5 Best Compact Functional Trainers: BodyCraft, Inspire or Hoist?

Functional trainers are large pieces of equipment. What are the best ones that still fit into most home gyms? Let’s find out.

The 5 best compact functional trainers for a home gym are;

  • BodyCraft HFT (Amazon link)
  • Inspire Fitness FT1
  • Inspire Fitness FTX
  • BodyCraft PFT
  • Hoist MI6

For a full explanation of why these machines are the best and how big they actually are, keep reading below.

Functional Trainer Sizes: What’s Compact and Does It Matter?

Just want to see the 5 best? Scroll down to see it. Here we’ll quickly go over what a compact means in the world of functional trainers and why you should care.

Functional trainer sizes

For a full breakdown of how big functional trainers are and how much space you need to place one, click here. There, you can find a full list of sizes and breakdown of how much space you need to use a functional trainer properly.

To keep things concise, here is the summary of that article.

The average functional cable trainer has a foot print of 65.1” x 49.7”. For this size trainer, a free space that measures 8’ x 9’ is necessary to perform all the exercise options a functional trainer offers. For more compact functional trainers 8’ x 8’ is suitable.

Image of man using a functional trainer

Functional trainer height

Click here to find out exactly how high functional trainers There, you can find a full list of heights and how much headroom you need above it.  

To keep things concise, here is the summary of that article.

The average height of popular functional trainers is 85.4”. Heights range from 82” to 99” with the majority being between 82” and 85” tall. That means most functional trainers fit under 7.5’ tall ceilings although to do pull ups with proper form, you’ll need 8’-8.5’ tall ceilings.


Does functional trainer size matter?

So if you need a 8’x9’ or 8’x8’ space to use a functional trainer anyways, why would you get a more compact one? Well, the free space requirements above are based on the average machine. Getting a smaller machine simply means you need less free space in total.

Also, the free space can be used for other things when not using the functional trainer. So a smaller functional trainer means you can use that space for other activities or even more gym equipment.

In a small home gym, every inch matters.

Image of a man using a cable machine to work out

Best compact functional trainers

Above you can see what kind of space a functional trainer takes up. Now let’s see what the best options are if you’ve got a limited amount of space in your home gym.

Size is the most important factor in this list but not the only one. There are many other factors that make a functional trainer better or worse. Things like price, functionality, quality and resistance also play a role.

In this case I’ve done the work for you and here are the best compact functional trainers for a home gym.

These are just functional trainers and don’t include any other features like a smith bar or power cage. That’s because functional trainers that include those features tend to be quite a bit bigger. However, they can be useful for saving space if you want both a functional trainer and power cage. If you’re interested in this combo, you can find the best options by clicking here.

#1 BodyCraft HFT

The best functional trainer for most people. It’s just a functional trainer without many other features but it does what it has to do really well.

Most importantly for this list, it’s compact. Not the smallest but the smallest while also being quite short and affordable. The BodyCraft HFT is only 82” tall which means you can just fit it under 7’ tall ceilings. The footprint measures: 55” x 40”

It looks good ,is well finished and BodyCraft is a well-known brand that has been making gym equipment for a long time. The weight stacks are half shrouded but not completely. This trainer will last you for a long time without issues.

The HFT includes 2x 150 lbs. but can easily be upgraded to 200 lbs. All that is backed up by a lifetime warranty on the frame and parts.

#2 Inspire Fitness FT1

The closest competitor to the BodyCraft HFT is the Inspire Fitness FT1. It’s very similar in many ways with some differences.

The FT1 is 83” tall which will fit under a 7’ tall ceiling but only if your gym flooring is quite thin. The foot print measures 54” x 46” which is not the smallest but still quite compact.

There are 2 x 165 lbs. weight stacks which are completely shrouded. The shrouds create a nice look and keep dust out. The weight stacks cannot be upgraded. It’s only possible to add 5 lbs. to the weight stacks. This is a major drawback versus the HFT. The amount of cable attachments you get with the machine is the same but different.

All in all, the FT1 is a bit more complete and slightly larger but also costs a bit more than #1.

#3 Inspire Fitness FTX

Want something a bit cheaper? The Inspire FTX is the cheapest compact option in this list. It’s not actually that far off the FT1 in features. It does look a little like someone undressed the FT1. It’s missing everything that makes that trainer look nice.

There are no weight shrouds or backplate. Some parts look similar to the FT1 but are just a bit simpler on the FTX to save production costs. However, where it counts, all the features are very similar.

In functionality compared to the FT1 or HFT you don’t give up much by going for the FTX. For the lower price, you do have to give up some in the looks department and you get fewer accessories and cable attachments included.

The resistance is the same as the FT1 at 2x 165 lbs. and can’t be upgraded.

The Inspire FTX is 85” tall which is actually a bit taller than the FT1 but its footprint is 54” x 40” which is actually 1 inch narrower than the already quite narrow BodyCraft HFT.

#4 BodyCraft PFT

Another bodycraft machine. To be honest, the value for money is not as good as the #1 and #2 on this list. It’s quite a bit more expensive but doesn’t provide many more features. It does look more ‘finished’, has bigger pulley wheels for smoother action and some really cool attachment like a rower. For the price you can find functional trainers with more features though.

One think you can’t find is a smaller functional trainer though. This machine is very compact and even a bit smaller than the already small BodyCraft HFT. For that reason alone it deserves a spot on this list.

Lubrication is important to keep every functional trainer in good shape. Click here to find out how.

#5 Hoist MI6

On the other end of the price spectrum is the Hoist MI6. It’s on the upper end of the price range but it is an awesome machine.

With a footprint of 54” x 37.75” it’s not the absolute smallest but it is the shallowest on this list. And the 83” height is close to the shortest. One thing that could make this functional trainer worth the money to you is the design and attention to detail.

It’s just beautifully made with high end materials and well finished. It looks much more elegant than other functional trainers in this list. The design is simple but looks complete and finished. The weight stacks are almost completely hidden in the back of the machine.

Oh and the really cool part; the pulleys are integrated into the upright posts. That means nothing is sticking out and the posts themselves can rotate. This doesn’t only look really sleek but also means the posts and therefore cable position can rotate 360 degrees.

It’s compact, beautiful and unique. While more expensive than others, it’s a really good option if you’re looking for something special.

If you’re looking for plate loaded functional trainers, click here to find them.

Best Cable Machine Accessories

Make your cable trainer experience even better with these accessories.

  • PlateMate: One or two platemates (Amazon link) can help you increase the weight more gradually on your weight stack. Just stick them onto your weight stack.

Find the most complete functional trainer that includes most of these accessories by clicking here.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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