The Best Keiser Functional Trainer Exercises & How To Perform Them

Multi-gyms are designed to offer a wide range of exercises in a single unit, maximising their usages.

However, while one of the main reasons for this is saving space, many multi-gyms are still very large, heavy items. This can sometimes mean you save very little, as opposed to using traditional options.

The Keiser Functional Trainer is one multi-gym that really takes this issue to heart though.

It sets out to offer one of the broadest ranges of exercises possible, while taking up an incredibly small amount of space. This makes it an incredibly attractive proposition for many.

How much can you really do on the Keiser Functional Trainer though? Well, lets take a closer look at the machine itself and see some of the best exercises capable of being performed on it.

What Is The Keiser Functional Trainer?

The Keiser Functional Trainer is a modern type of resistance machine, known as a functional trainer, which focuses on being incredibly versatile.

It features an incredible number of different settings and attachments, which allow the user to perform a range of exercises for every part of the body.

Specifically designed with functionality in mind, it allows people to customise their workout more than they could with almost any other single piece of equipment on the market.

Despite its incredible range of uses, the Keiser Functional Trainer boasts an extremely compact design. This has made it incredibly popular for use in both gyms and homes, as it takes up very little space, particularly given how much you can use it for.

The strong and sturdy design also ensures the product has an extended lifespan, even when put through the sort of rigours it will experience in a gym.

If any issues do arise, however, it is covered by a warranty that includes both private and commercial use.

Best Keiser Functional Trainer Exercises

On their official website, Keiser lists 54 different exercises their machine can be used for, while there are many more beyond that which people have come up with and adapted by themselves.

While that makes it incredibly versatile, it can also make it a little daunting knowing where to get started.

That is why we have selected what we feel are the 13 best Keiser Functional Trainer exercises below.

This collection of exercises is not only among the most effective, but they also cover the entire body. This allows you to combine them to create an incredibly effective full body workout routine.

Overhead Squat

Attach one end of the long bar to each side of the machine in the lowest position possible.

Take the bar with an overhand grip, holding it as close to the ends as you can. Raise the bar over your head until your arms are straight. This is your starting position.

Making sure to keep your back and arms straight throughout, slowly squat down as low as possible.

Your aim should be to go until your glutes are almost touching the floor or to your maximum range of motion.

At the bottom of the rep, pause for a second before retuning to the starting position and repeating for the desired number of reps.

Front Squat

Attach single handles to either side of the machine at its lowest setting. Hold each handle with an overhand grip and raise them to your shoulders, with your palms facing away from you.

From here, perform the same routine as seen in an overhead squat, only without worrying about straightening your arms at the top

Single Leg Prone Leg Curl

With the machine in its lowest position, attach one of the ankle/wrist cuffs to one side of it.

Secure it around one of your ankles and lie flat on the floor facing the ground.

You should be just far enough from the machine that there is still tension when your leg is fully extended.

Place your hands flat on the floor beside your head or interlock your fingers behind your head to create a position of support from which to start the exercise.

Contract the muscles in your hamstring and curl your leg, bringing the heel of your foot as close to your buttocks as possible.

Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. Repeat the same number again with the other leg.

Hip Abduction

Set the machine up in exactly the same way as with the single leg prone leg curl.

Stand facing the machine and place the leg without the cuff on it directly in the centre of the machine, with the other leg crossing in front of you, attached to the side furthest from it.

Using your arms to steady you on the machine, pull your leg across your body and out to the side by contracting the muscle down the outside of your leg.

Raise your foot as far and as high as possible, while keeping your legs and body straight at all times.

After pausing for a second, lower the weight down, across your standing leg and back to the starting position.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, before matching the number with the other leg.

Hip Adduction

Again, set the machine up in exactly the same way as with hip abduction, only this time stand with your back to the machine.

Place your standing leg as far away from where you are attached as possible.

The leg with the cuff on it should begin up and out to the side, close to where it is attached, but with a small amount of tension.

Contract the muscles on the inside of the leg and, keeping it straight, bring it to meet the standing leg, taking it slightly across the front if possible.

Hold the contraction for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating for the desired number of reps.

Then make sure to match the same number with the other leg.

Hip Flexion

Using the same setup as for hip adduction, stand with your back to the machine.

Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, with the one attached to the machine trailing behind you, a little less than 45 degrees from your body.

Stand far enough away from the machine that there is a slight amount of tension in this position.

Keeping your standing leg stationary, sweep your attached leg forwards and try to bring your knee as close to your chest as possible.

Pause for a second then return to the starting position and complete the desired number of reps, before repeating the same number with the other leg.

Forward Step Ups

The setup and execution of this exercise is almost identical to hip flexion.

The only difference is that your standing foot will be placed on a box in front of you.

You need the box to be high enough so that your upper leg is parallel to the ground, with a 90 degree angle in your knee.

Now, as you perform the same movement seen in hip flexion, contract the muscles in the standing leg and straighten it.

You should finish in the same position you would during hip flexion, only you will be standing on top of the box.

Perform this entire movement for the desired number of repetitions, before completing the same number again on the other side.

Forward Lunge

With the machine set to its lowest position, secure the belt attachment to one side.

Stand completely upright, facing away from the machine, at a distance where there is a small amount of tension while at rest.

Place your hands on your hips for additional stability.

Keeping your back straight, lunge forward with one leg and plant the foot flat on the floor.

Lower yourself until there is a 90 degree bend in both of your knees. Your front foot will remain flat, while the rear foot will be supported on your toes.

Squeeze the muscles in the hamstrings and glutes to return yourself to the starting position, then repeat the movement with the other leg.

Continue until you have completed the desired number of repetitions, making sure to do the same number on each leg.

One Arm Bent Over Row

Attach a single handle to one side of the machine, with it set to its lowest position.

Grip the handle with your arm outstretched straight in front of you and your palm facing across your body.

Squat down slightly and bend forward about 45 degrees, making sure to keep your back straight.

If required, you can support yourself by placing your other hand on your thigh. This is the starting position.

Using only your arm, pull the handle towards you, bending only at the elbow, keeping your arm tucked in beside your body.

Keep going until the handle reaches your body and then hold the contraction for a few seconds.

Slowly return the handle to the starting point, allowing your shoulder to roll forward slightly at the end, in order to let you go into a position where the muscles in the back are completely extended.

Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, before switching hands and performing the same number on the opposite side.

Side Plank with Row

Set the machine up the same as it was for the regular one arm bent over row.

Position yourself on the floor far enough away that you can grip the handle with a small amount of tension when your arm is out straight in front of you.

Place one elbow on the ground and perform a side plank, keeping your entire body completely straight and supporting your weight on only your elbow and the outside on one of your feet.

From this position, use your free hand to perform single arm rows in exactly the same way you would with single arm bent over rows.

Make sure to keep your core tense and straight the entire time, before changing the side you are planking on and completing the same number of repetitions with the other arm.

Standing Cable Bends

For standing cable bends, the machine is again set with a single handle on the lowest setting.

Take the handle with an overhand grip and your palm facing your body. Stand with your side to the handle, feet shoulder width apart, and bend sideways across the abdomen towards the handle.

You should be just far enough away that there is tension when you grip the handle with your arm fully extended down by your side.

Place your free hand on your hip for added support.

Engage your core and, keeping your arm straight, raise yourself back to a completely upright position and then continue slightly further.

You should feel a strong contraction in the side of your abdomen opposite the handle, which you will hold for a few seconds and really squeeze.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps, before completing the same again on the other side.

Alternating Jack Knife

Attach single handles to either side of the machine at its lowest setting.

Lay flat on the floor on your back, just far enough away from the machine that you can grip the handles with a small amount of tension when your arms are completely extended above your head.

Keeping your arms straight, bring one arm up and pull the weight until your arm goes just past completely vertical.

At the same time, bring the knee on the same side of you body towards your chest, until your knee and arm meet in the middle.

Slowly return both your arm and leg to their starting positions and repeat with the other arm and leg.

Complete the same number of repetitions with both sides of your body.

Standing Cable Rotation

Attach a single handle to the machine at just below shoulder height.

Grip the handle so that your palm is facing across your body and stand far enough from the machine that there is a small amount of tension when your arm is completely straight out in front of you.

Slightly bend your knees just enough that your arm becomes completely parallel with the floor and place your free hand on your hip for support.

Slowly begin to twist your torso away from the machine and simultaneously row the handle into your chest. Keep going as far as you can, then hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.

Perform the desired number of repetitions, before repeating the same number with the other side.

Conclusion

While there are plenty of other exercises able to be completed with the Keiser Functional Trainer, this selection will help everyone from beginners to advanced athletes complete a well-rounded and challenging workout.

With adjustments like changing the number of sets or reps you complete, as well as altering the order in which you perform the exercises, you can make this outline the basis of a successful routine for a long time to come.

So, what are you waiting for? Why not give the Kaiser Functional Trainer a try for yourself?

The sooner you start using it and experimenting with its vast number of options, the sooner you’ll start seeing the sort of incredible progress you’ve been looking for. 

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