Leg exercises to do with a home gym machine

Leg exercises can be performed either using home gym machines, fitness tools like dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells or using only your body weight.

However, from all these alternatives, workouts done on home gym machines are usually the best for building stronger muscles, gaining mass and trimming fats, as resistance can be adapted based on your fitness level and body size.

So let’s take a quick look at the most effective 5 leg exercises you can do using a home gym machine!

1. Leg extensions

Leg extensions are the most popular exercises for toning and strengthening the quadriceps, which are the large muscles in the front part of the thighs. Leg extensions are easy to do and you don’t need additional tools as home gym machines come with all the features for these workouts.

To do this exercise correctly, sit on the machine’s padded seat with your ankles hooked behind the padded roller placed at the bottom of the station. To avoid injuries, the back of your knees should rest on the padded roller placed on the top of the station.

Start by lifting your shins toward the room ceiling using slow movements, until your legs are as straight as possible. Lower your legs back to the initial position, breathing in and out, as you perform the movements.

Don’t push your body too hard if your muscles feel painful and tensed while lifting the roller, as this may cause serious damage to your joints. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, increasing resistance from one set to another if your purpose is to gain mass and build larger muscles.

2. Leg curls

Next on our list of leg exercises that you can perform on a home gym machine are curls, which are somehow similar to extensions. The main difference is that this time the targeted muscles are the hamstrings, which are found at the back of your thighs.

Some home gyms allow you to perform this exercise lying on a flat bench while others use the same station as they do for the leg extensions. Here’s how this exercise is done: stand in front of the machine, facing it, and place the top roller behind your knees. The bottom roller should come against the back of your ankles.

Bend the knee to bring the bottom roller towards the glutes, keeping your muscles contracted. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, increasing resistance from one set to another. Besides working your hamstrings, this workout also tones your buttocks.

3. Abductions/Adductions

Most home gyms have abduction/adduction stations, as these are the best exercises for the inner and outer muscles in thighs. This station looks similar in all workout machines, whether you have a Bowflex home gym, a Body Solid home gym or a Weider home gym.

This is how to perform abduction/adduction exercise correctly: start by sitting on the padded seat, placing your legs against the levers and adjusting the resistance to avoid injuries in hips and knees.

Bring your legs closer when the levers are placed on the internal part of your thighs and squeeze for the moment, then slowly pull them back apart and do another repetition. This is the adduction exercise, which works your hip adductors.

To do the abductions, start with your legs together and the levers against your outer thighs. Press your legs outwards as far as possible, holding for a moment then getting back to the initial position with slow movements.

4. Squats

All good home gym machines come with a low pulley station designed for squats, these being the most common exercises for quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Besides, squats also strengthen the lower back, so they surely provide a complex workout for your lower body.

Here’s how the exercise is done correctly: stand upright, facing away from the home gym station. The lat bar attached to the low pulley station should be placed across your shoulders. Make sure it remains in the right position and doesn’t come across your cervical spine, as this can cause serious damage to your entire body.

From this position, bend your knees and do the first squat. Stand back up, keeping your leg muscles contracted and pushing the bar upright, so that you work with the resistance provided by the bar and cable system.

5. Leg presses

Leg presses are excellent for working the quadriceps and glutes, but also the calves and muscles in the outer part of your ankles. Many home gym machines incorporate a leg press station, equipped with a platform for the legs, a cable system that provides resistance and a padded bench or a seat with back support.

To do this exercise correctly you only have to sit on the bench or seat, with your back and head resting on the padded support and grasping the lateral handles. Feet should be placed on the plate, hip width apart, with heels flat and knees bent at about 90 degrees.

Contracting your abdominal muscles, push the platform away by extending your knees and hips then get to the initial position with slow movements, keeping your legs muscles and glutes contracted. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, changing resistance in case you feel you can push harder without injuring yourself.

These simple leg exercises that you can do on a home gym machine can strengthen and tone all the important muscles in your lower body, from hamstrings and glutes to quadriceps, calves and hips.