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 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 put together a complete guide 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 begin shopping 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. When you buy a leg extension machine, you also gain the responsibility to clean and maintain it. You may also need to buy various accessories with these at-home leg curl machines. But, don’t worry! In the article, we’ve added some best care tips so you can maintain your machine in perfect condition. In addition, we’ve listed any other items you might need to purchase.
Is it worth it to buy 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 check in with your doctor for approval before you start doing weight-bearing exercises. With a thorough understanding of any limitations you may have, you’ll avoid injuries.
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, see our home gym equipment post. 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. The muscles surrounding your knee also help to stabilize the knee and act as a protective barrier.
Leg curl machines work primarily on your hamstrings. Your hamstrings help bend your knee joint and help position your hips when bending. This tends to be the weakest muscle on the body, and hamstring strains are one of the most common injuries. This is often the case because people don’t engage in activities that strengthen them.
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 seen someone with huge quadriceps? Not only do their legs look unbalanced, but their leg mechanics may also 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.
Without balancing opposing muscle groups, you can run into issues such as joint and tendon issues, posture problems, and even issues with walking properly as your stride and balance become compromised.
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 reconditioned 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 other multi-use items on 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 is a great fit for those who already have 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 mission of Body Solid is to help their customers avoid the hassles, time and expense associated with a gym membership. They’re right! Why not invest in equipment you can keep and use in the comfort of your home instead of giving your money away to a gym? Powerline and Body Solid offer great equipment that allows you to do commercial gym exercises in your home.
The Bottom Line:
The PLCE165X 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 upper body workouts such as dumbbell presses. 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:
Founded in 1959 by Walter Marcyan, the Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company is a brand known for offering innovative but affordable products. Their products span a great range of fitness needs. The company’s founder was a professional bodybuilder and strongman well-known because he was the first who offered his clients personal trainers at his commercial gym. He believed that strength training was an important part of fitness and sought to make the equipment for weightlifting available for anyone to use.
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
Out of all the versatile products on this list, this one is by far the most extensive since it offers a total body workout. With this machine, you can strengthen nearly all major muscle groups including your legs, arms, abs, and chest.
- An adjustable bench that allows you to perform military-style exercises and use incline, decline, and flat positions.
- Allows for both leg curls and leg extensions as part of the full-body machine
- Can be hooked up to a 6 to 7-foot weight bar (great for doing the bench press and squats)
- Weighs 86.5 lbs. Floor print: 76 inches long x 56 inches wide x 55 inches high
Who Makes It:
A subdivision of Body Flex Sports Inc., Body Champ tailors their products to meet the needs of weightlifters who are serious about fitness. They aim to offer products that provide a real challenge to the body and also achieve long-term results. The company uses a combination of new innovations and tried-and-true designs to make high-quality products. Besides Body Champ, Body Flex Sports Inc. also has other product lines, such as Body Rider.
The Bottom Line:
It may seem stupid not to purchase this whole-body workout machine given its affordable price tag of under $200. However, this machine isn’t the best choice for everyone. Although the product includes some accessories, not all essential pieces come with the equipment. For example, the product doesn’t include a weight barbell for squats and bench presses. In addition, those who are new to weight lifting may feel a bit wary of using a 6 to 7-foot weight bar that is necessary for the full set-up. However, it is a great choice for those who want a small but functional all-in-one weight lifting machine.
Our Guide to Buying A Quality Leg Extension Curl Machine
Now that you have seen the list of several leg extension curl machines out on the market, you’re aware of the great variety among these machines. To slim down your choices, you’ll need a better understanding of your unique needs in a leg curl machine. In addition, you must evaluate the full, real expense of the products you’re most interested in. Below is a guide that will help you assess the factors and identify the best leg extension machine for your needs:
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. Don’t skip the fine print! Without it, you won’t know the exact details of what you’ve purchased. 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.
Weights are essential for weight training! None of the product prices listed above 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 on Caring for Your Brand New Leg Extension Curl Machine
- No matter which exercise machine you choose, ensure that you have plenty of space in the area where you plan to use the machine. 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!
- Owning exercise equipment means you’re also responsible to maintain and clean the machine. Leg curl machines require regular cleaning both so that it looks great and so that it lasts. So, clean the frame, pads, and all moving parts. Below is a helpful list of exercise equipment cleaning products:
- Special wipes for gym equipment (you can find these in stores specific for commercial gym equipment)
- Disinfectant wipes or spray (such as Lysol)
- Polish for fitness equipment (for example, Spintech)
- You can make a DIY equipment cleaner with simple ingredients! Combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of hot water and 1/2 cup of baking soda in a spray bottle. You can spray this on your equipment and then wipe it down with a clean towel.
- Always read through the user manual for more details about how to maintain your machine. If you have questions, call the customer service number. This will help ensure that your equipment lasts as long as possible.
- Store your free weights or weight plates appropriately and clean them regularly as well. No matter how cool it sounds, don’t drop free weights on the floor. This can damage your equipment and floors. In addition, other people close by might find it startling if you drop your weights. So, avoid this practice out of respect for those who live with you.
- Free and plate weights can be a hazard for children and pets, so make sure you have a safe storage option if you live with furry friends or young children. Since these leg curl machines do not have weights attached to the machine, consider buying a weight rack and storing it in a closet that you keep locked. As with all equipment, be careful when moving weights around so that you can reduce the risk of 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 the list above shows, 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 for a leg extension curl machine, come back to this buying guide. It will help you pare down your list by helping you focus on what you truly need. Research and investigate the various equipment options we talked about in the above product reviews. 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? We’d love to hear your story! Write your comment below.