With the World Cup around the corner, soccer spirit is in the air and the era of powerful legs is upon us. Want those toned thighs or monstrous tree trunk legs but don’t know where to begin and which gym machine to use? No matter what your fitness goals are, working out your legs is absolutely vital in a variety of ways. Strong legs will aid you in working out the rest of your body and having high quality legs is just plain attractive if that’s your end goal. Between cardio and strength machines there are many great ways to tone and strengthen your legs and Primo Fitness can be your guide. The following five machines and the accompanying workouts will be a great start to getting those great legs that you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Seated Leg Press
This machine may be a little obvious seeing as “leg” is in its name itself, but it is nice to know how to properly use this machine and how it benefits your lower body. If you’re not sure what exactly a seated leg press is, it is a strength machine with an angled chair and a large plate in front of that chair that is usually attached to a weight stack. The leg press primarily targets the thighs and glutes and is a great strength machine to tone them. The leg press is also extremely beneficial because it keeps your body in a stable position which maximizes the workout and prevents injures.
To use this leg press, sit comfortably on the chair until your thighs are parallel to the plate. To perform this exercise, slowly straighten out your leg, but not complete. After, begin to bend your knees until the weight hovers over the stack and repeat.
2. Leg Curl
While the seated leg press targets the upper half of the lower body, the leg curl machine is designed to help work the hamstrings. The leg curl machine has a bench where the user lies flat on their stomach and has a weighted bar over their legs. To properly use this machine, you should start with your legs straight and then bend your knees toward your body, pushing against the resistance of the weighted bar.
3. Leg Extension
As you may have figured out, machines with the word “leg” in their name was great for working out your legs. Each of these machines targets a different part of the leg though, with the leg extension targeting the quadriceps. These machines are distinguished by their slight angled seats (100 degrees from the back to the seat opposed to the 90 degree angle for normal seats) and a weighted resistance. To properly use this machine, you would sit on the seat with your knees bent and slowly raise your leg against the resistance of the weighted bar.
4. Fitness Bike
In addition to strength machines, many cardio machines also provide great workouts for your leg. In addition to burning tons of calories, exercise bikes use nearly every part of your leg. To properly use an exercise bike, you sit on it and pedal to your heart’s content. Your quads are being worked out for the downward portion of pedaling while your hamstrings are being used for the upward motion. The calf muscles are also used for the pushing and pulling motion of pedaling.
Elliptical machines are one of the most popular machines in the gym and luckily they’re also great for working your lower body. Elliipticals are awesome at working your hamstrings and even more so if your elliptical allows you to increase incline or even use the machine backwards. The quadriceps are also used when working out on an elliptical when you leg straightens.
No matter what workout goal you’re trying to accomplish, remember that your legs can play a vital part in nearly every exercise you do. It is important to strengthen them and make sure they can handle the load. You have plenty of choices at the gym but if you ever need any more help or tips, feel free to contact us.