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User Instructions for Total Gym XLi

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 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. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
User Instructions for Total Gym XLi
You can get an overall workout on a Total Gym XLi. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The Total Gym XLS is the American equivalent of the Total Gym XLi. Both machines are made by Total Gym, the body-weight-only home gyms endorsed by Chuck Norris. The Total Gym XLi has all the accessories Total Gym makes, including a squat platform, wing attachment, dip bars and leg pulley system. This means that every Total Gym exercise is possible on the XLi. Do a full-body workout two to three days a week consisting of exercises that hit every major muscle group including the legs, chest, back, biceps, triceps and delts.


The Total Gym XLi is one of the few Total Gyms with an upgraded squat platform. The squat platform provides a sturdy place to put your feet while lying on the bench to do squats. This exercise works the legs. To perform a squat, lie face up on the bench with your feet hip-width apart on the platform. Bend your knees down into a squat until your knees make 90-degree angles, then push your legs straight.

Parallel Grip Chest Press

The parallel grip chest press exercise targets the chest, shoulders and triceps. The triceps work harder than they would during a standard chest press with the arms raised. To perform a parallel grip chest press on a Total Gym XLi, sit on the bench facing away from the upright and holding the handles. Bend your elbows to 90-degree angles and bring your elbows to your sides so your palms face each other and your forearms are parallel to the bench. Next, extend your arms straight forward and then bend them back to the starting position.

Low Crossover Lat Row

The low crossover lat row targets the back and biceps. The cables cross during this exercise, giving it its name. Your arms are low toward the bench, which differentiates the exercise from the high row. To do this exercise, sit on the bench facing the upright and holding the handles with your arms straight and the cables crossed. Next, bend your elbows and pull them back past your sides. Straighten your arms to complete one low crossover lat row.

Cross-Body Shoulder Raises

The cross-body shoulder raises target one deltoid at a time. The arm you work crosses your body to grab the handle on the opposite side of the bench, which is why the exercise is called cross-body shoulder raise. To perform a right cross-body shoulder raise, straddle the bench facing the upright. Grab the handle on the left with your right arm straight across the front of your body with the palm face down. Then, raise your arm up and out to the right above shoulder level, turning your palm to face away from you. Return your arm back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.


The height of the incline on the bench determines the results you'll get from using the machine. Exercising on a low incline firms and slenderizes your body. Exercising with a high incline builds and sculpts your muscles. Adjust the incline by removing the locking pin from the upright and sliding the bench up or down to a different height.

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