Weight Machines 101 – Leg Machines – Complete Leg Exercises – (Part 2)

Weight Machines 101 leg press cover

Doing exercises that work your entire leg, from your butt to your calves, is an excellent way to get the most out your leg workouts. By doing these exercises you not only work more muscles, but all of the largest muscles in your lower body as well. Working and developing more muscles leads to more muscle growth and more calories burned; helping you to reduce body fat, obtain tighter / stronger muscles and reach your goal faster.

Though these exercises can be performed sitting, standing or even on your back, they all require you to push the weight with your feet. This mimics a more natural or functional movement of your legs.

If you are looking to get the most out your leg workouts, but you’re not sure which machines work the most muscles, then check out these four leg machines.

Leg Sled –

Tips for the Leg Sled:

  1. Position your feet shoulder width apart or slightly past shoulder width to focus more on your glutes.
  2. Keep your feet straight and parallel to each other.
  3. Tighten your core muscles; keep your head and body in proper postural alignment for the duration of the exercise.
  4. Bring your knees in toward your chest to about a 90 degree angle, and then extend your legs out to perform the exercise.
  5. Do NOT lock your knees out when extending your legs. Keep a subtle bend in your knees to support the weight with your muscles.

Leg Press –

Tips for Leg Presses:

  1. Position your feet shoulder width apart or slightly past shoulder width to focus more on your glutes.
  2. Keep your feet straight and parallel to each other.
  3. Tighten your core muscles; keep your head and body in proper postural alignment for the duration of the exercise.
  4. Bring your knees in toward your chest to about a 90 degree angle, and then extend your legs out to perform the exercise.
  5. Do NOT lock your knees out when extending your legs. Keep a subtle bend in your knees to support the weight with your muscles.

Cable Squat –

Tips for Cable Squats:

  1. Hold the cable handles at a height that is about level to your chin.
  2. Position your feet shoulder width apart or slightly past shoulder width to focus more on your glutes.
  3. Keep your feet straight and parallel to each other.
  4. Squat / Lower your body by bending at the knee until you reach about a 90 degree angle, then extend back up again to perform the exercise.
  5. Do NOT lock your knees out when extending your legs. Keep a subtle bend in your knees to support the weight with your muscles.
  6. Tighten your core muscles; keep your head and body in proper postural alignment for the duration of the exercise.

Cable Lunge Squat –

Tips for Cable Lunge Squats:

  1. Use a lighter amount of weight / resistance than you would for a traditional style squat.
  2. Hold the cable handles at a height that is about level to your chin.
  3. Stagger your stance as you would with a lunge.
  4. Keep your feet straight.
  5. Bend your knees, lowering your back knee toward the ground.
  6. Stop when you reach approximately at 90 degree angle at your knees, and extend back up again.
  7. Do not alternate legs after each rep. Do all your reps for each set on the same side. Once you have a completed a full set, then switch your stance.
  8. Tighten your core muscles; keep your head and body in proper postural alignment for the duration of the exercise.

Keep up the hard work and be sure to come back for more great exercises from our TOP TIPS series.

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.

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

Posted on December 3, 2013, in LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, LA Fitness Blog - Top Tips, Strength, Top Tips, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Good article

  2. gonzalesjorge954

    Great article I like the section you added here for leg sled. Your tips are going to help me a lot.

  3. Excellent post. Some machines have a roller at the top of the bar that sits on a lever. When the lever is raised the bar can go up and the roller moves along the lever, allowing the bar to stay vertical. On some machines the bar is attached to a hinge on the lever, which causes swaying in the bar and the plates as the lever goes up and down. On other machines the bar is attached to a cable or belt, which runs through pulleys or over a wheel. The other end of the cable will either be a handle or strap that the user holds or wraps around some body part, or will be attached to a lever, adding further simple machines to the mechanical chain. Thank you.

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