It’s shorts-and-skirts weather, which means we’re all in a frenzy trying to get our legs looking their best. Here are the best exercise machines for killer legs.
- Spinning bikes. This probably comes as no surprise, but bikes offer our gams a great workout. Whether you opt for a stationary one in the gym that you ride to blaring music and a barking instructor (we say “barking” in the best possible way) or you decide to get out on a road bike or mountain bike, you can’t go wrong with adding some cycling reps to your exercise regimen this spring. Trust us—your legs (and heart) will thank you.
- Stair climbers. Also called “stair steppers,” these machines are a staple in every gym, and for good reason: they’re incredibly effective at toning up leg muscles (and they can save your feet and calves from the wear and tear caused by jogging).
What to keep in mind: LiveStrong.com reports, “Stair climbers that work the best are motorized instead of manual, and feature independent stepping, which requires your lower foot to work harder, instead of dependent stepping. They also have independent instead of hydraulic shock systems.”
- Leg press and leg curl machines. Remember, in addition to doing cardio, you need to train for strength and power. Leg press and leg curl machines make sure you do exactly that. We’re including them together, because it makes sense to combine them in your leg workout.
As this article explains, “The leg extension machine targets your quadriceps. It works by sitting on the machine with your knees bent, then straightening your legs against the resistance of a weighted bar. The leg curl machine is a similar piece of equipment that targets your hamstrings.”
Regarding leg curls, the Houston Chronicle notes, “When choosing a leg curl machine, don’t worry too much about small differences; the kneeling leg curl, seated leg curl, standing leg curl, lying leg curl and bent-over leg curl machines all work the hamstrings in the same way.”
- Rowing machines. Raise your hand if you watched Frank Underwood furiously rowing in his basement on House of Cards and thought, “WOW. I need to try that.” Yes. Yes, you do.
See, it’s easy to think rowing is all about your arms. And while your arms will certainly get a workout, the best part of rowing is that it REALLY works your core and legs. According to this article in Harper’s Bazaar, rowing burns two to three times the amount of spinning and it “just might be the most efficient exercise ever.” So row, baby, row!
- Your own body. The human body is a beautiful machine in so many ways, not the least of which is its ability to transform itself (when you put in the work, that is). Best part: this machine is FREE and you can take it anywhere. So get up and take that magnificent body of yours for a good long walk or run and/or do some squats and lunges. You’ll be on your way to stronger, leaner legs in no time.