Different Types of Gym Equipment and How They Are Used By Fitness Trainers


Considering the levels of stress you go through at work, in your shops with customers, and on roads as a driver – you need physical exercises to balance things up within your body; and this is the more reason you must understand the different types of gym equipment there are, and how to use them.

This list here is just an introduction, there are over 1,000 types of gym equipment for personal and group exercise trainings. Largely speaking, you will find two major types of equipment in the gym – free weights, and machines.

Gym and Fitness Equipment

Free Weights are the commonest form of bodybuilding equipment available in the gym. They are often called “free weights” because there are no attached cables, weight stacks, pulleys, and pins among others. Examples are –

Barbells: A barbell is a long bar to which heavy discs or plates of iron are attached on each end or either side of it, and is what is usually used in weightlifting. In other words, weightlifters use barbells to practice weightlifting. It is between 4-7 feet long and lifted with both hands when fully or partially loaded with disc plates.

Dumbbells: A dumbbell is like a barbell but used with only one hand to build the bicep muscles. It is usually 10-15 inches long.

EZ curl bar: This is designed for working the biceps and triceps. It has angled hand placements and shorter than a barbell.

Tricep bar: It has an oval shaped bar with two parallel hand placements – and can be used to work other body parts apart from the triceps.

Benches: You will find benches in any gym, it is used by trainers for lying down when lifting weights or doings other kinds of fitness exercises. There are usually three types of benches – flat, incline, and decline, and some are adjustable to any flat, incline and decline positions for the comfort of the user. Meanwhile, there are variations of gym benches, you have – hyper extension bench, preacher bench, abdominal bench, and others.

Swiss ball: This is also called stability ball, and can be used for any exercise that can be carried out on a bench. Exercises like bench press, dumbbell flies, shoulder press, lateral raises, pullovers, crunches, reverse crunches and others can be done on the Swiss ball.

Others: There are hundreds of others like dipping bars, chin up bars, and racks among others.

Gym and Fitness Machine

Machines come in various kinds in the gym and used to work individual muscles and the whole body. They take up less space and generally safer to use than free weights. Examples are –

Leg press machine: This machine is very suitable to working the legs, it places minimal stress on the lower back and knees and can be used to safely lift heavy weights without worrying about falling or slipping.

Hack squat machine: It is a variation of the barbell squat and wonderful for working the outer regions of the thighs.

Leg extension machine: It can be used for warming up the knees and joints before engaging in squats and leg presses, and it is great for isolating quadriceps muscles.

Leg curl machine: Sometimes it is possible to have leg curl and leg extension machine built into one, and it more or less the best machine for hamstring exercises.

Calf machine: There are the standing calf raise which works the upper calf muscles, and the seated calf raise which works the lower calf muscles when you’re using it in the seated position.

Leg adduction/abduction machine: This machine works the inner thighs (adduction) and the outer thighs (abduction). It can be made into two separate machines and also into a combined machine for dual use.

Lat pull down machine: This is similar to the chin up machine and great for whoever is able to lift his bodyweight.

Cables and pulleys: This is a weight stack that is connected to a long cable that has a small handle or bar at the end, and you can use it to perform exercises for your entire body utilizing pulleys.

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