Finding the best exercise machines for your legs can be difficult; after all, it can feel overwhelming when you first join a gym and are confronted with the literal wealth of options to tone, firm and strengthen every area of your body. While using a wide variety of machines can be helpful for overall body toning and will certainly impact the legs as well, if you are specifically interested in toning and firming and strengthening your legs, experts suggest that the following machines are the best choice for you.
The leg press can look intimidating from afar, but once you learn how to use it, you will be delighted with the results. You will recline with your head facing downward at a 45 degree angle. At the top will be the weighted leg plate against which you will use your leg muscles to raise and lower the plate. Set your stance wide apart, and set the initial weight as such that you can easily bend your legs but feel some resistance as well. Being able to bend the legs too easily is a sign that more weight should be added.
The stair step machine is literally the best of all worlds in the world of leg exercise machines, combining as it does toning, strengthening, and cardiovascular workout. With the stair step machine you will "climb" a set of stairs, and you can set up your own preferences in terms of speed, resistance, staged workout series or manual operation, and can also (in most machines) monitor your efforts, your heart rate, and the number of calories burned.
The exercise bicycle is another fantastic exercise machine for both legs and core, working the entire muscles system of the legs as well as the abdominal muscles, lower back, and core muscles. Many newer exercise bicycles offer similar options as their stair step machine cousins, with the ability to select manual or staged workout series, monitor heart rate and calories burned, and adjust for resistance and speed.
This machine works out the legs up into the hips, which is an area often left untouched by other types of leg-specific exercise machines. You can work out your gluteal muscles, your hamstrings, your calves, thighs, and hips with the multi-use hip machine by reversing your stance. The multi-use hip machine works with a system of dual resistance cabling, so that you get a workout both as you raise and again as you lower your legs. Here, be sure not to set the initial weight too high which can cause unnecessary injury. It is better to start slowly and increase your resistance little by little.