What Exercise Machines Work Best for Reducing the Thighs and Legs?

by Grace Bordelon, Demand Media
    Keeping slim legs requires maintaining a healthy diet alongside your workout.

    Keeping slim legs requires maintaining a healthy diet alongside your workout.

    There are many gym machines that are effective for reducing the size of your thighs and legs. The key to losing inches is to reduce excess weight and to build lean muscle that will be revealed as you slim down. Machines offering a strong cardiovascular workout paired with weight machines will give you the most effective results.

    Elliptical Machine

    The elliptical machine produces a stride similar to running only with footpads that raise and lower, reducing impact and making it an excellent choice for those with joint issues. The elliptical also has swinging hand bars that work out the upper body and raise your heart rate and calorie burn. Target your thighs and legs by standing straight and keeping your heels low on the foot pads.

    Treadmill

    The treadmill is one of the most popular gym machines and running is an effective calorie-burner for those wanting to lose inches quickly and are already in decent shape. A 130-lb. woman can burn 797 calories in one hour running at 8 mph according to NutritionStrategy.com. This workout five days a week results in nearly 4,000 calories burned, equaling over 1-lb. weight loss with no other dietary changes. Running can be transferred outdoors in nice weather, encouraging you to stick to your regime even when unable to make it to the gym.

    Stationary Bike

    Cycling is a low-impact workout that burns calories effectively. For those new to an exercise routine or with substantial weight to lose, cycling has the added benefit of supporting your body weight. To focus the work into your thighs and glutes push the pedals with the heel of your feet more so than the pad.

    Tone Your Thighs and Legs

    The leg press is a weight exercise that tones your glutes and thighs. Sit against the backpad of the machine adjusted to your height and press the plate forward by extending your legs forward. Avoid locking your knees at the top of the exercise and keep your lower back against the back pad. Leg extensions work out the quadriceps of your upper legs and leg curls work the hamstrings on the rear of your upper legs. On each of these machines choose a weight that is challenging but possible to do 10 repetitions. On each machine do two sets of 10.

    Safety and Tips

    As with any new exercise routine, listen to your body's natural stress signals. If new to the gym then start slowly and work out regularly to build your stamina. On each machine keep the force of the movement in your heels to focus the strength in your thighs. If you have substantial weight to lose or health concerns, consult a doctor before beginning this routine.

    About the Author

    Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images