The exercise market provides literally hundreds of home gym systems for consumers, so narrowing down the choices can be something of a daunting process. To make the process easier, home gym systems fit into several categories, and the proper system can be chosen depending on the user's needs. Common home gym systems include squat racks, multi-gyms that feature several weight exercises, and multi-gyms that feature cable weights. Simple weight racks are also an option, as are machines that feature only one or two specific exercises.
Squat racks are home gym systems that allow the user to perform squats with weights. While the cage itself is designed to allow the user to perform squats, most home gym systems in this category come with a removable bench that can be placed inside the cage to perform other exercises such as a bench press or military press. Squat racks generally include the rack — which is made of a sturdy metal and is slotted to accept a barbell — and a barbell that accepts a significant amount of weights. Some systems come with a weight bench, but those that don't include the bench can still be used with a bench purchased separately.
Other home gym systems include larger machines that allow the user to perform several exercises depending on the configuration of the machine or the position of the user. Weights are often used for resistance, though other systems use resistance bands, cables, or other methods of providing weight or resistance. The weights are usually contained within a large sleeve so they do not shift during the exercises, and are sometimes attached to cables that reach to each station of the machine. These home gym systems are meant to give the user options for a full body workout, with upper and lower body exercises available at different stations on the machine.
Workout-specific machines are also available, and these machines focus on one part of the body. Leg press machines, hip and thigh machines, and chin-up bars are common machines used for specific parts of the body. These machines can either be used as a standalone unit, or in some cases, they may be affixed to an existing machine to simply add more options. More often than not, these machines are used in conjunction with other exercises; for example, a chin-up bar may be used with a stability ball to create a complete workout rather than simply one exercise.