Looking to get toned, slim, or defined legs? Leg extension curl machines can give you what you are looking for. You may think that hardcore resistance training and weight lifting can only happen in the gym. That is where they have all the strength training machines and weights, right?
You may think that you need commercial-grade weights and several different leg machines to get the sexy legs you want, but that is not the case! You can get awesome legs just by having a leg extension curl machine at home.
In this article we compiled a list of the best leg extension machines and leg curl machines for you to consider. We have even found some combination leg extension curl machines if you want versatile multi-faceted equipment. Don’t forget to read our buying guide below before you start searching for your next quadriceps and hamstring machine!
But wait! Despite what a fitness company may tell you, at-home leg extension curl machines may not be for everyone. With leg extension machine ownership comes more responsibility with maintenance and cleaning. You may also need to buy various accessories with these at-home leg curl machines. Have no fear! We included some tips on how to properly care for your equipment and what other items you may need to purchase.
Why should I invest in a leg extension curl machine for my home?
You may be more open to purchasing cardio equipment for your home. Cardio equipment improves cardiovascular health and can help you lose weight. However, if you only engage in cardio exercises, you may be skipping out on another important aspect of complete fitness: strength.
To round out your at-home workout, add strength training and strength training machines. Strength training helps you look more toned, cut, lean and muscular. Strength training workouts can be done with or without exercise machines, however, the more variety in your workouts, the better. Many people like to target large muscle groups for resistance weight training.
One key area of your body to focus on is your leg muscles like your quadriceps and your hamstrings. Focusing on these muscles is great for warming up, building muscle, and preventing leg injuries in the future (1). Everyone can benefit from strength training whether you are a young person, a senior citizen, or someone suffering from an acute injury, or people with a chronic disease like stroke rehabilitation patients (2). No matter what your situation, however, make sure you get approval from your doctor to engage in weight-bearing exercise. Make sure you understand your limitations to avoid injury.
If you are interested in incorporating quadriceps or hamstring machines into your home for well-rounded fitness, keep reading. For a complete guide to picking out exercise equipment for your home, click here.We have created a breakdown of the top leg extension and leg curl machines on the market:
Is there a difference between leg extension and leg curl machines?
Yes! It is essential that you understand the difference between a leg extension machine and a leg curl machine so that you can make an informed decision on which type of equipment to invest in. Leg extension machines work primarily on your quadriceps (front thigh, lap area). Your quadriceps are responsible for proper knee extension and knee straightening. Leg curl machines work primarily on your hamstrings. Your hamstrings help bend your knee joint and help position your hips when bending.
One thing you don’t want to do when it comes to leg strength training: Work one muscle more than the other. Have you ever see someone with huge quadriceps? Not only do their legs look unbalanced, their leg mechanics may be unbalanced as well. Don’t be that person! In order to balance your quadriceps and hamstrings, make sure you have a plan as to what leg workouts you will be doing. Here is a list of several leg extension and leg curl machines for you to consider when creating your leg workout routine. Don’t forget to look at the buying guide too, since there are lots of things to consider when buying these types of weight training machines:
Best Seated Leg Curl and Extension Machine
- 2-in-1 lower leg exercise machine
- Adjustable backrest pad and thigh pad
- Constructed with a steel frame with scratch-resistant coating
- Total product weight is 136 lbs. Dimensions: 41in x 39in x 11in
Who Makes It:
XMark Fitness sells all sorts of fitness equipment and can be your one-stop shop for heavy-duty equipment and added free weights and plate weights. XMark also sells “reconditioned” equipment, which has been gently used. For a lower price, you may be able to find high-quality equipment on their website, so be sure to check there in case someone decided to recondition their seated leg curl machine! As long as the equipment is in good condition and safe to use, you can still reap all the benefits of resistance training (for a discounted price).
The Bottom Line:
This is a 2-in-1 machine that is more expensive than some of the other multi-use items in this list. That being said, someone who has room for other equipment may choose to invest in this heavy-duty piece of machinery for durability and long-term usage. Since XMark offers reconditioned products on their website, someone on a budget or who wants similar quality equipment for a lower price should consider this brand for long-term usage.
Best Lying Leg Curl Machine
Lying leg curl machines offer a slightly different angle when doing leg curls. This product differs from the others on this list because it is an add-on piece, rather than a full and complete exercise machine. This add-on hooks up to a regular exercise bench that you use for arm and other free-weight workouts. This piece cannot be used alone, so make sure you currently have a compatible bench or you buy one. For more information on what type of bench is required for this product, see the highlights below.
- 2-in-1 add-on piece that can fit with any exercise bench that has a 2in x 2in hookup (pins need to be placed side to side)
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Maximum plate weight is 400 lbs (for serious lifters)
- Total product weight is 18.9 lbs (again, for just the add-on piece). Dimensions: 32in x 22in x 21 in
Who Makes It:
XMark reappears on this list for heavy-duty long-lasting equipment. Don’t forget to check their website for reconditioned exercise equipment! You may be able to find a reconditioned exercise bench for cheaper there.
The Bottom Line:
This product would be great for someone who already has an exercise bench that has the correct 2in x 2in hookup. It is a 2-in-1 exercise attachment that could seamlessly be added into your repertoire of gym equipment. This product may not be the best for someone who does not already have the proper exercise bench because you would need to purchase the bench separately (and there are other, more complete leg curl and extension machines to choose from). If you are an avid weight lifter who has all the right existing equipment for this add-on product, this cheaper product can enhance your leg workouts.
Versatile Leg Machine for Under $300
This leg extension machine is the most versatile in leg exercises on the list. While it does not offer a full body workout, you can exercise your legs in four ways: seated leg curls, seated leg extensions, lying leg curls, and lying leg extensions. It is also moderately priced for someone who is serious or who wants to get serious about toning their legs.
- 4-in-1 leg exercise machine (can engage in both upright and seated leg exercise)
- 10-year frame warranty
- 1 year warranty for all other parts
- Total product weight is 48.5 lbs. Dimensions: 62in x 25in x 27in
Who Makes It:
Powerline Strength Training Equipment is an at-home equipment line from Body Solid. The purpose of Body Solid products is to save their customers from the “expense, travel times and hassle of joining a gym.” There is definitely a need for that! Powerline and Body Solid strive to bring commercial gym exercises to your home with fitness equipment that is built for personal use.
The Bottom Line:
This is a no-frills leg exercise machine that lets you get down to business on toning your legs with several exercises. While this product is under $300, those with large spaces for lots of different equipment may enjoy this product. This product is great at targeting the quadriceps and hamstrings specifically for people who want to focus on their lower body.
Versatile Leg Machine for Under $150
This leg exercise machine is actually quite versatile. This machine is highly adjustable and can work both your upper body and lower body. It boasts a padded, moving bench seat that can be raised or lowered for incline, decline, and flat arm workouts. The lower body mechanics allow for a seated leg extension motion as well as seated leg curls for the hamstrings.
- 6-in-1 exercise and strength training equipment
- Highly padded bench and foam rollers for comfort
- Maximum weight is 300 lbs
- Total product weight is 50.2 lbs. Dimensions: 46in x 23in x 66in
Who Makes It:
Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company was founded in 1959 by a man named Walter Marcyan. Marcyan was a professional strongman and bodybuilder who was the first to offer personal trainers to clients at his commercial gym. He was an advocate for strength training throughout the lifecycle from childhood to adulthood. This brand continues to strive for widespread fitness for all with innovative and affordable products. Of note, Marcy equipment has been featured in other Livin3 articles as well!
The Bottom Line:
Being that this machine is versatile for a moderate price, this full-body exercise machine would be good for anyone on a budget or who has minimal space for workout equipment in their home. This machine can take the place of a stand-alone bench for upper body workouts as well as lower body leg extensions and curls.
Full-Body Strength Training Equipment
- Adjustable seat and backrest for incline, decline, flat, and military-style exercises
- Allows for both leg curls and leg extensions as part of the full-body machine
- Allows for hookup with a 6 to 7-foot weight bar (great for bench presses and squats)
- Total product weight is 86.5 lbs. Dimensions: 76in x 56in x 55in
Who Makes It:
Body Champ is a subdivision of Body Flex Sports Inc. that gears their products towards serious weightlifters. They strive to provide products that offer real, long-term results on machines that challenge your body. Body Flex Sports Inc. designs their products using a mixture of tried-and-true methods as well as new innovations. Body Flex Sports Inc. has various product lines such as Body Champ and Body Rider.
The Bottom Line:
While this total-body product for under $200 seems like a no-brainer, it may not be right for everyone. This is a large piece of equipment that comes with some accessories but not all (excludes a weighted bar for bench presses and squats). This machine may be best suited for someone who just wants one piece of equipment in their home or garage. This may be a good option for an avid weight lifter who wants to downsize their at-home fitness room with an all-in-one machine. People who are new to weight lifting may not feel comfortable using a product that requires the use of a 6 to 7-foot weighted bar for full set-up.
Our Guide to Purchasing the Best Leg Extension Curl Machine
Now that you have seen the list of several leg extension curl machines out on the market, you can see that there is tons of variety on these machines. To narrow down your search, you need to understand what your needs are in a leg curl machine. You will also need to understand the full expense of your product. Here is a guide to understanding the most important factors in finding the best leg extension machine for you:
- Type of Workouts you Need: As you can see in the list above, some of these exercise machines are “2-in-1” while others are as much as “6-in-1.” You may jump to the conclusion that everyone should get the machine that offers the most workouts, however, that may not be the best for everyone. If you need to save on money and space and need full-body workout equipment, consider investing in a leg extension machine add-on or a machine that allows you to work both your upper body and lower body. For those who already have other resistance equipment or who just want to focus specifically on the legs, choose a 2-in-1 leg extension curl machine. Knowing which workouts are needed will be one of the most important factors in choosing your leg machine.
- Understand the Fine Print: Be careful when looking and buying these leg extension machines! Sometimes the pictures displayed on the Internet show a full leg curl machine, even though the price is for just the leg extension add-on. Read the fine print so you know exactly what will be coming in the mail. For add-on leg curl products, buying the bench can get expensive, so if the price is too good to be true, you’re probably only getting one part of the entire machine.
- Necessary Accessories: For weight training, you need weights! All of the product prices listed above do not include plate weights. The cost of weights can add up if you need several in order to feel the burn! Other recommended accessories for these machines would be weight clamps to hold plates in place and rubber gym mats for stability of the machine. Make sure you add up all expenses before buying!
Tips for How to Care for Your New Leg Extension Curl Machine
- Regardless of which exercise machine you purchase, make sure you have ample space wherever the machine will be used. Make sure you take into account that your legs will extend past the cushioned pads on these leg curl machines, so you may need more space than you think!
- With exercise equipment ownership comes your responsibility to clean and maintain the machine. Leg curl machines require cleaning for both aesthetics and product longevity, so clean the pads, the frame and all moving parts. Here is a list of products you can use to clean your exercise equipment:
- Gym equipment wipes (found in commercial gym equipment stores)
- Disinfecting surface wipes or aerosol spray (i.e. Lysol)
- Fitness equipment polish (i.e. Spintech)
- Make your own equipment cleaner by combining 1 cup white vinegar, ½ cup baking soda, and 2 cups hot water into a spray bottle. Spray this mixture onto the equipment and wipe dry with a clean towel.
- Always consult the user manual or call the customer service line for questions regarding the maintenance of your machine. Doing so will ensure your equipment will operate at its best for years to come.
- For free weights and weight plates, make sure you store them properly and keep them clean too! Avoid dropping free weights to prevent damage to your floor, furniture, and equipment. Also, sometimes dropping free weights can really startle people, so be courteous to those you live with.
- If you have children or pets around, consider how you can safely store your plated and free weights. Since these leg curl machines do not have weights attached to the machine, consider buying a weight rack and storing it in a locked closet. Use care when using free weights and plated weights to avoid injury
The Bottom Line on Purchasing Leg Extension Machines
Leg extension curl machines are a great way to incorporate strength training into your home. Strength training helps with rounding out your fitness, preventing injury, and handling everyday physical tasks better (3). As you can tell from the list above, leg extension curl machines can be added to your workout routine as stand-alone machines or as add-ons to your current equipment.
If you become frustrated in your search to the proper leg extension curl machine, revisit our buying guide and narrow your search based on what you truly need. Explore and research the several varieties we talked about in our product reviews above. Matching the exercise machine to your needs will make you more likely to purchase that product and use it at home. The more you actually use your leg curl machine, the more fit, toned, and healthy you will become!
Would you rather have a machine that does a full body workout? Or do you prefer machines that are dedicated to one specific area? Whether it be at home or in a commercial gym, have you had more success with one type of equipment over the other? Let us know. Tell your story in the comments below.