Strong legs and glutes are more than just about looking good. Because of the importance of our lower body our in day-to-day activities like sitting, standing, and walking, training them consistently and effectively is a must.
While spending ample time squatting or deadlifting can help, using gym machines for legs and glutes will definitely take your workouts to a whole new level and allow you to get significant improvements as you work your lower body muscles.
In this article, we will walk you through the different types of gym machines that you can use to blast those leg and glute muscles. Plus, some recommendations on the best ones available on the market.
Hack Squat Machine
Dubbed as the “ruler of all leg moves”, the hack squat works the lower body muscles, including the legs and the glutes. Using the machine encourages correct form and proper technique by engaging the core less and reducing the use of momentum. This allows the lower body to work harder to lift the weight.
Its versatility not only makes it an effective supplementary exercise for lifters who want to blast their leg muscles but also a great option for those who are recovering from injuries.
A hack squat machine, although a little intimidating in terms of its appearance, is safe and fairly easy to use. It typically includes a backrest and shoulder pads for support, that slide back and forth on tracks placed on either side of the machine.
- It provides the user with a natural and comfortable way to perform the exercise, making it a perfect tool even for beginners.
- Hack squat machines are not only for muscle building and weight loss but also for improving flexibility and posture. They are also a great machine for people who want to work on their coordination and strength.
- It provides a great workout and support to people of any fitness level with its adjustable levels of resistance.
- Using the hack squat allows users to get more resistance in the lower body while reducing the stress on the spine
How to Use the Hack Squat for Legs and Glutes
To begin your hack squat exercise, step into the machine’s footprint, and press both of your shoulders against the shoulder pads. Position your feet in the stance you’d position them in for any other variation of the squat. Stand, and disengage the stoppers.
Place both of your hands on the hand grips near your shoulders and begin lowering yourself by bending at the knees. When you’re parallel or a little below parallel, push the platform away from your body to stand back up. Once the set is completed, engage the stoppers once more.
Making a few adjustments to your machine or your foot placement can help you get the best out of your hack squats. Placing your feet higher on the plate and keeping a narrower stance will engage your glutes more.
Start light at first to perfect your form and learn how to use the machine effectively. As you become stronger, try to do progressive overload -- increase your reps and sets, add weights, or control negatives-- and do this gradually until you feel comfortable while squatting.
Remember to always use your safety gear and adjust the height of the machine to fit your needs.
Hack Squat Machine Recommendation
A popular choice among commercial gyms, Muscle D's 30-Degree Linear Hack Squat Machine boasts a classic and clean design and excellent performance. This machine features a revolutionary 30-degree angle that relieves stress on the spine to ensure the user's comfort and reduce the risks of injuries.
As with all of Muscle D's impressive lines of gym equipment, this hack squat is made with massively strong tubing to make sure that it can handle heavy use and that it will last you a very long time. Its wide rubber-coated footplate adjusts to several angles to allow multiple muscle group isolation and to suit every user.
For a comfortable and effective workout for your legs and glutes, the Muscle D 30-Degree Linear Hack Squat Machine is a machine worth investing in.
Yes, it is one of those fascinating stair workout machines you see in the gym that look like an escalator or a continuously moving staircase. Its goal is to mimic the movement of climbing up the stairs, except that the stairs have no end.
While more known as a cardio and calorie-burning exercise, the stairmill is actually a great way to strengthen and tone the legs and glutes. This is because unlike climbing real stairs, the stairmill allows you to increase the resistance for greater intensity, making your lower body work harder.
- Using the stairmill is easy to understand as it is just like climbing the stairs – perfect for beginners.
- Stairmills are versatile in that they give you options to personalize your exercise to better suit your needs and preferences. Some units have pre-programmed workouts that you can easily choose from and some have more resistance levels available than others.
- It is a great alternative to running as it provides the same cardio benefits while being easier on the joints. This means less stress and reduced risks of unnecessary strain.
- The stairmill is great for toning and firming the glute and leg muscles while getting cardio benefits. However, take note that it is not a muscle-building exercise machine but an endurance exercise.
- It is available in many sizes so it can be a perfect addition to both commercial and home gyms.
How to Use the Stairmill for Legs and Glutes
Using a stairmill is pretty easy and straightforward -- if you've climbed the stairs before, it's basically the same. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you're using it safely and effectively.
First, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the machine's console. Each brand or unit may come differently in terms of the options or programs available. Knowing the machine that you use will allow you to feel more comfortable in doing your stair workout.
Mount the machine and move your feet in a walking or running up the staircase motion with even, moderately deep steps. Plant your whole feet on the steps, and not just your toes, to get a good range of motion.
Make use of the handles on the side to maintain balance while performing the workout, but make sure not to rest your upper body on the rails (or lean forward) as this will take away the work from your lower body. Focus on not bending at or putting pressure on the waist, and maintain a correct, upright posture from head to heels.
A variation you can try to focus more on your glutes and hamstrings is double steps. Do this by skipping a stair each step and alternate your legs.
If we're talking about the best stairmill machines, you won't have to look further with the StairMaster 8 Series Gauntlet. Not only does it look good, but it also gives you an accurate feeling of using actual stairs with its 8-inches high, 22-inches wide, and 9 inches deep revolving steps.
This machine offers a wide range of intensity and speed levels to give you the burn that you're looking for, ranging from 26 to 162 steps per minute. To add excitement to your exercise, it features a 10-inch touchscreen console that lets you tune into TV and stream videos from your own devices.
This machine also comes with a USB port for charging devices and software updates, a personal fan that you can program via the console, and a hot bar on the handrail that can be used to remote stop, adjust levels, and contact pulse rate monitor.
The Gauntlet ensures that you can safely get off after your session with step assistants on the bottom stairs on the side that can even be used while the steps are still revolving. And of course, staying hydrated is important in any exercise and this machine has got you covered with the two bottle holders that you can find on either side of the console.
If you're looking for a good investment for your gym, this stairmill definitely will not disappoint.
You have probably seen people do face pulls, rowing, and other upper-body exercises with a cable or pulley machine. It is a staple at any commercial gym and people have vouched for its effectiveness in helping them build muscles.
Despite being commonly used for working the upper body, cable machines are one of the most versatile equipment that you can use to build muscles in your entire body, including your legs and glutes.
- As we mentioned earlier, versatility is one of the key benefits of a cable machine. Using different attachments, you can perform a variety of exercises on the cable machine, depending on what you want to focus on. For example, you can perform kickbacks that will blast your hamstrings and glutes with ankle straps.
- The cable machine allows for progressive overload to help you build bigger and stronger muscles.
- Cable machines provide safe and smooth movement, eliminating stress on your joints and reducing the risk of strain. This makes it a great option for beginners and for people who are recovering from injuries
- Depending on how your body is positioned or the angle of the cable, you can increase or decrease the range of motion, giving you more control over the exercise.
How to Use the Cable Machine for Legs and Glutes
If you’re looking to build your leg and glute muscles on the cable machine, you will have to perform exercises such as deadlifts, squats and lunges.
Depending on the exercise, make sure that you set up your pulley machine correctly. Start with a weight that is appropriate for you, especially if you are a beginner, and connect the correct attachment.
Cable Machine Recommendation
Body Solid's Series II Functional Trainer S2FT gives you plenty of room to work out to your heart's content. With its versatile range of motion and ergonomic adjustments, this machine allows you to tailor your workout to suit your need and goals.
The S2FT features dual independent weight stack system that provides dedicated resistance and pulleys that adjust independently to allow up to 34 starting positions to work your entire body. The commercial-grade weight stacks, durable cables, and 11-gauge steel frame make it one of the strongest and most durable training equipment on the market, so you can expect long-lasting results.
Making the users' safety a priority, this cable machine has fully shrouded weight stacks that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also prevent users from dropping weights onto objects.
The S2FT comes with several attachments, including ankle straps that you can use for your leg and glute workouts. Other attachments include a 43” revolving straight bar, 20" straight bar, 2 nylon cable handles, and 14” athletic bar for a total-body workout.
The S2FT Series II Functional Trainer is the perfect addition to any workout area or facility with its space-saving footprint, dual independent weight stacks, user-friendly ergonomics, adjustability, and accuracy.
The Elliptical machine is another endurance exercise equipment that not only provides a good aerobic workout but also works well for strengthening the legs and glutes. Despite its bizarre appearance, it is actually a relatively easy tool to use.
In a nutshell, the elliptical machine combines the movement of running and climbing in an elliptical motion, less the pressure on your joints. It is often used as a low-impact alternative to outdoor running, or as a recovery exercise after an intense leg day.
Nevertheless, even though it is an extremely versatile and easy-to-use machine, an elliptical machine can feel a little strange to use at first, so we recommend taking your time and starting off slow so that you do not lose balance.
- By simply changing the resistance and angle of the foot pedals, you can target different muscles in your lower body. Lowering the foot pedals will target your quads more, while a more inclined pedal will work the back side of your lower body.
- Elliptical machines are quite low-impact so people with joint issues or injuries can safely use them.
How to Use the Elliptical Machine for Legs and Glutes
When using the elliptical machine, it is important for you to find your rhythm and be comfortable throughout the exercise. Make sure to start with light resistance and even pacing as you pedal, especially if it is your first time using it. It might feel weird doing it at first, but as we all say, practice makes perfect.
Grab the handles and move them as you pedal. When your foot is straightened and goes down, the opposite handle should be pulled towards your body. Be mindful of your form, keep your back straight and make sure your knees do not lock out on each stroke.
Once you found your rhythm and got used to the movement, pick up the resistance and speed to a higher level to increase the intensity of your exercise. This will allow your legs and glutes to work harder.
Elliptical Machine Recommendation
Everything that you need in a good Elliptical machine -- durability, performance, stability -- Body Solid's E5000 Endurance Elliptical Machine has it. It is nothing short of what you would expect from Body Solid who have been providing us with a great selection of well-built and premium gym equipment.
Aside from its compact design, the machine takes away the inconvenience of dealing with cords and plugs as it is self-powered, which means that no electricity is required to run it. All you need is to start pedaling and you're good to go with your exercise. Additionally, close pedal spacing, and oversized pedals make it convenient to use for users of any size.
The E5000 is a commercial-grade elliptical trainer made with a steel arched-support frame that is sure to withstand even the heaviest use. You can expect no rocking or wobbling as you use the machine with its extremely stable and balanced frame design.
Regardless of your fitness level or goals, this trainer is easily customizable to suit your need, with 20 levels of resistance, 5 HRC programs, 7 programs, and 2 user programs to choose from.
While it is a bit more expensive than other elliptical trainers, it surely provides real value for your money. Plus, with its durability, this might be the last elliptical trainer that you will ever purchase.
Leg Press Machine
The leg press isn't an uncommon exercise in gyms but usually sparks a debate among weightlifters about its effectiveness due to the fact that it is more of an isolation exercise. However, it is very effective at what it does, allowing people to see significant improvement and development in some key areas of the lower body including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
The exercise involves an individual pushing heavy weight away from their body using their legs using a leg press machine, which is designed to safely position the user below the weight and allow for maximum weight to be used for the exercise.
- Being an isolation exercise, the leg press machine allows you to fully focus and effectively target the lower body muscles.
- The leg press can be easily customized or tailored according to your own goals. Different positions or foot placements target muscles differently, allowing you to adjust depending on what you want to focus on.
- Safe and effective, the leg press machine lets you do the exercise even without a spotter. It also reduces the strain on your upper body, making it perfect for beginners and people who are recovering from injuries.
- It gives you control over your exercise as you can increase or decrease the weight depending on how fit you are and what you're looking to achieve.
How to Use the Leg Press for Legs and Glutes
Proper form is key to get the best out of your leg presses with the machine. To start, simply sit on the machine with both your back and head resting against the padded support, and your feet positioned roughly hip-width apart on the footplate.
Foot placement on the plate matters depending on which muscles you want to focus on. Higher foot placement will allow you to develop the glutes and hamstrings far more effectively while a lower foot placement will isolate the quads more. You can try mixing up both depending on your own personal need and goals.
Place your bottom flat against the seat and your legs at an angle of 90 degrees at the knees. This alignment is the right form and should be maintained as your press. Use the handles at the side as support to keep your spine and head in position.
Start pushing the leg press away from you using your feet while keeping your core tight. Make sure to keep your feet completely flat on the footplate and not just your toes. In a slow and controlled manner, extend your legs and pause briefly at the top of the movement. Then, slowly bend your knees to return to the initial position.
Leg Press Machine Recommendation
If you are looking to add a leg press machine to your home gym, you'll need something that is compact just like the POWERTEC Leg Press. This machine is perfect for strength training your lower body with its whopping 1000-lb weight capacity. Made with heavy-duty steel and precise construction, it is sure to give you safe and stable support throughout your exercise.
This machine features deluxe padding which is mounted on 8-750lb rated rollers for prolonged durability. It has thick stitched shoulder pads and a solid steel deck plate that not only looks good, but also gives you peace of mind that it will last you for a long time.
On the whole, this machine will serve your home gym extremely well and is a worthy investment.
Getting strong legs and glutes are more than just spending time doing bodyweight exercises. Using the correct tool will help you get consistent and effective training that your muscles need to grow and develop.
It can be tough deciding which will work best for you but with better understanding of these equipment, their benefits and how to use them, you can't go wrong with these gym machines for legs and glutes.