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An elliptical trainer wil help to develop your legs and butt.
Shaping your legs and butt isn't just about looking good on the beach or in the bedroom. For example, your glutes work with the various muscles in your thighs to help you rise from a sitting position. So, it's important to keep in mind the practical benefits as well as the aesthetic. Cardio exercise on its own won't get the job done, so head over to the weight machine section for the best equipment to get you toned and strong in all the right places.
Getting Able With Cables
Cable machines can be used to perform rear lunges and squats, which are solid, basic exercises that can develop and shape your thighs and butt. To perform a rear lunge, stand between the two pulleys, squat down and grasp each handle. Stand up with your arms down at your sides, and when you're ready, lower yourself by stepping back with one leg, bending at the knee. Don't allow your knee to touch the floor. As you step back, bend forward at the knee with your opposite leg to support yourself. Keep your back straight and your movements slow and controlled. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Leverage Is Often The Key
Deadlifts, leg presses and a variety of squats can be performed using lever machines, and these exercises can all develop and tone your legs and butt. You can use lever machines to perform a number of hip extension exercises as well, and these will specifically target your glutes. Leg press and squat exercises can be performed using a piece of equipment called a sled machine, which requires you to use your legs to push against a padded bar resting on your shoulders.
Cross-Training and Stair Climbing to Success
Elliptical trainers and cross-trainers engage your glutes and quads while giving you a solid cardio workout for your entire body. Stair climbers and stepmills also target your legs and butt while giving you some aerobic exercise. There are two types of stair stepper, with the first being a stair climber, a machine that requires you to work two pedals with your legs. The second type is a stepmill, which uses a revolving set of steps to more accurately reproduce a set of actual stairs. Both stepper machines give the same workout, but stair climbers require extra stability and coordination.
What to Do and When to Do It
For exercises involving cable machines, lever machines or sleds, aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 reps to begin with, with a one-minute rest between each set. Increase the weight on each machine as you find the exercises easier to perform. As a guide, you should be struggling to perform the last rep of each set, with your muscles feeling heavy as you work your thighs. Perform your chosen exercises two or three times per week with at least a day of rest in between. For elliptical trainers and stair steppers, aim for between 10 to 20 minutes per session, two or three sessions per week.
Tips and Warnings
Perform an appropriate warm-up before you start and make sure to cool down with a few gentle stretches to prevent stiffness. Seek the guidance of a qualified instructor so that you're familiar with correct form and how each machine should be used safely. Focus on form over reps, taking care to carry out each movement in a slow and controlled manner to avoid potential injury. As always, consult your doctor before embarking on any moderately intense forms of exercise.