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In this post, we will explore the common machines at the gym, identify a range of cardio gym machine names along with plenty of resistance training equipment, and we will accompany these gym equipment names with photos for clarity.
We will also look at some more exotic examples of gym equipment and discuss their use.
Table of Contents
What are the different types of gym equipment?
Gym equipment can be divided into a few different categories. There are cardiovascular machines, like treadmills and ellipticals, which are great for getting your heart rate up and burning calories. There are strength-training machines, like weight machines and cable machines, which help you build muscle. And then there are miscellaneous gym equipment types that you can use to do a variety of exercises.
No matter what your fitness goals are, there is gym equipment out there that can help you achieve them. So take some time to familiarize yourself with the different types of gym equipment before you head to the gym. That way, you’ll know exactly what to use to get the most out of your workout.
List of gym equipment names: 55 gym machine names with pictures
Here is a gym equipment list to assist in familiarization with the most popular gym machine names (and a few that are a bit more niche) that you will find on the gym floor. So whether your fitness goals are based around cardio, resistance training, or both, we’ve got you covered!
Cardio gym equipment names
If you’re looking to get your cardio workout in at the gym, there is a range of machines you can use to get your heart pumping. Here are some of the most popular cardio machines names, along with a brief description and the benefits of each. Although equipment like this is often commercial grade, there are slimline variants of home gym machines out there:
A treadmill is a piece of gym equipment that allows a person to walk or run in place. The treadmill belt moves around a set of rollers, and the trainer walks or runs on the belt. Although treadmills are one of the most popular choices for fat loss exercise, they can be used for other cardio training methods like endurance, rehabilitation, and fitness level testing.
An elliptical machine is a piece of equipment that can be used for various forms of exercise. Typically, an elliptical machine will have two pedals that the user stands on and uses to move in a circular or ellipse-like motion. This type of movement is often used in order to simulate walking or running without the impact that these activities typically have on the joints.
A stationary bike is a type of exercise bike that is used to simulate the experience of riding a real bike. The main advantage of a stationary bike over a regular bike is that it can be used indoors, which makes it ideal for people who live in areas with inclement weather or for those who do not have access to outdoor biking trails.
Additionally, stationary bikes are often equipped with features that allow users to track their progress and set goals, such as distance, speed, or time.
Air resistance bike
The air resistance bike has a fan in the front that generates air resistance, the amount of resistance can be adjusted by the user, making it a great workout for people of all fitness levels. Use this machine for fat loss, to increase upper leg muscle and cardiovascular stamina.
A recumbent bike is a type of stationary bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. This position is thought to be more comfortable and ergonomic than the traditional upright riding position. Additionally, recumbent bikes tend to be easier on the back and joints, making them a good choice for people with chronic pain or injuries.
A Spin bike is a type of exercise bike that is often used in group fitness classes. It has a heavy flywheel that creates resistance, making it harder to pedal. The resistance can be adjusted to make the workout more or less challenging.
Many modern spin bikes make use of magnetic resistance technology these days. Spin bikes also have special pedals that grip the shoes, making it easier to keep your feet from slipping.
A rowing machine is a type of exercise equipment that simulates the act of rowing a boat. Rowing machines are designed to provide a full body training session for fitness and strength. They can be used for both cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
Rowing machines offer a number of benefits, including the ability to tone multiple muscle groups, improve your aerobic fitness, and increase your overall endurance.
A stair climber simulates the act of climbing stairs. It is a popular choice for people who are looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness or lose weight. The machine typically has two handlebars that the user grasps while walking on a set of rotating stairs and resistance can be adjusted to make the workout more difficult, depending on the user’s fitness level.
A vertical climber is a machine that simulates the act of rock climbing. The user stands on a platform and grasps two handles above their head. They then use their legs and arms to pull themselves up the wall, replicating the motion of rock climbing.
Vertical climbers provide a great workout for the entire body, including the legs, arms, core, and back and have the additional benefit of grip strength improvement.
Upper body workout machines names
Gym equipment for upper body training is plentiful on the gym floor. Every machine will focus on a specific muscle group or set of muscle groups, so it’s important to identify which body part the machine is designed to train.
Here is our upper body workout machine list to help you get the most out of your upper body workouts.
Arm and shoulder exercise equipment names
Arm machines at the gym names can vary depending on who you are talking to as there are similar variants that are often misidentified. Each variant does however offer the same or very similar training results.
Shoulder training machines are a bit easier to identify. Here is our list of the most popular arm gym machine names with images, along with the common shoulder training machines.
Shoulder press machine
A shoulder press machine is a weightlifting machine that is specifically designed to target the muscles of the shoulder. The machine typically has a seat and a backrest, with a weight stack attached to the front of the machine. The user sits in the seat and grasps the handles or bars attached to the weight stack, and then presses the weights upwards. This exercise targets all three heads of the shoulder, the anterior deltoid muscle, as well as the middle and posterior deltoid muscles.
A dipping station can be used for a variety of exercises. Some of the most common exercises that can be performed on a dipping station include triceps dips, chest dips, and shoulder dips.
Dips are a great way to build strength, coordination, and balance in the upper body and the dipping station machine is a great choice for bodyweight workouts. Some trainers will also use additional weight attached via a belt to progress further than body weight can alone.
Preacher curl machine
A preacher curl machine is a type of weightlifting equipment that helps to isolate the biceps muscles. By sitting down and holding the weight with your elbows resting on the padded armrests, you can curl the weight up and down without using your back or shoulders to help. This allows you to focus specifically on building strength in your biceps.
Back workout machines names
Exercises for the back muscles are performed with either a pull down or row type movement. There are a few variants of this type of strength training equipment, so here is our lifting equipment list of back exercise machine names:
A Pullup bar is a piece of equipment used for strength training. It is typically used to perform pullups, chinups, and other exercises that work the muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms.
Pull-ups are an upper body strength training exercise that works the back muscles. The latissimus dorsi (back muscles) are responsible for downward shoulder movement and extension of the arm. Pullups also work the biceps and forearm muscles.
Seated row machine
A seated row machine consists of a seat, a weight stack, and handles. The user sits on the seat and grasps the handles. The feet are typically placed on rests. To exercise, the user pulls the handles towards the body, working the back and shoulder muscles.
Low row machine
A Low row machine is typically used to target the muscles of the back. The user sits with their knees bent, feet on the footplates, with their legs in front of them, and then uses their arms to pull the handles towards their body. This movement requires coordination and stability, making it an excellent exercise for developing muscular endurance and strength.
Low row machines often come with different attachments to give variations on the grip. Close grip row will generally have a “V” shaped handle placing the hands close together or wide grip attachments will have a longer bar type attachment.
Lat pulldown machine
A lat pulldown machine is used to work out the latissimus dorsi muscle group. The latissimus dorsi is a large, flat muscle that extends from the lower back to the upper arm. The lat pulldown machine allows you to isolate and target this muscle group with a variety of exercises.
Roman chair (AKA back extension machine or hyperextension bench)
A Roman chair is primarily used for strengthening the lower back and abdominal muscles. It can be used for a variety of exercises, including sit-ups, leg lifts, and back extensions as well as used to improve posture and relieve pain in the lower back.
The Roman chair is named after the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who was known for his military prowess and physical strength.
Chest workout machine names
Chest exercises are usually performed with either a compound exercise, like a press, or an isolation exercise, such as a fly. It’s important to use each machine based on the result you are after. A good rule for this is any press, such as bench press is usually for building strength, and size and can be better for general fitness, whereas an isolation exercise is better for muscle toning. Here’s our list of chest machine names:
Chest press machine
The chest press machine typically has a seat and a weight stack, and the user pushes against the resistance of the weight stack to exercise their chest muscles. Chest press machines can be adjustable to different weights and can be set up for different exercises, such as a flat chest press, an incline chest press, or a decline chest press.
The chest press machine is a good way to work on the chest muscles without having to use free weights. Although many chest press machines are used from a seated position only, there are options available that are designed to simulate bench press movements and are designed with a flat body position in mind.
Pec deck machine
As the name implies, a Pec deck machine is often used to work the pectoral muscles, or “pecs.” The machine typically consists of a seat, a back pad, and two pads that set the arms in a fixed position. Weighted plates and a pully system are used for resistance. The user sits in the seat and grasps the handles, then presses the handles together in order to exercise the pecs.
This is an isolation exercise, so it’s good for shaping or pre-exhausting the chest, but if building size and strength in the pecs is your goal, the bench press should be your priority.
Pec fly machine
A Pec fly machine is a type of weight machine that is used to exercise the pec muscles, which are located in the chest. The machine has two handles that the user pushes together in order to work the muscles. The handles have some movement so trainers can work with varying degrees of arm positions.
Arms should be in front of the body, at chest height with a slight bend in the elbow. Most pec fly machine handles can be adjusted to convert the machine into a reverse fly to target the read deltoids. These are a standard piece of commercial gym equipment.
Ab machine names
It’s common to think of abdominal workouts as being limited to sit ups and crunches, and you’d maybe picture Rocky in his garage gym working on his six-pack with no equipment? But there are several machines that are commonplace in gyms these days to help with ab workouts. Here’s our list of names of gym machines that can be part of a good ab workout:
Ab crunch machine
The Ab crunch machine is a device that typically consists of a padded bench with a weight stack or other resistance mechanism. The user will sit on the bench and perform a crunching motion, which works the abdominal muscles. As this is a machine, rather than bodyweight, it allows you to use your abdominals without other stabilizer muscles.
Pilates reformer (AKA Pilates machine)
A Pilates reformer machine is found in several different styles. Generally, these have a fairly large pad attached to a frame. The pad is free to slide along the frame with the user in various positions. There is usually a solid bar at one end of the frame and handles attached to a pulley system at the other end.
The trainer can use this solid bar for stability when whilst training with Pilates movements with the moveable pad. The same applies to the pulley system. Great for trainers interested in Range of movement, all over body workouts and Pilates in general. There are more affordable options in the form of “rolling boards”.
An Ab coaster is a device that has a seat and a padded roller that is attached to a rail. The user sits on the seat and puts their feet on the pedals. They then push the roller up and down the rail thus “coasting” along the track. Although this device is named as an abdominal workout machine, it can be used for different muscle groups such as the arms, hips, and legs.
Abdominal bench (AKA situp bench)
An abdominal bench has a padded surface and is set at a decline angle with padded fixings to lock the lower legs in place. Some sit up benches have a variety of adjustable decline settings to accommodate different users. The most common exercises performed on an abdominal bench are sit-ups and crunches.
Ab roller (AKA ab wheel)
An ab roller is a device that is used to help tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles. The user holds the handles of the device and then rolls it forward, using their abs to control the movement.
The ab roller is also a great piece of portable exercise equipment to use when you can’t make it to the gym, and it is also relatively affordable. There are a few different brands of ab rollers on the market, but they all generally work in the same way.
Leg workout machines names
When it comes to leg workouts, you could simply use a barbell and stick to variants of squats, but there are some very useful machines available to us, not only in the public gym, but some of these will be a great addition to your home gym too. Here’s our leg machine names list:
Leg curl machine
A leg curl machine has a padded bench for the person either to lay on their stomach, or sit (depending on design) and they place their feet under the padded bar. They then curl their legs towards their butt and lower them back down. thus isolating the hamstring muscle group in the legs. The hamstring is a large muscle that extends from the hip to the knee at the back of the leg.
The leg curl machine allows you to isolate the hamstring group and work it independently from other muscle groups in the legs. This is beneficial because it allows you to focus on developing this muscle group without having to worry about other muscles in the legs getting in the way.
Leg extension machine
A leg extension machine is a piece of exercise equipment that is used to strengthen the quadriceps muscles in the legs. The quadriceps are a group of four muscles that are located on the front of the thigh. These muscles are responsible for extending the knee joint.
The leg extension machine works by allowing the user to sit with their knees bent and then extend their legs against resistance. This resistance can be provided by weights, springs, or hydraulic cylinders.
Hack squat machine
The hack squat machine is great piece of strength training gym equipment that simulates the movement of squatting. The machine consists of a platform on which the user stands, with two handles attached to the front of the platform. The user grasps the handles and squats down, then stands up again, returning to the starting position.
The machine is adjustable so that the user can increase or decrease the amount of weight being lifted. The hack squat machine is a leg press machine that targets the front of the upper legs more than other leg press variants, but as it is a compound movement, it will also have some effect on the glute and hamstring muscles.
Hip abduction machine (AKA SUS machine)
The hip abduction machine is designed to target the outer thigh muscles. This muscle group is responsible for moving the leg away from the body, and the Abduction machine allows users to focus on this movement pattern.
The machine typically consists of a padded seat and two handles that the user can grasp. There are also footplates that the user will place their feet on. To use the machine, the user will sit in the seat and grasp the handles and then push the legs in an outward motion. This type of machine can also be used to help people who have had hip surgery or who have weak hip muscles.
Wondering where the SUS machine name comes from? Well, I’m a bit baffled myself, but it seems it’s related to the fact that this machine is in some way “suspicious or suspect“. Whether that is originally down to it being suspect (as to whether it does anything), or it’s suspicious (as in the related “good girl, bad girl machine” label) is unknown to us.
Hip adduction machine
The hip adduction machine is used to target the upper, inner leg muscles. The adductors are responsible for moving the leg towards the mid line of the body. Hip adduction machines look very similar and have the same set up as hip abduction machines, but the pads are placed on the inside of the upper legs and the mechanism moves in the opposite direction, so the resistance works against the inside leg. There are single machines available that are able to perform both the adduction and abduction function.
Calf raise machine
The calf raise machine typically has a foot plate that the user presses down on with their feet to raise the weight, and a weight stack that can be adjusted to add resistance. There are several different versions of calf raise machines, these are either a seated or standing set up, but both do the same job. Calf raises are an important exercise for developing lower leg strength, power, flexibility and endurance, and can help improve sports performance and prevent injuries.
Leg press machine
The leg press machine targets the quadriceps in the legs along with the glutes and hamstring muscles. As this is a compound movement, it is better for strength training than a leg extension machine. The machine consists of a weighted sled that is pushed up and down by the legs. The leg press can be performed with either one leg or two legs.
The leg press can be a helpful exercise for those who want to increase their leg strength and muscle mass. Some trainers find these machines tough on the knees. If this is the case, its advised to use a leg extension machine to build strength before progressing onto any leg press movement.
A dragging sled is typically loaded with weights and then dragged or pushed across a floor or other surface. This resistance training method can help to improve strength, power, and endurance. Dragging sleds are popular with trainers who play competitive sports such as football or rugby. These are not great if you are using a home gym as they require a lot of room and a large area to use effectively.
A plyo box is a type of training equipment typically used in Crossfit and other forms of high-intensity interval training. Its main purpose is to develop explosive power and improve an athlete’s ability to generate force rapidly.
The boxes come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are 20″, 24″, and 30″, as well as hard and soft variations. The latter are better for those who lack confidence, or who want to avoid any nasty mishaps.
Miscellaneous gym workout equipment names
There is a bunch of weight lifting equipment that does not fit into a single category as it has multiple uses, so if you are looking for a machine for your home gym, consider looking over this list as a foundation choice. This popular gym equipment is also standard to most public gyms.
A flat bench is a weightlifting bench that is horizontal, as opposed to being angled at an incline or decline. This type of bench is often used for chest presses and other exercises that work the muscles in the chest and upper body, but it one of the more versatile pieces of gym equipment that has many other possible functions. these are found in commercial gyms everywhere.
Once again, the adjustable bench is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises. It can be adjusted to different heights to accommodate different users, and the angle of the backrest can also be adjusted to target different muscle groups.
The bench can be used for presses, rows, curls, and many other exercises. The adjustable nature of the bench allows for a greater range of motion and flexibility in your workout routine. This is a popular piece of gym equipment due to its versatility.
A decline bench is weight lifting bench that has a decline setting, so the upper back rest drops towards the floor. Decline benches are most commonly used for decline bench press to target the lower chest. They can be used for abdominal training if they also have a foot rest.
This is a piece of equipment that allows slight hyper extension of the back whist training the stomach muscles, to give extra range of movement. Many good adjustable benches also have a decline setting, so investing in a bench that moves both to incline and decline is a better choice.
Resistance bands are made of elastic material and come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and colours. Resistance bands can be used for a variety of exercises, including upper and lower body workouts, stretching, flexibility and core training. These bands can be used to simulate standard movements like bench press, shoulder press etc.
Some people even tie them to the weight stacks of machines to add variety to their workout! In physical therapy and rehabilitation a resistance band workout routine is often used to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Other benefits of resistance bands are that they are affordable, versatile and take up little space so this is a piece of equipment that also gives itself to working out at home.
Barbells are a type of free weight that is often used in strength training. They can be used for a variety of exercises, such as squats, presses, and rows. Barbells are often considered to be more effective than dumbbells because they allow you to load more weight onto the bar. This can help to increase muscle size and strength more quickly.
Barbells come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights, if you want to know more about these in depth, see our article covering all of the different types of barbells.
Dumbells are one of the most basic pieces of equipment at a gym. They come in a variety of sizes and weights and can be used for a variety of exercises. Dumbells are an essential piece of equipment for any weightlifter or bodybuilder, as they allow for a wide range of motion and can be used for both upper and lower body workouts.
Fun fact: The term “dumbbell” originated in the late 1500s when it was used to describe a type of bell that was unable to produce sound. The word was eventually applied to a type of weightlifting equipment that consisted of two weighted balls connected by a short bar.
At the gym, battle ropes can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, they can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness, to build muscle endurance, or to develop power and explosiveness. Additionally, battle ropes can be used as a tool for rehabilitation following an injury.
Medicine ball (AKA slam ball)
Medicine balls or Slam balls are used for a variety of exercises. These can include everything from light tossing to more strenuous movements such as overhead throws. In general, medicine balls are a great way to add resistance to any workout routine and can help improve strength, coordination, and motor skills.
Kettlebells are often used in CrossFit and other fitness programs because they can be used for many different types of exercises, including swings, cleans, snatches, and presses. Kettlebells can also be used for cardio workouts, as they help to increase heart rate and burn calories.
Swiss ball (AKA yoga ball or exercise ball)
Swiss balls are often used in physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises. They can also be used for strength training and balance exercises. Swiss balls can help to improve flexibility, range of motion, and coordination. Additionally, they can help to challenge the core muscles (abs, obliques, and lower back) while performing exercises.
Agility ladders are training tools that help improve coordination, speed, and change of direction ability. They can be used for a variety of different exercises, such as sprints, shuffles, lateral movement drills, and plyometric exercises.
Ladders improve coordination by forcing the user to concentrate on their foot placement while also moving quickly. This helps to develop neuromuscular coordination, which is important for many sports and activities.
Agility ladders can be an effective tool for athletes who are looking to improve their performance on the field or court. They can also be used by people who are looking to improve their overall fitness level and burn calories.
Balance board (AKA wobble board)
A balance board is a device used to improve balance and coordination. It consists of a platform, in the shape of a half-circle, Full circle or rectangle that is mounted on a fulcrum.
The user stands on the board and tries to maintain their balance while performing various tasks. Balance boards can be used for a variety of purposes, including physical therapy, rehabilitation, and plyometric training.
Gymnastic rings are an apparatus most widely known for their use in men’s artistic gymnastics. It consists of two circular hoops of wood, plastic or metal, suspended from a metal frame.
The rings are used to perform a variety of static and dynamic exercises as well as tricks. Static exercises involve holding or moving into positions such as the front support and the iron cross.
Cable crossover machines have two weight stacks with pulleys at the top and bottom. The cables can be adjusted to different heights, allowing for a variety of exercises to be performed.
Cable crossovers are often used for chest and shoulder exercises, but can also be used for other body parts such as the back, arms, and legs.
A cable pully system is a more affordable and practical option to save space in your home gym setup when compared to a full cable crossover machine. This piece of kit is attached to an existing high beam or pull up bar and is plate loaded.
Cable pulley systems are used for “pulldown exercises” like lat pull downs and tricep extension.
Vibration plates are a type of exercise equipment that uses vibrations to help tone and strengthen the muscles. The vibrations cause the muscles to contract and relax, which may help to improve muscle endurance and strength, depending on the current fitness level of the user.
Additionally, vibration plates can also help to improve flexibility, blood flow and range of motion which can lead to improved health and fitness.
Stretching machines come in various forms. The most useful for multiple stretches are All in one platforms. Generally these have a seat and bars that act as stable anchor points to use as they are, to or attach bands to for a broader range stretching exercises.
An inversion table is a device that allows you to suspend yourself upside down. This can have several benefits, such as relieving back pain, improving your posture, and increasing your flexibility. relieving stress and improving blood circulation. Trainers use this piece of fitness equipment to alleviate shoulder and back tension. Some believe it helps with kidney stones too.
Power rack (AKA power cage)
The Power rack is used to help support and stabilize a barbell during lifts such as the squat, bench press, and overhead press. It consists of a metal frame with adjustable safety pins that can be placed at different heights to accommodate different exercises.
The Power rack is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of different exercises, making it a popular choice for many gym-goers.
Named after its inventor Joseph Smith, the smith machine allows users to safely and effectively lift heavy weights. The machine consists of a barbell that is attached to a weight carriage, which slides up and down on steel guide rods.
The weight carriage is equipped with safety stops that prevent the barbell from falling off the guide rods. The smith machine is an ideal machine for lifting heavy weights because it offers a high level of safety and stability.
The squat rack is a weight lifting device that helps support the barbell during (you guessed it) squats, but it can also be used in conjunction with a bench to perform pressing exercises more safely. It typically has a U-shaped frame with adjustable pins to accommodate different heights and is also equipped with safety bars to catch the barbell in case of a failed lift.
Key takeaways about the different types of gym machines names and functions
There are many different types of gym machine names and functions, but the more familiar we become with the gym scene and actually start using the equipment regularly, we realize that many of the variants do the same job. Take the pec dec for example. This will have a slightly different look and feel from gym to gym, but the functionality and design are designed to isolate the chest.
If you are looking for new machines in your home gym, you should think about your training goals and tailor your equipment based on this.
Everyone will have their preference of machine for their workouts, and it’s very common to see a piece of kit and steer clear of it entirely as it looks a bit alien, but, until we try it out, we won’t know if it’s actually a good fit. Variety is the spice of life and trying different equipment from time to time will certainly help our training sessions and fitness aptitude to evolve.
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