Machine Weights (Lower Body)

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Gym Exercises > Machine Weights (Lower Body)

The following gym strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of many of the major muscles of the lower body using machine weights. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

For those who are untrained, you should begin by performing one or two sets of only a few exercises with light resistance and gradually increase the number of exercises, resistance and sets over a number of sessions provided there are no signs of injury.

For beginners, it is generally advisable to begin with light weights that allow you to perform 20 – 30 repetitions of each exercise with good control, posture and form. Allow approximately 1 minute rest and recovery between exercise sets.

As your endurance and strength improves, aim to gradually increase the number of sets of each exercise over a number of sessions until you are eventually performing 3 – 4 sets of each exercise provided the exercises are pain free. These exercises can then be progressed by gradually increasing the weights used so that fatigue is achieved by 8 – 12 repetitions and by progressing to other unaccustomed exercises provided they are pain free.

Specific requirements may vary between individuals depending on the functional goals they wish to achieve. Your physiotherapist can advise on the most appropriate resistance, sets and repetitions to meet your needs. Ensure you always perform an appropriate warm up before beginning any strengthening exercises, an appropriate cool down after and ensure you balance recovery periods from training to prevent injury. Generally, it is advisable to perform the following exercises 1 – 2 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Allow approximately 4 – 7 recovery days before repeating the same exercises, to allow muscle recovery.

Lower Body Anatomy (Posterior)
Figure 1 – Lower Body Muscular Anatomy (Posterior)

 

Lower Body Anatomy (Anterior)
Figure 2 – Lower Body Muscular Anatomy (Anterior)

Lower Body Gym Strengthening Exercises Using Machine Weights

 

Leg Press

Major Muscles Used: Gluteals, Quadriceps, Hamstrings.

Begin this exercise sitting in optimal posture with your back and neck straight as demonstrated (figure 3). Your feet should be hip width apart and point upwards (or slightly outwards) with your knees in line with your second or third toe. Ensure your knees are not too close to your chest so your lower back can be maintained in a slight arch. Slowly straighten your legs, tightening your quadriceps and gluteals, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Machine Weights - Leg Press

Figure 3 – Leg Press

 

Incline Leg Press

Major Muscles Used: Gluteals, Quadriceps, Hamstrings.

Begin this exercise sitting in optimal posture with your back and neck straight as demonstrated (figure 4). Your feet should be hip width apart and point upwards (or slightly outwards) with your knees in line with your second or third toe. Ensure your knees are not too close to your chest so your lower back can be maintained in a slight arch. Slowly straighten your legs tightening your quadriceps and gluteals, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free. This exercise can also be progressed by performing it on each leg individually (figure 5).

 

Machine Weights - Incline Leg Press
Figure 4 – Incline Leg Press


Machine Weights - Incline Leg Press (Single Leg)

Figure 5 – Incline Leg Press (Single Leg)

 

Smith Machine Squat

Major Muscles Used: Gluteals, Quadriceps, Hamstrings.

Begin this exercise standing in optimal posture with your back and neck straight, a bar with light weights resting along your shoulders and holding the bar as demonstrated (figure 6). Your feet should be hip width apart and facing forwards (or turned slightly outwards) with your knees in line with your second or third toe. Maintain optimal posture throughout this exercise. Slowly bend your knees, sticking your bottom out as though you were going to sit in a chair until you are at an approximate 90 degree angle at the hips and knees, then slowly return to the starting position tightening your gluteals and quadriceps. Ensure your feet are positioned so your knees do not move excessively forwards past your toes. Perform 1 – 4 sets of 8 – 30 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Machine Weights - Smith Machine Squats
Figure 6 – Smith Machine Squat

 


Physiotherapy Products to Assist with Postural ExercisesPhysiotherapy Products to Assist with Lower Body Machine Weights

Some of the most commonly recommended products by physiotherapist to assist with lower body machine weights include:

  1. Resistance Band
  2. Swiss Balls
  3. Foam Rollers (for self massage)
  4. Spikey Massage Balls (for self massage)
  5. Pilates Exercise Mat

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with lower body machine weights or other exercises click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.


 Recommended Reading Recommended Reading


Find a Physio Find a Physio for to Assist with Lower Body Machine Weights

Find a physiotherapist in your local area who can assist with lower body machine weights and other gym exercises.


iPhone App ‘PhysioAdvisor Exercises’ iPhone App

Download the ‘PhysioAdvisor Exercises’ iPhone App’ to your iPhone.


Become A Member   Become a Member

Become a PhysioAdvisor Member and gain full access to our complete database of physiotherapy exercises and injury rehabilitation information. For more details see Become a Member.


 Link to this Page

Link to this Page

If you would like to link to this article on your website, simply copy the code below and add it to your page:


Return to the top of Machine Weights (Lower Body).