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Workout with equipment or functional training? Choose the best for your club

Over time, workout has seen various trends and fashions follow one another, some have consolidated, others have disappeared shortly afterward. In recent years, for example, functional workout has developed enormously: many trainers have offered it to their customers or have tried it at least once. The spontaneous question is: "Functional to what?".

Objections to functional workout

Single-arm push up: a classic functional exercise
The purpose of functional workout should be to develop conditional and coordinating skills that are useful in everyday life. The reality is that workout based mainly on medium-high loads and high intensities is often proposed.
Functional training that doesn't really work
Sure, you can get improvements on the physical level, but it is very difficult to find feedback with that type of workout in everyday life. In these cases, the concept of functional is replaced by a more general one related to workout created to sweat and work as hard as possible.
Functional workout is not customizable
Another criticism that is often addressed to functional workout is that of not being personalized. The same circuit is given to the whole class, the only variable to adapt the is the workload: in this way, neither the individual skills of performing a technique nor the development of coordination skills is addressed. It would be enough to improve the technical execution, teaching new body patterns and really acting on the functionality of the person. Moreover, an incorrectly performed technique with a light load will produce errors that are difficult to notice, and therefore workout of this type has a higher percentage of injuries than the average.
Stretching and core training

The risks of functional workout

From these simple observations we can deduce two fundamental points for which functional workout could have more risks than benefits:

  •  The functional workout method: because of the programming that does not always reflect the intrinsic characteristics of the lesson.
  • The tools used: they require good technical skills that are often lacking, and this increases the risk of injury.

Workout with equipment

With Kinesis Press functional training and safe movements
Equipment-based workout is diametrically opposed to functional workout, which is also loved by many and denigrated by others. Why? The reasons are all linked to a concept of equipment that is now obsolete, times have changed and so are the products available.

In this article we will explain the potential of this type of workout, making known what the reality of workout with equipment is now, starting from general concepts to analyze specifically the various products on the market.

Workout with equipment: why train?

What is often referred to as a defect, i.e. performing a job in a guided manner, is one of the merits of this type of workout. This statement is reflected in various areas:

1. Train newbies safely

No worries about the trajectories to be followed and the changes in posture necessary during free weight exercises, this allows less experienced exercisers to use effective loads in workout, without incurring dangers due to incorrect technical execution.

This does not mean that work should not be carried out on the technique of free weight exercises but that, while working on the specific technique, probably using light loads, not great enough to stimulate adaptation in the person, you can still achieve effective workout stimuli safely.

Outdoor push ups

2. It is more effective for muscular hypertrophy

Free bodywork requires the intervention of stabilizing muscles which, although useful, will make the target muscle work less. Using the equipment, a specific muscle can be trained by isolating it as much as possible from the synergistic and stabilizing muscles. This does not mean that no work should be done on the stabilizing muscles but that using the equipment can increase focus on the target muscle, with minimal intervention of accessory muscles.
Kinesis Press

3. Greater precision in movements

It is possible to select more precisely the working angle necessary to stimulate a muscle. A practical example is given by the much discussed and misunderstood multipower.

A study shows that during a squat using the multipower, by changing the stance of the feet, the distance of the feet from the bar, the inclination of the back, etc. it is possible to train a specific muscle. In this way, it is possible to strengthen the deficient muscles while still doing multi-joint work safely. In free body squatting, the number of variations is not possible because moving out of the correct technique of execution increases the risk of injury.

Logging in to Biocircuit is easy

4.Also useful in the field of rehabilitation/rehabilitation

Often in these specific areas, there is a need for controlled and guided movement. The possibility of selecting the working angle, being able to vary the load quickly and easily, the simplicity of execution without the need to learn the specific technique of an exercise, are all characteristics that are found only in workout with equipment.

It must be said, however, that often we do not know the real potential of the products available, which are used in a simple and limited way. A very interesting study shows the possibility of "off-axis" work. That is, how much positioning oneself in a novel way on an equipment can lead to results that are difficult to achieve by workout with free weights.

Chest Press Artis
There are, however, equipment that can automatically produce, therefore without the need to work outside the fulcrum, the movement of the pad that slides from the ankle to a few inches from the knee.

Equipment today:  what Technogym has to offer

To make this type of work decidedly functional, Technogym has created some solutions that revolutionize the idea of workout with equipment. One of them is Kinesis, both in the One version and in the Station version. With this product handles can move 360 °, replicating every type of movement, from those useful for motor rehabilitation to those specific sports. The cables of this instrument are not guided, and the movement has no limitations in space, so it is possible to work safely while involving the stabilizing and synergistic muscles.
Kinesis Personal Black Onix
The concept of the Kinesis is to train movement in all its forms: by holding the handles, the further you move away from the equipment, the greater the resistance. Exercisers will need to work continuously on the neuromuscular system to produce a fluid movement during the continuous variation of load. With this product the overload will be the last variable to be modified because it will be necessary to acquire first the correct motor skills necessary to produce coordinated and fluid movements, stabilizing the various body districts during the entire range of movement.
In casa come in palestra con la linea Personal


A product that trains strength and cardio in a complementary way is Biocircuit, in which the resistance to work is not given by discs or cams but by an engine of the latest generation. Some of the possibilities of this product include:

  • Eccentric work: After a short test, the equipment will provide resistance during the concentric contraction that will increase, as needed customized, during the eccentric contraction. It will, therefore, be possible to stimulate hypertrophy in a safe way and without the use of a spotter that helps in the exercise or in loading unloading the barbell.
Biocircuit flooring result
  • Isoinertial work: established the watts with which to train these will be maintained for the entire ROM.
  • Viscous work: It will be possible to reproduce the same feeling of the movement against specific resistances such as water, oil, etc.
  • Work with spotters. Once the load has been selected, when it is no longer possible to perform the movement at a steady speed, the motor of the equipment will decrease the external load, keeping the same internal load for all the repetitions.
Strength and cardio tools: the two winning components of Biocircuit
There are several products in the Biocircuit line: chest press, lat equipment, leg extension, etc. Biocircuit will indicate to the user which exercise to perform next in a circuit, managing recovery and repetition, creating a circuit that can meet all types of needs: hypertrophy, re-education of movement, strength, etc.
  • J Appl Biomech. 2010 Feb;26(1):73-86. Biomechanics of off-center monoarticular exercises with lever selectorized equipment. Biscarini A.
  • J Appl Biomech. 2013 Feb;29(1):85-97. Epub 2013 Jan 18. Joint torques and joint reaction forces during squatting with a forward or backward inclined Smith machine.
  • Biscarini A1, Botti FMPettorossi VE.
  • J Sports Sci. 2011 Mar;29(5):457-69. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.534859.
  • Modelling the joint torques and loadings during squatting at the Smith machine. Biscarini A, Benvenuti P, Botti F, Mastrandrea F, Zanuso S.

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