Which Weight Machines Work Which Muscles?

man on leg extension weight machine

Virtually all workout routines are enhanced by the use of weight machines. This type of exercise equipment is commonly found in fitness centers and gym facilities. The machines are easy to use, especially for beginners who are new to working out with weights. Before getting started, it’s helpful to know which machines work which muscles. Here is an overview of popular weight machines.

Lat Pull Down

The lat pull down machine is considered the machine version of chin-ups. This weight machine has a bar that is pulled down to chin level and then released. The lat pull down weight machine works a variety of muscles, especially in the back. It primarily works muscles in the upper back. It also works the biceps, pectorals, deltoids, biceps, and trapezius muscles.

Incline Press

The incline press is one of the most common weight machines and works the arms and also the chest muscles. To work the machine the handles, people should lean back and then push the handles out in front in a slow and controlled manner.

Leg Press

The leg press is one of the most common and effective weight machines used. The leg press works glute muscles, calf muscles, as well as quadriceps. When using the machine, adjust your weight and then sit down. Then bend the legs and push the weights away from the body. It’s important that the knees don’t lock during this process. It’s also ideal if the feet are pointing slightly outward.

Leg Extension Machine

Another weight machine that targets the quadriceps muscles is the leg extension machine. As it isolates that particular muscle, it doesn’t typically work other parts of the leg. Virtually all gyms or fitness centers have leg extension machines. The exercise is done by sitting back in the seat and hooking the ankles behind the pad. Lift the pad up with the ankles and lower them back down.

Calf Machines

There are two types of calf machines found at the gym. There are both the seated and standing calf raise machines. They both work the calves, but each one works a different part of the calf muscles. The seated calf raise works out the muscles in the upper part of the calf. The seated one works the lower muscles in the calf.

Hamstring Curl

The hamstring curl machine isolates this muscle on the back of the upper part of the leg. This is done by hooking legs under the padded lever. Bend the knees and lift that pad up towards the buttocks, and then lower it back down slowly. When using this weight machine, it’s important that the hips lay down flat and that the body is straight.