Exercises for Total Gym Machine

The Total Gym machine is a home gym that is capable of exercising all your major muscle groups including the muscles of your chest, back, legs, arms, abs and shoulders. A simple increase of the incline on your Total Gym will make exercises more challenging. The Total Gym does not allow for as small of increases in the amount of resistance offered by a weight stack as you would find on other home gyms, but the lack of a weight stack also makes the machine smaller and more portable.

Reverse Fly with Rotation

The reverse fly with rotation exercise is an upper-body and ab toner. This exercise strengthens the muscles of your back, chest, abs and shoulders. Begin sitting on the glideboard facing the upright with a leg hanging off each side of the board. Sit up straight and squeeze your abs to support your posture. Hold your arms straight in front of you with a handle in each hand and your palms facing each other. The elbows maintain a slight bend throughout the exercise. First, pull your left arm back and toward your left side as you look over your left shoulder and twist to the left. You then bring your left arm back to starting position. Next, repeat with the right side.

Lateral Arm Pull

The lateral arm pull hits the arm muscles not worked in the reverse fly with rotation exercise. Your shoulders and chest muscles are also used. Get into position by sitting sideways on the glideboard with your left side closest to the Total Gym’s upright. Your legs are held straight in front of you with your ankles crossed. Cross your right arm diagonally in front of your chest and hold a handle of the cable with your palms facing down. Then, bend your right elbow and pull your arm toward your right side at shoulder level. Finish the exercise by extending your right arm diagonally across your body again and toward your left hip. The left side of your upper body is worked the same way by turning around and using your left arm to do the lateral pull.

Buns-up Leg Press

The buns-up leg press exercise works the muscles of the legs, including the glutes. This exercise combines a squat with a hip bridge exercise. To perform the buns-up leg press, lie face up on the glideboard with your feet on the squat platform on the lower end of the board. Position your feet hip-width apart. The arms lie next to you on the glideboard at your sides. Then, bend your knees and slide the board down toward your feet. As you lower your body, lift your hips and back off the board until only your neck, shoulders and arms are in contact with the glideboard. Next, push your legs straight again and lower your hips onto the board.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.