Weight Machines 101 – Leg Machines – (Part 1)

Bethany on the leg curl machine at la fitness - COVER imageThere is no denying the importance of working out your legs. Even if you aren’t concerned with having beautifully sculpted stems, there are a number of reasons to include leg exercises as part of your weekly workout program.

Strength and development training for your legs can help you perform better at sports, increase foot speed or simply make daily tasks like carrying the groceries that much easier. Your legs comprise a large amount of muscle on your body, and increasing the muscle density in your body by building lean muscle in your legs can help you decrease the amount of body fat on your entire body! This is because the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.

It can be confusing as you try to figure out which machines work each part of your leg. To help you understand which machines you can use to tighten, tone or just increase the strength in those hard-working muscles that take you from point A to B, Weight Machines 101 is here to help with Part 1 of this two-part series.

Here are 4 Leg Machines that together will work ALL of the major muscles in your legs.

Leg Extensions – Quadriceps – the front of your thighs

Tips for Leg Extensions:

  1. Tighten your abs and core muscles to help keep you in proper form.
  2. Extend your legs completely in order to fully contract and work your quadriceps.
  3. Bring the weight down slowly as you bend at your knees, stop just before the weight or machine rests on itself, and then perform the next rep.
  4. Maintaining proper form and control during the entire exercise is not only the safest way to perform the movement, but it will work the muscle group most effectively for the best results.

Leg Curls – Hamstrings – The back of your thighs -

Tips for Leg Curls:

  1. Tighten your abs and core muscles to help keep you in proper form.
  2. Bring your heels as close as you can toward your butt to fully contract and work your hamstrings.
  3. Bring the weight down slowly as you lower your feet and extend your legs, stop just before the weight or machine rests on itself, and then perform the next rep.
  4. Maintaining proper form and control during the entire exercise is not only the safest way to perform the movement, but it will work the muscle group most effectively for the best results.

Glute Kickbacks – Gluteus/Glutes – Butt muscles

Tips for Glute Kickbacks:

  1. Tighten your abs and core muscles to help keep you in proper form, and keep your upper body locked in position as you perform the movement with your leg and butt.
  2. Extend your leg completely and tighten your butt/glute muscle to fully contract and work the muscle group.
  3. Bring the weight in slowly; moving your knee forward. Stop just before the weight or machine rests on itself, and then perform the next rep.
  4. Maintaining proper form and control during the entire exercise is not only the safest way to perform the movement, but it will work the muscle group most effectively for the best results.

Calf Raises – Calves – The muscles on the lower half of your legs

Tips for Calf Raises:

  1. Tighten your abs and core muscles to help keep you in proper form.
  2. This exercise can be done with one leg at a time or with both at the same time. Try switching this up from time to time in order to maximize results.
  3. Point your toe(s) as you raise your heel(s) as far as you can to fully contract your calf muscle.
  4. Bring the weight in slowly. Stop just before the weight or machine rests on itself, and then perform the next rep.
  5. Maintaining proper form and control during the entire exercise is not only the safest way to perform the movement, but it will work the muscle group most effectively for the best results.

Remember, each machine has a placard or sign on it that gives you a description of how to use the equipment and which muscle groups they work. Always read the placards if you are uncertain how to use a machine before using it.

IMPORTANT: If you are not sure how heavy the weight should be for your strength level and fitness goal, start with the lightest weight setting. Perform 2 or 3 reps and then make incremental increases until you find the appropriate weight that is right for you and your fitness goal.

There are a ton of great leg exercises, but we don’t want to overwhelm you. So get going with these four leg exercises, and come back for part 2 of Weight Machines 101 – Leg Machines.

For more great TOP TIPS be sure to come back every week and follow LIVING HEALTHY. To learn how, CLICK HERE.

Posted on November 19, 2013, in LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, LA Fitness Blog - Top Tips, Strength, Top Tips, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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