Working out at home on your home is a choice more and more seniors are making. As we get older, we tend to shift towards shorter workouts which can make going to the gym seem like a lot of effort for the gains you make. The rise of home gyms provides an ideal opportunity for us to keep up shorter workout sessions in our own time. Obviously, not all home gyms are the same, and some are more suited to seniors than others.
In my opinion, the best home gym for seniors is the Premium Multi-Gym by Kettler. This machine isn’t specifically designed with seniors in mind, and can be used by anybody. There are, however, a number of features which make it ideal for the types of workout generally done by older people.
A Compact, Multi-Function Machine
The Multi-Gym has pretty much everything you would be using at your local gym – a lat pull-frame, bench and butterfly presses, and leg extensions. The rope pulley has hand and foot loops to keep things simple and easy to use. It has a 60kg weight, which is split into 12 x 5kg plates. There is also a curl bar, which can be used in a number of ways in order to vary the muscle groups you work on. The back rest is adjustable to multiple positions, as is the seat pad. The steel ropes are sheathed in plastic for added protection.
The machine itself isn’t tiny, but at 170 x 109 x 200cm, it isn’t going to take up your whole basement or garage. It weighs 123kg and needs to be assembled at home.
Why I Rate This Machine So Highly
The big draw about this particular Kettler machine is the division of the 60kg weight into 5kg plates. This setup is often found on machines geared towards beginners, but it’s also something that many seniors appreciate. Being able to increase the resistance at very small increments is very useful at an age when our bodies don’t bounce back from injury in the same way as they used to. The smaller divisions help us to figure out how resistance much we ought to be using, without the risk of overloading.
Aside from that, the machine pretty much ticks all the other boxes you want it to – it’s sturdy and well-made, comfortable and meets the safety standards that you can have confidence in. With this Multi-Gym, you have a wide range of exercises available to you, including leg pulls and stretches, lat pull-downs, bicep curls, butterfly and seated rowing.
So What’s the Catch?
The only downside I can think of with this machine is that it’s not the simplest when it comes to assembly, and you should expect to spend a good few hours making sure you get it right. Another issue is that it’s only available at Amazon.co.uk so this might result in extra shipping costs. Other than that, this multi gym has got everything for seniors – from gradual weight increments to ultra-comfortable pads. It’s one of the safest, too.
1st Runner-Up – Marcy Eclipse HG3000 Compact Home Gym
The HG3000 is a great choice, thanks to its heavy gauge steel frame, which gives it the sturdiness and stability that Marcy equipment has become famous for.
It has both high and low pulleys, a chest press, leg extension with foam rollers and a preacher pad. It’s also relatively compact, measuring 172 x 91 x 210.
This machine’s stack weighs 68kg, which is a pretty good fit for most seniors. More importantly, it has a stack shroud to help avoid injuries. It’s set up for all the standard exercises – lat pulldowns, tricep pushdowns, ab crunches, curls and so on.
Unfortunately, most people will need to enlist a buddy to get this thing assembled in one session.
2nd Runner-Up – York Perform Multi Gym
With a higher weight stack of 100kg, the Perform Multi-Gym is a good choice for families who want to share a machine. It features a peck deck, vertical chest press, arm curl, lat pull down, seated row and leg extensions. It still qualifies as compact, but at 196 x 115 x 141, and weighing 162kg, it definitely needs a space of its own.
Overall it’s a good-quality, no-frills machine which will allow you a variety of workouts. It has some nice safety features, such as sealed bearings to prevent sticking. The frame material and design should ensure it works for a long time without any issues. The one issue I have is that there are only two height positions.
3rd Runner-Up – Weider 8700 Multi Gym
There’s a weight shroud for safety, plus the pulleys and bushings are vinyl-covered – good for safety and great when it comes to maintenance.
It’s at the larger end of compact: 196 x 110 x 210, so it’s definitely not a machine you’ll be able to hide away in a corner.
The 8700 allows varied strength training – the stack is quite small and is therefore suitable for most seniors.
It can be increased to 150kg for certain exercises, but 66kg max on the pulldown might disappoint seasoned lifters.
The sheer number of home gyms available these days makes it difficult for different groups to compare the machines most suited to them. There is, as yet, no sub-type which is being specifically marketed to seniors, and therefore you need to consider what makes senior workouts different.
In general, you’re looking for safety – not just in the frame of the machine and its operation, but also in the weight stack specifications. The Kettler home gym is most suited to seniors as it gets all these things right. It is a solid home gym for anyone – but the fact that you can adjust the stack at small increments means you can vastly reduce your chance of injury, and that is a priority for seniors.