You may have heard of Total Gym as one of the leaders in fitness equipment for a home or commercial gym.

Total Gym specializes in versatility so that you can work for major muscle groups with any of their machines.  It’s fantastic for strength training, building muscle, and toning. 

If you are ready for a total body workout, Total Gym is waiting for you. 

We found some of the best workouts to keep you focused on your fitness goals. 

We’re always looking out for you here at Calisthenics-Gear. 

Best Total Gym Exercises

There are over 80 different exercises that you can perform when using the Total Gym equipment. 

We told you it was versatile–even Chuck Norris endorses it.  Some of the best exercises are listed below:

  • Chest press
  • Upright back rows
  • Seated Bicep Curls
  • Pullover
  • Pullover crunch
  • Pullups
  • Chest flies
  • Lateral flies
  • Sprinter start
  • Lying triceps extension
  • Hop twists

As you can see, the exercises listed above will give you that a full-body workout by using compound exercises that work the upper body, core, and lower body. 

We promise that your muscles will be sore the next day when you use the Total Gym equipment.  Remember, muscle soreness means you are building and repairing muscles. 

Always take time to recover and then get right back to the exercises.

Best Workouts Using the Total Gym

Total Gym categorizes their workouts depending on who is working out and the prominent muscle group that is working. 

The categories are:

  • Women’s 6-8 minute workout
  • Women’s lower body strength
  • Long and lean workout
  • Men’s 6-8 minute workout
  • Men’s lower body power
  • Men’s upper body strength
  • Core strength and stability
  • Kid’s workout
  • My personal programs

A complete list of Total Gym workouts can be found here, with tutorials included.

Working Individual Muscle Groups

Many workouts target individual muscle groups that can be done in succession to build lean muscle mass. 

Perform 4-5 sets of these exercises with 10-15 repetitions. 


It’s time to strengthen your core with ab crunches, oblique twists, sit-ups with cables, and regular sit-ups. 

Make sure no one makes you laugh the day after you get this core work done.  Oh, the pain!


It’s summer, and it’s time for those tank tops. 

Get amazing arms by performing seated bicep curls, the lateral arm pull, lying triceps, and lying tricep extensions. 

Feel those muscles burn, people!


The Tokyo Olympics is coming.  You know what that means. 

We are about to be envious of those swimmers and their ultimate back muscles.  How can you get the same effect? 

Try pull-ups, front pullovers, iron cross/snow angels, and reverse flies with rotation on the Total Gym machine. 

Your back will look amazing in no time at all.


Since we are working our back muscles, it’s crucial to also focus on the chest muscles to utilize both sides of your body equally. 

Work the chest with an incline push-up, seated chest press, seated chest fly, and lateral chest fly. 


Come on. You didn’t think we would forget about the legs. 

Use the Total Gym machine for squats, side squats, single-leg squats, and sprinter starts. 

Remember, the Olympics are coming, and we want legs like those track stars.


Strong shoulders are essential for functional fitness.  Think of how often you reach to put something over your head. 

Maybe like when we used to travel on airplanes and lift that luggage to the overhead bin.  Those were the days. 

Anyway, you use your shoulders when you lift things, and exercises like a shoulder extension, serve, upright row, and front raise work those deltoids.

Full Body

If you want to use compound exercises to work your entire body, the Total Gym home gym machine has you covered. 

Perform a leg curl with bicep curls, toe-touch row, arm pullover (standing), and single-leg pullover.

HIIT Workouts

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts are great for burning calories by increasing and decreasing the heart rate quickly. 

To get a HIIT workout with the Total Gym machine, start with a dynamic warm-up like lateral toe-touches, side lunges, or a plank. 

Focus on performing each exercise for one minute each.  Perform the exercise for 45 seconds and then relax for 15 seconds.  The training you choose will depend on your fitness goals. 

Choose from cardio exercises like the glide board, the Total Gym stepper, plank jacks, or donkey kicks.  You can choose from squat knee-ups, bridge press with single-leg, static bicep curls, and tricep presses for strength exercises. 

Put together a workout that works for you and your time constraints.  Make sure to end your HIIT workout with some stretches.

Beginner Workouts

If you are new to the Total Gym workouts, here is a suggested HIIT workout to get you started. 

Start with two sets of leg pulls at 15-20 reps for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest.  Switch to two sets of arm pullovers at 15-20 reps. 

Then it’s butterflies, seated rows, squats, and decline abdominal crunches.  It’s all two sets of each with rest in between each exercise.

Intermediate Workouts

If you are at the intermediate level, perform all of the exercises listed in the beginner workouts. 

The difference will be that you move from exercise to exercise with no rest in between. 

At the end of the entire circuit, rest for 60 seconds and start again.  The goal is to perform three consecutive circuits.   

Total Gym Exercises for the Win

Total Gym exercises are worth it and help to build muscle and promote weight loss. 

Many reviews suggest that it is one of the best machines for your home gym to sculpt every muscle group. 

Check out our list of bodyweight exercises that you can add to the Total Gym workouts. 

Get the most out of your fitness regimen.  It’s time to take total control over your body.  See what we did there?

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