Fitness & Equipment Guides > Multi gyms & Smith machines – what’s the difference?

Multi gyms & Smith machines – what’s the difference?

18th Oct 21

Here at, we’re proud to provide a wide range of the very best exercise equipment for your home gym. This includes two of our most popular products: multi gyms and Smith machines. Both are large pieces of home gym equipment that combine a variety of features, allowing you to complete many different exercises. But they also have many distinctions. So which one is best for you and your home gym? We explain the differences between multi gyms and Smith machines…

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  1. What is a multi gym?
  2. What is a Smith machine?
  3. Which home gym is best for me?

What is a Multi Gym?

Man working out on a Marcy multi gym

A multi gym is one of the most versatile pieces of home gym equipment, allowing you to train different muscle groups in the upper and lower body. It provides series of strength and cardio features in one single workstation, which gives you the freedom to exercise how you wish, targeting whichever muscles are your focus during that session.

A multi gym combines different weight machines to offer you a really varied workout. Most will have a weight stack attached to the back of the machine, which allows you to change the resistance for each exercise. The weight stack is the core feature of a multi gym, connecting the other areas together, and allowing you to perform many different exercises, including shoulder presses, chest presses, rows, curls and more. This weight stack could be anything between 45kg and 100kg+, depending on your experience and needs. Another key feature of a multi gym is the cable system, which provides high levels of control and support, something that free weights just can’t offer.

Multi gyms are great for beginners and experienced lifters alike. They allow you the freedom to exercise however you wish, as well as providing the safety and support that’s so necessary for home gym equipment. They’re also a great piece of exercise equipment no matter your fitness goals, whether that’s building muscle, dropping fat, or increasing strength and stamina.

Multi gyms can be more cost-effective than multiple pieces of exercise equipment, as well as taking up less space. This makes them perfect for a home gym.

Does a multi gym sound right for you and your home gym? Take a look at our range of multi gyms and be sure to check out our free multi gym workout plans for beginners. Let’s get started!

What is a Smith Machine?

person bench-pressing using a smith machine

A Smith machine consists of a barbell that is fixed within guide rails, allowing the user to complete basic vertical movements. The biggest benefit of the Smith machine is that it offers many safety features. It is one of the safest ways to lift heavy weights at home; no matter how heavy the weights you are lifting, your Smith machine has your back. Its twin roads have two safety catches to prevent your barbell from going too low, which means this piece of home gym equipment protects your shoulders, back and legs from injury. Should the weight become too heavy during your exercises, you can easily lock your barbell back into place and move away safely.

Smith machines can be good for beginners, but they are better suited to intermediate and advanced weight lifters. It is an effective piece of home gym equipment for high volumes and fast muscle growth since every rep will fatigue muscles from one angle. Your Smith machine home gym allows you to progress to your limits safely. Many come complete with an internal bench, too, perfect for seated or reclined exercises.

Of course, you still need to be mindful of your technique when using a Smith machine. When performing exercises like squats or lunges, your foot placement needs to be right. And when doing upper body exercises, make sure your weights aren’t too heavy, as this will put unnecessary stress on your muscles. While a Smith machine is great at assisting your posture and stability, you still need to be careful.

Does a Smith machine sound like the perfect piece of home gym equipment for you? Discover our range of Smith machines today.

Which home gym is best for me?

The main difference between multi gyms and Smith machines is the types of exercises that can be completed. Both are considered home gyms, however, a multi gym is suitable for a wider range of strength and cardio exercises, whereas a Smith machine is for lifting weights. So if you are looking to create a home gym that supports your weightlifting regime, then a Smith machine is the right piece of home gym equipment for you. Alternatively, if you are keen to complete a variety of exercises that are both cardio and strength-based, a multi gym will be a more suitable product.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.