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Working Those Leg Machines

downloadThere is no doubt that your legs get a heck of astrength training workout while you’re doing the squats and stances that go along with lifting weights to focus on your upper body. But when you want to focus specifically on strengthening those leg muscles, or you want to do some strength training on a day when you’re not working your upper body, head to the gym and focus solely on those legs by using the leg machines. Strong legs are literally the foundation upon which you build the rest of your strong body. If your legs can’t stay strong and support you, there isn’t much point in developing a strong upper body. It’s a complete package and too many people focus on lifting to get a buff upper body and don’t pay enough attention to the legs. If you have any questions about these moves, follow the machine’s instructions or ask for help at the gym.

 

Seated Leg Extensions

This basic leg lift is simple but so important. As you hold the sidebars of the machine to ground yourself, hook your feet under padded bar and extend your legs up until they are pointing straight out. Use less weight at first so you can do more reps; don’t lift so much with your legs that you hurt yourself. These extensions work your thigh muscles really well as they work to lift the bar.

 

Leg Presses

On a leg press machine you lie back and you push out with both feet on a square plate or a crosspiece, depending on the design of the machine. You’ll start out with your legs bent and your knees close to your chest and then you’ll push straight out with both legs. This is a great move to work your entire legs.

 

Backward Leg Curls

When you want to focus on your calf muscles and your lower legs, this is the best move. Lie face down on the bench with your feet beneath the bar and the pads resting against your ankles. Your legs will be facing directly behind you, so when you lift them upward your knees will bend and your feet will end up pointing toward the ceiling behind you.

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