest. When you have completed both, rest for one minute before repeating the superset. You do three supersets on each pairing.
Bench Press – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with push-ups – 3 x failure
Lat pulldown – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with pullups – 3 x failure
Leg extensions -3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with Wall Sit – 3 x 60 seconds
Leg curls – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with Lunges -3 x 15/12/10
Bicep curls – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with Close grip chin ups – 3 x failure
Tricep Pushdowns – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with Reverse dips -3 x 15/12/10
Shoulder press – 3 x 15/12/10
supersetted with Handstand push ups (against the wall) – 3 x failure
And of course make sure you hydrate throughout! A protein shake afterwards will help with recovery.
Best Home Multi Gyms – Our Top Picks!
For us, the best home multi gym on the UK market right now is easily the York Perform Multi Gym, with its 100 kg weight stack and awesome range of motion and functionality.
Our second favourite compact home gym is the Fit4Home 7080A Multi Gym Home Gym, which provides a 68 kg weight stack and represents excellent value for money.
Rounding out our top three compact multi gyms is the V-Fit LFG2 Herculean COBRA Lay Flat Home Gym, featuring a foldable bench and 2:1 pulley system.
We do like the Men’s Health multi gym, but the need to buy a separate weight set makes it significantly less convenient than the other options. Otherwise, that’s a great choice too.
Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API