Leg Extension / Leg Curl Machines
1. You can focus on the target muscles more selectively. When doing squats, you hit a lot of muscles at once and expend a lot of energy. With the leg curl or extension, you can target only the hamstrings or the quads, giving all your energy to that muscle group. This can be especially important for the hamstrings, which are often neglected.
2. You can work that target muscle more intensely. Because you are focusing more tightly on one muscle group, you can increase the intensity for it.
3. Leg curls/extensions are easier. Since you are using less muscle mass, the exercises are easier to do. They won't affect your whole body the way squats will. Squats will use up a lot of energy.
4. These two exercises are far easier to learn and are less technique-intensive than squats. Any beginning trainer can do leg curls or
extensions but not everybody can jump right in and do squats. Being easier, they are also useful for more advanced trainers in the later stages of a workout where you are already fatigued and squats may not be the safest exercise to do.
Exercising muscles with weights provides a variety of health benefits to adults regardless of age. Stronger muscles look aesthetically pleasing and give you more endurance and speed, better balance, a higher rate of metabolism and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Weighted reverse leg curls primarily work your buttocks and hamstring muscles. Consult with a personal trainer to determine if this exercise is appropriate for your level of fitness and strength, and ask your doctor about how weight training might benefit you.
The gluteal and hamstrings muscles are essential for walking and running, particularly during the extension phase when your legs swing backward. Virtually all competitive athletes train their gluteals and hamstrings in order to run, jump, climb, kick or skate faster, although nonathletes and the elderly can benefit from the better balance, stability and endurance that the strong muscles provide. When at the gym, you should be able to do at least 12 to 15 repetitions of reverse leg curls if the weight is appropriate and your technique is good, according to the book, “Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance.” Aim for at least four sets of 15 repetitions two times per week in order to increase your strength.
Walking and running are cardiovascular exercises that primarily involve your leg and buttock muscles, but neither activity actually builds additional muscle or significantly strengthens muscles. According to the book, “Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach,” increasing muscle size and strength depends on overloading muscle fibers until they slightly tear, which forces your body to repair the fibers and leads to an increase in fiber diameter and load-bearing capability. Overloading muscles requires resistance, and weight training is a convenient and safe way to provide resistance.
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