The interest in health and fitness is increasing in the USA with statistics indicating that fitness centers across the USA had a total membership of 57.25 million in 2016. The USA fitness center market consists of approximately 36,000 member-based exercise facilities operating as either part of multi-site franchises or as single-location entities. Apart from the large number of individuals who frequent gyms, an equally impressive number choose to exercise in the comfort of their own homes.
Gyms, whether professional or home, offer many terrific options as far as equipment are concerned. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, build muscle or both, exercising your lower body, and especially often-disregarded body parts like the hip flexors, are of extreme importance as it comprises one of your largest muscle systems. A good understanding of the muscles responsible for moving your lower body will enable you to identify the best gym equipment for an effective lower-body workout.
Apart from helping the quads, the muscles in your hips work whenever you pull your legs in towards each other. This motion is known as adduction and the best machine to use for replication purposes is the seated hip adduction machine which requires you to sit with your legs spread, pressing them together to pull a weight toward your midriff. In some instances, the functionality of this machine can be incorporated into the hip abduction machine (which is the complete opposite of the adduction, pushing your legs apart) with a simple flip of a lever allowing the machine to switch between the two movements. In many gyms the two machines will remain separate but will be placed next to each other so that the exercises can be done in quick succession.
If you are looking to work your gluteus, the muscles in your butt, the hip extension machine is a good choice. You can work your gluteus by standing in the hip extension machine and push the weight behind you using a straight leg. By doing this you will significantly strengthen and tone your butt as the muscle is responsible for accelerating the movement of your leg behind your body. Strengthening this area of your body is vital because you constantly use it, whether standing or walking. This motion also counters a position many people spend a lot of time in when seated at work known as hip flexion.
The back of the thigh
When it comes to working your hamstring the lying or seated leg curl machine is the best. The purpose of the hamstring is to bend or flex your knees and this piece of gym equipment will exercise these muscles as it requires bending the knees to pull a weight towards your butt. Strong hamstrings are important for not only flexibility but improved performance in other movements like squatting as well.
The front of the thigh
The quadriceps muscles are situated in the front of your upper legs. The best machine to isolate these muscles is the seated leg extension machine. Your quads work to extend your legs and unbend your knees and this machine mimics that motion by necessitating you to move your legs from a bent to a straight position. It is important to develop your quads as they are used every time you stand up from a chair or bed as well as when you bend over or lift your thigh up towards your chest like when you climb stairs.
If you are for an exercise to work as much of your thighs, hips and butt at the same time perform some squats. As far as equipment is concerned the hip sled or hack-squat machine will both do a good job. Engaging in a balanced lifestyle that consists of a healthy diet and regular exercise is the most effective and most sustainable way to ensure you can sport your dream physique while improving your overall well-being.